click here for enlarged view of montage
.. based on the Hague Mini Motion-Cam, the parts I used were purchased from local (UK) shops but are available anywhere:
1. Mini Tripod (with built in gimbal) £5 (Tesco's supermarket)
2. Steel bar (4mm x 20mm approx 1 metre long (£3+ B&Q DIY)
3. 38mm (1.5") washers (x15)
4. pair of rubberised bike handlebar grips (£3 Asda supermarket)
5. couple of bolts + wingnuts
6. black spray paint (£3)
7. knurled tripod/camera knob (from old tripod)
8. piece of rubber
Here is my UK source for my mini tripod .. http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.200-7242.aspx
or in the US .. http://cgi.ebay.com/Flexible-Mini-Tr...QQcmdZViewItem
or Worldwide .. http://cgi.ebay.com/Mini-travel-TRIP...QQcmdZViewItem
See also .. http://photography.search.ebay.com/m...Z1QQsofocusZbs
The bike handlebar grips should be available from any bike shop.
Vice, hammer, angle grinder, drill, 2-pack glue, scissors/knife (to cut rubber).
Bend the steel bar to shape (see photo), I didn't use a template but guessed the approximate shape, cut off the excess length of bar, also cut small (3") length for the counter weight (to offset lcd's weight). Drill holes for tripod to attach and for pivot point below (which should line up vertically with the gimbal). Drill holes in the counter weight bar. Slide handlebar grip over tripod legs and glue. Bolt washers/counter weight bar in place. Use an angle grinder to cut a slot in the top of the bar (this is for the knurled knob to allow the camcorder to slide backwards and forwards). Glue a shaped piece of rubber in place along the top of the bar (to cushion camcorder).
Points to note:
Because it is made of steel it is heavier than originals alluminium (I couldn't find a suitable piece of aluminium!) - but it doesn't matter, its the balance that counts. I use my HV20 with and without a DM-50 microphone, it is pretty well balanced (the mike) so I do not need to slide the camcorder back or forward - I just add 5 washers to the pivot point ( I pre-glued the washers together), without the mike I used 3 washers. Obviously yours may vary depending on the gauge, type, length of bar used and how you bend it, hence it is pointless me giving any dimensions. I also marked the position of the knurled knob so I can easily re find its position and I glued the bolts in place to stop them dropping out/turning when adjusting the weights.
The whole thing cost less than £15 to make (less if you can find the parts lying around at home) and took approximately 3 hours to do. Once correctly balanced with weights it works perfectly.
I don't think the meaurements are hyper critical but the end product doesn't want to be too bottom heavy, if its top heavy you can always add weight (washers) to the bottom.
The HV20 is currently attached near the back of the slot but still leaves a bit of leeway for balancing if a wide angle lens is fitted. It is a very simplistic design and once the weights are balanced correctly and the gimbal is of a good quality there is no reason why any home made stabilizer shouldn't work the same as a similarly designed professionally manufactured one.
One mod I have added is a quick release which needed to have the same fitting as the one I use with my Velbon tripod. These can be purchased for around £16 (UK) but I decided to build my own by riveting together two pieces of steel that I shaped to grip the quick release plate, it is locked in place by a third sliding piece of steel that is locked in place with a wingnut ..
click here for enlarged view
.. the whole assembly is held onto the stabilizer using a second bolt/wingnut. I painted the quick release and added some felt pads, again I glued the bolts in place to stop them rotating.
To counterbalance the extra weight up top I added approximately 6 extra washers to the bottom of the stabilizer. Now it is just a case of releasing the HV20 from the tripod and quickly relocating it onto the stabilizer - which is already pre-balanced with counterweights (washers).