Spring clamp tripod mount has potential

Admittedly this post is flirting with flamebait, but we think the concept of using a spring clamp as an iPhone tripod mount has a lot of hacking potential. Hear us out, and if we havn’t made our case you can rant about it in the comments.

[Joe] wanted an easy way to mount his iPhone on a standard tripod. We’ve seen some creative solutions for this, like using Sugru to make a removable bracket. But he went a different route, using a cheap spring clamp to grip the phone body. These plastic clamps are like over-powered clothespins, and use a screw as the pivot point. [Joe] replaced the stock screw with a longer one, then used a coupling nut which will attach to the tripod. A bit of foam on the pads of the clamp protect your device from the plastic teeth.

It’s a fine solution (if you don’t mind putting that pressure on your smart phone). But we think this would be a great way to build your own heavy-duty third hand. It would be right at home with this modular solder platform. See [Joe’s] how-to video embedded after the break.

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Laser level tripod made from recycled parts


[msuzuki777] is a self-proclaimed “Lazy Old Geek” with way too much free time on his hands. He recently picked up a laser cross and figured that he would use some of that time to make a laser tripod for various projects around the house.

He pulled out an old camera tripod, and modified an unused CD jewel case so that it could be screwed onto the traditional camera mount. He added three bolts to the platform, on which he mounted another CD case, letting him adjust both the laser platform as well as the tripod.

He put together a simple power supply for the laser, and then mounted it on a pair of CDs sandwiched on top of one another. The CD platform was then popped onto the guts of an old CD player, allowing him to spin his laser pointer in any direction without having to re-level it.

The laser cross tripod certainly looks a bit complicated, but [msuzuki777] says it works a treat, allowing him to easily hang pictures and the like. He also mentions that he wants to throw an Arduino at it to automate the leveling process, which is something we’d love to see.

Hackaday Links: Saturday, June 18th

Tripod CNC Machining Setup:


Here’s a strange “tripod” device using the EMC software package generally used for CNC machining.  In this case it looks like something that (when scaled up) might control a sky-cam-like device that one would see at football games.

The Off-Grid Container House:


Project to make an off-grid container house.  Pretty crazy idea, but definitely not developed yet. This seems like a cool idea, so hopefully this guy will come through. It may give you some other ideas, so check it out. Pizza in a cup anyone?

Iphone Window Pocket


Iphone window pocket – This Instructables article shows how to make a “window” in your pants for your Ipod. The combination of bad style and nerdiness gives a great first impression every time. Not sure how it works with the capacitive touch screen, but it should be good for viewing at least.

The Multiple AC Unit Experiment


Here’s someone who’s done some experimenting with using a central AC unit with several window units. Not bad, considering he documents shaving about 1/3 off his power bill.  Maybe it could inspire something even better!

Incredible CNC “hexapod” Milling Center


Finally, this machine isn’t exactly a “hack”, but a professionally designed machining center. It uses a machining setup similar to a delta robot. Six linear actuators are coordinated to allow this CNC robot to move in five degrees of freedom with incredible speed.

Tripod CNC Plotter

tripod printer machine

Although some may have heard of a machine like this, the CNC tripod remains an unknown machine to many in the engineering word.  This particular machine is set up as a plotter, drawing incredibly straight lines, shapes, and letters.

The machine appears to have 6 servo motors, 3 working as pairs.  This would simplify control and allows the pen to be held at a perpendicular angle to the paper.  Once could envision this being used with, instead of a pen, a spindle and mill.  Instead of the traditional movement of a CNC mill or router, this could be used to cut out complex shapes.

Additionally, if the servos were not driven in 3 tandem pairs, but were all controlled independently, it should be possible to twist the tool in a controlled angular direction.  This would add an extra axis of control to an already robust CNC setup.  It will be exciting to see how this technology develops in the future.  Until then, check out the video after the break: Continue reading “Tripod CNC Plotter”

Macro photos using an under-light rig

[Aki Korhonen] wanted to tighten up his macro photography setup. He already had the camera for the job, but wanted a fully adjustable target platform that he could easily light. What he came up with is a jig to hold the camera and fine tune the subject of each photo. It uses a frame with a piece of glass whose distance from the lens is adjusted by turning a knob. Below the glass a reflective surface redirects light from an LED flashlight up through the platform, lighting the snowflakes he’s shooting. A fixed LED source is in the plans for the next rendition.

Take a look at the overview of his setup in the quick clip after the break.

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Cassette case cameraphone tripod

We see a lot of comments on shaky video asking why that person didn’t use a tripod. [Aatif Sumar] wants to use one when taking pictures and video with his phone but the threaded mounting hole you’d find in most cameras doesn’t come as a feature on smart phones. That didn’t deter him, he used an old cassette case for this phone tripod. The build started with a cheap flexible camera tripod. [Aatif] used a soldering iron to melt a hole in a plastic cassette case. We’re apprehensive about relying on the plastic’s ability to hold threads so we’re recommend epoxy to reinforce the joint. A bit more melting with the iron and he had a cradle on legs with a hole for the camera lens. It’s nothing fancy, but it also cost him next-to-nothing.

Build your own lightweight flash tripod

[Peter Karlsson] is a commercial photographer who wanted some ultralight, portable supports for multiple flashes. What he came up with meets those goals; measuring 16 inches long when folded and weighing just 14 ounces. They set up just like a tent because they’re made from tent poles. Like the portable habitats, the tripods have bungee cords running through each section which holds them rigid but allows them to fold for transport. This is a great sister project to the flash synchronizer from yesterday. See the demo and the building instructions after the break.

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