Magnetic panning time-lapse camera mount couldn’t be easier


[Jeremy Cook] is getting in on the panning time-lapse craze with his offering for a camera mount that pans automatically. In this case he’s using a GoPro camera, but since the camera connects using a 1/2 1/4 – 20 bolt it will work with any camera that has a standard threaded tripod mounting bracket.

The base of the rig is an egg timer he picked up for about eight dollars. It’s magnetic so that you can stick it to your refrigerator, but has enough gripping power to hold the camera upside down. The image above shows it stuck to his garage door opener housing. A PVC cap makes up the black part. Before painting it (with truck bed liner so that it’s a bit grippy) he used his lathe to remove the flat areas from the sides, and to cut it in half. He then drilled and threaded a hole in the center to accept the bold for the camera. The cap was super glued to the egg timer, which happens to have a window on the side so that you know how long you’re setting it for.

This is an easy alternative for those that don’t have the resources to make a 3D printed egg timer mount. The lathe step is not necessary, but since [Jeremy] had one he used it. It does make the final product look quite a bit nicer.


  1. Chris Muncy says:

    Mike, that should read “1/4 -20 bolt”

  2. Phillip Milks says:

    Interesting – but where do you find 1/2-20 bolt ? Especially one that fits in a 1/4-20 fitting on the camera?

  3. Chris C. says:

    I don’t know about the Gorilla Glue brand specifically, but I don’t have faith in super glues (cyanoacrylates) to hold weight long term – especially something expensive like a GoPro.

  4. dALE says:

    These chowder heads want $500k so they can post articles riddled with spelling errors.

  5. Whatnot says:

    Always GoPro, makes me wonder what percentage of ad and followers of ads we are at now, because that stuff is reinforcing itself when after people see GoPro a million times they think that’s all there is and buy only GoPro which causes in turn shops to only stock the damn brand.
    So by starting with well-placed ad money soon your company doesn’t even have to spend much anymore and only needs to keep the motion going a bit and can focus on suing people that review them and find flaws, for ‘copyright infringement’, like the gopro people do.

  6. Andrew says:

    1/2 by 20 -> 1/4″-20
    bold -> bolt

    Can you imagine someone actually paying for this?

    • n0lkk says:

      Well like others I just paid my small part, I learned long ago not to sweat the small shit. Most of what draws complaints about Hackaday IS the small shit not worth sweating. Somehow I have to believe that’s the opinion of whoever it was that donated $10,000.

      • Matt says:

        Yes, I would agree that Hackaday is “the small shit”. What a fine example the HAD bloggers set for younger individuals who question why their spelling, grammar, and punctuation are of consequence to their future. Why bother doing things correctly when obvious errors are overlooked by the masses– and people even donate thousands of dollars to support the people making obvious errors!

  7. Jeremy Cook says:

    Thanks for the writeup Mike!

  8. supershwa says:

    I’m still an electronics Novice, but wouldn’t it also be possible to achieve something similar using a smaller camera module and an old hard drive actuator?

    I’d hate to use a GoPro for a security camera (and it’s easily stolen) but have a bunch of e-Line Dome Cameras I’ve been looking to use in a project. Not to mention the stack of dead hard drives, and the actuators and stepper motors in them are fun.

  9. BiOzZ says:

    if you have a lathe …

    • Whatnot says:

      From the writeup above: “The lathe step is not necessary, but since [Jeremy] had one he used it. It does make the final product look quite a bit nicer.”

  10. The Gorilla Glue he used is a Polyurethane based Glue. It has a much greater tolerance to temperature fluctuations. It does expand while drying so clamping or weighting the parts down is best. The air that is tapped in the glue also seems to help it last through vibrating environments that cyanoacrylates don’t do well with. One of Gorilla Glues main uses is in Wood working. I’ve used it in area’s where large Items join together in narrow Joints. It is excellent Glue. In this application your going to brake the plastic in the GoPro mount before this Glue Joint fails (assuming that the surfaces were prepped, and glue applied properly).

  11. wls says:

    btw, stay away from Gorilla branded cyanoacrylate, it doesn’t work like regular ‘super glue’, very slow and weak.

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