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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:05 pm 
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I've modded mine tonight.

Its a very fiddly job Bill, everything is really compact inside and it makes it pretty tricky to work on. Probably best to do during the day in good light.

Things to watch out for.

Before removing the grey cover off the back, mark where the little notch in the case lines up with it.

Image

This makes it easy to get back on later as you can easily see how it lines up.

I also jumped ahead when stripping mine and removed the cable which messed me up when I came to reassemble. The outer cover, the one with Microsoft written on, only goes on one way and having reassembled the inner section and reattached the cable etc I realised I had it the wrong way round and had to strip everything down again. I think its best when you slide the webcam out of this cover to slide the cover onto the cable and then disconnect the cable. This will make it obvious when putting it back which way it goes on.

The two screws that hold the mount base on to the camera are also difficult to remove. One of the screws was easier but the other was a nightmare. I think this was when I removed the cable so I could try to see the screw. You get to both screws through the holes left when you remove the microphone button. One of them is easy as the hole thats left when the button is removed is bigger and the screw is on the side of the circuit board that you can see to the left when you look from the back. The other is on the right of this board but the space behind is much smaller and the hole you stick the jewellers screwdriver through is also much smaller so its very difficult to see what your doing and find the screw head. It helps to press up on the mount base into the camera so your screwdriver can reach the screw. It was just on the limit of my screwdrivers reach so I did need to push the mount into the camera section to be able to reach it. I think you could probably get away with removing the easy one and just pulling the mount out of the camera without unscrewing the other, I was worried about damaging it so I did remove it.

Image

There is also a black cable soldered to a grounding clip which is connected to the case above the main cable. When you remove this grounding clip pull back on it horizontally. It sits in the upper plastic cover in a recessed square which has two small plastic grooves to take the ground clip. The rounded bit on the top of the grounding clip then sticks out and acts like a spring as its pushed against the outer metal case. On mine I slightly damaged one of these plastic grooves as I twisted the ground clip out, so when reassembling the clip didn't want to stay put. I'd also make a note of where it come from and which way it attaches before you remove it as it will make it easier to reassemble later.

The main cable plugs into the back of the board. It only goes on one way, the red wire is at the top, these cables are tucked at the side of the circuit board and are very tight which is what makes the reassembly difficult as you try to hold the boards in place and refit the two plastic cases.

The lens assembly was difficult to unsolder and I needed someone to hold the board whilst I tried to desoldered it and prise it off the board. The lens was held in place by some tiny plastic pegs as well as two screws which attach it from the other side of the circuit board. These were quite tight but I did remove them before unsoldering, I don't think the write up mentioned these screws. Also note this lens assembly is magnetic. My soldering iron kept being attracted to it as did several of the screws.

Remember when you remove the lens not to touch the image sensor below. Mine had a double sided sticky square surrounding it so you'll definitely know if you touch that. This square may stay stuck to your lens when you remove it so just be careful not to touch the sensor. Reassembly without touching the sensor I found was very tricky and I did touch it a couple of times :( as I struggled to fit the boards into the plastic case and attach the cabling

Another thing not covered on the write up by Gary Honis was the webcam had a blue LED which lights up when its in use. I hadn't noticed it until I had completely rebuilt the camera, fitted it to the adaptor and had it plugged in for testing. I then had to strip it all down again to remove the LED. So you probably want to either unsolder or cut out the LED whilst your doing the lens.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:17 pm 
Bugger!
Don't tell me I've been too clever & bought a webcam that I can't mod to fit onto my scope! I guess that I'll have to wait to get the adaptor from billet.
Would a tapered adaptor be suitable if mine is bigger than the one you guys have???
PS that looks like a bit of an emotional mod Pete!!!
Good luck with it Bill
:shock:
Let me know how you get on.
Cheers
Andy

A little update. I have received my webcam. The outer (silver casing) is approx 29mm. The internal black casing is 26.5(ish)mm using a crude Disney ruler!!!!
Do i have to strip the webcam internals from the outer silver casing to make it fit into the adaptor???

Cheers
Andy


Attachments:
webcam.jpg
webcam.jpg [ 73.57 KiB | Viewed 4666 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:35 am 
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I know, hopefully there will be some clear skys before I have to hand it back :(

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:33 am 
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Location: Bolton
Amartin wrote:
A little update. I have received my webcam. The outer (silver casing) is approx 29mm. The internal black casing is 26.5(ish)mm using a crude Disney ruler!!!!
Do i have to strip the webcam internals from the outer silver casing to make it fit into the adaptor???


You may well get away with that Andy.

This is the front cover of mine, which has now been removed.

