Heavy-duty, more attachment-friendly housings in the works for GoPro HERO
By Ben Coxworth
March 2, 2012
Despite the continuous onslaught of competitors, the GoPro HERO is still quite likely the world's most popular actioncam - this is no doubt due in part to its tough polycarbonate housing, for which a wide variety of aftermarket mounting accessories are available. Portland, Oregon-based videographer/inventor Jim Clark, however, has some issues with that housing. He managed to break his when his HERO fell off of a car, and he also feels that it could use some more attachment points for things like lights or tripod heads. The result: his heavy-duty aluminum HEADCASE PRO and HEADGEAR housings for GoPro.
Both housings are machined from a single piece of aircraft-grade billet aluminum, and feature a removable screw-on protective lens ring with a rubber cap and filter threads. They are also both designed to work with the HERO and the new HERO 2.
The HEADCASE PRO replaces the existing GoPro housing, incorporating its own rubber operating buttons and cable port inserts, plus a hinged rear door with a window and stainless steel latch. Rare earth magnets help keep that door closed. Foam inserts inside the housing provide padding for the camera, while sealed acrylic light tubes allow its tally lights to be seen through external viewing ports - the front display can also be seen through a separate window.
Users of GoPro's add-on LCD viewfinder or extra battery pack won't need to bother swapping in a larger rear door, as they do with the stock housing. Instead, the HEADCASE PRO features a reversible-flippable rubber hood on the inside of its door, which can be adjusted to keep the camera held in place, depending on what (if anything) is attached to the back of it.
The sides, top and bottom of the housing feature a total of nine threaded holes, allowing for all sorts of mounting possibilities. Scuba divers and snorkelers should take note, however - while the HEADCASE PRO is sealed against dirt and moisture, it is not watertight.
The simpler HEADGEAR just slips around the HERO's existing housing, and features one less threaded hole. It still provides protection for the sides, top and bottom of the GoPro housing, while the protruding rubber lens ring adds some protection on the front.
Clark is currently raising funds for commercial production of his housings, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$128 will secure you a HEADGEAR, while $328 will get you a HEADCASE PRO.
More information is available in his pitch video below.