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bdrake529

Foot mount for Wingsuiting

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I'd post this in the Photo/Video forum, except I think what I'm looking for may be specific to wingsuiting.

I'm looking for advice on where to buy and/or how to construct a video camera foot mount that places the video camera on the back of the foot, looking up the leg/body. The conventional "shoe mounts" (such as Bonehead's ShoeVue) have the camera on the toe of the foot. I essentially need it on the heel.

I've seen this shot in several skydiving/BASE wingsuiting videos (such as the first shot in the Fly the Line 2 trailer). What are people using to reliably mount the camera here?

I realize that taping the camera does technically work, but I'm hoping for a more solid solution. Also, I will be using this with a V3 and a SM1, and the tail wings on both those suits don't allow for any exposed ankle to fully wrap tape around for security.

Thanks in advance.

Brian
Brian Drake

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He does custom versions per client..
Having it made as the attached image would enable you to land with the thing one (be it a bit limping).

he could even have the articulated mount on the end, so you're flexible in where you point/aim the camera..

Just drop him a line..he's always cool making costum soliutions.
made me some brilliant stuff in the past (and he's an active wingsuit flyer)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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Having not found exactly what I'm looking for (either in a commercially available product, or ideas for a custom solution), I did a little brainstorming and came up with what I think will be ideal for what I need. Since I can't draw, I dusted off my 3D software and came up with a design last night.

The first image shows what I have in mind. I simply need a "J" shaped piece of metal fabricated/welded since I have no skills or tools to do that myself. Once I have the "J", I can glue on foam padding, drill the slits for the straps, and use the velcro straps from my (now unused) walking boot.

The purpose of the "J" shape is to allow the wingsuit leg/ankle collar to fit over the base of the mount while allowing the actual mounting plate to be outside the suit. I think the back of the leg is a more ideal mounting area since it still leaves my feet clear for landing and allows me to point my toes/shift my foot without disturbing the camera.

The subsequent images show how I plan to attach the arm/camera plate from my Vertical Visions Raptor bellymount to the exposed mounting part of the "J". Due to the flexibility of that arm, I have many options in selecting the best (and least drag) angle for the camera.

Any comments/critiques of this idea? Does the mounting idea (on the back of my ankle) seem like it will be stable enough? I don't imagine this idea presents a danger of the mount/camera falling off. But I'm not 100% sure the mount won't twist and slide (thus the idea of tight velcro straps, and foam backing to the base to both cushion and provide friction).

Any advice on how to get the "J" made? The bellymount is made out of a sturdy, but really lightweight "powdered aluminum", which seems perfect for this. Anyone here have experience procuring this and working with it? Can I just buy a strip and then bend it into shape myself? Or should I try a welder/machine shop?

I'm really out of my element here so any advice is appreciated.
Brian Drake

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Can I just buy a strip and then bend it into shape myself? Or should I try a welder/machine shop?



when I was fixing my smoke bracket I used a piece of aluminum and easily bent it to the desired angle I wanted. The angle i got was more of a curve, but I didn't use a vise. if you had a vise or wouldn't mind a wider U then you can easily do it yourself as long as the aluminum is cut to your desired expected width. The length you can take care of yourself with some shears. Get a nice metal file to smooth the edges and a drillbit for metal and you should be able to take care of the rest.


I will add the the simple fix i did to my bracket will also allow me to mount anything else off my foot (hot/cold smoke, camera, etc), a little bit from the side of my leg. It's just not as flexible as the pivot arm shown and would need to be modified for a shot from above or below the tail.

Where is my fizzy-lifting drink?

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*I've seen this shot in several skydiving/BASE wingsuiting videos (such as the first shot in the Fly the Line 2 trailer).*

-Brian,
That camera position is very complex. For me was not the problem at all to make the cam holder as it is very simple. Problems starting when you have to exit and when you need to pull and survive and land ( in the grevel field) The holder is about 70 cm long and up and on the side a bit from the leg axe. The canopy pack was passing the camera very close , about 20 - 30 cm away. I knew the potential risk of it and I shift my body during rthe pull. Also on most of my jumps the canopy sliding down the leg wing as well..
That is the reason why I did only ONE jump w such set up. To continue with such set up I need to work out safety issues way more.
Cheers R
Robert Pecnik
robert@phoenix-fly.com
www.phoenix-fly.com

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For anyone who cares, I thought I'd post an update on my progress.

After designing a rough idea (using 3D software), I made a more specific "blueprint" for the metal plate I needed made. I sent this blueprint, and a plate of 0.125" thick, 5052-H32 Aluminum to my brother, who's good at making stuff (from pipes, to cabinets, to full-blown houses).

He made me the "J" piece I need, and with some foam from a camera case, the RAM camera mount from the Vertical Visions Raptor belly mount, and the velcro straps from my unused walking boot, I had exactly what I had designed.

Two problems though.

I designed it to go on the back of my ankle, but the achilles tendon makes for an uneven surface (or rather, "sharp" surface), so even when fully tightened down, the camera weight on the end of the mount tended to eventually slide/swing the mount to the outside of my ankle. Though the outside of my ankle was a better mounting spot, this limited how high the camera could get above my leg and wasn't exactly as desired.

I fixed this problem by wearing an ankle brace (one with hard plastic on either side) under the mount. This prevented the mount from sliding side-to-side and makes for a very solid (relatively speaking) mounting solution.

