GoPro Hero video camera – clickety-clackety noise or vibration when running with headstrap – potential reason: design defect of clasp

Hi there everybody.  I recently bought a GoPro Hero video camera, extended battery pac, and headstrap, to use when running in races.

The first time I tried it on was during a training run.  With the exception of the fact that I had had the camera pointed a bit more downward than I should have, I felt that the camera performed flawlessly.  Even at top running speed I did not get the “bouncy bouncy” effect that I have gotten from my much smaller mini DV vid camera.  I was pleased.
I used the GoPro in my last 5K race at the Morton Arboretum.  I was worried as to whether I would have turned the record feature on, and if I had the camera angled correctly.  My fears were unrealized, only to be replaced by a a clickety-clackety noise of unknown origin.
I was upset, to say the least.  I thought that perhaps the camera was loose in the housing, and that it was bumping up against it step after step after step.  I thought that maybe it was an issue with the headstrap plate, that maybe the camera was knocking against the plastic plate.

I think I know what’s going on, but won’t know for sure until my next training run.  The reason for the vibration/noise/clickety-clack is the BLACK PLASTIC CLASP at the top of the camera housing.  It’s not tight or solid, it has a bit of play in it.  That’s the only thing that it could be.  I have put folded post-it notes underneath the clasp in front and in back, and a rubber band on top of that.  I will edit THIS post when I get my results.

The only other option that I read about on the web was to use an external microphone with the GoPro.  Besides the fact that I think that will require a different housing, I’m not paying any more money.  If what I think is the cause of the vibration noise turns out to be correct, then GoPRo has a DESIGN DEFECT in the black plastic clasp of the housing for the camera.  And no, the plastic rubbery “nose plug” that some people claim helps with vibration on some of the helmet mounts cannot be used with the headstrap.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 10-05-12:  Rode my bike 5 miles this morning.  I added rubber bads so that the left and right sides of the black  plastic clasp were secured firmly, with no room to flex or wiggle.

On a steady, smooth road surface, no noise.  However, at certain times I moved my head left and right repeatwedly, and up and down.  The noise is about 80% gone.  That is, no real clackety-clackety as I shake my head up and down, or left and right, but more like plastic running against plastic.   Under really vigorous head shaking, noise can be heard.
Next step is to surround the camera with cotton balls, that is, buffer the camera from the plastic housing.  Other than drilling a hole in the plastic housing and using an external mike, I think that’s all that can be done.  But I’m certain that the flex and wiggle of the black plastic cap makes up for a lot of the noise.   Again, stay tuned.

UPDATE 10-07-12, related to info I discovered at both the 2012 Chicago Marathon packet pick-up @ McCormick Place, and before the start of the race itself.

THE GOPRO HERO AUDIO ARTEFACT

The bizarre clickety-clackety audio aretifact has baffled me, and it has persisted in the face of my continued efforts over the last 10 or so days to correct for it.  I run with my GoPrio Hero original camera attached to the GoPro headstrap.  I have tried rubber bands, and cotton inserts, to address this weird noise.

Yesterday, at the packet pick-up expo, I spotted someone using a GoPro Hero camera, and I quizzed them about this noise that I was getting.  He acknowledged theat the noise exists while running with the headstrap, but could offer no real cause or solution.  This morning, a runner at the back end of the corral in front of me had a GoPro Hero camera strapped to his forehead.  When I quizzed this gentleman about the noise I was getting, he gave me an understanding look and said that what he does is replace his GoPro audio with music after he is finished recording.

This is completely unacceptable, and yesterday I submitted a support ticket to GoPro through their website.  If they cannot help me to resolve this audio artifact, I may very well abandon GoPro and try to find another recording solution.  At the present time, staying with GoPro may require drilling a hole in the plastic case and using an external microphone to override the internal microphone.  This possible solution to the audio artifact problem does not make me happy.

I have a support ticket in at GoPro’s website, STAY TUNED!

 

 

UPDATE # 2 – 10-07-12

 

Just checked my email, this is GoPro’s answer:

Update for Case #xxxxxx – “Clickety-clackety noise when I run using GoPro Hero (original) and headstrap”

Hi John,

This unfortunately a common noise of the housing shaking and possible hitting the mount.

The camera is completely stable in the housing.

You can the mute the sound in an editing software afterwards but no way in the camera itself to mute it.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Many Thanks,

Austin
GoPro Support

 

HOLY SMOKES!  GOPRO SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!  And h0w could the camera be “completely stable in the housing” when they claim that it might be due to “unfortunately a common noise of the housing shaking and possible hitting the mount”?????  And if it’s the housing hitting the headstrap mounting plate, can’t they fix it?!?!?!?!?

 

Time to consider dropping GoPro for, perhaps, Contour???

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About johnvkaravitis

Senior Financial Analyst: Energy, Insurance, IT consulting, Pharmaceuticals, Publishing, Real Estate
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