Sunday, April 6, 2008

Modified Helmetcam Footage

The latest issue of WindSport Magazine had a short piece on the Sanyo Xacti VPC-E1 Waterproof video camera and also had an adjoining piece on a modified helmetcam setup using this camera. Before that came out, I had found a different set up from someone on a SUP forum using the above pictured modification.

Rob and I hit the lake today in 10-15mph wind on our 9.6 sails. Hey, no snickering you windsnobs...we get what we can get on our lake...the stoke's the same! It was a good time to try out the modified helmetcam Sanyo Xacti camera. I had been using the Oregon Scientific ATC-2K helmetcam in the past. The Sanyo has better video quality (still not great video quality but better). The way I attached it to my helmet allowed me to be able to see the camera controls. The Sanyo Xacti records only when the viewing window is open so I can also see the window now. The picture is also more stable and not nearly as bouncy. I couldn't do any of this with the ATC-2K.

The test run allowed me to see that I still need to make some improvements. The PVC pipe is too long and makes the camera weight down the helmet so that it scrunches down my forehead making it uncomfortable. I need to cut it down some more. The fact that the pipe was too long also made it difficult to tack or jibe without the video camera hitting up against the sail or boom. I also need to turn the screws in the helmet inside out so the ends are facing outside the helmet, as they were rubbing my skin. I hope these improvements will also make it usable in higher winds. Notice the blue keychain floaties in the pictures above. I attach them to the camera in case it somehow falls into the water. It will float and I won't lose it to the bottom.

Here's some of the footage from our session today, a 3 minute video:


Anonymous said...


Not bad! I would have thought that long arm would have made it jitter/swing more. You're moving pretty well in 10-15mph winds!

Andy said...

Nice! Looks nose heavy, but I'm sure your fixes will help! Looking forward to round two! Looks like Rob was wearing a cam too?

Waterturtle said...

yes, Rob was wearing the Oregon Scientific ATC-2K on his helmet. For comparison, check his results out at:


PeconicPuffin said...

Of course you were out in 10-15...I'll be doing the same as soon as I have a light day on my hands. Stoke!

Let's talk about your camera mount...quite an experiment! I'd be concerned about all that hardware sticking out if taking the unit into chop or waves, though.

I hope to have a mast mount for my ATC soon. Like you said, not great video quality, but I already have the camera.

Looking forward to your future helmet mods!

Catapulting Aaron said...

a. Awesome video.

b. You get crazy respect from me for using Radiohead. Are you gonna see them when they're in Charlotte? I got my tickets for May 11 in DC.

c. Are you going to windfest? Maybe see you there?

Waterturtle said...

Catapulting Aaron! I've enjoyed your blog site. Radiohead is great band....not going to CLT concert however :-(

Yes....going to Windfest and looking forward to meeting you in person in addition to Peconic Puffin, James, and OBX Bill. Too bad Lost in Hatteras Andy will be out of town. Windy Waters Rob will be there with me as well. We're staying in a soundside house 1 mile from Frisco Woods canmpground. I'll probably be sailing wherever the conditions warrant...could be at Frisco Woods or somewhere else. We should all plan to meet at the Frisco Woods shelter (where the beer truck will be) after sunset on Thursday evening after 1st day of Windfest. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mac,

Nice outfit, the best thing is, I think, is that you can see the screen.

Very brave, though! One wipeout could ruin a sail pretty easily.

I saw people on paragliding forums rigging xacti using skate wrist guard, bolted to the helmet through the guard's steel member, vertically. Then they put xacti in and tie up the guard, so that the cam is looking through the hole where a thumb should have been.

Aiming could be done via a box of electric tape on goggles.

I was thinking about this setup but I have a cam already, hard to justify a Xacti :( It would be interesting to see if the setup works :)

Helmet Camera said...

Nice stuff. sound good post