I absolutely love riding motorcycle and driving cars, Doing this on a twisting country road can be one of the life’s most rewarding delights. Taking bucket of fun and hitting a racetrack is always a fantastic experience.
It’s no secret I love to take pictures and video of me, my friends and complete strangers. When I spotted the Contour HD my mind spiraled in the vast amount of angles I could record some high speed tyre burning action. So after the rather large transaction of a good portion of my spare beer tokens the nice Vholdr man put a new gadget in the post with my address stamped on the front.
As a shear stroke of luck the Thursday I received it was proceeded by a Friday holiday for good ridden’s day, this meant I had 3 whole days with nothing but so windy roads, my Ducati, some absolutely gorgeous weather and this Contour HD mount it anywhere video camera.
After returning home Friday with a smile from ear to ear I strung together some video from the days slow paced activities, the result of you can see here.
With no real surprise the audio was really useless from the camera, as can be
seen heard from that video. I’ve had loads of experience trying to get microphones sounding good in windy conditions and it’s not easy.
SO, finally to the Subject Vholdr HD Contour External microphone modification or far more importantly the sub-subject How to swap your Contour HD with warranty for a contour HD with audio.
The argument is don’t modify the device as you’ll loose the 1 year warranty, or maybe wait until the warranty expires until you modify the device. Personally the risk of missing some fantastic audio which naturally accompanies the video for all the videos i’ll record this year is far more important.. Screw it and let’s unscrew it!
The construction of the device is basically a plastic clamshell screwed together with a thin gauge metal tube that slides onto the upper section over the lens and the lower plastic section.
Most of the screws are quite shallow, although for a couple of them you will need a thin screw driver to get into the screws. A set of watch maker screw drivers work a treat.
Remove the lens cap lower screw and unscrew the lens cap anti clockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosy), the lens transparency an the surrounding cover will now come free. remove the screws from the upper metal casing and then slide this forward. be careful the on/off switch will now come free and there is a little magnet attached you don’t want to lose.
Now slide off the lower section and your left with the plastic clamshell. remove the screws in the lower and then on the upper only one screw is covered by the black tape on on the fwd, though you will have to remove the forward and aft(REC) sticker to prise open the clamshell case. Make sure you get all the screws.. it really shouldn’t be difficult to come apart.
The only thing I noticed that could come free while doing this is the sd/hd toggle, meh if you lose this just leave it on HD. hehe.
If you pop the internal mic from it’s restraint, it will allow you to part the clam shell completely.
The Microphone of all our reason and focus is now just hanging there in front of our very own eye’s (snip snip).
Here we can see the other half of the clamshell, The battery guide and battery terminal. The restraint for the internal mic is to the top right, slightly blurred.
I would have preferred now to connect new wires at a length I required directly to the board, though looking at the gunk on the board I would have to clean off first I started to wonder if the existing wires we already long enough for what was required.
The while with the visible device is for the bleeper and the wire coming toward the camera is the mic.
So I just clipped the mic off and decided for future flexibility I would mount a female 2.5mm(3/32th) plug on the lower of the case, this would me the existing wire is more than enough.. Hopefully.
The clamshell has a pretty large dia mic hole, that the standard wires don’t have a problem to be easily guided through.
Now don’t forget to put the screws into the lower section, also make sure you sd/hd toggle has not gone awol.
The lower section is a little more difficult to thread the wires through, mainly due to it’s shape and the mic hole is much smaller. Enter right stage mr dremel. If your using your own wires and connecting to the board i’d suggest you thread through this whole first and you may not even need to drill anything. threading from the inside out is somewhat more tasking.
You can see here the slight drilling I had to do and the mic wires protruding.
Now you can get the screws in the lower section, at this point you will have to slip in the rear door as you mate the lower section to the clamshell.
Now prep the on/off switch, don’t forget the little magnet. Fasten the upper back up and stick on the stickers the best you can.. They may not stick very well, but it doesn’t matter too much as the upper metal casing holds them in place.
note the lens cap should go on before the upper metal piece slides on, this may get you thinking. Doh..
As you slide on the metal cylinder you can push down the stickers and it simply slides over the sides and holds them proper.
Now you can screw in the fasteners for the upper metallic piece and congrat your self on reassembling the device.
I soldered (and that’s sold’ not sodd’) on my female 2.5mm plug and stuck a bit of tape on while I test it.
I’m using a 12v powered mic, So I buried this and the mini battery into my helmet foam.
Now Ive attached the little HD cam to my helmet and done a couple of test and now it’s ready for the great outdoors.
I set off to do a few miles in various conditions. I didn’t play with the positioning of the mic in the helmet or vary from the bored out ear plug I was using.
Here’s the video, Any queries you shouldn’t hesitate to ask.
Don’t forget, Be happy, be fun, be silly, be inspired.