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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a quick how-to for making a camera mount which fits to the parcel shelf on an Evo 7-9. The process was carried out on my Evo 8.

Search terms: How to howto camera mount mounting fixture fix fit fitting stand holder bracket videocamera video mini dv minidv compact evo 7 8 9 vii viii ix parcel rear shelf parcelshelf rearshelf guide window rearwindow

Step 1 - Remove the rear seat.
See THIS THREAD.

Step 2 - Remove the parcel shelf.
See THIS THREAD.

Step 3 - Buy part number "SH73Q" from Maplin
This is £5.99 from HERE
http://images.maplin.co.uk/300/sh730295.jpg[/url]

List of stores on the bottom of [URL="http://www.maplin.co.uk/Home.aspx"]THIS PAGE[/URL]
The item is designed as CCTV camera bracket but it seems pretty well suited to this application. I think Maplin sell some other designs which may be better for your camera. I expect fitting them will be pretty similar to how I've done mine.
[img]http://badwebsite.co.uk/mad7boy/cammount/EvoCam01.JPG


Step 4 - Familiarise yourself with the mount
This mount was designed to be fixed to a wall with a CCTV camera on the end of the arm.


But I want to use it in a vertical orientation.


The fixing on the base is via a metal plate which is held onto the plastic stem with a pivot fitting and a screw. Undo the screw and seperate the pieces. We will secure the metal plate to the metal parcel shelf and then connect the plastic stem on top in situ.






Step 5 - Familiarise yourself with fitting your camera
Best to do this now before the stem is in the car. The stem has a standard screw thread for attaching a camera.
It is tighened using a cross head screwdriver from below. (As it's designed for CCTV cameras you need a screwdriver, not just a penny in order to turn the screw.)

I found that the thread was marginally too long for the depth of the hole in my camera. (I.e. the screw hits the end of the thread in the camera before all the slack is taken up between the camera and rubber pad. This was easliy solved by removing the screw from the head of the mount and putting a washer over the screw to take up some of the lenght.)

I tried out my compact camera first.







Step 6 - Install the baseplate into the car
Use a bolt and a couple of washers to fix the baseplate to the 'hump' in the centre of the parcel shelf just in front of the centre brake light. You will probably want to test fit the camera in situ to check that it will fit on top of the mount.

For a compact camera it seems to make sense to point it straight forwards (lip of metal base directly towards front of car). For bigger cameras you may need to get creative (covered later in 7b).

I recommend also using some thin soft double sided sticky foam tape between the plate and the parcel shelf to add stability. You'll probably want to make sure you use large washers and then nip the bolt up pretty tight to hold the base steady.




Step 7a - Fit the stem and camera - Compacts
Fit the stem over the base, lipped edge slides in first. Then do up the screw. Then fit the camera.
1 - Undo the roll adjustment thumbscrew and roll the camera mounting plate over to show the screw head. (1st pic)


2 - Return camera upright and tighten the roll adjustment thumbscrew. (2nd pic)


3 - Undo the pitch adjustment screw and tilt the camera forwards so you can see the display to adjust settings. (3rd pic)


4 - Return camera upright and tighten the pitch adjustment thumbscrew. (4th pic)


5 - Adjust optimal pitch setting. Basically take a photo, then tilt camera forwards to review it and then adjust as necessary and retake. When you're happy with the pitch angle pointing through the car make a mark with a pen or pencil across the pitch adjustment thumbscrew so you can easily set the pitch again next time.

This shows the view through the car.


These two are photos from the mounted camera, both wide and with optical zoom. Sorry the car's in the garage so not much to see out through the front.



Step 7b - Fit the stem and camera - DV Cameras
I found that my Mini DV camera wouldn't fit on top of the camera mount in the same way as the compact as it fouled on the rear windscreen. So... I had to be a bit more creative. After test fitting a number of permutations it turned out that the only way to make this camera work with this mount in this car is to mount the base plate at 90 degrees and then flip the camera mounting plate upside down and hang the camera under that. Two downsides to this, but not insurmountable problems:

1 - Camera is now upside down.
Solved by Windows Movie Maker having a built in 'flip/rotate' functions which can be used to correct this.

2 - Camera mount screw is not accessable while the stem is connected to the base plate as screw driver fouls on the rear windscreen.
Solved by either mounting the camera to the camera mount before connecting the stem to the base plate, or use a shorter screwdriver. (You might not have this problem depending on the dimensions of your camera.)
Sideways mount.


Doing up base plate screw after camera is mounted.








Here's a still from the video shot with the DV cam installed as shown above:

I adjusted the zoom setting on the camera to zoom in a little to show the windscreen as pretty big in shot. You can, of course, zoom in more or less with your camera - depending on how you want the shot framed.

Conclusion
I have shot some test video but it's not on youtube yet. The vision is similar to the compact camera shots included above. The camera shakes a little on rough surfaces but it's moving relative to the car, not relative to the road, so vision of the road is fairly smooth. Also the 'anti shake' function of the camera will be working to keep the shot steady, also realtive to the road, not relative to the car. The result is that the car moves about a lot in the picture but the movement of the road remained pretty smooth in my opinion.

It also provides a little 'damping' to the internals of the camera. You might be able to stiffen it up by supergluing the pitch and roll adjusters once you've set them in the right place. Or potentially by drilling through them and fitting a screw through the mechanism, but I've not tried that. (Shouldn't be a problem since you may need to remove the whole stem from the car to get the camera off anyway.) Using a lightweight camera (like the compact) will also reduce the effect of vibration.

You can see from the photo from stood behind the car that the camera is slightly offset to the left. This is not a big problem and vision through the windscreen is pretty good. It allows you to see slightly more of what's going on with the steering wheel too. If anything it actually provides a slightly better view up the road (if used on road not track) since the car will be positione on the left (in UK) and the camera can therefore be angled slightly to aim more towards the centre of the road rather than the centre of your lane on a single carriageway. It's only a couple of inches off centre so really doesn't make much difference.

I would STRONGLY reccomend using a tether to tie the camera to the parcel shelf in case the mount breaks in the case of an accident. Do bear in mind this mount is designed from the factory to support a CCTV camera in a static environment, not a DV camera in a crash. With the parcel shelf out there's plenty of metal to tie a tether onto. Use a STRONG tether and keep it as short as possible. Also, tie it to the metal of the shelf, not to the plastic base of the mount!

That's it. Hope this was useful. Cheers.

MAD7BOY
 
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