A Laser Aiming Module For First Person Hacking

You’ve perhaps noticed that [Jeremy Cook] is rather prolific on YouTube, regularly putting out videos on his latest and greatest creations. He wanted to add a head-mounted GoPro to his video production bag of tricks, but found it was a little trickier than expected to get the camera to point where he was actually looking. The solution? A 3D printed laser “sight” for the GoPro that let’s him zero it in while creating videos.

The idea here is very simple: put a small laser module on the same mount as the GoPro itself so you’ll have a handy red dot showing more or less where the camera is looking. The position of the red dot relative to the center-point of the camera’s field of view is going to vary slightly with range, but with something like a GoPro that’s shooting a very wide area to begin with, it’s not really a problem in practice.

Sounds like a good idea, but won’t that leave a weird red dot in all the videos? [Jeremy] is already ahead of you there, and added a small push button switch to the front of the module so he can quickly and easily turn the laser on and off. The idea is that he turns the laser on, gets the dot roughly where he wants the camera pointed, and then turns it back off.

[Jeremy] has put the STL files for the single-piece 3D printed module up on his GitHub for anyone who might find them useful. Besides the printed part, you just need to provide a suitably sized 3.7 V LiPo battery and the laser diode itself. If you need to find a good supply of cheap lasers, you might want to check the clearance rack at the big box store.

16 thoughts on “A Laser Aiming Module For First Person Hacking

  1. I don’t think the newer GoPros use that 30-pin connector any more, but I seem to remember there being a vertical sync pin. If there is you could strobe the laser in sync with a camera so you can see it but the camera never would. In fact, there may be a commercial product that does that…

    1. Maybe not a vertical sync pin, but there was a composite video out pin and that you could grab the sync from. Do the new ones still have composite video out?

  2. If he’s wearing it on his head why not just build a crosshair over the eye? Hell you could probably make the whole thing out of hand twisted wire. And no laser dots in the shot.

    1. hmm… makes sense. though calibrating it might a an issue. fixing the laser to the cam (theoretically) only requires one calibration. But still.. I like the way you’re thinking.

  3. Those lasers are not eyesafe. The claimed power is 5mW, but could be much higher; ISTR reading some similar devices had been measured as double that.

    I am severely deaf. If I become blind, for whatever reason, I will have no choice but to fumble my way to the kitchen, find a knife, and commit suicide. Seriously,

  4. Now if only I could make a waterproof version of this…
    I always find my aim is off while shooting video underwater.
    I do have an LCD backpack for the GoPro, but it drains the battery really fast.

  5. I have a bundle of those laser diodes and a number of them don’t project the laser directly out, the laser goes out at an angle. This was the downfall of one project that hardmounted a row of them, mistakenly assuming they’d all project directly out. Whoops!

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