I am about to install a 360fly camera into a surfboard so that it records the action under the board, particularly what the fin/s are doing.
I would like some advice on how to create a suitable hole in the board and then seal and reinforce it again.
The board: TSA McCoy Flax Nugget, 8’0 x 22'' x3.125 (68L)
I have already added a 12'' single fin box to the board.
The camera: I managed to snatch up a used 360fly 4k at a reasonable price: https://www.goodgearguide.com.au/review/360_fly/4k-camera/618537/
The board is easily thick enough fore of the single fin box to accommodate the entire camera, so that only the lens will be protruding from the bottom of the board. I plan to find the peak of the 'Loaded Dome' and install the camera right at the peak and in the centre line. This will be somewhere just fore of the center 12'' fin box. The board is stringerless and very light and stiff, I don't think the performance characteristics will change perceivably due to the camera hole.
I am working on a 3D design as camera housing. The housingwill either be installed permanently into the board, or possibly screwed into the hole after threading the hole somehow. A dummy insert (instead of the camera) will be used when I am not using the camera, so that the boards bottom will again be very similar to it's original shape. The camera will be screwed to a lid, which in turn screws to the top of the (?glassed-in?) camera container. The deck will be flat and strong, but the camera will be easily accessible in the surf to turn it on and off, so no battery capacity and video storage space is wasted. If the housing ends up being permanently installed, then I will probably design it with exchangeable inserts, because I am uncertain exactly how wide the lens hole needs to be. Because the camera records not only 360deg horizontally, but also 240deg vertically, it might matter if it pokes out a a fraction of a mm more or less. I don't think I can determine exactly how far the lens needs to protrude before I have a suitable hole in the surfboard.
The camera measures 60mm from the tripod-screw end to the peak of the lens; 48mm to the rim of the lens; and the lens diameter is 40mm.
The camera will therefore add a 12mm high and 40mm wide dome to the boards bottom, I don't know how much drag that will cause, but I hope it will still surf well.
At this stage, I think I will use an 86mm hole saw to make the hole in the board , and design the final dimensions for the housing once I know how wide the hole is when it has been sealed and re-inforced.
The sealing and re-inforcing of the hole is where I need some advice.
Will it be sufficient to apply epoxy resin to the sides of the hole and epoxy a 3D printed cylinder into it, or should I also add FG cloth layers? And how many? How can I achieve a reliable and long-lasting waterproof seal between the deck and bottom of the board, and the cylinder wall of the hole, without causing any protruding lumps on the bottom of the board?
I think it might help to scratch out some foam (after drilling the hole) just under the deck flax and bottom glass layers to create a larger bonding/sealing area.
Any hints much appreciated!