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Added design features to the Prodmod DIY LED Camera Light

In the first article we took the simplest approach to mount the light to our camera. We passed a bolt through the entire body of the light and screwed it into the camera tripod mount.

Prodmod DIY Camera Light mounted onto Lumix Camera

We also showed how you can place the bolt inside the housing when you are not using it.

You can store the screw in the housing like this

Well, what if you would like the bolt to stay in its place and act more like a built in knob then just some screw?


You will need to use something on the other side of the plastic wall nearest the bolt head to keep it from falling out.

Before we go any further we have an observation to make.

The bolt is passing through two holes in the housing. One of those holes is on a door that slides open to grant access to the batteries. If you lock the bolt in a position so that the bolt passes through both holes you would essentially be locking the door closes and actually wouldn’t be able to slide the door on in the first place

So the method you choose should either allow the bolt to slide down far enough to release the door, or be semi-permanent so the bolt can be pulled out of the way when you need to operate the sliding door.

There is also a consideration to make. Do we want the bolt to be completely removable? Or can we accept the bolt being permanently installed into the body of the light so long as it doesn’t affect operation?

So finally there are some design requirements here you’ll need to look at before selecting your solution

Requirement 1- The bolt shall not fall out of the battery housing.

Requirement 2- The bolt shall rotate freely to engage the threads of the camera mount.

Requirement 3 - The bolt shall not lock the battery door permanently

And one variable requirement.

Requirement 4 - Does the bolt have to be removable?

Here are a few ideas that come to mind.

A- Insert the bolt into the main body of the light and slip a short hollow plastic tube over the thread. Pull the bolt down until it clears the battery door and no longer obstructs movement. When not in use the bolt will simply hang away from the body, partially in and partially out of the light housing. This is not permanent because you can always pull hard on the bolt to free it from the plastic tube. And if you want it to be permanent you can glue the tube to the screw.

B -You can copy method A but use shrink tube instead of a plastic tube. If you heat shrink it in place it would function the same way. But you’d have to be careful to know exactly where to place the tube, and unlike method A this is pretty permanent. You could probably pull really hard on the bolt to remove it completely, but you’d still have a tough time removing the shrink tube from the bolt.

C- You can use a retaining ring. The ring’s outer most diameter would have to be smaller than the battery compartment so that it doesn’t restrict rotation or accidentally unscrew in use. You can either press the ring down to place or screw it on like a nut.

see the series of photos.
Retainer ring is pushed down screw threadretainer ring prevents screw from falling out but doesnt interfere with door operation

door is not locked by screwscrew is pushed through locking door and ready to attach to camera

For my camera I chose to use the retainer ring on the door as shown below.

screw-attached-to-door.JPG

but I have to be careful not to hit the LED leads as I open the door. It would have been better if the hole was over to the end more.

screw-attached-to-door-opening.JPG

screw-attached-to-door-away-from-leads.JPG

You can find retainer rings at Home Depot. They come in packets of 2pcs for 40 cents. So 20 cents per piece.

D – You can use an o-ring. Which is basically a thin rubber ring that can be rolled down the bolt to the appropriate position.

E- since you might not have the above items handy you can also try using a twist tie. It wont be as strong as the other options but it’s quick. Cut about 1 inch of length and wrap it around a 1/4 inch bolt. Then remove the ring you made and squeeze it between your fingers to shrink the diameter. Then slide your bolt into the light housing and slide or screw the twist tie ring onto the bolt in the proper location.

see the photo set for a guide

cut about 1 inchwrap twist tie to obtain the shapesqueeze to reduce diameterpush ring down on screw

Spring action

If you can find a spring that fits around the 1/4 inch screw and sits between the retaining ring and the plastic wall you would have a spring loaded thumb screw. So you would have to pull the screw head and compress the spring before opening the battery door.

1 comment

1 ping

  1. Dan Barry says:

    Video always wants more light. When you are not using your light for your camera you can leave it at your desktop webcam. You can even find webcams with 3 leds surrounding the lense at the computer fleamarkets in Europe.

    Thanks for the build

  1. ProdMod ™ » Blog Archive » Make your own LED camera light for only $2 - lasts longer than Camerabright says:

    [...] Product reviews, dissections, modifications « Motorize this CD cleaner and win $50 Added design features to the Prodmod DIY LED Camera Light [...]

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