Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Smartphone - Tripod adapter

This is my entry for How I Took It Contest.
In this post, I want to share, how I made an adapter for smartphone to tripod from a big stationary clip, so you can take pictures more steady (for night, HDR, multiple exposure, time lapse and any kind photography that need a steady camera) and / or self portrait.
This is the result :

What you need :
- 1x big clip that can open as wide as your smartphone, preferably with rubber inside clip (the white insert), so it won't scratch your phone, I bought at US$ 3

- 1x 1/4-20 bolt, any length will do, because it is difficult to find the short one, so we have to cut it, i bought it at US$ 2 (got 10 pieces, 1.5" length), find stainless steel version, it is more glossy and won't get rust
- 2x 1/4-20 nuts, US$ 2 (got 20 pieces), find stainless steel version, it is more glossy and won't get rust
- epoxy / super strong metal glue (this is optional if you do not have welding machine, which I have)

Tools you need :
- all kind of safety equipment like goggle, gloves, boots and work cloths and don't forget about portable fire extinguisher
- metal saw or any cutting tools for metal
- small size metal files or dremel
- welding machine (I bought cheap Chinese made, about US$ 200) and welding rod for stainless steel (this is optional if you don't have welding machine, you can use epoxy or super strong metal glue)
- drilling machine with 6 mm drill bit
- wrench which same size with the head of your bolt and nut, usually the size is 10 or 11, mine is 11
- cutter knife 
- thread locker (this is optional, but I prefer using it), I use Loctite Tite'n for bolts, blue version

Process :
1. make a hole in clip, make sure the hole have enough clear area for bolt head inside the cli, try to put the bolt through the hole, if it is too snug, make it a little wider using cutter knife or files or dremel
2. measure the thickness of clip, mine is 3 mm
3. cut the bolt, the length is about 9 mm (3 mm from thickness of clip + 6 mm from nut thickness), file the bolt so the thread is not have problem with the nuts, check it first by try turning on and off the nut to the bolt

4. make 2 nuts into 1 long nut using welding machine or epoxy or super strong metal glue, this is the most difficult process. I put 2 nuts into a bolt, put a gap about 1 - 2 mm (so we can weld / epoxy / glue it, you can see the gap in the shadow of nuts). If possible, try to make the thread is "continuing" between 2 nuts. After it is fixed / cool, file the excess welded metal, so it still fit into your wrench.
(top bolt : before I weld it, notice the gap between nuts, you can see it clearly in the shadow)
(bottom bolt : after I weld and files to remove excess welded metal)

5. try to put the bolt n nut into the clip, if it good, then you can put thread locker to the bolt to make it permanent. Optional : put the epoxy in the bolt and clip area, so the bonding is stronger

6. finish, and you have a smartphone to tripod adapter
 Thank you, I hope you can enjoy my work


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