GoPro Clamps

Ok fine, the GoPro gets its own category now.  It doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

In keeping with my new motto of “If it moves, attach a GoPro” I am in the market for some kind of clamp mechanism.  They sell a neat looking clamp with a gooseneck thing on it, but it is 40 bucks, and doesn’t appear to open very wide.  I did some looking around, and a lot of people attach 1/4-20 screws to those plastic one handed clamps.  That seems ok, but I bet there is a better solution.

In a previous post I mentioned that I had stuck magnets to the adhesive side of a flat adhesive mount.  There was no picture before, so here is one now for reference.

wpid-20150215_111106.jpg


 Metal Spring Clamp

I took a large metal spring clamp and applied the magnet mount.  The metal spring has a ton of clamping force and with the rubberized tips doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.  The metal is thick enough that the magnets have a good hold.  Slide the base mount around to get different angles, and move the clamp as needed.  More adjustment than you can shake a stick at.

DSC_0431 ResizedThe price was very agreeable.  The clamp was about 6 bucks at lowes.  The magnetic base is useful in tons of places, but if you wanted to make one the adhesive mounts are a few bucks a piece and magnets can be had for a similar price.  Very affordable over all.


 Plastic Ratcheting Clamp

While picking up the metal spring clamp I looked around and saw other options.  The one I liked the most was this ratcheting clamp.  It feels beefy, and has wide surfaces for attaching mounts to.  I used a curved adhesive mount and after letting it sit for a while the thing was really solid.  Hats off to to 3m for that peel and stick stuff.  It is really good!

DSC_0432 ResizedUsing it isn’t great.  The clamp is really solid, but when you try to clamp with it nothing flexes.  A good clamp has a little flexing involved when you use it.  It makes sure there is still clamping force even if something shifts.  This thing is just pure rigid.  You don’t have any mechanical advantage, and the yellow pads don’t have any grip to them.  Hard rubber or leather pads might improve this, but as is, this clamp sucks.

Because the mount is solidly fixed, adjustment is tough.  The metal clamp setup allows easy adjustment, this does not.  Even if I figured out how to get a 1/4-20 bolt in there somehow, it still wouldn’t be more adjustable and convenient than the metal spring clamp.  Go with the metal spring clamp and DIY magnetic base.  It is superior to the other homemade clamp setups I have seen.

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