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.

28 thoughts on “Magnetic Panning Time-lapse Camera Mount Couldn’t Be Easier

      1. 1/4-20 is a very common size of machine screw. Advocating switching to metric hardware is one thing, but please god let’s not start describing SAE fasteners in metric.

        1. Haha, I’d agree with some of that statement! Honestly though, it’s hard to argue that Metric is a better system fundamentally. On the ofter hand, after working as an engineer for roughly 10 years, I’m not nearly as comfortable working in Metric as in English units. Professors act like the Metric system is THE standard, but then you get into the real world things are a bit different.

  1. 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.

    1. To write an _actual_ response to that point… He shows a tube of generic superglue (cyanoacrylate), but then the next frame of the slideshow shows a tube of real Gorilla Glue. While Gorilla makes a cyanoacrylate superglue, original Gorilla Glue is polyurethane based, which gives it a little bit of flex. In that regard, being less brittle than generic cyanoacrylate, it might not be such a terrible choice.

  2. 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.

      1. On the subject of small but very capable HD cameras, there’s a new one on the scene, a derivative of the keyfob range where the manufacturer listened to what people wanted from such a camera. This one is box shaped, adjustabe focus wideangle lens, full 1080p 30fps, 720p 30fps & 60fps, video out, can work as a dashcam (continual loop recording) or a headcam, does timelapse, and less than $70 shipped from China:
        Excellent review with downloadable sample clips:
        I’ve ordered one for myself and one for my brother, looking forward to receiving them.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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