With the rise of inexpensive, lightweight flat-panel TVs and monitors (and an amazing array of mounting systems for them), I joked to my co-workers that the ultimate TV-watching-in-bed setup would be "a monitor on a microphone boom."
Good articulating boom arms (probably perfected by Luxo -- thanks, Kirk A! -- made by many, but exemplified by O. C. White) can be costly (compared to the price of a small monitor), but the high-end ones are designed to carry very heavy, expensive mics. Lightweight booms are more affordable (like these); my "aha!" moment came when Markertek popped up with a good sale price on the Rode version, after I'd bought my Kindle Fire...and dropped it on my face, watching TV in bed. They're heavy enough to hurt when the edge hits the bridge of your nose.
Once you've got the boom arm, the job is not done; you need a mounting for the monitor/Kindle/eReader/iThing and it needs one more degree of freedom, since the mic boom counts on the microphone clip to be able to tilt.
Enter The Gadget (Mk. II), made of scrap wood and items from the "junkbox:" (Mk. III will involve relocating the grooves for the rubber bands, er, "elastic retaining devices" to better match actual dimensions.)
On the back, the pivot and a mic-thread-to-base adapter: And a close look at the pivot, four brass angle brackets, a 10-32 bolt and a couple of knurled nuts:The assembly can be tilted on two axes and spins, making it easy to find a comfortable viewing position.
(Only drawback to the Rode version is the mic mount is natively 3/8" BSW, with an adapter; the coarse Whitworth threads are more difficult to lock with the supplied jam nut than U.S.-standard 5/8"-27 would be. You can just barely see the threads above the big chrome jam nut.)
I'm very happy with it. Given the Kindle Fire screen size, I can even watch (or read) without glasses!
You could also use a "gooseneck," the flexible mic-thread widget, plus flange-mount adapters at each end like the one I used between the pivot and the boom. Use at your own risk: it's less expensive but also less flexible -- an articulated-arm boom offers little resistance if you bump it with your head and is a lot easier to adjust to the right spot.
As ever, if you buy any of this from Amazon, please use the link at Tam's: she's saving up for a full tank of gas!
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
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