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Published on Jun 28, 2012
A quick look at some possibilities for building your own underwater video platform for as little as $10. All parts are common (schedule 40) PVC pipe fittings with the exception of the gray conduit junction, which is a piece of electrical grade PVC. Threaded PVC fittings allow for the rig to come apart in key locations. The light mounts, for example, thread into the top of either handle, allowing removal and quick swapping of lights or accessories. An important note: you must have at least one decently large opening for venting air and draining water.
Normal rigs provide a two-handed grip to help stabilize the camera but this design incorporates a removable arm brace to eliminate instability due to wrist movement and greatly aid in one-handed shooting. Example footage that was filmed using my original platform is shown throughout the video. The dive was on the SS San Pablo ("Russian Freighter") off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
Here is the parts list for the second rig shown (with the conduit box)
1" Pipe and fittings (schedule 40 except for the conduit box): - At least 2' of 1" diameter pipe (my handholds were 6.5" segments and frame members were 4") - 2 elbows, 1" (slip) x 1/2" (threaded, female) - 2 elbows, 1" (slip) x 1" (slip) x 1/2" (threaded, female) - 1" Rigid Conduit Body (T-style, see the video for guidance); note that this will likely be in a separate aisle, near the electrical supplies
1/2" Pipe and fittings - At least 2' of 1/2" diameter pipe (the arm brace used 4, 3.25" pieces and a 6.5" piece) - 2 elbows, 1/2" (slip) x 1/2" (slip) x 1/2" (slip) - 2 elbows, 1/2" (slip) x 1/2" (slip) - 1 adapter, 1/2" (slip) x 1/2" (threaded, male)
NOTE: you'll want to buy extra 1/2" pipe and threaded adapters if you plan on making the swivel light mounts that you see on my blue and yellow rig. I won't give you further guidance because the design mainly depends on your lights and preference.
Don't forget PVC primer and glue! Remember that the best part about this project is that you can INNOVATE and create exactly what's right for you.