Discussion:
integrated laptop webcam extraction to USB- suggested models?
(too old to reply)
Drake L Legg
2020-09-14 13:58:55 UTC
Permalink
Due to budget constraints, current webcam shortages, and an upcoming
pressing need, I am considering acquiring one or more "integrated"
webcams presumably from eBay and elsewhere and attempting to modify it
by adding a USB cable so I can use with my current system. I have
already seen plenty of tutorials and videos on the modifications, and
the process looks simple enough with good results if one keeps in mind
whether or not a voltage drop is needed for webcam power as apparently
some use 3V and not 5V USB, and also taking necessary static and
soldering precautions. However, there's one important thing that seems
to be missing with the online information: precisely which webcam models
are suitable-- especially, formerly integrated boards that would offer
at least 720p resolution as well as audio output along the same USB data
lines.

As an initial experiment, I extracted an integrated webcam from an old,
unused no longer functioning HP DV5 laptop. After a bit of trial and
error, using a multimeter, as well as referencing online information, I
was able to adapt it to USB and it is currently working on my system.
However, it is not HD and the audio had a digital output separate from
the four wire USB output. I was unable to adapt its audio, so ended up
having to use a separate electret mic plugged into the desktop. This,
although workable, is not desired and I would like to have the audio
coming from the camera as well, with the audio part of the same two USB
data lines.

I'm no expert in this and trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Webcam board voltage is the most critical aspect, but I'd like to know
if there's an online resource somewhere listing what integrated models
are suitable for the job and what the particulars are per model (HD or
not, audio output, etc). So far, I have not had luck finding beyond
"generic" generalized information so, if anyone can suggest a source,
please share. I need to get a workable system up and running by the end
of this week. I would be using the hacked webcam on either Win 10 or
Ubuntu as I run dual boot systems.

Thank you in advance.
wicklowham
2020-09-14 14:32:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Drake L Legg
Due to budget constraints, current webcam shortages, and an upcoming
pressing need, I am considering acquiring one or more "integrated"
webcams presumably from eBay and elsewhere and attempting to modify it
by adding a USB cable so I can use with my current system.  I have
already seen plenty of tutorials and videos on the modifications, and
the process looks simple enough with good results if one keeps in mind
whether or not a voltage drop is needed for webcam power as apparently
some use 3V and not 5V USB, and also taking necessary static and
soldering precautions.  However, there's one important thing that seems
to be missing with the online information: precisely which webcam models
are suitable-- especially, formerly integrated boards that would offer
at least 720p resolution as well as audio output along the same USB data
lines.
As an initial experiment, I extracted an integrated webcam from an old,
unused no longer functioning HP DV5 laptop.  After a bit of trial and
error, using a multimeter, as well as referencing online information, I
was able to adapt it to USB and it is currently working on my system.
However, it is not HD and the audio had a digital output separate from
the four wire USB output.  I was unable to adapt its audio, so ended up
having to use a separate electret mic plugged into the desktop.  This,
although workable, is not desired and I would like to have the audio
coming from the camera as well, with the audio part of the same two USB
data lines.
I'm no expert in this and trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Webcam board voltage is the most critical aspect, but I'd like to know
if there's an online resource somewhere listing what integrated models
are suitable for the job and what the particulars are per model (HD or
not, audio output, etc).  So far, I have not had luck finding beyond
"generic" generalized information so, if anyone can suggest a source,
please share.  I need to get a workable system up and running by the end
of this week. I would be using the hacked webcam on either Win 10 or
Ubuntu as I run dual boot systems.
Thank you in advance.
========
Plenty of low cost USB webcams with microphone available from Banggood
,Aliexpress and Wish but delivery might take 2 -3 weeks .
Suggest to get one with a wide angle lense.
example:
https://www.wish.com/search/webcam%20usb%20with%20microphone

Frank in County Wicklow -Ireland
Mike Scott
2020-09-15 08:16:29 UTC
Permalink
On 14/09/2020 15:32, wicklowham wrote:
....
Post by wicklowham
Plenty of low cost USB webcams with microphone available from Banggood
,Aliexpress and Wish  but delivery might take 2 -3 weeks .
Suggest to get one with a wide angle lense.
https://www.wish.com/search/webcam%20usb%20with%20microphone
What a strange website: wants me to sign up and log in just for a look
round to see what they're offering.
--
Mike Scott
Harlow, England
Drake L Legg
2020-09-15 17:01:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Scott
....
Post by wicklowham
Plenty of low cost USB webcams with microphone available from Banggood
,Aliexpress and Wish  but delivery might take 2 -3 weeks .
Suggest to get one with a wide angle lense.
https://www.wish.com/search/webcam%20usb%20with%20microphone
What a strange website: wants me to sign up and log in just for a look
round to see what they're offering.
While I appreciated the response here, I ran into the same thing when
I tried visiting there. I also run NoScript and it blocked a whole
bunch of stuff. There's probably a way around it, but no time for that.
Paul
2020-09-14 18:15:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Drake L Legg
Due to budget constraints, current webcam shortages, and an upcoming
pressing need, I am considering acquiring one or more "integrated"
webcams presumably from eBay and elsewhere and attempting to modify it
by adding a USB cable so I can use with my current system. I have
already seen plenty of tutorials and videos on the modifications, and
the process looks simple enough with good results if one keeps in mind
whether or not a voltage drop is needed for webcam power as apparently
some use 3V and not 5V USB, and also taking necessary static and
soldering precautions. However, there's one important thing that seems
to be missing with the online information: precisely which webcam models
are suitable-- especially, formerly integrated boards that would offer
at least 720p resolution as well as audio output along the same USB data
lines.
As an initial experiment, I extracted an integrated webcam from an old,
unused no longer functioning HP DV5 laptop. After a bit of trial and
error, using a multimeter, as well as referencing online information, I
was able to adapt it to USB and it is currently working on my system.
However, it is not HD and the audio had a digital output separate from
the four wire USB output. I was unable to adapt its audio, so ended up
having to use a separate electret mic plugged into the desktop. This,
although workable, is not desired and I would like to have the audio
coming from the camera as well, with the audio part of the same two USB
data lines.
I'm no expert in this and trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Webcam board voltage is the most critical aspect, but I'd like to know
if there's an online resource somewhere listing what integrated models
are suitable for the job and what the particulars are per model (HD or
not, audio output, etc). So far, I have not had luck finding beyond
"generic" generalized information so, if anyone can suggest a source,
please share. I need to get a workable system up and running by the end
of this week. I would be using the hacked webcam on either Win 10 or
Ubuntu as I run dual boot systems.
Thank you in advance.
This is what Toms is promoting today.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/aukey-1080p-webcam-sale

