Helmet Adapters, 3M ® Tape and Adapter Removal
When mounting an action camera to a helmet you normally need a small adapter which is “glued” to your helmet. The adapter works like a base plate or socket. So that the camera can be connected and disconnected from the helmet at any time. Once attached, most users leave the adapter on the helmet even when they’re not filming.
Ok, if you have used an action camera before you know that and you may jump further down. For everybody else we’d like to explain it a little further:
Usually the adaptors come included with your action cam. They have a connection interface on top and a piece of thick adhesive tape at the bottom. The bottom side of the adaptor is slightly curved and meant to match the shape of most helmets. The idea is to find a spot on your helmet where the contour of the adaptor and the contour of your helmet fit best. That’s the spot where you should apply the adapter. If there’s still a slight mismatch, the thick adhesive tape can usually eliminate it.
To apply the adaptor, clean your helmet, peel off the liner of the adhesive tape and carefully stick the adaptor to the helmet. Do this slowly and try to avoid trapping air between helmet and adaptor. Once applied, use slow force and press the adaptor to the helmet. You’ll instantly see how incredibly strong the adhesive binds to your helmet.
What sound easy can(!) be tricky. Helmets have different shapes and the adapters can vary in shape – depending which action cam you use. As long as your helmet does not have an all fancy shape or a very special design you should be able to apply the adapters without problem. Having a helmet with a smooth and clean design definitely helps…
Important to know:
When you’re using an adapter with original 3M ® tape, the strength of the binding will increase over time. Let’s say you apply the adapter at a room temperature of 20 degree Celsius (68 F) you will reach 50% of the final strength after 20 minutes and 80% after one full hour. From there on it takes another 3 days to reach the 100% of binding.
If you need to speed up the binding process you can do that at a temperature of 65 degree Celsius (149 F). Then the adhesive will reach it’s 100% of strength after one hour already. How you may do that and wether you want use a sauna or an oven is definitely left to you and your creativity…just don’t hurt yourself.
In any case: You should never try to apply an adapter below room temperature…the adhesive simply won’t perform. Even at a moderate temperature of 10 degree Celsius (50 F) you will not reach more than 35-40% of strength after three days! So plan ahead and don’t try to attach an adaptor right on the slope.
Some of you may be very “technical” guys and rather believe in screws than in tape or glue. If that’s the case you may watch the video below, where we remove an adapter two weeks after applying it. It shows how insanely strong the adapter sticks to the helmet and how the tape does not damage the paint of the helmet at all…still stunning!
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