/ Head cams and helmet strength question

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StewartBradshaw - on 29 Jan 2014
To my great shame I got a GOPRO camera for Christmas. I've seen plenty of videos with these mounted on helmets and it got me wondering, what the effect on the strength of the helmet is.

For instance if the camera is mounted on top of the helmet and takes an impact from a falling rock or a slam into the wall, the force of the impact will be concentrated through the camera (and your helmet / head) instead of being spread across the wider surface of the helmet.

I'm only using mine to film myself looking stupid bouldering in order to try and improve my shit technique, so its largely academic, but if anyone has read anything, I'd be interested to know.

PS, it's funny seeing yourself climbing for the first time, took any hope I may have had that I looked good and steady on the rock and booted it out into deep space!
Ander on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

I'm not sure why the shape of a go-pro has any more signficance than the shape of a rock or a rockface on the integrity of a helmet.

If anything, I'd hypothesise that the attachment would act as a crumplezone, particularly since it's articulated.

Indeed, thinking it through, the forces would be transferred to the helmet through the whole of the surface area of the glue attachment, and this would tend to cover more surface area than any falling object, or object you're likely to collide with.
StewartBradshaw - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Ander:

I would have thought it would have a similar effect as a chisel does, concentrating the blow on a smaller area?

On a side note I'm sure I was told somewhere not to put stickers on a helmet or use marker pens on it as this could weaken the plastic.
Lukem6 - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

A chisel - a solid implement with a wider base and a small tip.

GOPRO camera a hollow plastic implement on a hinger.


If your uncertain hit with a hammer and see what happens
alexcollins123 - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

Dont put it on your helmet? Nobody wants to see you looking up, then down, then up again, then down again, then fumbling about with gear.
xplorer on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

You're thinking too much mate!!! Haha ;-)
StewartBradshaw - on 13 Feb 2014
The curious type that I am I fired a few emails off to the manufacturers asking the same question. Petzl, Wild Country and Black Diamond responded. email text is copied in below.

Black Diamond

"Thank you for your mail, testing is still being undertaken by the UIAA about helmet strength/ and or possible compromised strength with helmet mounted cameras, and to data there is no information about results.

So officially, we donít recommend it to mount cameras to Black Diamond helmets."

Petzl

"Thank you for your email. Petzl do not advise you modify your helmet in any way as you have no way of knowing what the affects could be on the strength and performance of the shell. This also applies to marking the helmet with stickers, glue, marker pens, paint etc as you have no way of knowing what affects the chemicals will have on the strength of the shell."

"As I have said we do not advise the helmet is marked or modified in any way but ultimately the decision lies with you the user."

Wild Country

"Wild Country don't recommend attaching anything to our helmets with adhesive pads."

"Fixing mechanically with cable ties through vents is o.k"

"I suppose you are right a bracket may concentrate a impact to a specific area."

"We will/should do some research into this."

"But in the mean time I would recommend using smaller thinner cable ties that would allow the GoPro/ camera system to 'break away' in the event of an impact to the helmet. Hopefully reducing damage to both components."


jkarran - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

> To my great shame I got a GOPRO camera for Christmas. I've seen plenty of videos with these mounted on helmets and it got me wondering, what the effect on the strength of the helmet is.

Velcroed to the top/front not a right lot I'd wager.

> For instance if the camera is mounted on top of the helmet and takes an impact from a falling rock or a slam into the wall, the force of the impact will be concentrated through the camera (and your helmet / head) instead of being spread across the wider surface of the helmet.

Only if the camera is 'pointier' than the rock that hits it, otherwise it'll potentially do quite the opposite.

jk
rallymania - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to jkarran:

also unless you were very unlucky the mount will probably break and in doing so will probably absorb some of the impact energy, possibly even re-direct it a bit


you'll probably lose the camera of course unless you have it "leashed" to the helmet strap (a good idea anyway)
planetmarshall on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:
> Petzl

> "Thank you for your email. Petzl do not advise you modify your helmet in any way as you have no way of knowing what the affects could be on the strength and performance of the shell. This also applies to marking the helmet with stickers, glue, marker pens, paint etc as you have no way of knowing what affects the chemicals will have on the strength of the shell."

If only there were some sort of systematic method for discovering what the effects would be, by performing some sort of "experiment" and evaluating the "results". Almost like some kind of "scientific method", if you will.
Post edited at 13:58
StewartBradshaw - on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to planetmarshall:

Its a bit surprising that no testing has been done (or at least it hasn't been published if it has) considering how many of these cameras are out there.

Lukem6 - on 14 Feb 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw: well the glue weakens the helmets and also sunshine destroys yours slings.


StewartBradshaw - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to Lukem6:

Petzl, Black Diamond and Wild Country have already answered the question in the thread above.

In short they don't know because they haven't done any testing.

The sunshine destroying slings shouldn't really be a problem here.

Mr Lopez - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

Part of the testing that helmets must undergo involves hitting it with a dropped pointy object and for the object not to make it all the way through, so with regards penetration they have a reasonable degree of protection.

As for the "force concentrated in a small area", all helmets are designed to spread the force they receive. Your helmet is rounded, therefore any impact will be 'concentrated' to a small area of the helmet unless you happen to be hit by a concave rock whose profile matches perfectly the shape of your helmet.

If the force from the impact is enough to force the camera through the shell and into your head you'll be dead anyway, camera or not camera, though if the footage is any good your partners may get a free t-shirt or something and a few hundred youtube hits.

I would be more worried about looking like a dick by wearing a gopro and the damage caused to the human race by inflicting the internet with yet another shaky sky-rock-sky-feet-sky-rock-hand-rock-sky type video with a dubstep soundtrack and an "incredible climber near death experience scaling 3 pebble slab" type title.
FactorXXX - on 18 Feb 2014
In reply to StewartBradshaw:

There's some speculation about this with the Schumacher accident: -

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/10640839/Michael-Schumache...
StewartBradshaw - on 19 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:

I've got no doubts that any headcam footage I could produce would be top quality shite that would be virtually unwatchable, and probably vomit inducing due to the movement. Which is one of the reasons won't be mounting it on a helmet, as I mentioned at the start of the thread.

I have emailed Petzl, Black Diamond and Wild Country and they have already answered the question (see the text in the thread above).

In short they don't know because they haven't done any testing.

As for looking stupid, camera on helmet is just one in a long line of faux pas, and probably not the worst, to list a few; multi coloured lycra capri pants, ron hills, woolly jumpers, shit haircuts and sin of sins clambering around abandoned northern quarries with no jumper on.


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