moonlit Posted June 26, 2007 Share Posted June 26, 2007 I had a 21 year old camcorder and a not quite so old webcam (Creative PD1090 - Mobile Webcam) and deiced to fuse the two together... ...and so that I did. Pics: http://flickr.com/photos/9310898@N03/sets/72157600560590872/ 1 ) Tear the webcam in two. Yours probably has screws in it, mine didn't. 2 ) Take the exposed PCB, put it aside. 3 ) Take a camcorder (preferably old), rip it to pieces until you have only the lens assembly and all motors intact, it's probably all in one section. 4 ) Discard the camcorder parts you won't be using, salvage anything you could use in a future project. 5 ) Now might be a good time to mount the lens assembly on something so you have a decent base to build around. 6 ) Mount the webcam's PCB with the CCD exposed (it's possible to do without removing the lens, but I prefered without) in line with the opposite end o f the lens assembly to the bit you normally see when the camcorder's whole. 7 ) Make some kind of device to move the webcam PCB back and forth to aid in focussing the image from the lenses on to the CCD. 8 ) Fiddle, tweak, tune. 9 ) More of 8. 10) Enjoy your super webcam. UPDATE: Now it's got a remote control! Motorised zoom on a rechargable wired remote control made from an old cordless screwdriver. 1) Open screwdriver, 4 philips screws, easy. 2) Take out the motor and bit holder. 3) Use cable from an old laptop power brick to connect the rocker switch in the screwdriver to the zoom motor on the camera. 4) Screw the "remote" back together and add cable strain relief. 5) Charge the "remote". Video from the cam just to test the zoom, lighting, focus and resolution's not optimal, but it's clear enough. (Anonymous video upload site, may be pending moderator approval.) http://www.nelsok.com/video/zoom_test__1_video_clip Optional: You can remove the IR filter from the webcam so it can "see" near-IR light. You can replace said IR filter with one that doesn't let through normal light, only IR. This will make the camera capable of near-IR vision only. You can use a couple of blank squares of developed film negative, like the blank bits you get on 35mm negative. I used the filter that was on my camera's autofocus sensor, but you may not have this, it may not be suitable, or you may have broken it when you destroyed the camcorder. YMMV. Maybe add a mic or mic socket if your webcam used to have the capability. You could add a 3.5mm mono or stereo socket to attach a microphone and send it down the USB cable, or whatever. Again, YMMV. Perhaps even save the hot shoe from the camcorder (if it had one) to mount the mic on. The best optional extra I can think of is to make it motorised. Assuming you kept the motors intact, a fairly small voltage should turn the focus ring or move the zoom lens. Add a couple of buttons on long wires to control it and hey presto, a security camera. Maybe you could add a serial or parallel interface and control it all on your computer while you're watching the output. If you take the IR route you could add IR LED arrays, which are basically a board with a whole bunch of IR LEDs on them, just like you find in a TV remote. You can't see this light but the camera can, so you can see without anyone knowing you can see. You could be a little less covert and strap a flashlight on the top, and that would work if you didn't remove the IR filter. Basically providing you're patient you can improve (and hopefully not wreck) your old webcam really easily with this. It's a fun project, takes some fiddling and involves optics, motors and USB, what more could you ask for? It's not too difficult, so I don't think there's much of a barrier to entry with this project except perhaps parts which can be salvaged from an old attic or basement - doesn't matter how old the camcorder is or even if it works, just as long as the lenses are still in there. Have fun, don't cut yourself, electrocute yourself, blow anything up, kill computer, cats or people, etc, etc, and if you do, don't be whining to me. Good luck! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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