Tag Archives: DIY gimbal support backpack

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If you've ever had a chance to work with a medium to large size Gimbal Stabilizer, you'll know how difficult it could be shooting for more than a few minutes holding the camera at eye level. About one year ago, I presented a basic idea for a DIY Gimbal Support Backpack (read my article here) that could help operators carry the heavy load more comfortably.

Over the past year, there have been many iterations of this idea, and here's the latest (most detailed) build from Rik at RunPlayBack.com. There's so much information presented in the video and in the written article, that I recommend visiting the link for a step by step build process: https://runplayback.com/build-a-diy-gimbal-support-stabilizer-for-under-100.

runplayback diy gimbal support backpack
Runplayback.com - DIY Gimbal Stabilizer Support BackPack

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A short while ago I shared a DIY concept of mounting fiberglass rods into a backpack for supporting heavy stabilizers or gimbals like the DJI Ronin. Although mine was just a working concept, Vimeo member Coriolis-Visuals went all in on his build putting together a very clean and functional support system for about $90 bucks (or less) in parts [minus backpack].

In order to pull something like this off, you'll need a backpack with a waist support and preferably a chest strap (as seen in the video). This prevents the backpack from pulling away as you flex the fiberglass rods. It's unlikely you'll ever be able to break the fiberglass rods, but in this build a Braided Hose sits over the rods adding a layer or safety. The use of quick adjustable lashing straps was a great idea to position the gimbal up high or low. Great job on this build and thanks for sharing Jim!

Obviously you can modify any of the build suggestions, but if you want to take a look at my original video showing how I made my prototype version visit the original article https://cheesycam.com/diy-gimbal-stabilizer-support-backpack/

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Earlier this morning I was talking to a friend about the weight of his DJI Ronin Gimbal, and he asked if I had any suggestions about a support system to carry the weight. He mentioned during his research, one of the more affordable options out there was between $649 - $849 dollars from a company called the Atlas Camera Support.

Atlas Camera Support Dual Rods
find-price-button Atlas Camera Support

It's definitely more affordable than say an EasyRig, but design wise it's not overly complicated to create something with a similar function. In just a few minutes of thinking about how I would go about this, I had a working prototype using an old camera backpack and a couple of fiberglass rods. Here's what I came up with.


Look Ma! No Hands! Cheesycam DIY Gimbal Support BackPack

My DIY Design is very simple. A few conduit pipes are tucked into an old camera backpack and held in place with a block of wood. The Fiberglass rods are simply dropped into the pipes and removed when not in use.

DIY Gimbal Support Backpack (1 of 4)

Here are some additional details that are important for choosing a support backpack for this project. Choose a backpack with a chest clip and a waist belt. A Waist Belt is a must! You can find both of these features in a good camera backpack or sometimes you will find this with a good hiking backpack. These straps will keep the backpack snug up against your body and allow the rods to bend without pulling the backpack away from you. Here's a couple of backpacks that give you an idea of what to look for.

amazon dslr backpack
find-price-button AmazonBasics DSLR BackPack with Chest Clip and Waist Support Belt

The Fiberglass rods I chose are just common Tent Poles, nothing special. Tent poles are designed to flex and they are also offered in various thicknesses. The 'thicker' the tent pole, the more weight it will support, but the harder it will be to bend. You definitely want some 'bend' with your pole to absorb any bounce. I picked up a 4 Tent poles for $10 dollars at a sporting goods store. I only used two. I know what you're thinking - what if they snap? Keep Reading..

FiberGlass Tent Poles
find-price-button Fiberglass Tent Poles - Amazon

These Fiberglass rods have a very thick wall to them, but are also hollow. So to add a fail safe, i'm using 100lb rated Metal Braided Wire Cables running through the poles. If for some god forsaken reason one of these rods should break (which is very very difficult to do), the cable will keep things from coming apart. I've looped the cable at the end and ran it back through the rod, essentially doubling up the cable inside.

DIY Gimbal Support Backpack (2 of 4)

Heavy Duty Ultra Redundant Setup
As i've mentioned, if you want to carry a heavier system, you can look for the larger fiberglass rods. Another idea to carry extra weight, and to add additional redundancy is to double up these smaller rods on each side - essentially having 4 rods total. With two fiberglass rods on each side with cables running through, it would manage heavier systems, still remain flexible, and would add incredible fail-safe redundancy.

DIY Gimbal Support Backpack (4 of 4)

I left about 6 inches of loop hanging at the end for me to attach an adjustable strap to the gimbal. This 'middle strap' is so you can adjust the height position of your gimbal. If you want the gimbal higher, shorten the strap. If you want the gimbal to sit lower, lengthen the straps.

adjustable straps gimbal fiberglass rods

This was just a quick 15 minute prototype I whipped up, and now i'm going to clean things up a bit more with a second version. The next version I'll try to find a slimmer backpack, and I will have the pipes tucked all the way into the backpack (totally unseen). I'm also going to make a new design for the adjustable strap.

So if you can't DIY this project, go out and find someone to DIY it for you! Of course, there's always the option of purchasing the Atlas Camera Support, but I do think a backpack makes for a better fashion statement. It's also comforting to know that my design has a "Fail-Safe looped 100lb Wire Cable" run through the rods adding both strength and redundancy. As always, thanks for checking out this project and hopefully it will help you on your projects while saving you a few bucks. If you have any questions leave a comment.


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