DIY GoPro Dome by Erick Mendonça

I stumbled upon this video by Erick Mendonça in the list of related videos when answering a comment on my own video about the SPL GoPro Dome housing and pistol grip, it’s in Portuguese (but even I understood the apology for poor audio at the start) and it’s 17.5 minutes long, so you might want to skip to the highlights below.

My photo being used in Ericks video on how to make your own DIY GoPro Dome port
My photo being used as an example in Ericks video on how to make your own DIY GoPro Dome port

Usually I would just post the video but I did notice one of my own photo’s appearing at the start of the video as an example (it was taken with a Canon 70D and a Tokina 10-17mm fisheye in an Aquatech housing with 8″ dome port, read more about it here), and the majority of my readers don’t speak Portuguese, so just in case anyone sees my watermark and finds this site I thought I’d go into some detail about his process for you.

If you’d like to read an alternative guide to making your own DIY GoPro Dome Port check out Ian Matsko’s detailed how-to here: Ian Matsko’s DIY GoPro Dome Port

Here’s the video:

And here’s a translation of the parts needed:

  • 1 x party balloon
  • 2 x plastic plates
  • 1 x Acrylic dome
  • Hot glue gun

And the process step by step:

  1. Glue the plates together (for extra strength I guess),
  2. Cut a hole in them for the front element of the GoPro Hero 3+ or 4 housing
  3. Use the neck of the balloon as a rubber band to hold the camera in place
  4. Glue the dome onto the plates
  5. Use the top part of the balloon to go around the the whole back section of the dome with the housing in place and create a water tight seal

I would really like to see how well this stands up to use in the sea, there’s obviously no way to then attach the housing to any kind of pistol grip or pole, and you have to activate the camera through the rubber balloon, so holding it securely, keeping it level and operating the top button could be a challenge.

All in all though it’s a very cheap way to get a GoPro in a dome housing, and the balloon idea is ingenious, I expect it would leak pretty quickly in waves of any size but at least your GoPro is in it’s housing inside there so it shouldn’t flood the camera.

The main worry I would have is the whole dome filling up and the thing sinking, so I’d probably go for a red or orange balloon if you can get one just in case.

If you’ve tried this or any other DIY GoPro design let me know in the comments, I’d be interested to hear about it.

Comments

  1. Hi i`m from Germany and i´ve been surching through the Internet a longer time now to find a good alternativ to the expensive domes for the gopro. I´ve just made my first test shots with a DIY 135mm dome looking simular to the one above in the video but i made a differnce in putting only the part where you usually blow the baloon around the lense of my gopro, cut the ballon in the middle and strapped that part over the dome. Now you can mount a stick on it aswell. the two testshots are shown bellow. i will send a Picture of the gopro attached to the dome later. the shots are not the best because it was in the evening and edited an my mobilephone. Now the Problem off course is the Botton for on and off.not possible to reach it when the baloon is on. I´ve found a very good solution from a couple of guys which i´d like to Show you. (BEN i´ve sent you an email and could send you a longer text, pics and links where everything is explained. it is really good) Prices for my DIY dome where around 5 € for the dome maybee 2 € for the plastic and 3 € for the baloon. greetz

    1. Hi Jakob,

      Your version sounds really interesting, I’ve replied to your e-mail now, looking forward to hearing more about it and getting something up on the site so others can see your design.

      Cheers.

  2. Ok here my final result for the 10$ DIY dome for my gopro. I used an acrylic dome the bottom of a bucket as a plate a glue gun and a party baloon. But as toldbefore not easy to reach the on/off switch:( (BEN the email is coming in a bit)

      1. hi Greg we have started a Project using cheap acrylic domes and Fitting to a Special desigend 3d printed base… there is another blog on it here on bens webside otherweise come visit us on fb. swg-dome

          1. I’m not sure where Jakob got the exact dome in those photos, but I’m pretty sure it’s something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005TFZRHW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B005TFZRHW&linkCode=as2&tag=rskdiycom-21&linkId=SPJUJMV4CAXUAZ6T

            If you want a thicker dome similar to the type used in professional water housings you should look for a nautical compass spare parts supplier, as mentioned in this post: https://www.learningsurfphotography.com/ian-matskos-diy-gopro-dome-port/

          2. yes Ben thats right that is the right acrylic ball :) we are now participaiting with one of our Pictures fir “Picture of the day” with gopro. they asked us to upload it :)

  3. So here my next shot with good weather but dirty water. Have recognized that the balloon Is Starting to loos its form after 3 times in water and soon some water might get through?!but a better solution is on the way ;)

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