Image

Its not easy to balance this and photograph it. It looks to be slightly out at zero against the rule, but I think the photo angle exaggerates this, I would say it was 26.5mm, definitely under 27mm

Image

The rear part of the outer casing which I put back on the webcam is the same diameter as the front above and is a nice fit inside the adaptor. This also allows the rear grey cover plate to be put back on on mine.

I think you could definitely reassemble without this outer case so hopefully the inner part of yours should fit inside the adaptor

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Looks like I'm going to have some fun, thanks for you input and I hope Andy can get his sorted

looks like we might just have some chance at seeing through the clouds Tuesday / Wednesday

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:35 pm 
Thanks Bill,
will have a lash at dismantling the webcam - maybe not right now as I've been at a bash & have consumed far too many mohito's to try anything more complex than logging onto the Mac!!!
Will have a read of the link on how to do it & report back - whether I'm stuck or I've had varying degrees of success!!!
Cheers
Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:33 pm 
update on my conversion. As you know i went for the life cam studio - mainly because i am a sufferer of the magpie syndrome - if its shiny, i have to swoop on it & take it.
As the theme of the thread is how this isn't a straight forward mod, it may be even harder for me to retro fit the studio model webcam into the cartridge manufactured by billet.

Fortunately, i followed the guidelines on http://www.rkblog.rk.edu.pl/w/p/ms-life ... otography/ which detailed (to my horror) that extra faffing would be the order of the day as it was more involved than the webcams modded by Bill & Phil.

Im glad to say (after a long winded ramble) that I've managed to retro fit the studio model into the billet adaptor - I've even gone further than the instructions in the website guide.

Here's how i did it.

Followed the diagrams & instructions for disassembly
chipped off the blue LED & covered the switch pins with a very small bit of blu-tac

for re-assembly i went a bit off piste & have managed to use both the upper & lower inner housing - the guy who wrote the instruction failed to achieve this & instead had to resort to gluing the top half in the billet adaptor (see image 22 on website). I achieved this by cutting the protruding aperture down until, then combining both the upper & lower inner housing & sliding the assembly into the billet adaptor.

I do have to echo Phil's sentiment, this is a bit fiddly & trying to remember which way the board sat in the housing was quite frustrating to get right - especially as id also bent some of the plastic retaining nipples that hold the chipset board in place.

My last mods were to create a blank plate for the rear screw-in piece; (again this differs from Phil & Bill's mod due to their model having the cable come directly into the back of the webcam & mine came from the bottom leg & up into position underneath the chipset board) by using the existing backing plate & filing a groove to hold the USB cable snugly in place & filing the edge of the backing plate down a fraction so it would create a snug fit into the rear screw in piece of the adaptor.

See below
Attachment:
rear.jpg
rear.jpg [ 35.46 KiB | Viewed 4657 times ]


eh viola! my modded 1080p webcam.
Attachment:
front.jpg
front.jpg [ 22.08 KiB | Viewed 4657 times ]


I apologise for the epic nature of this email, but I'm made up i managed to make it work - even though on paper & the website states that you will run into difficulty & doesn't really tell you how to avoid it, hopefully this will give you some choice.
If a duffer like me can manage a mod like this, then there's hope for the rest of us!!!
Apols for the poor quality of the snaps, if anyone wants to see it in the flesh, i can bring it to the next meet.
Cheers
Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:58 am 
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WOW, Looks like you have has some fun, bring it to the mext meeting, been very busy here and not started mine, hopefully get a chance in the week.

All we need are some clear skys to put these to the test, alas it looks like we are going to have to wait a bit longer.

Bill

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:48 pm
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Location: Bolton
Well done Andy, glad to see you got it sorted.

Have you tested it out in your telescope yet ?

Bill has borrowed my scope, and thereby ordered up this bad weather, so I haven't been able to check mine in the scope yet. I did manage to test it by holding it up to a 25mm eyepeice and hovering it over the keys on my keyboard and I got a focused image on screen so the camera is still working

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 Post subject: Re: Billet Parts - MS HD Lifecam Adaptors
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:31 am 
It was a bit of a brave undertaking - especially fuelled by mojito's!!!
I haven't had chance to try it in the scope yet but I did plug it into my laptop & in astro capture tried to run it at it's highest res - it almost flat-packed windows XP by stealing all the resources, so I'll have to either buy a mega powerful laptop, or reduce the res I capture at!
Am open to suggestions as always. I was pondering how hard it would be to fit a UV filter to the billet adaptor, for now I'm happy to just have modded it & have it fire up once connected.
I never thought of offering it up to an EP for a test Phil, maybe I'll give that a dance today. Just keep glancing skywards at night hoping for a break in the clouds so I can test it in anger!!!
Will bring it in at the next meet for you to cast your eye over it Bill.
When/if e manage some decent skies, I'll post some findings
Cheers
Andy


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