Find another website with better review photos.

*******

Laptop webcams are a lottery, in terms of knowing what you're getting.
A laptop production run can use more than one supplier of webcam,
so maybe some of the laptops got a Venus and the others got
something else. It would be pretty hard to find a web review
for a laptop, then go hunting for the webcam as an Ebay item,
and actually get what was reviewed. You don't know what
you will be getting.

Paul
Drake L Legg
2020-09-15 17:13:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by Drake L Legg
Due to budget constraints, current webcam shortages, and an upcoming
pressing need, I am considering acquiring one or more "integrated"
webcams presumably from eBay and elsewhere and attempting to modify it
by adding a USB cable so I can use with my current system.  I have
already seen plenty of tutorials and videos on the modifications, and
the process looks simple enough with good results if one keeps in mind
whether or not a voltage drop is needed for webcam power as apparently
some use 3V and not 5V USB, and also taking necessary static and
soldering precautions.  However, there's one important thing that
seems to be missing with the online information: precisely which
webcam models are suitable-- especially, formerly integrated boards
that would offer at least 720p resolution as well as audio output
along the same USB data lines.
As an initial experiment, I extracted an integrated webcam from an
old, unused no longer functioning HP DV5 laptop.  After a bit of trial
and error, using a multimeter, as well as referencing online
information, I was able to adapt it to USB and it is currently working
on my system. However, it is not HD and the audio had a digital output
separate from the four wire USB output.  I was unable to adapt its
audio, so ended up having to use a separate electret mic plugged into
the desktop.  This, although workable, is not desired and I would like
to have the audio coming from the camera as well, with the audio part
of the same two USB data lines.
I'm no expert in this and trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Webcam board voltage is the most critical aspect, but I'd like to know
if there's an online resource somewhere listing what integrated models
are suitable for the job and what the particulars are per model (HD or
not, audio output, etc).  So far, I have not had luck finding beyond
"generic" generalized information so, if anyone can suggest a source,
please share.  I need to get a workable system up and running by the
end of this week. I would be using the hacked webcam on either Win 10
or Ubuntu as I run dual boot systems.
Thank you in advance.
This is what Toms is promoting today.
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/aukey-1080p-webcam-sale
Find another website with better review photos.
*******
Laptop webcams are a lottery, in terms of knowing what you're getting.
A laptop production run can use more than one supplier of webcam,
so maybe some of the laptops got a Venus and the others got
something else. It would be pretty hard to find a web review
for a laptop, then go hunting for the webcam as an Ebay item,
and actually get what was reviewed. You don't know what
you will be getting.
   Paul
Two less than $5 arrived yesterday and, after unpacking, I placed them
both into antistatic bags for storage. I'm not going to pursue this any
further for now. The one I extracted from the HP DV5 works. It's not
HD (640x480 max), but it seems after researching that most of the
extracted ones are. At some point, if my situation warrants it, I'll
just buy an HD one.

I want to thank you for responding to this over on the Win10 forum as
well. The Logitech 4K you mentioned, I decided to click on the link
expecting the price to be astronomical, but I was surprised that it
wasn't much more really than a good HD webcam. I actually *do* have a
Logitech 920, but I modified it about three years ago for astronomical
purposes. The modification was pretty extensive, basically ditching the
body and lens for an adapter that would fit my telescopes. Speaking of
that give me an idea that I am now going to try pursuing. Anyway, if my
idea doesn't pan out, I may be able do "de-modify" it enough to be
useful for web purposes once again. It took some spectacular HD videos
of the moon.

As reviewers often note, just about any webcam out there will never
match other video devices. Another option I have considered it using my
DSLR. People are doing it, but Canon basically dominates the market and
I have an old Pentax KX. It was difficult enough to find tethering
software to get RAWs to appear and be saved on the laptop and I doubt
there'd be anything in Ubuntu to support a live feed.

Drake

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