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elton01

Starting a CCM.

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Just thought I'd share the moment of head casting. Did it tonight in the kitchen, with a large dropsheet to keep the better half in a good mood. It must have worked as she volunteered to soak the bandages while my buddy applied then cut the cast free. It came out really well. Using The111's advice I made sure he put 5 reference marks around the circumfrence before cutting. I'm hoping to share a step by step update as I progress. Hopefully some of you will make use of it, or will point me in better directions if you see me making an error.
I was piqued when I saw the threads started by freefalle and the111. I now have an obssesive urge to build a Wes Rich style CCM. Thanks guys :S just one more thing to add to the equipment list. ;)

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Why did you wear such a nice shirt for the wrap??? :D

Cast looks good. I wish you luck, and I'll answer any questions I can that you post here or email me.

I'll warn you, in the past 2 years I've had probably 10 people tell me they were starting a CCM... only 1 has actually finished, that's Bart who posted his "scary" CCM here recently. Keep at it, no matter how long it takes!
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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It only looks good from afar, there are holes in the armpits.
The wife said it had to go, so I decided to send it out with an honorable finish. :)
One question I did have, what are your thoughts on doing a composite sandwich of 4-5 layers of glass, followed by a final layer of carbon on the finishing wrap?
I want to paint a starburst finish in white, with a couple of panels of CF standing out. Merely cosmetic CF at 2.1 oz with satin weave.
I'm hoping to go hard at this and get it finished for spring. If I actually took the time to figure out how much work it would take, I'd probably not finish. ;)

E

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I'm sure that would work. My general thinking is the CF only adds stiffness, which I don't want on the shell, in case it needs to flex. But a 2-oz layer on top is hardly going to affect anything other than cosmetics which is what you want. I think Bart used at least one layer of CF in his shell construction... Bart?
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Awesome! Can't wait to see your progress. I'm happy to have a Wes CCM. I think if anything ever happened to it, I'd like to try to make one myself. Let's hope I don't have to do that. I would certainly like to learn how to do it and get skilled with the fiberglass. Maybe someday be able to make them for others....

Good luck!
http://www.exitshot.com

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Hey Karen,

I saw your helmet that Wes made for you in another post. It would make one feel very special that they have perhaps one of the last helmets he made before all the skydiving community lost him. It's nice to see that it is put to such good use and that you have taken some amazing photo's with it. I'm sure he would be pleased.

I unfortunately never got a chance to meet him or have him make me one of his phenomenal helmets. BUT, I have had the wonderful experience of maintaining a full fleet of Slingsby Fireflys, which happen to be composite aircraft, so I'm not to bad with the compsite side of things, but the head casting was foreign to me.

Being claustrophobic didn't help, after about 35 minutes into the casting, I suddenly realized just how hooped I would be if I suddenly panicked and had to get the cast off immediately. OOOPS, so sorry, you're quite stuck. It didn't help that I had mental imagery of crawling through a small tiny cavern and suddenly the roof is falling in and I'm being crushed.

Yep, should have thought it through a little more.

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I don't know how to explain it, but I actually ENJOYED being in that plaster shell. It was like meditation or something. When they finally cut it off, I was amazed at how bright and loud everything was.

It probably helped that I had about 6 beers first.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Thank you. Ha... yeah, it was quite traumatizing getting my head wrapped. I was at Wes's shop by myself, and I could just barely breathe out of my nose. The rest of my head, face, chin and neck were wrapped so tight in the plaster I couldn't move my chin enough to swallow the saliva in my mouth. I kept telling myself to stay calm. Wes would disappear for 10 minutes, and I couldn't scream or anything. I wondered what if he didn't come back or what if my nose got stuffed up, as it often does, and I couldn't breathe. I forgot to wear my iPod like he suggested, so I was just sitting there in the dark for 40 minutes or so until he started sawing my head in half... Unique experience, hope I never have to do it again.

I told him I was glad I didn't know how bad it was going to be going in, because I might not have done it. He said he's had a few well-known camera flyers freak-out and make him take the plaster off and start over... Wes had many funny stories...
http://www.exitshot.com

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Hey Shoot,

I hope you were directing that question at me, if it was at Mr.111, then he must have loved birth. Imagine coming out of the womb already tipsy.:ph34r:
Yeah, the beer or ipod would have been a tremendous improvement. In my case, my head was wrapped, then my buddy went to go get the oil changed in his truck, and my wife went to put our little one to bed for the night, so I was stuck for almost an hour listening to the little voice in my head.[:/]
I'm going to make sure that this cast will hold up to abuse. I've taken the time tonight to reinforce with some extra plaster anywhere that I've noticed it's a bit thinner. I don't ever want to have to do it again.

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I'm going to make sure that this cast will hold up to abuse. I've taken the time tonight to reinforce with some extra plaster anywhere that I've noticed it's a bit thinner. I don't ever want to have to do it again.



Since you have a background in composites and have had the wonderful experience of being cacooned for the cast have you given any thought about changing the process to exclude the male plug and the head cast and do the lay-ups straight off the head (hoodie) with a suitable mold release?

Cons: You would have to have every flange and opening precisely built into your form. It would require extra protection for the eyes ( goggles) and a fan to keep fresh air on you during the cure. Your head would be in lay-up for a couple of hours. Thin lay-ups initially to keep the exotherm of fast hardeners to a minimum while its on your head.

Pros: You streamline the process eliminating several steps. The form will be more precise, Errors will not be transferred and magnified from cast to plug to part. You will have large openings to breathe properly, wipe the nose, carefully drink something if needed.

Food for thought.

