South Mountain in Phoenix is a a pretty impressive and technical trail system right in town. This is my latest video to be remastered into a modern streaming format. The video contains bits from two days (March 14th and 15th 2008) of riding here on the Telegraph, Mormon, National, Javalina, and Geronimo trails.
Man did we (Kevin, Greg and JD) have some fun on those trails. Here are some additional pictures and ramblings about SoMo. During our third day in Phonenix we did Goat Camp, but that is another story. I found some footage for Goat Camp that I never made into a video so I have put that on the get done someday list. But Goat Camp is another story.
I have needed to retire the helmet portion of my old helmet cam setup for quite sometime now as I had simply worn it out. The adjustment mechanism on the back of the helmet was shot and overall the helmet looked pretty worse for wear. I have been tinkering with a new helmet camera mounting design that would allow me to get away from having a dedicated helmet for the camera system. Wearing the helmet camera on long climbs when you are not filming is a bummer so I would often carry a second helmet. I wanted carry a single helment and be able to quickly attach or remove the camera gear during the course of a ride. The new setup basically uses the quick-release mounts designed for professional/prosumer grade camera tripods. I find it much more versatile than before.
Here the main concept piece of the new setup, the quick release mounts. One piece (the plate) is on the helmet, the other (the latch) is on the camera housing. There was two main reasons I put the plate on the helmet vice the camera housing. The first was was because additional plates are inexpensive compaired to the latch. The other was the the plates weighed much less than the latch and I was looking to minimize the permenant weight on the helmet.
Here is a close up the mounting bracket for the plate. I needed to create a vertical surface for the plate. I ended up mixing up a small batch of fiberglass resin from a small repair kit that you can find at most automotive stores for under $20. I used the cap off of a can of spray paint as my mold and made up two small pucks. Once cured, I used a dremel tool with a sanding attachment to shape the puck until it contoured the side of the helmet and was vertical. I used a 1/4″ thick piece of neoprene as a vibration damper/gasket between the bracket and the helmet.
I used a single bolt through the plate, the bracket and helmet and secured with a recessed T-bolt on the inside of the helmet. I used a neoprene backed washer between the bolt and the plate as an added bit of vibration damping. I found these washers at a screw and bolt speciality surplus store in San Diego (They have like 5,000 of everything). Tightening the screw was enough to hold the camera angle inplace but once I had aligned the camera vertically , I drilled a recess in the bracket to allow the small alignment button used on the plate to ensure the plate stayed in alignment.
You may have noticed that the counterweight bracket is at a different angle than the other side. Since I can now switch the camera housing to the other side, I’m experimenting with some different shooting angles on that side.
Another thing I like about the setup is I can now move the camera gear from an XC helmet over to my full-face helmet easily. I actually made the full face rig first as it was much simpler. The extra padding of the full face helmet seem to have added a bunch of vibration damping that smoothed out the video some. Now I just need to get out on the trail with XC setup.