Puckeye Net-Cam Case for GoPro
We put the protective net case for GoPro Hero 3 and 4 cameras through its paces
InGoal has been putting the Puckeye Net Cam case through its paces for the better part of the hockey season and with the exception of a few small caveats – we were impressed. In fact, it became an essential part of one coach’s toolkit, one he’s not interested in giving up anytime soon.
Puckeye sent InGoal two test units which we are able to test in a variety of situations. But really, only one was needed to certify from our perspective that it comes as advertised – supplying quality images and video while protecting your investment in that not inexpensive GoPro camera – a team of junior A shooters took turns using the case and camera for target practice and the GoPro came out unscathed.
The case is made to fit the GoPro Hero 3 and 4 cameras. We didn’t test it with the Hero 5 but as the newest camera in the lineup is slightly larger than the 4, we can’t be confident it would fit. It worked flawlessly with a Hero 4 all season. The camera, in its clear protective case that it ships with, simply slides into the case and an aluminum bar slides in behind to hold it snugly in place with no movement.
The Puckeye case from behind without camera. This also illustrates the quick velcro attachment for connecting to the centre bar of the net.
The Puckeye case from behind with camera. The slit on the left edge of the case where the aluminum support bart slides through can be seen.
The version we received included a velcro attachment so that the case could be installed and removed in a matter of moments. Indeed, our lead tester, Chris Carter who is the full time goaltending coach of the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), installed it between warmup and game time and removed it between periods to switch nets it was installed in, without a hitch all season long.
Note the black aluminum support bar in the images above that the two velcro straps are attached to ensures a strong net attachment with no movement resulting in steady video.
Below we include an example video of the footage acquired in BCHL game action this season. Coach Carter used the netcam in every game after receiving the test unit, telling InGoal “It was fantastic and worked absolutely as advertised. We used it for post-game review with our goaltenders where the images are especially useful for footwork and post-play.”
With the GoPro’s wireless transmission to an iPad we were able to start and stop recording from the stands as needed and even review plays on the fly. Indeed, while the iPad was not on the bench with the coaching staff, Carter and the other coaches did review a number of close or controversial plays after games and found the camera a significant help throughout the season.
Goaltender Lane Michasiw of the Cowichan Valley Capitals in game action testing the Puckeye for InGoal. Our thanks to Michasiw, the Capitals and Coach Chris Carter.
The case proved itself through long term use and a variety of situations from testing in our offices to minor hockey up to junior A action. We recommend it with only a few considerations:
- The clear protective case that shipped with our Hero 3 camera did not fit in the Puckeye case. Its dimensions are larger than the newer case models.
The original case that shipped with our Hero 3 – easily identifiable by the silver rivet-like attachments around the lens protector – did not fit in the Puckeye case (note the stand this case is attached to is there only for the photograph and does not go in the case).
The newer-model protective case – made to fit both the Hero 3 and 4 which have identical dimensions – slides perfectly into the Puckeye case.
- If you want to install the camera and run it for an entire game while connected via WiFi you’ll be limited by battery power. While GoPro makes a piggy-back extended life battery which will get you thorough a game – the deeper case it requires will not fit inside the Puckeye. You’ll either be limited to a shorter run like a period, or as we did, you’ll have to pull the case and switch batteries between periods.
InGoal didn’t see either caveat as a significant issue. Of course we’d love to see a case for those who have a Hero 5 but Puckeye is certainly reaching most of the market already. The battery life issue might be solveable with some sort of extension – even a velcro strap replacing the aluminum bar that holds the camera in the case. But if you plan on moving the camera between periods regardless – it’s not an issue, save for needing a couple of spare batteries.
We think the case allows coaches a unique angle – one we found useful in teaching. As cameras become virtually standard in goaltending so that coaches can show goalies exactly what they are doing, the opportunity to see from a better angle the footwork and postwork seals is very valuable. It should see all coaches consider adding the Puckeye to their kit for training sessions and camps.
Our thanks to Coach Chris Carter – not only for his support with the testing but also with the photography for this review. When he isn’t coaching BCHL goaltenders, Coach Carter can be found supporting minor hockey development through his school Great Saves Goaltending.
Enjoy another sample video, this one without sound: