Sunday, June 30, 2013


This week I treated myself to probably what is the most expensive on/off switch you can buy - a GoPro wireless back-pack and remote.  Why is it expensive?  Well, because my Hero HD is an old model I miss out on some of the nifty features that the back-pack offers - like live preview on mobile phones etc.

The wireless back-pack
Remote and "key"
But I do get to be able to remotely turn the camera on, select the shooting mode and start and stop recording.  And because the remote has a screen (tiny) I will actually know if the camera is working - perhaps the system is worth it just for this amazing feature!

I had read of people having issues getting their back-packs and remotes to work with their cameras but I followed the instructions and updated the firmware on my camera and both the back-pack and remote and as soon as I snapped the back-pack on I was able to turn the camera on and take some pics by using the remote.

Two new "doors" came with the back-pack
To use the system all you do is turn the back-pack on (with the button on the new door - the other buttons are now redundant).  This puts the back-pack in standby and the only battery being used is the one built-in to the back-pack - the back-pack will suck from the camera's battery once it's battery is flat.  The small LCD on the back-pack shows battery status etc, so you know it's going.  The camera itself is still off.

Then when you need to film you turn on the remote and a few seconds later it connects to the back-pack and turns the camera on.  You can then change the shooting mode if you want or just starts recording/snapping.  I have noticed that there is a bit of a delay between pressing the buttons on the remote and stuff happening on the camera so you probably won't be able to quickly snap off a shot of something in a hurry.

One little annoying thing is that now I have three items that need charging by usb.  The back-pack and camera use a standard mini-usb cable but the remote has a weird setup (so that it remains waterproof).  I guess we'll see how much of a pain this turns out to be...

Anyway, the next item on the agenda was to work out where to put the remote on the bikes (so far only the Connie is sorted).  The remote comes with the attachment key (top pic) and a wrist strap.  The key allows you to hook it onto a keyring or use it for attaching a tether etc.  The wrist strap can also be used for wrapping around "things" like ya wrist or the handlebars etc.

But I had a Projekt D Handy Stick lying around and decided to give that a go.

First up I had to take the bolt out that holds the left-hand side handle-bar on.  Man, what a mission - Kawasaki must own shares in lock-tite!

I just managed to remove this without breaking anything...
Then I simply bolted the Handy Stick on - I used a bit of thread-lock on the bolt but didn't go overboard...

Handy Stick looking handy
To attach the remote I decided just to trial some velcro and see how that goes (I will make up a wee tether as well).

Cockpit getting a bit busier...
Sitting on the bike I was easily able to reach the button and I could just make out the display on the screen.  I'll have to be careful operating it while riding but it will definitely be easier than stopping to play with the camera.  Hopefully I'll get to try everything out next weekend and will be able to report back on how things went.  Then of course I need to work out how to mount it on the DL...


  1. That should make the GoPro a little more user friendly. That is the most often complaint I hear is not knowing if they are on or off.

    1. Yep, hopefully that's all the past now...

  2. Cool farkle!

    I am interested in getting a GoPro but it means I would have to get a new computer because my operating system would not support it. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier but it doesn't alway work out that way.

    Thanks for showing how you attached the GoPro. I've ween wondering how I can mount some of my electronics to my handlebars.

    1. Glad you found the blog useful. One word of warning - all the latest HD cameras require some pretty serious computer grunt to process the video. As I'm normally just uploading videos to Youtube I don't record in HD - it means that the old laptop doesn't have to work so hard.

  3. Looks great, I like the way you mounted the remote, I'll be interested to see how you like using it.

    With the backpac do you have double the battery life? One of my main frustrations is that short battery, on a 4 hour ride you only get about an hour and a half of video .. photos it seems to last a bit longer but not much. I've started turning it on and off while I ride but sometimes you just cant tell which is which eh.

    1. Nope, the battery in the wi-fi pack is just for the wi-fi unit but it will pinch power from the camera when it's battery goes flat.

      The good thing is that the camera can be completely off - the wi-fi turns it on. And the wi-fi back-pack has an lcd on the back so you can actually see when it's turned on (and it's battery status).

      So I should be able to ride along with everything off, turn the back-pack and the remote on and then I'm ready to film. Using it like this should hopefully mean all the batteries last a bit longer.

      Time for a ride to test it all...