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HeckleBotStand

This page describes how to use a camera tripod as a portable stand for the HeckleBot LED Sign. The sign includes mounting brackets designed to be used to mount it on a wall or other flat surface. The following mount design uses the mounting brackets that come with the sign to mount it to a board that is then attached to a standard camera tripod.

http://www.toyz.org/images/sm.hecklebot-stand-001.jpgThis photo shows the mounted sign. Use a 1"x3" (one-by-three, see note below) plank of wood as a mounting board. Cut the plank to 27". Mount the brackets that come with the LED sign with screws to the plank, 26-1/4" apart, centered on the board (i.e. 3/8" from each end). Then mount the LED sign to the brackets.
http://www.toyz.org/images/sm.hecklebot-stand-020.jpgThis shows the mounting of the sign brackets. The brackets have rather large slotted holes. This gives some room for adjustment, leaving room for some slop in your measurements but it requires the use of washers to ensure a secure mount.
http://www.toyz.org/images/sm.hecklebot-stand-024.jpgI used a 1/4" Tee Nut to simulate the base of a camera. I drilled a 9/32 hole in the exact center of the board and hammered the Tee Nut into the board. I believe all cameras use the same size/type of mount (threaded hole on the bottom) that is standard for all cameras/tripods (1/4-20 threads). I have several cameras and camcorders for which this is true at least. Maybe a camera expert could elaborate. The Tee Nut allows the LED Sign to mount to any standard tripod in the same way as a camera without requiring any modifcations to the tripod. It would also probably work to use a longer bolt going clear through the mounting board, with a washer and nut, but the Tee Nut is a lot cleaner and dosen't require you to jack around with your tripod.

For these photos, I left the board natural and unfinished. Painting it black would improve the look. The tripod in the above photos is also about 50 years old, so it is a bit ugly. A nifty new modern black tripod would improve the look quite a lot.

I used a hardwood plank because it is light and strong. I pre-drilled the holes for the mounting bracket screws. Now that the sign is mounted, I think any type of similarly sized lumber would work fine (pine or whatever), as long as it was solid-wood and not pressed-wood or fiberboard.

The tripod seems quite stable with the sign mounted (it is not very heavy). However, getting the hole for the Tee Nut in the center of the mounting board would be critical so as to get the weight centered and to prevent the sign from wanting to rotate.

The higher you raise the tripod, the less stable it would be. It would probably depend on the specific tripod as to how high you could go. In a real conference situation, one could probably set the tripod atop a table if it needed to be particularly high.