It was just a matter of time before the two passions in my life, hockey and technology, would finally meet. I’ve seen numerous goalies record video of them playing from various places on the ice and decided I wanted to do the same.
To get video of myself playing in goal to capture some great plays as well as improve my game.
- The ‘safest’ place was from above, attached to the glass, and ‘outside’ of the ice surface. But this is more of a “birds-eye” view and doesnt really help me assess my angles and lateral movements.
- ‘In Goal’. This, by far, provides the best video to learn from but it is obviously the most dangerous location.
So…#2 it is…and now to find a way to protect my camera.
After some extensive googling, I found a few solutions but they were very expensive ($130+) for what was nothing more than a reinforced metal box. Being a Carpenter’s son, and an avid DIY-er, this immediately became my next DIY project.
Material & Product Selection
Given that this camera is going to take some abuse, I was really reluctant to drop $300+ on a camera that could potentially get demoilshed by a puck (a compressed/vulcanized rubber object that is twice the weight of a baseball) traveling at speeds upward of 100 mph. After some more research, I found hundreds of great reviews on a great GoPro knock-off: Akaso EK7000
- Various video qualities: 1080p/60 fps, 1080p/30 fps, 4k/30 fps, and more.
- 90 min battery life
- Waterproof and fog-proof case, extra battery, charger, and 30+ mounts
- All included for $70. Winner!
I had to calculate how much Force was exerted by the puck from a slapshot.
The puck was at rest before it was hit, the puck was about 40 ft away from the goalie, and the puck accelerated at a constant rate.
What we know:
- m (puck) = 6 ounces = 0.17 kg
- vo = 0 m/s
- vf = 108.8 mph (fastest slap shot ever recorded in NHL) = 48.6 m/s
- t = 0.5 s
- d = 40ft = 12.192 m
- a = (vf — vo) / t = (48.6–0) / 0.5 = 97.25 m/s²
- F = ma = .17(97.25) = 16.53 N
There were several directions I could go here but this one proved to be versatile in regards to ‘covers’, strong welded steel box, and affordable at $2.10 (Home Depot)
Then I needed a cover to allow visibility for recording but enough converage to protect the lens. Got this for $1.91 (Home Depot)
This was the hardest part. Using the Force above (16.53 N) and the box dimensions for surface area (~16 sq inches) I went to various sites and read up on types of materials to use. Wow — I had no idea what I was getting into. Sorbothane, High-Density Foam, and Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) were the top results. I needed something that wasnt too hard (or the camera would take some abuse) and not too soft (or it wouldnt protect the camera enough and hit the side of the metal box. In the end, EPP seemed to be the best solution as it is commonly used in Child Car Seats and Hockey Elbow Pads.
I found this at Hobby Lobby for $3.99
Put it together
- I cut the bottom piece of foam to be 1/2" wider on each side (5" x 5") so that the foam has to be squeezed and condensed to force into the box. Then I cut-out the shape of the case into the foam about 1/2" smaller on all sides and the depth of the camera for a tight-fit to keep the camera in place.
- It was at this point I realized that having the camera forced in so tight was causing the power, record, and stop buttons to accidently get pressed. So, as you can see in the pic above, I removed the retainer clip and power button. This of course means I would have to power on and start recording before I put in the case and then metal box. But I dont see this as an issue as I will set-it and forget-it. I’m going to get hit by pucks and wont have time to mess with the camera until afterwards.
- I cut the top piece to be the exact height/width (4" x 4") and cut a whole in the center for the lens.
- Then I knocked out 2 holes on the top and added a double-sided velcro strap — to use to attach to goal post and netting inside the goal.
Wrapping it all up
- The final component was to paint the box white. This isnt just a cosmetic step — but also an additional protection. Why, you ask!? Well, because when hockey players shoot a puck they aim for the net and if there is a big obvious box in the net — the players eyes are going to be attracted to it and as such the box has a higher chance of getting hit. But there is a little problem here — the box is galvenized and cant be painted as-is.
Prepare Metal & Paint:
- I filled a bowl with Vinegar, soaked the parts over night, and when I woke up the galvenized coating was floating in the water.
- Used (White) Rust-Oleum Clean Metal Primer Spray Paint and applied several layers.
I have used this a few times now and it typically takes me just under 1 minute to power on, start recording, insert into plastic case, put into metal box and tighten both screws on metal cover. And obviously the paint is going to chip a little from time-to-time but really not that bad. All in all, I am very pleased with it — especially for the total price coming in right at $26.
Full Parts List:
- $2.10 — Metal Box. 4 in. Square Welded Box, 2–1/8 Deep with 1/2 and 3/4 in. TKO’s. Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-in-Square-Welded-Box-2-1-8-Deep-with-1-2-and-3-4-in-TKO-s-8232/100578083?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-202596193-_-100578083-_-N
- $1.91 — Cover. 4 in. Square Exposed Work Cover for Single 20A Round Device. Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/p/RACO-4-in-Square-Exposed-Work-Cover-for-Single-20A-Round-Device-812C/100152461
- $3.97 — Velcro Straps. 23 in. x 7/8 in. 1-Wrap Straps (3-Pack). Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/p/VELCRO-Brand-23-in-x-7-8-in-1-Wrap-Straps-3-Pack-90700/202261933?keyword=velcro+one-wrap+7%2F8
- $3.98 — White Paint. 12 oz. Clean Metal Primer Spray Paint — Rustoleum. (White). Home Depot. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Stops-Rust-12-oz-Clean-Metal-Primer-Spray-Paint-7780830/100143442
- $3.99 — Foam Padding. 2" x 12" x 12" Premium Poly Foam Pad. Hobby Lobby. https://www.hobbylobby.com/Fabric-Sewing/Batting-Fillings-Forms/Cushions-Pillow-Forms/2%22-x-12%22-x-12%22-Premium-Poly-Foam-Pad/p/36736
- $9.99 — Extra Camera Case. This would be unique for your camera. I found a cheap waterproof/fog-proof one on Amazon.