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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod
      #4730676 - 08/04/11 09:52 PM Attachment (375 downloads)

I recently aquired a MS Lifecam Cinema and Studio. I'm hoping the interior circuity is pretty similar though there are some general differences between the two models. The first thing I noticed when comparing the packages is that the Studio's USB cable seems to tavel down through the mount as opposed to the Cinema where the cable exits through the back of the camera body. Additionaly, the Studiois physically larger than the Cinema. This makes sense given that the Studio has a larger 1080p sensor capable of 8.0 megapixel stills while the 1/4" OmniVision OV10131 in the 720p Cinema stills are 5.0 megapixels. Techincal information for the Lifecam Cinema can be found at:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/d/c/2dc5a37c-bb49-4014-970f-08d99aa4d745/TDS_LifeCamCinema_0909A.pdf

I'm having trouble finding specific information on the sensor (other than the information I've just provided) for the Studio. If anyone has any technical details on it I'd greatly appreciate it.

My plan right now is to simply accomplish and post a side-by-side mod of both webcams based off of Gary Honis's MS Lifecam Cinema Mod:

http://ghonis2.ho8.com/lifecam/lifecam1.html

Of course any additional information, techniques, lessons learned, etc on modding either camera is welcomed and appreciated.

Cheers!

-Nick

My Friendly Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing and fairly positive that this completely voids the warranty for the equipment mentioned on this thread. I'm not even sure what I'm doing will work until I'm done with this project so proceed at your own risk. Thanks and enjoy!


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730685 - 08/04/11 09:56 PM Attachment (465 downloads)

I will be mounting each of the webcams (lifecams?) in Blue Fireball 1.25" Eyepiece 2.2" Extension Tubes. While the exterior appearance for DIY projects of this nature aren't very important I do like that the extension tubes do not carry any company logos or anything of that nature and should provide an attractive body for the webcams to function in. Additionally, the front of the extension tubes are threaded for standard 1.25" filters.

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charles1317
Open Mouth, Insert Foot
*****

Reged: 03/05/10

Loc: Olympia, Wa USA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730810 - 08/04/11 11:13 PM

Modding the Cinema is a snap. I did one about 10 months ago and have been very happy with the results. I little electrical tap around the barrel of the camera and it fits perfectly in a 1 1/4" extension. I've captured some respectable images of the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn with it.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: charles1317]
      #4730895 - 08/05/11 12:17 AM Attachment (537 downloads)

The interior of the webcams are substantially different but not enough that I can't find my way around. Gary's instructions for the Cinema are exceptional however I think removing the white connector in step 8 makes loosening the screw in step 6 substantially easier.

Removing the base from each webcam is straight forward with the only difference being that the Cinema has a single screw while the Studio has 3.

For the studio webcam... the back pops off in a similar manner but there is a hole on the bottom of the webcam with a small block on the inside that you can push against so that it is removed cleanly.


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730902 - 08/05/11 12:20 AM Attachment (439 downloads)

The front plate is much harder to remove from the front of the Studio than the Cinema thanks to a tighter fit, larger contact surface area and some double sided tape inside... Fine a convenient area to insert the screw driver until it pops out.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730904 - 08/05/11 12:22 AM Attachment (402 downloads)

Peel back the double sided tape and remove both the screws.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730914 - 08/05/11 12:28 AM Attachment (458 downloads)

At this point I became stumped b/c I couldn't see any screws to remove the outer shell. I decided to try to pry off the mic shield in hopes of finding something and to my surprise when I pried from the middle the shield popped up and the black aft section slide back!

