Monday, 12 December 2016

Microphone Wind-Noise Muff for Sony Camcorder FDR-AX33

In May 2013 I wrote about using a Micromuff over the microphones of a Sony camcorder and what a great success it was. However, when I received my then new Sony FDR-AX33 I discovered that the grill covering the microphones was larger than the largest available from Micromuff. I decided to make my own using Velcro or Velcro lookalike and fake fur. The first one I made worked as expected but I had great difficulty in getting the fake Velcro to stick to the camcorder. Eventually I used double-sided tape but even that in the heat of the tropics gave up the ghost. So rather than repeat the exercise with the same material I looked for something stronger and seem to have found the answer.

This time I used Velcro Heavy Duty Stick On 50 mm wide and in a length of 1 metre (from Amazon). I then cut the hook part (to attach to the camcorder) using the template below, with the longer side parallel with the length of the roll (so that the natural curve of the material matched the curve of the camcorder). I then degreased the camcorder surface using an isopropanol contact cleaner (Maplin) and attached the Velcro. I left it undisturbed for 24 hours as instructed.

I then cut out the loop piece. Last time I made the hook and loop sides the same size but this meant I could not hold the hook side when removing the muff. Now I can apply a finger to hold the hook side down while I carefully pull off the muff in places I do not need to use it. I then stuck the loop piece to the back of a piece of fake wolf fur of the same size and left that to stand for 24 hours.

So far, so good. The adhesive on the Velcro really does seem to do what it says on the packet but the real test will come when I try this version in the tropics.

The only slight difficulty I faced was cutting out the two centres because the Velcro material is tough. Eventually I used an old craft knife with a short chisel-shaped blade (An X-Acto No 5 handle with No 18 blade is the modern equivalent). A wood chisel and a sharp tap with a mallet may have been an easier option.

The fake fur came from eBay. Search for ‘faux fur fabric material’. The piece I have is ‘blue beige wolf’.

Templates used for the Velcro
Not To Scale
The hook side stuck to the camcorder
The loop side with the fake fur added
Materials used