Ravi came across this www page on how to disassemble a quickcam, http://perso.club-internet.fr/uranos/disassemble_quickcam.htm which may be of use for ECE385 students, especially those who either have a quickcam, or are planning on extending this lab (lab8) as their final project (lab9).
|This guide will help you to open your connectix
quickcam without destroying it. If you want to do some
small repairs on your camera, if you want to remove the
infrared filter (night vision) or if you only want to
know what's inside, these pages should be helpful. They
are also made for people who don't have the guts to open
their own camera.
Please note: The connectix quickcam was designed to be opened by the connectix technical service, only. If you open your camera, you'll do this at your own risk. The instructions on this page worked for me, but I do not feel responsible if you follow these instructions and you break your camera. In other words - don't sue me. Thank you.
This page has been online for quite some time now and I was very surprised by the big attention it has received. So far, I have received a lot of messages by people who were equally successful disassembling their camera, and only one message by someone who broke the camera's ir filter. As mentioned before: It's easy, but you have to do it at your own risk. Jan/97
Update: A reader wrote me that the technical support team at Connectix told him to look at this page to find out about how to safely disassemble the camera. Whoa, am I proud. 20/Feb/97
This is just quick & dirty html code. I did not think that these pages needed some great web design. Maybe I will change that some day, but right now, I will keep things simple.
Comments welcome. Send eMail to email@example.com
This page was inspired by the Brian J. Swetlands's Quickcam Guts page. He's got colour images!
More information can be found at my Quickcam developer resources page.
| I had to open my qc because the
infrared filter inside the camera ball got loose. This
will probably be the main reason for you to open your
camera, as well.
I used a second qc to take these images - however most of them were out of focus. I had to retouch them using imaging software. This is why these images are very grainy. The qc's quality is usually far better than what you see here.
| Actually, the secret of how to
open the camera ball without breaking the plastic cover
is just one simple thing: The hole that you see on the
This hole is hidden behind a little sticker, so go and remove it. Use an office clip or some small metal stud and put it in this hole until you feel some resistance. This is the first lock clip (of three). Gently press it down until you hear a "click".
| Now you can open the camera
ball. The little black pastic part on the front that
covers the lens is quite fragile, so make sure you do not
bend it too far.
Since the other two clips are still locked, you will have to use a little bit of force to open the ball. Make sure you do not break the other two clips - you will need them later...
| These three plastic clips are
keeping the ball in a whole.
A Note by William Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org):
"I'd just like to mention that I've ripped my QuickCam apart a zillion times (the first time I didn't know about the paper-clip-in-the-pinhole trick; I think I was one of the first people to mention it on the mailing list) and have broken off two of the three clips that hold the ball together, but it stays together just fine by friction. So it's not quite the end of the world if you're a little clumsy taking it apart."
| So there you are. This is what
the opened camera ball looks like.
You made it! Opening the plastic cover is the only part where things can go wrong.
(Except of course you did not think of static electricity. For the next steps you should be grounded...)
| Finally you can get a hold of
the camera interiour.
All the parts you see now can be easily disassembled.
Now that you can get a hold on the circuit board, read this warning by Michiel de Rond (email@example.com):
"Be very carefull while opening the QuickCam!! Not only do you **VOID** your warranty by Connectix, you also risk damaging your cam (possibly beyond repair!!)"
"After we had opened the quickcam, it sometimes yielded very bad images. These images contained excessive static and were in one word unusable. After a few days one of our team-members discovered that a very small SMD transistor had come off the cam while we had opened it. This device is about 1mm x 2mm, so this is easily overlooked."
"This time it was possible to fix the cam, and we did manage, but you might damage the cam severely!"
Author's comment: This happened with a colour qcam which has a lot more circuitry inside. While this page describes how to disassemble a black & white qcam, I was told by readers that disassembling a colour qcam is not very different.
| This is the main circuit board.
It's fully functional, so if you never liked that plastic ball outfit, you can take this and put in another box or cover.
If you want to refocus the lens, you'll have to loosen the screw that you see in this image. After that, you can adjust the focus. E. g. you can use this to make pictures of very close objects.
A note by Peter R. McCullough (firstname.lastname@example.org):
"My quickcam is circa 1997. It doesn't have the screw holding the lens in position, but instead just uses a swipe of adhesive (like fingernail polish) to keep the lens from turning on its threads. With a bit of force you can break the 'fingernail polish' and adjust the focus."
Author's comment: Too bad they did that. I prefered the old version with the screw.
|Here you can see the quickcam with different focus settings. That guy is my colleague Michael who helped me with this repair. The left image is unsharp, in case you did not notice.|
| If you want to remove the
infrared filter, you will have to disassemble the plastic
cover that is connected to the circuit board.
Well, actually you only have to remove the plastic cover (it's connected to the circuit board with two small screws), but I disassembled the whole thing.
(Please note that you have to refocus the qcam if you want to use it as a night-vision device without the ir filter. See above for that.)
| I have to admit, I'm
unstoppable if I have a screwdriver and something to
These are all the parts found in on the circuit board. At first, I was clueless about the metal ring, but many readers of this page pointed out that it is used to balance the little ball.
|After removing the pastic cover, you will get a view of the ccd chip.|
|One last view of the all the parts before starting to reassemble the camera.|
| Here you can see us refitting
the ir filter.
The filter was my reason to open the camera. It is attached to the plastic cover by three drops of glue. Since my camera fell down quite often, the filter got loose and fell off.
Now you can reassemble your camera. I hope that no part fell below your sofabed or on your long-hair carpet.
Actually, the images you just saw were taken in reverse order. They show the assembling process of my camera.
| Since this is my webpage, so
why not do something to satisfy my own ego: This is me,
assembling the camera.
Thanks for your attention. I hope that these pages were useful for your needs. If so (or if not), let me know.
This page (c) Hanno Müller.