[SHOT 2016] MOHOC Helmet Camera platform

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Up until now, if you were/are in any of the world’s militaries with lax enough regulations, or are perhaps just a conniving junior enlisted warrior, then you would know that you really only had two options to record those training live fire ranges that you can pass on as combat at local bars, either a GoPro series of helmet cameras, or a Contour, with the Contour actually out of business. However, a company called MOHAC (Military Optimized Helmet Camera), is about to change all that.

Commercial GoPros and Contours are alright for taking to the field, but the real problem is that these civilian cameras were never meant to be in the kinds of environments that servicemen and women around the world find themselves in. I personally opted for a Contour to record some of the patrols that I went on in Helmand Province, simply because the thing was the slickest out there to fit on my kevlar. The GoPros out there stuck out like sore thumbs, one of my guys even got the NVG mount for his, so he could click it into the PVS 14 rhino mount that we all had on our helmets.

Enter the MOHOC, pronounced “Mohawk”. The camera is specifically designed for a special operations/SWAT/LE role. It does this by a number of features. Most importantly, it is much more lower profile than either the discontinued Contour, or the Turkey peeking GoPro. How it does this is through the design being very close to the helmet, but more importantly it uses very tough velcro. Realizing that a number of these SF/SWAT units out there are using Kevlars with velcro on them, the unit has velcro all on the bottom, in addition to the base being sloped, so to “contour” with the actual slope of the helmet. Then the unit is completely waterproof, not just water resistant, or requiring an external water proof case like the GoPro, but comes from the factory water proof, as long as the battery compartment is clicked shut. Thirdly, to activate the unit, is a simple twist to the right, wait for a few vibrations, and the unit is recording. This is important because there are no lights, no lasers, and no audible sounds to alert anyone else to your position. In addition, you can even program it to not vibrate at all if you are really concerned about the vibration of the unit. Similar to the Contour, the lens can be turned 190 degrees in either direction to account for being mounted on the side of a helmet. It can also be programmed so that if the entire unit is upside down, say on the 6 o’clock position of a rifle, it will record right-side up. But here is the best part, the battery system comes in two options already built in, one is the supplied lithium ion battery, and the other is two 123 volt lithium batteries, which you actually get twice the usage out of. That’s right, you can use the supplied rechargeable battery, OR you can use two 123 volt batteries that you are probably already have a supply of through your lights, or PEQ devices.

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • thedonn007

    The camera is really held in place by Velcro? Is Velcro tactical enough?

    • Bill

      Only if it’s referred to as Fastener, Type Reclosable, Marine/Weatherproof.

      In all seriousness, while velcro may be somewhat weak in the “pull” direction, it is MUCH stronger in the “shear” direction, assuming it’s properly applied to a prepared surface. It should excel at this application.

      • Chris Evans

        Glad you mentioned the strength of velcro. I was skeptical of the mounting strength, but when we got them and tested them in the store the velcro is much more secure than you’d think. Also I believe there is a different mount in the works to clip onto an opscore helmet.

  • KestrelBike

    Hey Miles (or anyone else with personal experience), what were the rules/regulations like regarding filming your own patrols? I’d have thought that filming such stuff would be a no-no for security reasons. Has the military in general fluctuated with their policy regarding that kind of thing? I remember a huge amount of videos during the early 2000’s, especially 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, but then reading things on various forums that there had been a crackdown for whatever reason that might have been true or false (cameras were a distraction for troops who exposed themselves trying to get their camera in a better position, or that if they were captured it was a security risk, etc etc).

    • Some dude on the internet

      It depends of the unit. Most of the times they are encouraged because they help with AARs, and IDing new TTPs and such. At the same time you are basically told you’ll get an article 15 if any of it ever ends up on facebook, and some units require you to be of a certain rank in order to have one.

      On the other hand I was in Afghanistan after the whole thing with the Marines pissing on dead bodies, and it came down that there would be no recording devices used on patrols or pictures of dead bodies taken (Normally done as part of your SSE process) period. Those were interesting times with many shenanigans to be sure.

      • Bill

        Those shenanigans happen all the time with cops at crime scenes, particularly with the advent of the camera phone. BTW, try buying a phone WITHOUT a camera in it; it give the intelligence community heartburn, as if the phones aren’t bad enough themselves.

  • USMC03Vet

    Cameras on the battlefield are just a huge liability.

    • Some dude on the internet

      It depends on how they are used and the intelligence level of the person or persons using them. In many cases they can be a great resource and I know of one occasion where a camera saved an officer from being relieved of duty.

      The big thing to remember is that electronics malfunction all the time and just because you have a camera mounted doesn’t mean it was turned on. The biggest thing is rolling with dudes you trust, and not letting the new cherry E-1/O-1 do anything dumb.

  • Paladin

    123volt batteries? I think you mean CR123 batteries which are 3volt.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Neat product.

  • Anomanom

    Does it have some kind of flat-base converting device for situations where you don’t want to

    wear it on your head or rucksack straps? Also, is replacement velcro for the bottom of the camera available?

    • Chris Evans

      The company is working on a flat base mounting option

  • Halon330

    I also opted for the contour. Loved it over the GoPro. Even found that it used the same battery packs as the el cheapo cell phone that I bought over there. Was able to get extra batteries for dirt cheap from the on base Haji merchant.

    Another note, I heard that Contour had been purchased by a new investment firm, reopened, and releasing a new generation camera.