Installation of Rockhard4x4 sport cage
 


Background:

I've been running a MiniDV camcorder as a dash cam on nearly every trail run I go one. I have a RAM mount attached to the dash bar of my Rockhard sport cage for camera mounting. I've a big fan of the RAM accessories and use them to mount my GPS to the sport cage. I also use RAM mounts when I run the GPS on my DRZ400. I bought all the RAM parts from a local supplier in Seattle that caters to the off highway community: www.cycoactive.com

On the last two trail runs I've been on (January 2008) I realized the nuisance it was to get the camera angle dialed in when at various zoom levels. I also often wanted to pan side to side to catch some action of the rigs in front of me when on curved sections of trail or road. With the RAM mount, once you loosen the clamp on the arm, the camera moves where ever gravity takes it unless you hold on to it, so it's a two handed operation, and a hassle.The thought of being able to do all this ONE HANDED sounded appealing. Then the idea hit me... I needed a tripod head!!

I found a few heads that were ball mount and thought they would adapt right in to the RAM arm, but they didn't have tilt or swivel capabilities, so that option was out. They offered a quick releaze plate and that was about it.

I tracked down a few REAL tripod heads (that offered swivel, etc.), but they were all too big and bulky, not to mention expensive. Finding a compact head proved to be quite a challenge.

I looked at my collection of tripods and thought maybe I could take the head off one of them. That was a no-go as well because they were press fit and crimped in place. After some more online searching and refining my search phrases I eventually found the perfect unit, which cost $45.00 including $5.00 for shipping. Once I found it I didn't even hesitate to order it. It's a SLIK brand head, item number SH704E


I'm using a RAM mounting clamp (that goes around the cage), a RAM short arm and a RAM camera mount plate.

The RAM camera mount plate has a 1/4"-20 threaded stud on it like a tripod has, so you thread a camera, camcorder, or in this case, the tripod head on to it.

I found a compact tripod head made by SLIK.
It's unique in that it screws to the top of the RAM
mount, just like how you'd mount a camera to the top of a tripod,
using the same thread size.

The handle on the left is for swivel and tilt left/right adjustment.

The handle pointing back is the tilt fore and aft adjutment.

The little lever on the top is the quick release lever for the camera plate.

 

The tripod head has a quick release plate, allowing for fast and
easy removal of the camcorder to use it outside the Jeep.

The camera plate can be left on teh camera or camcorder all the time.

Shown from the passenger's side.

 

 
 

 

   

 


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