foolfillment: the blog

Building a visualiser for less than £50

7:47 pm on the 24th of September, 2009

Last night I gave a short presentation at TeachMeet SLF 09 on the visualiser I use in my classroom, I was delighted that it was received so well, lots of very kind comments and great conversations came after it.

The two things that loads of people asked were what does it look like and how can I build my own? I’ve been given a lot of food for thought over the latter question, but here’s a photo of the rig itself. There are a few other photos in this photoset.


It is just a cheap second hand digital camcorder bought on ebay for about £22, you can usually find one that has no real problems – maybe just a few scratches – and pick them up very cheaply. The camcorder is mounted onto what is essentially a set of football goalposts made out of a few lengths of MDF we had in the store at school. The camcorder is simply held on with a bit of a tripod I cannibalised sitting into a slot I cut into the MDF.

The camcorder needs to have a AV output so you can plug it into your projector. This is just a jack plug socket on the camcorder like a headphone socket. The other end of the cable is three connectors like these, the one that carries th video is the yellow one, the others are for left and right speakers which you don’t need to use, but can if you like.

The video I used in the presentation is embedded below, and I’ll try to re-record it with some audio over the top in the next week or so.

If you’ve got any questions then please feel free to comment and I’ll get back to you. Lots of people said they’d like to have something similar and I’ll have a think about how I might be able to help you out with that – a new blog post on that topic may appear so keep your eyes peeled!


  1. Kenji Lamb

    If you don’t fancy making a DIY rig to hold the camcorder, many modern tripods allow you to reverse the central column and point the camera downwards.

    Here’s a picture of a camera set up in a similar way (it’s possible to have the camera point directly downwards). I just found this image on the Internet – it’s not an example of our tripod, but illustrates the point.

    We used the setup to record the following video:

  2. stuart

    Thanks Kenji, good point, I’ve not tried inverting a tripod but have heard of i and seen a few photos of it done, another good way to make a visualiser – though you may struggle to find a tripod big enough to fit an A3 sheet under.

  3. ktrowse

    could you maybe use a gorillapod tripod attached to something in the classroom to create the same effect?

  4. Trackbacks/Pings

    1. The Meeting Place « Mr W’s Blogging Great Thing
    2. Making a Cheap Visualiser – take 2 » Blog Archive » Stuart Meldrum
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