GoPro Magnet Tether DIY

For those unfamiliar, the GoPro is a small no-frills camera with a built in wide-angle lens that’s designed for action videos. I bought one for motorsport (driving) applications but also for under water and general use.

GoPro Hero 4 with magnet tether on car BMW e30

Several vendors sell suction cup mounts for the camera including GoPro itself. I completely trusted that mount until recently when I removed it after driving in the hot sun and found the mount had very little suction left. It hadn’t failed completely but I decided that a tether might be a good idea.

The problem with tethers is that both ends need to be secured and on a car there just aren’t that many protrusions. A long tether could be used but then the camera could fall and swing around or even hit the ground before running out of slack.

My solution is to use a magnet.

I bought my magnet at Home Depot for $9.00 but Amazon sells several slightly weaker magnets for much less. If you’re really concerned about holding power then you’ll want to order a Neodymium magnet with a counter sunk hole and attach your own hook. You’ll get more holding strength but it will cost a lot more.

Here’s a few observations and tips:

  1. The magnet sticks better to surfaces with high iron and steel content. Works great on my 1989 BMW e30 but may not work as well on a newer car that has less steel.
  2. Use a piece of duct tape with the sticky-side on the magnet to protect the car’s surface.
  3. If you find it difficult to remove the magnet without sliding it sideways then add 3-5 inches of extra duct tape folded over on itself as a strap placed under the magnet and use that to get some leverage when removing the magnet.
  4. Place the magnet as far away and above the camera as possible. If the camera does come loose you want the travel distance to be as short as possible. Always use the shortest tether possible.

Super Magnets 65 lb Magnet

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Super Magnets 65 lb Magnet with ring

GoPro Hero 4 with magnet tether

GoPro Hero 4 with magnet tether on car BMW e30

Of course if you are budget conscious you can skip this whole expense and simply use a shoelace tied in an oval a piece of masking tape.

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