Saturday, January 14

How To Make A Helmet Cam

helmet camAs witnessed in my virgin Midnight Ridazz tour last month and again with last night's awesome trek, the general consenus is that helmets are for pussies. Or republicans. Is that redundant? But since a helmet saved my life back in those medieval times before the web was born and I used to cruise the city upon a two-wheeler that boasted a 1000-cc engine, I'm since kinda partial to rolling around town with things that will assist in keeping my brains in their respective container should an accident attempt to bash them out upon the pavement.

Wanting to capture last night's Friday the 13th (kuh-kuh-kuh, ah-ah-ah) rolling derby on video from start to finish, I decided to put my helmet to use not only as a protective device but as a camera platform. I'd grabbed clips of last month's ride (visible here and here) with a digicam mounted to the front reflector post but for the most part there was just a whole lotta shaking going on.

helmet camSo yesterday, I made a trip to my local hardware store for the extensive array of equipment I would need to secure my Canon DV unit to my cranium case. And by "extensive array" I mean a quarter-inch bolt two inches long and a handful of 1.5-inch-wide washers*. That's it. All that's required from there is finding the air vent nearest the top and center of your helmet to run the bolt through bracketed by washers inside and outside the helmet and enough of 'em so you can screw the cam on nice and tight via it's tripod mount. I'd then recommend a bit of foam or fabric inside the helmet covering the screw's head so that it doesn't bop against the top of yours. Sure, it ain't rocket science but I just wanted to pass it along in case anyone was interested in giving it a try.

helmet camAnd in the aftermath of the most excellent ride I'm pleased to report the contraption worked beautifully. Quicktime clips forthcoming. Gawd bless all Ridazz, especially the adorable Ruthie in her disco-ball adorned "grocery getter."

UPDATE (01/15): Photo set found here. Videoclips forthcoming.

UPDATE (01/30): Fuck Google Video. I uploaded videoclips two days after the 01/13 ride and more than two weeks later only one's been "verified" (whatever the hell that means) and made available for viewing. So this morning I uploaded all three to youtube.com and less than two hours later they're all live. Here are the links: 1) Rolling With Ruthie 2) Rolling On the River, and 3) Rolling With Gary. Sorry it took so long.

* Your size may vary depending on the thickness of your helmet and the width of your vents. Void where prohibited by law. Member FDIC and the Bicycle Kitchen.

6 comments:

velo cat said...

Nice rig. I'have been thinking about a similar mount for my still camera, both digital and film.

Thanks for sharin'

IMBG said...

Let's see them videos, man...

Will said...

TEll me about it imbg... I'm still waiting for them to be cleared by Google Video, which is moving glacially slow. One went live a couple days after I uploaded it, but the other two are still being "verified."

Here's the link to the one that's up:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1894265586060899930

T-Boner said...

I found a neat way to use your digital camera for a helmet cam. I was looking for helmet cams on ebay and found something called a knucklehead cambox. It's pretty cool. I think I'm going to try one out. See what you think about it.

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