Building A Custom Camera Mic

Most consumer-grade cameras these days come with adequate microphones built in. However, as with all hardware made down to a price point, there’s room for improvement. [M. Ploegmakers] decided to whip up a better microphone setup for his Sony A6300, with the Dumbbell Mic as the result.

The microphone is based around an electret condensor element, which provides good performance at a remarkably low price. This is then integrated with a preamp circuit to bring the audio up to the appropriate level for the camera to record along with the video. Switches on board set the gain level, as well as changing the mic to operate with or without phantom power, where available.  The electronics is wrapped up in a 3D-printed enclosure, designed to mount on top of the camera for use out in the field.

It took some experimentation, but now [M. Ploegmakers] has a custom mic rig that records straight into the camera, avoiding the need to splice audio and video back together in post. If your camera lacks an audio input, you might have to do a little more work to hack one in, though!

$8 3D Printed Photo Turntable Uses Upcycled Parts

Whether you’re selling a product or just showing off your latest project, a photo turntable makes video shots a lot easier.  360° turntables allow the viewer to see every side of the object being photographed, while the camera stays locked down. Motorized turntables are available as commercial products costing anywhere from $30 to $150 or so. Rather than shell out cash, [NotionSunday] decided to create his own turntable using a few parts he had on hand and 3D printing everything else.

The motor for the turntable came from the eject mechanism of an old DVD-ROM drive. An Arduino Pro Mini controls the motor’s speed using an MX1508 H-bridge chip. Power comes from an 18650 Li-Ion battery. The whole assembly spins on the head assembly from a VCR.

Before you jump in on the comments, yes, VCR heads have motors. However, they’re typically brushless motors rated for 1,800 RPM. Running a motor like that at low-speed would mean rewinding the coils. In this case, using a DC motor and gear drive was the easier option.

[NotionSunday] 3D printed the turntable base and mount. The mount uses a magnet arrangement that makes it easy to switch between freewheeling or belt driven operation. The turntable itself is posterboard, with 3D printed edges.

Click through the break to see the whole video.

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