Desk-lamp camera arm

C920_frontI've thought, on occasion while working on projects, that it would be nice to have a camera handy, but not in the way too much.  This would be useful for documenting the progress of projects for posting here (I've thought about it for a while, just haven't started posting info about the projects until now) as well as for my own use - what did this thing look like when I started, or how were these wires attached (perhaps I should also label things as I go. . .).  The idea of having a camera mounted on a swing-arm came to mind, and then quickly got shuffled to the back of my mind for a while.  Eventually, I came across a post at Instructables where an Ikea desk lamp was modified to hold a webcam.  I liked it and already had an old desk-lamp with a broken switch that I wasn't using anymore; I just needed a webcam.  I looked around for a while and eventually settled on the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 which has a tripod-mount base.

bracketAfter looking at the bracket which attached the lamp-shroud to the arm I had a basic idea of what I needed and drew up a quick sketch of a bracket for the camera (two views are shown in the image to the left).  It would need to fit in the final pivot assembly (lower portion of each sketch) and provide a platform for the camera to sit on with the correct size bolt protruding from the center (upper portions).
I had some scrap Lexan (just under a quarter-inch thick) left over from a school project a few years ago, so I had been planning on using that for the bracket.  The bolt needed for the camera mount is a 1/4" 20 size and seems to be the most common tripod mount currently in use.

Procedure

  1. All of the components were gathered as shown below.  This includes:
    • Desk lamp
    • Camera
    • Lexan
    • 1/4"-20 bolt (not shown)
    • Screws for attaching the perpendicular Lexan pieces (not shown)Progress_1
  2. I removed the Lamp-shroud from the arm by first cutting the lamp-cord (and removing it from the arm assembly), then removing the two screws attaching the lamp-shroud to the bracket.Progress_2
  3. I then removed the tightening screw and separated the shroud-mount from the final pivot assembly.Progress_3
  4. The mount bracket was then broken down into its components.Progress_4
  5. At this point I realized that the bracket post was approximately the same size as the screw needed for the mount (About 1/4").  I checked both with my calipers to verify.Progress_5
  6. This simplified the conversion process, as I could now eliminate the Lexan mount and simply substitute the screw for the previous lamp-mount.Progress_6
  7. The new bracket was reinserted into the final pivot assembly and the tightening screw was re-installed.Progress_7
  8. Finally, the camera mounted to the swing-arm attached to my desk.Progress_8

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