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Build Your Own Camera Gyro-Stabilizer With a Spare Hard Drive

Written by mike on September 30th, 2009


Universal, 2 Gyro Image stabilizerMore DIY How To Projects

The most extreme camera operators use a gyro attachment for their camera to get smooth, steady shots. This applies to both still and motion (video) photography. The attachment works by two internal gyroscopes spinning in opposite directions, creating an X-Y stabilization pattern. In an rough, rocky environment (helicopters, boats, Deadliest Catch), the gyroscopic effect holds the camera steady, resulting in a much smoother shot.

You can buy camera gyros from places like Kenyon Laboratories, however such high precision results in a seriously high price tag – they can easily cost over $10k. Or, if you have a couple external hard drives laying around, plus some USB phone chargers and a few scraps of wood, you can assemble your own lightweight gyro assembly following the steps in this great Instructable.

Two things to try:
-Use 2.5″ laptop drives for size (they may not have enough mass to stabilize anything larger than the smallest pocket cameras)
-Putting the drives in-line instead of a 90º offset

UPDATE: BobS, the designer of this gyro system has posted instructions and samples for a much smaller single-drive gyro system – and it looks like it works pretty well.


Single HD Gyro Image stabilizerMore DIY How To Projects


  • http://twitter.com/wildthingsr/status/4512350314 AllGoodThingsR

    @msenese Build your own camera gyro-stabilizer with a spare hard drive Universal, 2 Gyro Image stab… (http://bit.ly/10I0EH) –>RT

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  • Nathan

    How do you make the drives spin at their maximum speed. I tried this a few years back but they kept spinning up and down and I couldn’t get consistent results?

    One thing you can try is taking several drives apart and adding additional platters in the drive. Their all pretty much the same size, but the thickness may vary a bit. I could tell a big difference when putting several platters in one drive. You could also try higher rpm drives (if you can find 10,000 or 15,000 rpm drives that are busted that would probably be best).

  • http://twitter.com/rpajuaba/status/12904480839 Rodolpho Pajuaba

    Do you have a long lens and it blurs the image? Do you think gyro-stabilizers are expensive? Here's the solution: http://bit.ly/b248SQ

  • http://twitter.com/rpajuaba/status/12904526988 Rodolpho Pajuaba

    Você tem uma tele muito longa e ela borra a foto? Você acha estabilizadores giroscópicos muito caros? Eis a solução: http://bit.ly/b248SQ

  • http://twitter.com/clicio/status/12904592127 clicio barroso filho

    RT @rpajuaba: Do you have a long lens and it blurs the image? Are gyro-stabilizers expensive? Here's the solution: http://bit.ly/b248SQ

  • http://twitter.com/leilaazevedo/status/12904912286 Leila Azevedo

    RT @clicio @rpajuaba Do you have a long lens and it blurs the image? Are gyro-stabilizers expensive? the solution: http://bit.ly/b248SQ

  • http://mikesenese.com/DOIT/2009/09/build-your-own-camera-gyro-stabilizer-with-a-spare-hard-drive/ scsi 80 pin ultra 320 Hard drive

    I think its the best.thanks

  • http://thepartsgiant.com Sata 300 Server

    This is the better idea of this products. It really useful to us. Thanks a lot.

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  • Try

    Nice article, thanks. I would like to see more labels on the test shots though to know how this performs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Benninger/1672464597 Gary Benninger

    A 48x cd writer can do bursts at 24,000 rpm.  Couldn’t we get our hands on a metal disc, throw it in there, and use a CD drive as a more powerful gyro?  It’s not hard to open the drive and fiddle around with the hardware in there to make it a little more robust.  I say a metal disc because it would be heavier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Camilo-Hernan-Navarrete-Lineros/610787333 Camilo Hernan Navarrete Linero

     My friend I´m a Biochemistry and I have looking for a system to tranport petri dishes without movement of the liquid from one place of the lab to another very distant.
    Thanks to your article I guess where start

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