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Sony HDR-AS30V Tripod Mount

For reasons not relevant here, I need a tripod mount for the Sony AS-30V that’s not quite so constraining as Sony’s Official skeleton mount + right-angle tripod bracket:

Sony HDR-AS30V - skeleton tripod mount

Sony HDR-AS30V – skeleton tripod mount

I must run a cable from the micro-HDMI port behind the hatch on the bottom of the camera to a display, but the Sony mount puts the hatch directly over the tripod platform and handle. Reversing the camera points it toward the handle, which then appears in the camera’s not-quite-fisheye view. Flipping the camera upside down sends the cable out the top, where it will put what I consider undue stress on the smallest high-density connector on any of my gadgets.

This Thingiverse model by maxspongebob is called a “Windshield Mount“, but has approximately the right features:

Sony HDR-AS30V holder - on tripod

Sony HDR-AS30V holder – on tripod

The weird T-shaped dingus adapts micro- and mini-HDMI sockets to an ordinary HDMI cable (HDMI connector Types D, C, and A, respectively), serving as a placeholder for the yet-to-arrive 15 foot (probably 4.5 meter) cable.

The mount isn’t designed for easy 3D printing, as it includes thin walls with chamfered edges, close tolerances, and aggressive bridging in dimension-critical areas. The first attempt failed when the minimal footprint (you’re looking at it in the picture above) pulled off the platform when the nozzle hit the lower bridge in the battery compartment:

Sony HDR-AS30V holder - failed print

Sony HDR-AS30V holder – failed print

Surrounding the first layer with a 5 mm brim provided enough traction to finish the whole thing:

Sony HDR-AS30V holder - on platform

Sony HDR-AS30V holder – on platform

You can see some droopy threads across the openings; PETG bridges reasonably well, but the chamfers don’t provide good anchors. The opening for the camera hatch (on the far right rear) turned out slightly too short or, perhaps, the camera doesn’t seat quite far enough forward, which required some abrasive adjustment to accommodate the hatch.

For unknown reasons, the top end of the battery compartment has a trapezoidal bridge:

Sony HDR-AS30V holder - trapezoidal bridge - Slic3r preview

Sony HDR-AS30V holder – trapezoidal bridge – Slic3r preview

Which simply cannot be printed:

Sony HDR-AS30V holder - internal bridge failure

Sony HDR-AS30V holder – internal bridge failure

Cutting those threads out with an Xacto knife solved that problem.

The mount attaches to the tripod with a 1/4-20 nut trapped behind the hole next to the battery compartment. I grabbed an ordinary steel nut in a long normally closed tweezers, heated it over a butane lighter flame, threaded it onto a bolt stuck through the hole, and pulled it securely into the trap with exactly zero drama.

It has a very, very snug fit around the camera and battery that’s much better than a loose & floppy fit: there’s no positive retention latch.

This will serve as a prototype to see if the whole project works. If so, I’ll lash something together in OpenSCAD that should print a bit better, even if it looks like my usual brackets…

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