Naked GoPro 9 – Decasing and Recasing

Sebastian Pohl - 31. Januar 2022
Beta95 with naked Gopro 9.

I have been a hobbyist drone pilot for a few years now. I am not the best pilot in the world but i am proficient enough in handling FPV-Dones to get my share of fun.

One of the main aspects that drew me to the hobby is the tinkering with electronics. And although i usually take the cheapest routes, because it still is a hobby and not my day-job, i get to play around with cool stuff from time to time. If i use an action cam to record in-flight footage it usually is some cheap knock-off model and not something expensive like an original GoPro.

A few days ago a friend asked if i could help him out with building one or more „naked GoPro“ cameras. This means removing all the components of an original GoPro from their case and putting them into some lightweight 3d-printed or injection moulded case. The point of this is to use those stripped GoPros on small drones which and capture great looking footage. Depending on the excat model it is possible to reduce the weight by around 100g. And that makes a huge difference if the overall weight of the drone, including the camera and battery, should be below 250 gr. Lower weight means longer flight times and less stress on the components.

Over the generations of GoPros it became increasingly difficult to remove them from their case. I do own one GoPro 6 and it was fairly easy to strip it. As i researched how to remove the case of a GoPro 9 i found several videos that showed the process involving hack-saws or similar brutal instruments.

I was pretty sure that there had to be an easier way. Maybe not totally reversible but at least not leaving everything in bits and pieces.

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