Edited to add- You will always have a precise mold that does not require special storage... unless you loose your head:ph34r:

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Never in a million years would I consider than Glen. The least of all your worries is that you'd be breathing in resin fumes directly at the source for the time it takes that layup to cure (and I usually like to wait 24 hours before cutting my layup, just to be safe).

EDIT: Although I do recall hearing a story of some people who did this once...
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Hey Glen,

It would be a nice way to go if not for the drawbacks listed by Matt.
The biggest being inhaled fumes. You'd need to wear a supplied air mask, which would require adjusting the lay up, which would ruin the jawline of the helmet.
I'm using an epoxy resin (MAS epoxies), which is low VOC/odor, and I still smell it.
Also, a 24 hour cure time is the minimum I'd want to let it sit before removing.
If I wanted to get an exact mold, I'd consider 3D scanning and then printing off an ABS model of my head in a wetsuit, then do a lay up off of that.
We have a 3D printer here at work, but the cost of the ABS cartridge is still $175, so it's still cheaper to go with the cast of my head.
We also don't have a 3D scanner at work, we just send off our CAD models to the printer. So that would mean I'd still have to go outside the company and get someone to scan, probably another $100-$150, so I'd still be up in the $300+ range.
At this point, the most cost effective and feasible way is with casting.:(

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Please excuse my n00bish question but what is CCM exactly? I know by now it must be some sort of DIY helmet?
I understand the need for conformity. Without a concise set of rules to follow we would probably all have to resort to common sense. -David Thorne

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Cranial... sounds like something from horror movie.

Now for the second n00bish question: I found some threads here that have CCM in title and it looked like full face (in true sense, not just visor in front of you) camera helmet. Isn't that a bit... uncomfortable (and I'm being very generous here) to wear?
What about safety? Is it safer than more traditional camera helmets?

(What I'm really trying to find is: What are the benefits of CCM that drive people to make them?)
I understand the need for conformity. Without a concise set of rules to follow we would probably all have to resort to common sense. -David Thorne

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Just thought I'd add a few photo's of the box that is being built alongside the helmet.
I just finished glassing last week. What you're seeing here is the glass plus the first layer of slurry to even out all the high/low spots. The slurry will be added in 4 thin layers to give a nice finish to put primer over. I've also shown the foam plug that was carved out of foam to use as a mold.
This will be going on the top of the helmet when it's completed.
I'm using a customized Sony SR11 HDD. The customization dealt primarily with removing the HDD, and installing in it's place a 64GB Advanced Media Products SSD with a 1.8 platform and ZIF connector. Drop in replacement that has worked flawlessly so far. Suffice to say, no one builds boxes for this unit, so I had to build my own.:)

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*** Very clever:o

Yes and no.

If you look at all the posts regarding exchanging HDD for SSD, you'll see that Doug (DSE) (wow, the acronyms are coming fast and furious), has repeatedly said that the HDD cameras are not built for high altitude requirements, and you will take chances modifying them. HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
Unless you get the SR11 like I did, (from the Mother-in-law), free when she updated to a 500), then it's not worth the hassle.
If you shelled out 750-800 for the camera, another 150 for the drive, you're now out 850-900 total. I got the SR11 for free, so I'm only out the 150 for the drive. In my case it makes sense.
For anyone else, you might as well save the 900 for ONE camera, and go buy two ready made CX-100 cameras for the same cost. You now have a backup.
Remember, no matter how good the SSD performs, if the unit fails, Sony will tell you to take a hike if you try to get it serviced.
If the CX-100 fails at altitude, send it back for free servicing under the warranty.
By the way Doug, I know that your initials are DSE, I didn't know you at the time I ordered my new Vectors. I did the most natural thing I could think of. I had my daughter's/wife's and my initials put on the left mudflaps. (Danica/Sue/Elton). You guessed it DSE. Hmmm, I hope I never jump at the same DZ as you, you could pick up the rig and say "see, it's mine, it even has my initials):D

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.
By the way Doug, I know that your initials are DSE, I didn't know you at the time I ordered my new Vectors. I did the most natural thing I could think of. I had my daughter's/wife's and my initials put on the left mudflaps. (Danica/Sue/Elton). You guessed it DSE. Hmmm, I hope I never jump at the same DZ as you, you could pick up the rig and say "see, it's mine, it even has my initials):D



Darn. If you jumped at Eden North, I'd at least have a fighting chance. :D

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the HDD cameras are not built for high altitude requirements, and you will take chances modifying them.



Oh, I understand all that. And I don't think any CAMERA is "built for high altitude requirements"... it's just that HDD's themselves can't take it, while the rest of the system can. Which is why I think your SSD solution is so clever. Assuming that camera uses AVCHD with the same bitrate as my CX100, you can store 8hrs of video with no memory cards! B|
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Yes, you are so right on that one Matt, 8 hours of total HQHD in AVCHD, it's nice to be able to record a years worth of jumping with no worries about memory.B|

Douglas, I used to jump at Eden when I lived out west. Lyle and Kathy are good folks. Sorry, it's been about 4 years since then, or else you'd have had the chance.;)

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I'm sure that would work. My general thinking is the CF only adds stiffness, which I don't want on the shell, in case it needs to flex. But a 2-oz layer on top is hardly going to affect anything other than cosmetics which is what you want. I think Bart used at least one layer of CF in his shell construction... Bart?



Have been neglecting the forums... sorry for my delayed response but yes I did sandwich in 3 different layers of CF into my helmet. In hindsight it was probably a complete waste of money and a bigger headache than I expected. It didnt add any structural strength and sanding it was a huge PITA!!!! I would discourage you from the idea but if you want PM me and I will give you my phone number and can talk about it in more detail.

Bart
Some canopies can be fun to fly, but treat you like their bitch on opening. -- Jarno

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