Introduction: Reuse Old Laptop Webcam

Picture of Reuse Old Laptop Webcam

I had an old, not working laptop, and I wanted to reuse as much parts as possible. So I came to the idea to try to use the webcam.

This instructable is only possible with a webcam connected via a usb connection. The laptop I had was an Acer Aspire 7520G with an Acer Crystal Eye webcam.

NOTE: I do not take responsibility for anything you do / happens to you or your hardware!

Step 1: Get the Webcam

Picture of Get the Webcam

Open the laptop screen like here: (step 1-5).

!!! Watch out for hidden screws !!!

After that, unscrew the webcam. The wires of the webcam probably join the LVDS cable from the LCD. You have to take them apart.

Step 2: Identify the Wires

Picture of Identify the Wires

Identify the wires. With my webcam, it was:

  • +5v: black
  • Data+: red
  • Data-: brown
  • Ground: Unshielded (metal color)

Your laptop probably has different wire colors. You can google your webcams serial number, or that of the motherboard of your laptop.

I connected the webcam to a portable phone charger first to see if anything exploded/fried :), and wanted to check with a voltmeter wich cable was D+ and D-, but there was no signal coming from the webcam, so i guessed the red wire was D+, and so brown D- (red and brown wire were twisted). I do not guarantee it is the same with your webcam, and take no responsibility for anything you do / happens to you or your hardware!

It is also possible that your webcam is not connected via a usb connection. If so, you can't use your webcam for this instructable.

I get many comments of people asking how they should connect their webcam. I don't know how either

Step 3: Connect Your Webcam

Picture of Connect Your Webcam

Get a USB A cable (Like in the image) and cut it in the right length. Remove the plastic isolation, the unshielded wires, and the aluminium wrapper at the end you just cut. Remove a small piece of the red, black, green and white isolation, so you have bare wire. Connect the right wires from the usb cable with the webcam cables. In my case it was:

  • Red - black
  • Green - red
  • White - brown
  • Black - unshielded wire
  • (USB) - (Webcam)

!!! DON'T let the different wires touch each other !!!

Step 4: Test Your Webcam

Picture of Test Your Webcam

Connect the usb cable to your pc/laptop, and test if it is working ;)

-- PS: sorry for my english, I'm dutch.


jaoroca made it! (author)2017-07-23

Ok I made it work, this has been very helpful, for the ones out there, my camera is cmn5746 but it had 5 cables, the twisted ones were data +/- (just swap 'em if you need cuz both look tan/red). White is 5v and black is ground, the other one I thinks is part of a mic o something.

jaoroca (author)jaoroca2017-10-03

Somebody asked me for a more detailed view and explanation so here it is:

black from camera = ground/black from USB cable

grey from camera = red from USB

brown from camera = do not connect

Twisted tan from camera = green USB

twisted white from camera = white USB

good luck!

AIR WORLDP made it! (author)2017-07-28

My Old webcam dell

Green -----------

White -----------

Black -----------




Jcbanner made it! (author)2017-07-19

I finally got around to finishing a body for my new camera. I used a flex cable from a broken reading light to thread the cable through so I can position and pose the camera witch is mounted to a bit of tubing and held in place with heat-shrink tubing.
The camera I used was from a HP Pavilion (camera model CNMU183ASA)

USB cable ----Camera wiring

Red-------------Orange (looks tan to me) ---V+
-------------------Red - Unused------------------Mic?
-------------------Brown - Unused---------------Mic?

cardboarddude (author)2015-04-20

I get a message that says an unkown device successfully installed...

Jcbanner (author)cardboarddude2017-07-09

I got that message when I had the data wires reversed. anyone else getting this same error message, try switching the data wires.

Prasannak33 (author)2017-01-09

Hello Frederic,

My webcam Model is CNMU183ASA from my old HP Pavilion dm4.

You can see in the picture the pin and color







For finding the GND I tested with multimeter on big non-isolated area in backside.

To find out the VCC. I connected the remaining 3 pins but it didn't work.

It was showing unknown device(I switched the green and white wires too). No USE.

Any suggestions?

Jcbanner (author)Prasannak332017-07-09

I'm using this same model webcam (CNMU183ASA) I got it to work on a laptop running Windows 10.

USB cable ----Camera wiring
Red-------------Orange (looks tan to me)
-------------------Red - Unused
-------------------Brown - Unused

For the VCC (V+) it seems that Orange and Brown might be interchangeable, but I have not fully tested that yet.

Now I want to see if I can get the mic to work.

MathieuB34 made it! (author)2016-12-20

Hi, I disassembled my old laptop about one year ago and today, I decided to reuse the lcd display and the webcam. I followed your instructable and it worked like a charm. The colors of the wires of my camera are not the same as yours, but since it's the same connector, it was easy to correctly do the wiring.

I also found on eBay a lcd driver to turn an old laptop lcd into a monitor and you can see on the picture that everything works well. Many thanks!