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730918 - 08/05/11 12:30 AM Attachment (373 downloads)

Remove the white connector from the socket to remove the mic assembly.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730933 - 08/05/11 12:35 AM Attachment (341 downloads)

I then tried to pry up the front silver button with the image of the phone and world on it and the like the back, the front portion of the housing slide off the front.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730935 - 08/05/11 12:37 AM Attachment (322 downloads)

When looking from the top, there are 4 screws, one in each corner. Remove them.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730942 - 08/05/11 12:42 AM Attachment (356 downloads)

Note that the circuit board appears to be grounded to the mic shield and it stays attached. The circuit board and camera assembly should be able to be lifted out of the bottom of the housing.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730945 - 08/05/11 12:45 AM Attachment (322 downloads)

Remove the white plug from its socket.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730957 - 08/05/11 12:49 AM Attachment (345 downloads)

At this point I became stumped on how to get the USB out from the bottom of the mount. I contemplated cutting the plastic. After 15 minutes of messing with the plastic I still couldn't figure it out.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730980 - 08/05/11 01:04 AM Attachment (401 downloads)

With the plug removed from the white socket there was only a single black wire connecting the USB cable to the circuit board. Time to break out the soldering iron. I'm assuming this is also a grounding point. Once the wire was freed from the circuit board I was able to pull the end of the USB cable through the base of the webcam housing. There is one retaining ring that the white plug cannot slide through but I think I'm just going to leave it on the USB cable and stuff it in the eyepiece extender once I'm finished.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4730985 - 08/05/11 01:16 AM Attachment (344 downloads)

For the top housing of the Studio webcam you need to remove an interior screw in order to remove the silver button with the phone and globe on it.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4731002 - 08/05/11 01:31 AM Attachment (527 downloads)

We can now make a comparison of the Studio and Cinema circuit boards. In this photo we have the Studio on the left and the Cinema on the right.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4731003 - 08/05/11 01:35 AM Attachment (386 downloads)

If you rotate the Cinema 90 deg you'll find that the autofocus housing is virtually identical between the two webcams and I will be desoldering the two leads IAW step 20 of Gary's Cinema Mod instructions.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4731008 - 08/05/11 01:39 AM Attachment (493 downloads)

So at this point I'm on pause as I want to be able to quickly enclose the circuit board in the extension tubes and seal them with the UV/IR cut filter as soon as possible after exposing the sensor. I just purchased the filters from astronomics.com and they're not scheduled to arrive for another day and a half.

In the mean time... just looking at the circuit boards, the vertical board to which the sensor is fixed appears to be able to separated from the main circuit board. I'm curious if anyone who is more circuit savvy knows if its possible to get a cable that would allow me to remotely mount the circuit board away from the sensor (reduce any EMF induced noise?). The Studio appears to only have 20 pins while the Cinema has 30. In addition, the Studio has the black ribbon cable on the left which seems to have a crisscrossed copper mesh and I'm hesitant to mess with it much.


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4731013 - 08/05/11 01:44 AM

While I'm waiting on FedEx... any thoughts, comments, questions, revelations or criticisms are welcomed and encouraged.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736165 - 08/08/11 12:07 AM Attachment (509 downloads)

Finally, the rest of the parts arrived yesterday and was able to finish both mods.

The mounting ring on the bottom half of the Studio's housing needs to be removed.


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736171 - 08/08/11 12:09 AM Attachment (432 downloads)

A finetooth hobby saw made quick work of it.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736183 - 08/08/11 12:15 AM Attachment (456 downloads)

In order to remove the autofocus assembly de-solder the two leads per the Cinema instructions by Gary Honis (the two assemblies are nearly identical). Unlike the Cinema, the Studio needs to have the horizontal circuit board and the vertical circuit board (the one with the sensor) to be separate in order to access the screws. Thankfully they attach by a simple socket connection but be careful you don't break the ribbon cable between them.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736186 - 08/08/11 12:17 AM Attachment (688 downloads)

Size matters... so to speak... A side-by-side comparison of the sensors. The Cinema on the left and the Studio on the right. Assuming resolutions of 1280x720 (921kPx) for the Cinema and 1920x1080 (2073 kPx) for the Studio, and further assuming each pixel is approx the same size (3-microns) the Studio's chip is roughly 2.25 times larger than the Cinema's!!

Edited by AFAdrenaline (08/08/11 12:28 AM)


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736207 - 08/08/11 12:31 AM Attachment (355 downloads)

Now its time to plug the USB cable back into its socket on the circuit board as well as resolder the ground back as well.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736213 - 08/08/11 12:33 AM Attachment (388 downloads)

Same pesky blue LED as the Cinema. A few layers of flat black model enamel blocks it all out.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736219 - 08/08/11 12:36 AM Attachment (347 downloads)

The rubber cover over the mic will slip right off. If you don't do this it can be hard to fit the mic back within the cylindrical confines of the housing. Plug the mic back into its appropriate socket in the circuit board.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736223 - 08/08/11 12:39 AM Attachment (389 downloads)

On the top half of the housing assembly there is a small vertical plate that was located between the mic and the button. It extends above the surface of the cylinder and should be removed (it will help keep the camera centered in the extension tube).

