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Trying out a new harness

July 29th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

After watching some of the footage we’ve captured, it became rather obvious that we should try a proper harness instead of attaching the leash to the flat collar.

Amazing what a slight change in perspective can do for making you feel like a fool!

This morning’s ride was very nice, especially considering we’d changed our equipment.  We also adjusted the boom on the camera mount, to get a slightly wider angle for your viewing pleasure.

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The making of the Bike Cam Mount

July 27th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

Gretel gives lots of body language signals when we’re on our daily bike rides.  I don’t always get to see them, though (I’m busy steering the bike).  I thought it’d be interesting if I could videotape her, and review the footage later, hoping to understand/interpret some of these signals.

I’d been looking for ideas on how to mount the camera, but most folks doing this kinda thing are mounting the camera on the handlebars, with the camera looking in a forward direction.  My camera won’t get a wide enough angle with the camera mounted on the handlebars, so I wanted to mount some kind of adjustable boom, to get the camera away from the bike a bit.  I toyed around with a few things I had laying around, then it occurred to me that drum hardware could be ideal for this.  Being a drummer (once upon a time, anyway), I had some items on hand that seemed to work out ok for what I was trying to do.

You can click the pics for a better view.

Removing the black steel from the drum rack clamp was easy, 2 phillips head screws, which got re-used to attach a piece of the strapping material to the back side of the aluminum clamp (had to custom drill a hole in the stove pipe strapping, as the spacing wasn’t perfect on its own.  This gave me a place to thread the hose clamps, allowing me to then attach the front clamp to the steering tree of the bike as pictured below.

Things were still not as firm as I needed, so I added an additional mount, but this time just used the stove pipe strapping in place of the hose clamp.  Mounting perpendicular to the horizontal upper frame bar, this seemed like the easiest way to get it done.  I used a roto-zip tool to oval out one of the holes in the strap, not real elegant, but got the job done.

Notice I used the old inner-tube scraps to protect the lovely Murray finish on my deluxe bicycle.

Here’s a side view with both clamps in place:

2 clamps definitely made for a more durable mount, and I can feel much better about mounting the camera way up front.

With this done, I needed to figure out a way to attach the camera to the top (where the cymbal would normally go).  In my toolbox I found a piece of scrap aluminum that did the job, just needed a couple of holes drilled (if you can guess what its original purpose was, i’ll buy you a beverage).

Here’s a pic of the bike with it all together:

View from a little closer:

Of course I made sure the image stabilization was turned on in the camera setup.  I think this helps a lot, because I see the camera shaking while we ride.  Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the footage we’ve gotten so far, and glad I took on the project.

Comments are welcome, but please don’t flame me for having a crappy bike!

The Gretelcam maiden voyage

July 25th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Everything

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We’ve been enjoying our morning bike rides for awhile now.  Today I tossed together a bike mount for the camcorder so you could come along for the ride!  Of course we ran out of videotape right after we got started, but we had fun (you can see my little girl smiling)!

Better than any pot o’ gold!

July 24th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in Everything

It rained like crazy most of the day yesterday.  When we saw the sun break through the clouds out back, I had a feeling there would be something nice out front.  Sure enough, we found a great photo op waiting for us!

My little leprechaun!

My little leprechaun!

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