This weekend was a series of geek quests involving my Nokia N95 and a bit of curiousity. Basically, I’ll be going to an event tomorrow to oversee audio recordings in the main room and want to see just how much we can share the experience with people who aren’t attending. I know that my Nokia N95 can work with qik.com to live stream video – but that can be a bit confronting if you consent to an interview between sessions. P lus, as the designated AV chick, if De or Garry want to do a long form interview I’m not sure if I’m up for trying to hold the phone steady for minutes on end. And in the absence of a quiet spot, background noise can detract from the video experience. The noise issue can be solved with an external mic — and I found how to connect my shotgun mic on Steve Garfields’ web site. The adaptor chain - click for larger imageThe connectors were a snap to find (pardon the pun) and the tests bear out that they will talk to each other. The difference in quality between the built-in mic and the external mic is hard to judge in our quiet home, so tomorrow will be a bit of an experiment. I know the phone has bluetooth – so I’d eventually want to see about getting some sort of small, powered wireless mic to do the job. Ideas most welcome. Next problem — how to get the camera to mount on a tripod. Steve used a clamp mount on his tripod, but the camera shops here in Adelaide said they MIGHT be able to order one in but it could take a month. Not good enough. HMMM… I found a groovy little mobile phone holder but the aspect ratio was wrong and the back was covered up. No good. So — time for some home-grown rigging. I called my Dad – a semi-retired carpenter and all-’round clever guy and talked through the problem with him. Paul chipped in his 2 cents worth and what we came up with was this: The ingredients - tripod, phone, case, plastic thingy, bolt, washer, glue We bought a plastic case that fits around the phone’s existing shell. $15 We then went to a hardware store, where we bought a plastic bracket and had the nice man near the big saws hack it down to the size we were looking for. $3 We then bought a couple of 1/4″ nuts and washers = 24 cents. And a tube of Super Glue: $5 The plastic bit was superglued to the bottom of the plastic case – leaving the entry point for the mic cable free. The first nut was glued on — but we didn’t allow quite enough space for the cable to clear all the curves of the tripod head — so we glued on the other nut. Final result much straighter than this photo appears.The case then screws onto the camera shoe bolt and the N95 is mounted on the tripod. Whew! (Note, the picture makes it all look a bit crooked but we want to give the glue the full 12 hours to fully set so we only screwed the phone on very, very loosely to show it worked. The N95 can also edit and upload video too so it becomes a highly portable little production studio – and viable once I get the keyboard with the phone stand that I’ve got on order. The table top tripod (Velbon CX mini) has a lovely pan and tilt action and goes up to 64 cm in height — and for $AU55, whose complaining? I’ve still got research to go – figuring out what native video format for Nokia and how to load a top and tail in to be ready to go for quick turnarounds in the field if I want a more polished production than live streaming to qik.com can deliver. But I feel like I’ve gotten that much closer. I know there is an Office Suite package for the Nokia as well that is compatible with Office 2007 and only costs $60. But I’d like to see if there are any FOSS solutions that would work just as well (if you know of any – please, please, please let me know). I don’t want a web-based solution because I want to be able to use my production studio in a plan, train or automobile. Once I get that in place — the wait for my mini laptop will be that much easier and my mobile production studio will be that much stronger.

5 Comments

  1. scottlo Scorbal

    Wow, Kerry – this is too kewl for skewl.

    I bow in admiration of your geekiness.

  2. Hehehe – Thanks Scott! Coming from you, that’s quite the compliment. : ^ D

  3. scottlo Scorbal

    My biggest concern would be the glue which bonds the nut to the plastic case. If something were to give way under stress, seems this might be it.

    Seems like this would make for a great DIY video tutorial. Any chance to get your dad or hubby to lend a hand again?

    It will be very interesting to see how this rig performs under field conditions. Please keep us posted.

  4. Great idea about the cheap case, and nut. I was considering using the jack plug socket with a jack plug into the phone, with the wired end having the nut on, however this would obviously hinder the TV out capabilities.

    Hows it holding out?

    Well done.

  5. Hey Micky – thanks for the comment! : ) It’s holding up really well — wish I could say the same for qik.com though. May do a Scoble and switch to kyte — qik has let me down one too many times during conference situations.

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