Pwn Your GoPro: Scripting, WiFi, and Bus Hacking

naked-gopro

GoPro cameras come out of the box with a huge set of features. Most people will be satisfied, or possibly even overwhelmed by the available options, but if you’re able to do some of these hacks, you’ll be able to expand your camera’s capabilities even more. They can, however, void your warranty, so as with most hacking, do these at your own risk.

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Underwater GoPro Hero 2 Sees Clearly Again

go pro hack

GoPros are great action cameras for snagging photos and videos places where you can’t normally bring real camera gear. The problem is, even with the waterproof GoPro case for the Hero 2 — the underwater videos tend to be blurry and out of focus. Unsatisfied with his videos, [Mitchell] decided to make his own lens for the case!

The waterproof case has a removable concave lens, but for whatever reason it’s not very good underwater. Lucky for [Mitchell], it’s quite easily removed with 6 screws, revealing a nice thick gasket and the lens. Instead of trying to go fancy with some glass element from a broken camera, he’s just taken some 1/4″ plexiglass and cut out a piece to fit the case. It was a bit too thick for the original configuration, so he’s actually flipped the retaining ring upside down to space the lens away from the actual camera. A bunch of silicone later and the case is waterproof again with a new lens!

The resulting footage with the new lens looks awesome underwater — take a peek after the break.

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Panning GoPro Mount Catches Bad Drivers On Video

gopro-mount

[Chris] must live in a neighborhood with a lot of bad drivers. He built this motorized panning GoPro mount so he can record and share his neighbors’ mobile misadventures with the world. He started with a custom machined aluminum frame. The frame clips onto a suction cup mount grab bar. The stock GoPro mount sits on a machined HDPE puck, which is rotated by a NEMA 11 stepper motor. [Chris] used a Pololu A4988 stepper motor driver to handle the coils. Initially he used an Arduino to generate pulses for the stepper driver. A true Hackaday fan though, he decided that an Arduino was overkill, and broke out a 555 timer. A DPDT switch powers up the 555 and controls the stepper driver’s direction input. The electronics all fit neatly in a small project box which doubles as a hand controller.

While setting up for a test drive [Chris] found that he could only lock down one suction cup on his car’s curved sunroof. Considering the light weight of the GoPro, one suction cup is probably enough. Just to be safe, [Chris] added a rope leash down through the sunroof.

We think the stepper motor was a good choice for this project. Since the motor is direct drive, there are no gears to strip. The stepper’s holding torque also keeps the camera pointed in the right direction at highway speeds. With no wires directly connecting the GoPro to the car, [Chris] can spin the camera 360 degrees without worrying about tangles. Verifying the camera’s direction is just a matter of looking up through the car’s sunroof. Click past the break to see [Chris's] camera mount in action. 

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GoPro Slingshot

Go Pro Slingshot

Want to try out aerial photography, but can’t afford a quadcopter? [Jeremy] rigged up a low cost GoPro Slingshot and took some pretty nice flyover shots of the lake.

The slingshot itself is meant for water balloons, but easily has enough power to fire the camera. In order to get good video, some stabilization was needed. [Jeremy] made a stabilizing fin out of packaging foam, and used an eye bolt to connect it to the GoPro’s threaded tripod mount. The simple tail fin made of out foam and zip ties actually did a good job of stabilizing the camera.

This looks like a fun experiment to try when you’re at the lake, since you can probably build it with stuff lying around the house. For [Jeremy], it also proved to be a way to keep his dog entertained since she retrieved the camera after each shot. After the break, check out the video footage from the GoPro slinging rig.

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DEF CON: Tamper Evidence, Contests, and Embedded Talks

Tamper Evident Devices

For day two of DEF CON, I checked out tamper evident devices, the contests area, and a few embedded talks. Read all about it after the break.

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Magnetic panning time-lapse camera mount couldn’t be easier

magnetic-gopro-egg-timer

[Jeremy Cook] is getting in on the panning time-lapse craze with his offering for a camera mount that pans automatically. In this case he’s using a GoPro camera, but since the camera connects using a 1/2 1/4 – 20 bolt it will work with any camera that has a standard threaded tripod mounting bracket.

The base of the rig is an egg timer he picked up for about eight dollars. It’s magnetic so that you can stick it to your refrigerator, but has enough gripping power to hold the camera upside down. The image above shows it stuck to his garage door opener housing. A PVC cap makes up the black part. Before painting it (with truck bed liner so that it’s a bit grippy) he used his lathe to remove the flat areas from the sides, and to cut it in half. He then drilled and threaded a hole in the center to accept the bold for the camera. The cap was super glued to the egg timer, which happens to have a window on the side so that you know how long you’re setting it for.

This is an easy alternative for those that don’t have the resources to make a 3D printed egg timer mount. The lathe step is not necessary, but since [Jeremy] had one he used it. It does make the final product look quite a bit nicer.

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Showing off a high-performance brushless motor camera gimbal

gopro-brushless-motor-gimbal

Here’s [Tom Parker] showing off a brushless motor gimbal stabilizer for his GoPro camera. We saw a similar project a couple of weeks back that featured a 3d printed quadcopter mount. This offering is meant to be held in your hands. It keeps the subject in frame even if the cameraman’s hands pitch and roll (we figured aeronautical terms were best here). This image shows him demonstrating a level camera as he quickly rolls the frame from one side to the other. It doesn’t compensate for yaw, which is something he may change in the next iteration. We already like the results he’s getting with it.

About 3:15 into the video demo below we get a very quick description of the build itself. He started it as a project at University. Fabrication included work on a 3D printer, laser cutter, and vacuum forming machine. The grips are bicycle handlebar components. To overcome the stabilization system the operator has access to a joystick. Without this you’d never be able to aim the camera up or down because of auto-leveling.

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