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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 (344 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 (432 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 (494 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 (396 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 (366 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 (425 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 (341 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 (313 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 (298 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 (327 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 (300 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 (323 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 (373 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 (315 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 (489 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 (353 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 (462 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 (476 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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