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736224 - 08/08/11 12:39 AM Attachment (370 downloads)

... and removed.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736238 - 08/08/11 12:46 AM Attachment (480 downloads)

At this point simply reinsert the circuit board back into the bottom half of the housing, mate it to the top and reinstall the 4 screws holding each half together. At this point mounting the camera into the extension tube is the same for both the Cinema and the Studio.

I wrapped each cylindrical housing in 1/4 in thick foam used in remote control airplanes to cushion the electronics... It can be found in most hobby stores and has an airy, rubbery feel to it. I measured a piece so that the ends would meet up evenly with no overlap so that the chip would stay centered in the tube. I then applied a single layer of duck tape to hold the foam in place.


(Cinema chip shown in this pic)


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736245 - 08/08/11 12:50 AM Attachment (410 downloads)

With the housing placed as far forward as possible in the extension tube I added a disk of the same rubberized foam to the back for more cushioning and then added a disk of foam board behind it. A hole in both for the USB cable, obviously.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736252 - 08/08/11 12:53 AM Attachment (425 downloads)

I then neatly applied duck tape to the back to hold everything in place an screwed in the UV-IR cut filter to the front of the assembly. I placed the index mark on the top to roughly indicate where the top of the CMOS sensor is.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736261 - 08/08/11 01:00 AM Attachment (593 downloads)

So here's the finished product! I did the tape slightly different on each for easy identification but I've ops tested both and they appear to be in good shape. I was able to focus sharply on terrestrial targets just fine through my AT65EDQ and thankfully it looks like I was able to keep the sensor free from contaminants! Hopefully I'll be pointing both of them at Jupiter for the first time in a couple hours through my C11... Can't wait!

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4736273 - 08/08/11 01:06 AM

So, I was having trouble installing the HuffYUV codec on my Windows 7 laptop but found a workaround on an unrelated forum online... Get to break out the good old command prompt DOS emulator! Anyways, directions are below, I tried it and it worked just fine.

Quote:

As usual, Microsoft monkeyed around with the OS so much that it's (again) messed up some very common audio/video software, drivers, utilities, etc.

But there is an easy fix!

This is how to install HuffYUV on Windows Vista 64 or Windows 7 64:

1. Download HuffYUV from somewhere -- preferably somewhere reliable, such as this site -- and then unzip/unrar it to your C:\ drive*.
2. Open up a command prompt (DOS box), while logged in with a user account that has administrative privileges.

* If you're not sure what that means, then let's try this explanation:
2a. Go to the Start menu, and go to Run or the Run box to the left of the power button (where you shut down or sleep your computer).
2b. Type in cmd and then press ctrl+shift (either side of keyboard is fine, left or right) and then press enter while still holding ctrl+shift. Don't press enter by itself or click OK.
2c. If you've done it correctly, then the little black DOS box will say "Administrator: Command Prompt" in the on-screen text.

3. Assuming your copy of Windows was installed with the standard method (C:\Windows), navigate to the SysWOW64 folder.
* In the little black DOS box, type cd c:\windows\syswow64 and then press enter.
4. Again, in the DOS box, type rundll32.exe setupapi.dll,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 0 c:\huffyuv.inf and press enter. Pay close attention to the spacing (or lack thereof). And that's a "zero" in the last half of the command, not the letter "O". There's no space around that comma. What you type has to match perfectly.
* If there are no error messages, then it has installed correctly.
* If there was an error, then you probably were not installing it with administrator privileges enabled. Re-read Step 1!

That's all you have to do.

*Experienced users can unzip/unrar it anywhere they want, but be sure to notice your path when installing it in Step 4 of the above instructions!

