Smartphone Tripod

Smartphone tripod: This simple system adapts the “Ultrapod” lightweight tripod to cradle a smartphone in a variety of mounting situations. Total cost < C$20, weight < ~70 grams/2.5 ounces.

Materials: ~3 inches of 1/2″ PEX plumbing pipe (or alternates), equivalent length of Gorilla or duct tape, stainless steel nut (1/4″ 20 threads per inch*) to match thread on tripod, ~12 inches of elastic cord. * Many hardware stores will sell these nuts individually at a very modest cost.

Assembly: 1. Remove a segment of the pipe that is slightly less than the thickness of the phone. 2. Drill a hole the diameter of the tripod camera mount in the centre of the pipe, and opposite to the slit cut in 1. Drill holes near each end of of the pipe sized to accept the elastic cord. 3. Push the centre hole of the pipe onto the tripod and tightly screw the nut on inside the pipe segment. 4. Tie a knot in one end of the elastic cord and push it through one hole in the pipe, with the knot on the inside. Perform the same on the other end with the knot in the cord at the point that will secure your phone on both the long and short sides. 5. Hold the smooth side of the tape over your smartphone and press the sticky side of the tape into the bottom of the slot, and then roll the tape edges back over outside of the pipe segment.

Usage notes: There’s a velcro strap on the tripod that will secure it to many shapes including the handlebars. When securing to a larger shape such as a tree branch, fence post, or light standard a velcro pant cuff strap works well to add length to get around larger diameters. The photo below (taken with a Goggle Pixel 3XL) is of an ~1 minute night exposure strapped to a tree. The tripod has been in use for about a decade with different sizes of pipe modified to accommodate always changing device dimensions. 🙂