by Brett Wilson – June 2014
How To Build a “Home Brew” Phone Scope Adapter
A. Parts needed:
- HookUpz (iPhone 5 Adapter for Binoculars) – also fits iPhone 4/4s
- 2″ PVC End Cap (Black)
- Gorilla Glue
- Rubber Gasket Seal (cut to fit for inside of PVC cap) – Purchased from Home Depot – $7.27
- Hand or Belt Sander (optional)
- Exacto Knife
- Silver Permanent Sharpie (optional)
- Match or Utility Lighter
- $23.74 Dollars
- I actually already had the rubber gasket shown from a previous build experiment on something else, so for me this Home Brew Phone Scope Build only cost me just over $17.00 dollars.
First off disclaimer this has only been tested on my iPhone 5s phone and Vortex Skyline ED Spotter. But you’ll get the idea can can build anyone you need for you device and spotter.
Pretty simple to build, I opened my HookUpz bino adapter and removed the bino attachment that comes on it. It seemed a little tricky or hard at first and I was afraid I was going to break it altogether and ruin it. Maybe I got lucky, but with a little effort, work, and pressure using the exacto knife I was able to pop off the small round bino piece nicely. I trimmed it up a little bit with my exact knife and was now ready to work on the PVC cap.
The black PVC cap was a little bit trickier for me, maybe you can come up with a better method. First off find the exact center point and drill a hole a bit smaller than the actually size you’ll be needing. The reason for this, is your going to want to cut the hexagon shape out of the black PVC cap by hand. The only really way I achieved good success by doing this was to heat up the middle portion of the cap with a Utility Lighter or match to soften the PVC which then allowed me to cut it like butter. Don’t inhale to many toxic fumes in the process. 🙂
A point of importance or interest here, you many want to sand down the PVC cap end to make it thinner before proceeding with the above step/paragraph. I didn’t this with a hand sander, but it would be a lot quicker and easier with a belt sander if you have access to one. The PCV cap end is much thicker than is needed or necessary. This will also make cutting the hexagon shape much easier because it won’t be as thick and thus easier to cut. I didn’t not do this in the correct order, but if I make another one I will sand it down first before cutting the hole and hexagon shape. Note: cutting the hole is an optional step, not necessary.
Your now ready to glue the HookUpz phone case portion onto your newly created PVC end cap. It’s easy, I used Gorilla Glue because I feel it’s the best for this type of project. Let it dry at least 12 hours or so and you should be good to go. The final step in your build is to cut a piece of rubber gasket for the insert or inside of your adapter. Obviously not all Spotting Scopes have the same size diameter so you’ll have to play around with it a bit to find the exact fit for your spotting scope. I’m using the Vortex Skyline ED 20-60×80 Straight Spotter. I trimmed the rubber gasket to fit in a few places and once I had the correct snug and tight fit I was after I was ready to glue it in place. I once again used some Gorilla Glue to keep it permanently in place.
Walla!! Your done, pretty simple and now you can get outside and start digiscoping some giant bucks, bulls, etc. with your smart device.
C. Why “Home Brew” Phone Scope Adapter?
So the question is why the heck would you want to make a your own adapter, when I can just buy one?
- Well first off this will save you money by building your own.
- One of my favorite things about this build (if not my favorite) is that is lightweight and small. Really small and light. In fact this baby only weight 1.9 ounces. That’s correct it weighs next to nothing and can fit it your pocket with ease.
- It’s custom fit to your spotting scope.
- You have the pleasure of knowing you built it yourself and your friends should be impressed. 🙂
- It takes awesome still pics and video, seriously check some of mine out below.
- You can use your iPhone 5 headphones plus and minus buttons as shutter for still pictures and video. Try it you’ll me amazed and how easy it is.
D. So what’s the downside to the building my own adapter?
Honestly I can’t think of many downsides, the only real downside is if you buy a new spotting scope it may not fit correctly or won’t be universal to borrow to friends or family.
E. Final Thoughts & Info
- HookUpz was purchased from Adorama.com for $13.79 (free shipping)
- 2″ Black PVC Cap End was purchased from Home Depot for $3.18
- Rubber Gasket Seal (cut to fit for inside of PVC cap) – Purchased from Home Depot for $7.27
- I always shoot videos in the horizontal position of my phone (highly recommended)
- The silver markings on spotting scope eyepiece and adapter are for my use to line the adapter up correctly horizontally and for my ‘sweet spot’ when pushing on the adapter over the eyepiece.
- Couple of errors in the ‘How To’ video below. Always shoot video in horizontal position NOT vertical as I stated and the PVC end cap is NOT 1 1/2″ as stated either. The inside dimensions of the cap I bought are 2 3/8″ with a outside dimension of 2 3/4″
Image Gallery (click to enlarge)