We usually fly in Portland, Oregon – which means that there is almost always somewhere soft and green to land. However, on our recent trip to southern Nevada, we were reminded that other parts of the planet are covered with rocks and pavement and other, less yielding things – and that fact can be a serious threat to your GoPro.
The housing that came with your GoPro is amazingly tough. Once, we had one detach more than 100 feet in the air and free fall onto solid concrete, based on what we could determine from the video and at the crash site. There was no damage, except for a tiny scratch on the housing.
However, there is a point of vulnerability – the buttons, which protrude beyond the protective polycarbonate shell. They do a great job of keeping water out, but if you’re flying First-Person View (FPV) with a GoPro, you’ve already got at least one in your housing, anyway.
What we found out the hard way in Nevada is that if you have a crash or a hard landing and the button makes contact with the ground first, the entire force of the impact can be transferred directly to the GoPro. One hit can make it cranky. After two or three, it stops working altogether.
Fortunately, there is a solution – remove the buttons from the housing! You can still control your camera, but you’ll need to keep a pen or a small Allen wrench handy to poke at the control through the hole where the button used to be. Just pretend you’re resetting your Handspring Visor – it’s fun!
Here is the procedure...
Tools needed: needle-nose pliers (my Leatherman Wave worked great), a 2mm Allen wrench
Step 1: Locate your GoPro (shown here with optional Battery BacPac installed)
Step 2: Remove the camera from its housing and remove the rear door (it will just get in the way).
Step 3: Press the button on the housing in as far as it will go and hold it.
Step 4: Use the needle-nose pliers to extract the E-clip to release the button from the housing, then let up on the button slowly - it's spring-loaded!
Step 5: Remove the button from its socket by applying gentle pressure from the inside with the Allen wrench.
Step 6: Make sure all of the components of the button are free from the housing.
Step 7: Re-assemble the components of the button and store them someplace safe, in case you want to go scuba diving someday - then repeat all steps for the other button.
I hope this helps!