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-conversion/2193-cannot-install-huffyuv.html#ixzz1UPWD0Enu





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gip100
newbie


Reged: 11/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4814379 - 09/18/11 11:10 AM

And the how did the Studio Webcam come out? Is it worth the extra cash?

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: gip100]
      #4814781 - 09/18/11 03:20 PM Attachment (425 downloads)

I do enjoy using the Studio but to be fair I don't have any experience with other webcams (other than the cinema). I'm rarely using the Studio at its full resolution and generally limit myself to 800x600 in order to attain 30 fps. I'm very new to the whole astrophotography scene so I'm still learning a lot of the basics in image processing as well as achieving a precise/fine collimation on my SCT. All that being said. I do think that being able to boost my resolution up to to 1920x1080 has some great uses. I've found that achieving a fine collimation is a bit easier especially at the higher magnification levels. In addition having a larger chip size makes it slightly easier to reacquire the target when using different levels of magnification. Anyways, like I said I'm still pretty new to it all but attached are some images from the Studio. All-in-all I think the Studio webcam was only $10 more than the Cinema at the electronics store I bought it from and thus far I think it's been worth-while.

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gapurcell
member


Reged: 05/09/11

Loc: Riverside County, CA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4832694 - 09/28/11 05:40 PM

Great Guide! I just purchased the studio and am following the guide as well. Just curious though, what UV-IR cut filter would you recommend to purchase? Best bang for the buck idea is what I need

Thanks


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: gapurcell]
      #4832931 - 09/28/11 08:18 PM Attachment (609 downloads)

thanks for the positive feedback! yeah its definitely become my workhorse for planetary photography... slowly but surely i'm figuring it all out...

as for a recommendation for the UV-IR cut filter I used a an Astro-Tech UV-IR cut filter. I think it ran around $40 from astronomics.com. The passband seems pretty comparable to higher end filters you can view a graph here off of the astronomics website. I would definitely recommend it with the caviot that its a recommendation without a comparison... the ones i use are the only UV-IR cut filters I've ever tried... again, I've been happy with the results though...

the image below is a comparison of Jupiter on 10 Sept 11 the image on the left is with the UV-IR cut filter removed and the one the right is with the filter on. The images were are both the best 200 of approx 1700 frames taken. the sequences were shot approx 3 minutes apart. the top two images shows the registax output only applying wavelet filtering and rotation. the second pair is a black in white of the R and G channels which I used in Fitswork as the L channel. The bottom image is my "enhanced" version after combining RGB and then using R+G as the L-channel. I then took the RG-RGB and tried to clean up a bit in Gimp. I put "enhanced" in quotes as I feel like I'm trying to sculpt a piece of granite with a sledgehammer as opposed to a chisel. the result I think has an almost cartoonish quality too it... lol oh well... i'm sure i'll develop a lighter touch with experience. as technical as it all is, its really an art!


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gapurcell
member


Reged: 05/09/11

Loc: Riverside County, CA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4835879 - 09/30/11 12:03 PM

Thanks again for the advise! I am in the process of modifying the Studio and am waiting for a friend to do the soldering. Dont feel comfortable doing it even though I am sure its probably not that difficult Before your guide, i had a friend who modified the Studio and used a cardboard like paper to wrap around the body of the camera which would then be inserted into the barlow, but the fit was not perfect and it always moved with the slightest breeze or movement of the cable. Your mod will be great for me to use since I didnt want to spend the money on a webcam for something not stable hehe.

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: gapurcell]
      #4836754 - 09/30/11 09:14 PM Attachment (406 downloads)

Glad you found it helpful... yeah, i've been really happy with the Studio... only been doing planetary photography for a couple months now and once you start to get up the learning curve its great! i got my best images of jupiter to date last night! taken with my C11 EdgeHD and a TeleVue 2x PM... 1000 of 2000 frames stacked. Finally getting some detail in the clouds without over processing! I've got some 130 clips of Europa's transit each spaced out about a couple minutes apart... hopefully i'll get around to processing them all and getting a nice animation!

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Juiced
super member
*****

Reged: 09/15/11

Loc: Charleston, SC
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4843742 - 10/04/11 03:12 PM

Thank you for the great write up on the Lifecam Studio.

I converted mine with no apparent damage and will post any first time results soon.


