Naked GoPro for Cinewhoop

By stripping down the GoPro and removing all the unnecessary parts you can reduce the weight drastically. This enables a cinewhoop, or even smaller micro drone to carry the “naked” GoPro. I will share info I gathered regarding how to make a naked GoPro.

The point of “naked gopro” is to shave as much weight as possible by removing the battery, housing and screen. Take the GoPro Hero 8 for example, you can reduce the weight from 126g down to about 15g.

A light weight 3″ or even 2″ FPV drone, like the Beta85X, can easily carry such a naked GoPro, with AUW (all up weight) well under 250g which is the legal weight limit for registration in many countries. Some extreme light weight builds are even below 110g.

Most info here came from the great Facebook community, Naked Cinewhoop. If you want to learn more or have any questions that is the best place to go for now. Information is all over the place and hard to find, so I thought I’d put them here so I can look up easily.

Which GoPro is the Best to Go “Naked”?

GoPro Hero 6 is by far the most popular model for naked gopro, because

  • Full Reelsteady support for stabilization
  • It’s an old model, therefore it’s more affordable, you can even get some good deals on second hand ones, or the ones with broken screens (which you don’t need)
  • Replaceable lens
  • Motherboard can be laid flat for better aerodynamics
  • Spare parts more widely available

GoPro Hero 6 with V1.6 firmware works the best with ReelSteady Go as it has the highest tolerance with vibrations. ReelSteady Go is a third party software made specifically for GoPro cameras for stabilizing its footage.

Here is the naked Hero 6:

The next options are the GoPro Hero 8, Session 5 and Hero 7. However the latter two requires some good dampening in order to work with ReelSteady, so it’s a lot more hassle.

Here is the naked Hero 8:

Tips for Disassembling GoPro

Powering GoPro

Don’t power the GoPro from FC or ESC, the lack of current may cause the gopro to reboot randomly or stop recording.

It’s best to have a dedicated 5V BEC, powered directly from the LiPo battery. Use that to power the GoPro via USB-C port. Make sure the BEC is rated at 1A as a minimum just to be safe. The Hero 4 for example is estimated to operate at 2.8W during recording without the display and WiFi, which takes 700mA at 4V.

If you attempt to use the battery connector on the GoPro, make sure the voltage does not exceed 4.4V. You also need to use the PCB from a original battery because one wire is for 1wire comm for the gopro to detect a valid bat. Also it seems the battery connector uses red as GROUND and blue as POWER, this needs verification.

Overheating

Covering the front chip entirely could lead to overheating, it’s best to use thermal paste and a mini heatsink.

Mounting

You can mount the GoPro flat and bend the camera ribbon cable so the camera faces forward. Reelsteady Go will work but without horizon lock.

Stopping Recording

If you power down the GoPro without stopping recording, the file will be corrupted and you will lose your footage. Either keep the shutter button or attach the screen and stop recording before disconnecting your battery.

Durability

Naked GoPro’s are fragile due to the lack of housing. The ribbon cables can tear, therefore take good care when attaching/unplugging connectors. For those connectors that don’t need to be disconnected you may want to use some kind of removable glue (hot glue?). You might also want to use silicon conformal coating on the PCB to improve water resistance. However, do not coat the connectors or you could break it!

Step By Step Tutorials

GoPro Hero 8

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Aeni7J5-XNQYpCnyI59DPC0JP9H_XXKd/view

GoPro Hero 6

Pending

Pairing GoPro to Phone

You must pair the GoPro to your phone with WiFi before stripping it down, because you can only do so with the LCD screen (to change WiFi connection settings). If not, you might have trouble changing camera settings later.

If you forgot to pair WiFi before dissembling, this could be the solution:

How to turn the gopro WiFi ON automatically, tested only on Gopro 6 (FW 1.6)
Create a file called “gpauto” without any file extension at the root directory of SD card
Open as text file and add two lines inside:
——————————————————
Your_gopro_wifi_pass (replace with your one)
gpsend WM%01
——————————————————
Save and reboot

ND Filter for Naked GoPro 6

You can use the ND filter designed fro the Mavic Zoom on the naked GoPro Hero 6. The form factor makes more sense for both aerodynamics and weight, and it doesn’t come off easily in crashes. The filter plastic does show a tiny bit at the corners when shooting 4:3, but it’s not visible after ReelSteady and barely noticeable when shooting in 16:9 superview.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4383549/files

Here is a different option:

https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/gadget/stripped-naked-gopro-hero-6-lens-bayonet-and-attachments-hulabaloo

Motherboard Connectors

Hero 6

  • I sensor: JAE WP21-S046VA1-R8000
  • II USB: JAE WP25D-P028VA1-R8000
  • III buttons / GPS: Hirose DF37NB-30DS-0.4V
  • IV touchscreen: Hirose DF37NB-16DS-0.4V + DF37NB-10DS-0.4V
  • V front LCD: Hirose BM20B(0.6)-10DS-0.4V
  • VI battery: Hirose DF57H-4P-1.2V

Hero 8

  • I sensor: JAE WP27D-P040VA3-R15000
  • II USB: JAE WP25D-P028VA1-R8000
  • III REC button / GPS: JAE WP21-S020VA1-R8000
  • IV MODE button / touchscreen: JAE WP21-S030VA1-R8000
  • V front LCD: Hirose BM20B(0.6)-10DS-0.4V
  • VI battery: Hirose DF57H-4P-1.2V
  • VII microphones: JAE WP21-S010VA1-R8000

Control GoPro from Transmitter

You can stop and start recording using a switch on your radio. But this does not work on Hero 7 due to a bug in Betaflight (pinio pins get initialized high for a short amount of time).

First of all, you need an FC with a Buzzer- pad (the negative pad). Connect the record button pad (REC) to the Buzzer- pad on your FC.

In Betaflight CLI, remap the buzzer pin. Enter “resource” and write down the pin number of “BEEPER 1”.

Enter this line to free the pin from buzzer:
resource BEEPER 1 NONE

Enter this line to map the freed pin:
resource PINIO 1 {pin number}

Enter this line to enable pinio:
set pinio_box = 40,41,42,43

Finally, assign a momentary switch to the new USER1 mode in the Modes tab.

Popular Micro Drones Setups to Carry Naked GoPro

2″ & 2.5″

Currently, 2″ and 2.5″ are the most popular setup due to the compact size.

  • 4S – 1105/1204 5000KV and 20A ESC, 4S 450mAh LiPo , 4 bladed Emax Avan Props, roughly 5-6 minutes flight time
  • 3S – 1104 4800kv on 3S with 850mAh

Popular frames are:

  • Umma85x
  • Umma95x
  • Beta85X

Frame choice: the Umma95x runs larger props (2.5″) and hence is a bit louder, but it’s also more powerful, and more stable. The Umma85x is smaller (2″) and makes slightly less noise, but it’s not meant for fast flying.

Note that these builds are very strict about battery weight – they need a battery that weighs roughly 50g in order to properly dampen vibrations to the Gopro.

3″

3″ is not as popular but it’s picking up in popularity as it’s larger and more stable, works better in windy condition too.

4S – 1404 3800KV motors

BF Settings for Cinematic flying

Betaflight 4.2

There is a CLI snippet for cinematic flying, If you have not tried it yet, give it a shot, it’s awesome and suits the flying style of our little naked tools very nicely.

https://github.com/betaflight/betaflight/wiki/4.2-Tuning-Notes#Quick-settings

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