Video Camera Dash Mounts

How much do you want to spend? How much room do you have on your dash? Do you mind screwing into your dash?

This is what I did with diferent parts from Ram-Mount. I want to estimate that the Ram-Mount parts cost me ~$40 and the Bogen tripod base that I butchered cost me about ~$40 (only did this b/c I wanted the same plate to work on both tripod, dash mount, and in the furture window mount). This mount is quite rigid and there are many many options you can do with it. You are also able to take the tripod part off of it so that it leaves only a ball on your dash. Or you could hook up another device that you use on a daily basis to it. On mine I do not have the tripod base that has an adjustment arm that extends due to room b/w the dash and the rearview mirror. I know David Drummond has a tripod base that does this that hooks up to his ram-mount. He might be able to step in and add something.

Here are a couple pics of the setup:

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Hope that helps.

If you need anymore info on it just let me know.

Graham Butler
graham.butler at ttu.edu[/img]
 
Im not really sure about pricing...depends on how good it is I suppose...I'd go to maybe $80...I dont know if thats likely to net me anything or not. The problem I'm finding, is that, my car...a 1995 Oldsmobile Achieva...the dash is not very flat at all...its all curves, so its hard to find a level area to mount much. I've got an ok mount going with my friend, velcro, and some other loose parts...but, was just looking to se if anyony has any good recommendations.
 
I use a "Cine Mount" this is a suction based platform similar to the Stickypod except it uses a "power-grip" rather than a straight suction cup. It also has a Bogen Head built into it and all I do is mount a pan-tilt head to this. It's reasonably rigid, smooth roads and most farm roads aren't a problem, but bumpy brick roads tend to create more shake and bounce than I like.

This replaced a standard Tripod that I had jammed into the passenger seat and dash secured with bungee cords. Though it worked, it wasn't worth it if I needed a passenger or needed to get in on the passenger side. This also replaced a window mount. The only real issue is that I had to figure out a way to get it on the dash. This was solved with a square of 7 inch plexi glass screwed into the dash to make a place for the power grip to work. I had tried on the inside of the windshiel and it works great as long as the camera isn't more than a couple of inches tall.

All in all in provides a secure stable mount that allows me to move the camera in the intended direction wiht a standard pan-tilt tripod head. It allows me to have a passenger that will operate the camera as well as the computer.

They are a tad pricey at $109.95 each. but since I use it in other applications as well, it was well worth it.

John
 
Originally posted by Amos Magliocco
Graham, do you use any kind of straps on that Jotto Desk (or Jotto-style desk) or do you rely on the velcro for anchoring?

AM

Oh trust me Amos, that velcro isnt letting the computer go anywhere!! I do have velcro straps somewhere but they blocked the mouse and power button so I didn't use them. There was one time I tried to get the computer off the Joto desk and it tore off one of the covers on the back the velcro was so strong!! That joto desk is one of the best investments I have made for the chase vehicle.

-graham
 
I built mine all from aluminum and bolted it to the seat mounts. When I originally did this I was not wanting to do any perminate damage but now that I am approaching 110,000 miles I not so concerned about that.
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seat bolt
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camera mount on drivers door
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front camera mount
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laptop mount held by one piece of aluminum so it has a little spring and
does not get jarred by the vehicle
 
I use this camera mount from Video Innovators (with added bungee cord and Manfrotto mini ball mount). B and H sells this mount.

I like it because I can transfer it between vehicles.

I am suspicious of any mounts as they (or the camera equipment) can become flying debris in an accident.


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Bill Hark
 
Seeing Bill's post reminded me - - - I use a RAM mount attached to the dash for the most part, but the bottom adjustment screw hangs low over the air bag compartment, which has caused me to start putting something else together for next year - if I were in an accident, the air bag would deploy and that mount would become a lethal projectile to the passenger.
 
I have a very simple RAM mount screwed into the center of my dashboard. It works well, is out of the way, and would only be a hazard to the windshield in an accident as its far enough from either air bag to be flung back (unless of course it came bouncing back at us after hitting the windshield). Cost me a bit over $30, but it works very well! :)
 
Mine is very similar to the way Graham's is mounted, except I have the round base. It does need to be screwed directly to the dash, and in some cases as I found out when I moved it from a Ford to a Plymouth van, had to be reinforced behind the dash plastic.

I took a tripod head from an identical tripod to the one I use outside the vehicle and literally superglued it to the RAM Mount. Left it in clamps a couple of days and to date it still holds. This has been an EXTREMELY stable and convenient setup, using the same camera to go from windshield to tripod and back very quickly! It also has the added convenience of having the adjustments of a tripod head handy making panning across the windshield very easy.

It does require some degree of dash/windshield clearance obviously so it might not work in all setups. Whatever configuration though, I VERY HIGHLY recommend RAM mounts.

And yes Amos, that velcro we used is some SERIOUS STUFF! It's the industrial stuff and I completely ripped the memory cover off the back of my new laptop trying to pry it off there. Trust me, the laptops on that setup aren't going anywhere! :lol: Think of your sheer forces though. For the most part, sheer forces in a vehicle are side to side, which is one of the strongest directions for sheer with velcro. With that sitting on that Joto setup, the vast majority of force on the laptop is going to be horizontal.

I hesitated in the past about using a joto desk type setup, opting to make my own rather than spend over $100 for one of those. After using Graham's this year, I will be getting one to go in the next vehicle!
 
Yeah, I don't doubt the velcro holds well. I even wondered about holding so well you'd have trouble with the back. I was just curious about if that Jotto setup included the nylon straps like I have or not. They've held up pretty well over time.
 
I really wanted the Video Innovators mount that Bill Hark showed pictures of, but unfortunately it is no longer made. I contacted Video Innovators several months ago and they no longer make it and didn't have any left in stock.

So I rigged up a dash cam using Ram mount parts. But I just got a new vehicle and I'm starting over with my setup. I purchased the following multipod and I'm going to give it a try.

http://www.adorama.com/CU080.html

I've done some modifications to it and I think it is going to work out ok. It seems stable and is extremely portable. It sets up similar to the Video Innovators rig. I may give it a test run tomorrow and I'll post how it worked out.
 
I'm curious abuot why Video Innovators stopped making these. I wish I'd known they were going to halt production---I actually threw one away a few years ago when the suction cups wore out and bought a new unit. I swear by it. I'll definitely make custom repairs to the one I have as long as I can. Frankly, I've yet to see a solution I like better.

A
 
I have used the Video Innovators mount for years now and love it. I have seen many types of mounts and have tried a few but this is the best so far. The only thing I wish it had come with was a quick release but you can custom make one if you really want. I like this mount becuase of its hard construction and stable shooting platform. I have the 3rd leg mounted into my Galls center console where my radios are mounted. I get steady shots even while driving (except dirt roads ofcourse). I havent checked but I bet you can find one on Ebay. I would check but I am at work and we cant access Ebay here (damn WebSense software).
 
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