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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: Juiced]
      #4844491 - 10/05/11 01:14 AM

glad you found it helpful... again, i need to thank gary honis for his tutorial on the lifecam cinema which served as an invaluable roadmap when breaking down the studio.

hope first light goes well! also feel free to post a pic of your finished camera... just like to see what people have done.


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JoeThePro
member


Reged: 11/04/09

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #4890811 - 10/31/11 07:06 PM

Is it possible to, after popping the end plates off and removing the silver case, just carefully dremel around the black plastic to access the auto focus assembly and skip all the other annoying parts?



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xsnrg
newbie


Reged: 11/01/11

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: JoeThePro]
      #4909601 - 11/10/11 11:41 PM

I just finished performing this modification on a studio. Thank you and Gary both for the effort. I had one hint I wanted to pass along, and to ask a couple questions.

First, I tried very hard to not get anything on the sensor. Yeah, we all know how that goes. It got junk on it. I did not want to mess with it, as it was still pretty good, but even the smallest of particle is a big deal when you are looking at small things projected on a small sensor.

I thought about ordering a $50 cleaning kit for my $30 webcam that has methanol based cleansers (recommended for the purpose by many photographers), but that did not seem to make much sense, so I thought about what might remove it and not leave any residue.

Black electrical tape was the answer. Gently fold it over trying not to touch the area of the fold that will contact the sensor, then dab the sensor lightly and pick up all the crud from it. The black tape I have works very well because it is only slightly sticky, and leaves no residue. Do not try to clean it with it plugged in. The sensor generates heat, and it will end up pulling the sticky off the tape and leave it on the surface of the sensor. Your mileage may vary, and this is in no way a guarantee, but it worked for me with $0 outlay as I had the roll.

The two questions.

1) I am using Linux with guvcview, which is an excellent program for webcams. Exposure on this camera seems to revert to a default setting, even after moving the slider. I am going to work with the driver team on this one to see if we can make it operate a little better. Anyone else with this experience?

2) What is a good quality IR filter that will screw into the blue fireball extender?

Thanks again, and clear skies all.

Jim


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Gary Honis
Vendor-DSLR Mods


Reged: 12/15/04

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: xsnrg]
      #4911587 - 11/12/11 09:03 AM

Hi Jim,

Congratulations on your successful LifeCam Studio mod! I only have experience with the Cinema version and haven't had the exposure reset problem you are seeing with the Studio. Have you tried uninstalling the Microsoft driver? That helped me to get other webcam control and capture softwares to work with the Lifecam as explained HERE. I don't know anything about Linux, so using it maybe microsoft drivers are not even installed or used. If you could try the Studio on a microsoft system for the problem, that should point to Linux/guvcview and rule out a hardware problem, which it probably isn't.

I like the idea of the Studio's imaging chip being twice as large as the Lifecam's chip. Would be nice to see a side-by-side test on planetary.

I use a 1.25" Baader IR blocking filter and it works well.


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Canphaz
newbie


Reged: 12/20/11

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: Gary Honis]
      #4975493 - 12/20/11 07:00 AM

Hi everyone, thanks for this interesting thread!
I've ordere a Lifecam Studio just now and will also be modding it as described above.

However, since i was curious about the specs i searched a bit and found this PDF, similar to the Lifecam Cinema's specifications:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/8/5/8854555F-8FF8-407A-8CD0-0B10D7FC4176/TDS_LifeCamStudio.pdf


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GizmoDave
sage


Reged: 12/06/09

Loc: California USA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod *DELETED* new [Re: Canphaz]
      #5030846 - 01/21/12 04:51 PM

Post deleted by GizmoDave

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GizmoDave
sage


Reged: 12/06/09

Loc: California USA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: GizmoDave]
      #5034563 - 01/23/12 08:27 PM

I got my Lifecam Studio and have the mod done just waiting on the 2" extender to use for the housing. Mine works without the microphone, with the LED permanently disabled, and the shielded microphone guard removed. Less stuff to pack back into the housing.
Now to get the software sorted out.

Edited by GizmoDave (01/24/12 03:46 PM)


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Tanchistu
member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: JoeThePro]
      #5152085 - 04/01/12 05:37 PM

You don't need to cut anything. Just open the front cover and remove the lens, leave the autofocus system in place. It will even offer some kind of protection to your sensor.

