Flight Booked and Camera Mount Modded
10 June 2012

Two developments this weekend about the tour:

1 I booked a flight! So I better be committed to doing this. It’s even non-refundable, for maximum guilt-tripping if and when I come up with a worthy excuse to cow out. I’ll arrive in Vermont on the morning of Saturday the 11th, giving me a couple of days to double- and triple-check all the bells and whistles.

2 I may have mentioned that I bought a camera mount, so that I could easily take video or use hands-free navigation thingies. Here’s how it happened.

I did a bit of research about camera mounts after I saw one particular (failed) Kickstarter. The best product I could find that was still in production was the Optrix. I bought it, and when it arrived I was pretty happy with how sturdy it looked and felt.

Optrix

Optrix phone mount system

It came with two base plates: one flat and one curved. The curved one I put on my helmet, and the flat one I planned to put on the handlebars somehow. The quick-release system makes it really easy to remove the phone from its base plate. I did have a couple problems with it however:

It doesn’t have a handlebar mount.
It isn’t compatible with a charging cable.

The handlebar mount was a simple problem to fix. I bought a sturdy handlebar mount for another camera:

handlebar camera mount

handlebar camera mount, from the Amazon

And I simply sawed off the offending parts:

altered handlebar camera mount

altered handlebar camera mount, ready for base plate attachment

The next step will be to drill a hole through the base plate that came with the Optrix (because the base plate covers up at least one of the screw holes on the handlebar mount), and glue the two together.

The second issue was that I wouldn’t be able to charge the phone while it’s in the case. I like the idea of doing a timelapse or sped-up video of an entire day’s ride, and my phone’s battery simply isn’t up to the task. Enter Hot Cutting Tool and Hot Gluing Tool! I essentially carved a hole in the nice shiny new toy I had bought for myself, stuck in a spare charging cable I had lying around, and glued the hole back up!

frankenoptrix

frankenoptrix. hopefully still waterproof.

It isn’t the prettiest, I know, but I’d rather it be waterproof for a long time than look good for a long time. I’ll let you know how it fares.

At this point I realized that I didn’t think it all the way through before starting. Sometimes I’ll have the phone mounted on my helmet, and having a cable dangling down is dangerous and annoying. I guess I’ll just rubber-band it.

In the end, the whole thing should fit together to make one nice handlebar mount for my phone.

block diagram of iphone handlebar mount

Fig 5: block diagram of iphone handlebar mount assembly

PS: no, I did not inhale too many plastic fumes. Some, but not too many. I eventually rigged up a couple of case fans from my PC next to the workspace.

Posted in xc-tour