The second problem was one I should have thought about originally, but simply overlooked: a cutaway system. Though I'm mounting the camera only on my left leg so as to avoid the PC, full flight deployments still pose the danger of an entanglement.

My first attempt to solve this was to go out and buy 4 plastic buckles (basically flattened plastic rings/rectangles). I then dusted-off my nylon line "finger trapping" skills and made 8 "loops" out of the nylon line closing loops are made off. The loops were essentially one side closing loop, the other side looped around the buckle. I could then feed the "eye" end of the loop through the slots in the plate (originally meant just for the velcro straps), run some cutaway cable through the loop (using washers to prevent cable distortion), and viola, the buckles were held in place until the cable was pulled. I now threaded the velcro straps through the buckles and the mount attached as before.

The problem with this solution was that when the velcro straps were fully cinched to maintain a solid mount, the tension on the cutaway cable was enough to make pulling the cable unreliable. Sometimes it would just bind. Considering these were tests with only the weight of the camera (instead of my entire body, dangling upside down by my feet), this system needed to be improved.

After a lot of thought, I figured I would use the same ideas as the 3-ring cutaway. I read online that the original, big ring, 3-ring system gives something like a 200:1 mechanical advantage. Since my direct system was only enough force to sometimes bind, I figured even a 3 or 4:1 would be plenty, so I went with a 2-ring idea (haven't figured out the MA, just guessed it would be enough).

The 2-ring idea seems to be working. The force is redistributed enough that the tension on the cutaway cable is very minimal. I've done a few tests (see end of linked video), and pulling the cable is very smooth.

My Sony HC5 camera has a "slow-motion" feature to capture 3 seconds at a higher frame rate. So I filmed some of these tests in slow-mo and I'm fairly pleased with the results.

One thing that I'm unsure of is that when watching the video, frame-by-frame, it's obvious the 2-ring system isn't working as expected. Since I'm currently not attaching the system permanently to the plate, the rings hold but the "tail" of the small ring comes free. I don't see why this should matter, since the mount "cuts away" just fine either way. And the advantage of the 2-rings is evident where I need it most, the ease of pulling the cutaway cable. If anyone can provide insight on the physics involved, and whether I need to look into a system that directly mimics the 3-ring cutaway system (i.e., the small ring, and the "closing loop" should be permanently attached to the plate), or if what I have is fine, I appreciate all input.

Check out the attached images for design-to-realization, and this video for parts of 2 flights, and 2 cutaway tests at the end. On the second flight, watch the "slowed" replay of deployment to see why a cutaway system seems to be a prudent precaution.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn_2NLgcDTM&fmt=22

Tips, comments, critiques, etc... all welcome.

Blue skies,

Brian
Brian Drake

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You bastard ---- now something else I MUST have.

Great job on the mount!!!

Let me know when you have another one. :)
WSI-5 / PFI-51 / EGI-112 / S-Fly
The Brothers Gray Wing Suit Academy
Contact us for first flight and basic flocking courses at your DZ or boogie.
www.thebrothersgray.com

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I've had a bunch of whuffo friends say

"you should market that thing and make a lot of money"

and I then try explain how I'm already dealing with a very niche market

parachutists > camera flyers > narcissists who want to be in their own shot > narcissists who want their ass in the shot

and demand can't be very high. Otherwise, something like this would already be available for sale and I wouldn't have had to go through all the time and effort of making one myself.

But so far, my "market research" has Scott and Butters listed and if that potential market grows, the idea of making a few extra for time and cost won't be too far fetched.

We'll see.
Brian Drake

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Why not just cut away one side? - Maybe less pull force?

Have you thought of a reason why to cutaway both sides?



Actually, I'm question if the cut-away will even work (given the description and pictures) ... can you take some more pictures with a wingsuit on?
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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It will work fine - but you will lose parts - if it was only 1 side you wouldn't lose any parts - that is if you can find the bracket itself



I'm not so sure it will work fine. From the description the wingsuit will be covering the part of the bracket with the cut-away.
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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The system it self look ok. It is there, sits firm and OK on the lower leg..., after cutaway the platform goes with canopy , etc...., Anyway, i think it will be still unstable, unless the camera is very light.. However, even though it has the cutaway system- dont count on it to much.
IMHO, the whole system has to be design so that if canopy snug the platform or camera, the camera platform brakes and goes with canopy!! If the canopy snug the platform in BASE , the chance for survival are very low, because no matter how fast cuttaway will be the mess produced by the snug will be faster and violent. Hoping for chance to get the canopy fully open after are minimal.

Position of the camera mounted there is very very dangerous in BASE ws flying. More efficient fly is - more dangerous it is.
The canopy has great possibility to hook the cameraduring line stretch....

I was using symilar position once and after checking the footage of the video i droped such cam position. The pack is passing by so close that chance for getting the lines in to cam is way to high.

cheers R
Robert Pecnik
robert@phoenix-fly.com
www.phoenix-fly.com

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punch a grommet in the suit near your hip and route the cutaway handle there - if anything snags it - you pull the cutaway it will come loose

Thats how my smoke brackets work



Will it come loose? You do realize that part of the bracket will be underneath the wingsuit leg. I'm wondering what the potential for that part to snag is ...
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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Just in case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My backside (helmet) mounted camera shows nicely:
the pilotchute slides often over the heels(normal shoes,not Jarno's ones) means whatever you guys wear, which is not round-smouth-slippery like Tits:P for example can enhance your freefall :|
don´t pester the jester . . or better: WHY SO SERIOUS ? ?

www.pralle-zeiten.de

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