I found out too late.

Edited by Tanchistu (04/01/12 05:44 PM)


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JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: Tanchistu]
      #5209583 - 05/06/12 11:03 PM

I know this is an older thread, but i'm waiting on a lifecam studio and the Blue Fireball 1.25" Eyepiece 2.2" Extension Tube... i ran across what seems to be the right software to use called VirtualDub .. if anyone is looking for it

clear skies


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JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: JoeM101]
      #5233808 - 05/22/12 10:11 AM

Has anyone tried doing DSO's with this setup? I modded a studio myself and i was wondering how to get around the exposure limit. There doesn't seem to be a long exposure mod out there for this cam... any thoughts / links / ideas?

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AFAdrenaline
sage


Reged: 12/08/10

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: JoeM101]
      #5233978 - 05/22/12 12:37 PM

just for fun i tried this on m42 last fall... more or less worthless in this regard from what i was able to try... not that I tried that hard. of course if anyone tries and has any luck i'd be thrilled to hear about it.

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JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #5234954 - 05/22/12 11:21 PM

The fact the camera is limited to 1 sec exposures makes all the difference. If there were a mod available or maybe even a software solution to take quarter frames or something like that, there may be hope. I know of a mod i'm sure people have heard of, it's one conceived by a chap named Steve Chambers for a couple of ccd cams like the toUcam, being that this camera has a CMOS chip maybe the reason no one has done it, not sure.... I think most DSLRs use a CMOS and i imagine if someone undertook the challenge and got it done, this cam could prove to be pretty good for planetary and DSO imaging.

anyhow, i have a thread on peltier cooling for this cam, one that i'm hoping to undertake as soon as i get my 15mm x 15mm peltier. I find it gets pretty hot after only a few minutes of use, so, i cut away the housing to expose the aluminum coldfinger, as shown in the images below, that connects to the back of the chip where i will be placing the peltier... so if i could get a mod for long exposure combined with the peltier cooler, well... here's dreaming




notice the teflon tape around the front of the housing... this works great, it allows me to simply screw it into the adapter for a tight fit, centering the unit precisely every time


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enklined
member


Reged: 01/27/12

Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: Tanchistu]
      #5283983 - 06/22/12 02:31 PM

Quote:

You don't need to cut anything. Just open the front cover and remove the lens, leave the autofocus system in place. It will even offer some kind of protection to your sensor.

I found out too late.




Any truth to this?

Also, is this the 1.25" extension tubes you used, AFAdrenaline? http://agenaastro.com/blue-fireball-1-25-extension-tube-2-2-extension.html


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GpB311
sage


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: enklined]
      #5358104 - 08/08/12 02:02 PM

I only have an orion shorty barlow and will be looking at televue powermates since it seems a number of people use those for this. Is 2x the best choice or can higher powers be used?

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ROursamajor
member


Reged: 09/16/12

Loc: Braila, Romania
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: GpB311]
      #5676988 - 02/13/13 03:11 AM

Hi! I modified a Lifecam 6000HD and I want to buy another Lifecam. Which one is better for astro purposes between Cinema and Studio?

PS: http://www.astronomy.ro/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10384&start=15


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bigcountrysky
newbie


Reged: 02/19/14

Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: AFAdrenaline]
      #6500129 - 05/01/14 11:51 AM

Nice writeup!

Did you happen to take measurements of the sensor's physical size (ie, millimeters height x width overall) while you had the webcams open? I'm looking to modify one of these with a wide-field lens, and I can't find the sensor size specs anywhere--I need that last bit of info to calculate angle of view. =/

Thanks!


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ROursamajor
member


Reged: 09/16/12

Loc: Braila, Romania
Re: MS Lifecam Studio/Cinema Side-by-side Mod new [Re: bigcountrysky]
      #6522416 - 05/13/14 07:17 AM

http://astro-forum.forumgratuit.ro/t30-webcam-uri-microsoft-lifecam-modificat...

I updated the link from above... who were expired.

No, I didn't took measurements, but you can check technical data sheets of the sensors.


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