Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gear Improv - The handler

A few months ago I found myself at the beach playing in the surf. For years I have been doing this and simply holding my GoPro in my hand. It has always made me a little nervous, and I thought about buying myself the GoPro Handler.

This is the Handler. It is a floating handgrip for GoPro cameras, If you play in the water it is a great little product. It's $29.99. So I found myself at the beach in need of one of these. But there was no place to pick one up. Then I noticed that the cap to a 20 ounce coke bottle was about the same size as the old non-quick release tripod mount. I found a screw in my car that was the right size - 3/8ths inch I believe is standard tripod size, total dumb luck - and combined these parts.

The only part that was tricky was making a hole in the bottle cap with my knife. There was a good chance that I would cut myself, fortunately it didn't occur.

Here is what the "rig" looks like, incredibly simple. In the future I might change the bolt so it is stainless, and add a small rubber gasket to insure that there is no leaking - though in my use it didn't. I did a google search and found that there are a lot of options for handler-like devices, but I didn't see anyone do something like this. Maybe I actually invented something.

It floats incredible well. In fact if you let go of it in the water, the whole thing inverts with the bottle sticking straight out of the water, and the camera below - a great way to shoot underwater I suppose. If you want it less buoyant, just add some water to the bottle. Even with the bottle full of water it floats. Total cost? $8 for the tripod adapter, $1.79 for the coke, and pennies for the screw.

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