CatalinD15 (author)MathieuB342017-06-28

Looks great! Good job! Can you please specify where did you get the instructions on LCD reuse?

JavierB6 (author)2015-06-09

I work for cn0314-0v03 USB webcam, add 2 resistors to the 5+ cable as you indicated the image

skowerr (author)JavierB62017-04-21

why do you need these 2 diodes? to reduce the voltage to 3,3v?

VladimirC11 (author)JavierB62017-01-22

Thanks man! I have the same webcam

Funktioniert (author)JavierB62015-09-29

Diode not resistor ;)

TechnologyToPetty (author)2017-02-22

I have a 15-r029wm Internal Webcam but I cant find anything about wiring it to a USB can someone help? The wire colors are red, black, brown, orange, green, yellow and a silver ground wire but the black and brown were twisted together any ideas?

Nocs_ (author)2017-02-09

Good one FredericM,

It was very easy to do it also with a 6 pin webcam module with a built in microphone.

The camera worked fine and without drivers too.

The only problem is that the 2 extra microphone pins (mclk and mdata) from the module cant be recognized and i cant find anything around the net on how to connect them.

I tried every possible connection with the usb cables i even tried to connect the microphone as is without the camera into mic jack in of my laptop, nothing came out yet only in the line-in jack something tries to work but is too noisy.

Did anyone solve the issue of the build in microphone on a intergrated webcam module when he converted to an external usb or does it need more things and not only a cable connection ?

Renauld (author)2016-12-27

Thanks for your instructable. It gave me confidence to go on with a webcam from a Compaq (HP) 6735s (found near a trash bin). It works like a charm. Even the colour of the wires are standard red, black, white green. Poor resolution 640x489. Windows 7 recognized it immediatly. The manufacturer is Chicony model GKF7063-A2.

Noro13 (author)2016-11-26

Hi, I have an old laptop microphone and I would like to connect it to USB somehow, if its possible, to the other pc. I am writing it here because I couldn't find my issue anywhere on the internet. does you/ or anyone else know how could i do it? MICROPHONE model PM156 590104MO from a hp laptop

DanielC225 (author)2016-10-22

i need help. mine is from hp g61. camera model is QCM03J and i cant find anything on google. the colors are: red and brown twisted together,orange,yellow and green. the yellow and green appear ton have direct continuity to the screw holes. the yellow and green also appear to have direct continuity to each other

slash51 (author)2015-04-09

This is the image from an Asus webcam with 8 wires. The wire order from the board is 1white, 2 3 blue green twisted, 4 yellow, 5 6 orange red twisted, 7 8 brown black twisted. White is ground, blue and green are data, and yellow is VCC 5volts.

RockS13 (author)slash512016-10-18

yes finally it worked for me to on a camera from asus eee pc 1001px now to make the mic to work also .

turbochardged (author)2016-08-24

Most webcams are 3.3v if you attempt to run them on 5v you will damage the unit. The twisted pair is always usb D+D-,

leizar (author)2016-07-30

omg it cant be that easy!!!! :O

Elunebu1234 (author)2016-06-25

I have 5 wires red, black, brown, green and grey I can't seem to find it on google!! Can anyone help??

electronic_artist_ (author)2016-06-02

these are images of my module. please tell which r for what?
i think 2 for power, 2 for camera,2for mic. but which one?

cybertype2000 made it! (author)2016-04-14

Luckily for me, my laptop cam from Compaq 610 had markings of which all wire goes where. Just had to connect the right wire to the one from USB, and voila!!

Hii i have a hp laptop web cam can u help me to wire them to usb?
They r total 6 wires comming out of web cam.
2 wires r twisted they r light blue and red.
Then they r another light blue and red wire they r of the same colour again and
Then yellow and green wire.
Help me out.

well buddy, it's kinda difficult to tell these things by colours. May be if could post a pic, it would help.

Earth'sW made it! (author)2016-03-29

so which one should I connect to what.

Left is usb

Right is webcam

cybertype2000 made it! (author)Earth'sW2016-04-14

dude, first of all use a multimeter to find out which wire on your USB is which colour. note it down somewhere. Then, check the reverse of your webcam. It must be mentioned as to which wire is which. Just pair the right wires. It is a damn easy job. here's your ready reckoner.

Andrew-H made it! (author)Earth'sW2016-04-02

I just did this. Looking at your connector on your webcam and working left to right connect the USB as green, white, red, black. If it installs on your pc as an unknown device and doesn't work you likely switched the video + and video -. Fix that and it should work.

DiegoF42 made it! (author)2016-03-09

I have used a LE33 to convert 5v to 3.3v. It works very well.

tks all.

AikonM made it! (author)2016-01-20

My camera have 5pins and 19n29m6ssb3 caption on backside (i cann't found manual).

I use next tips to defined pins:

1. To detect ground : connect through mulitmeter any pin and big non-isolated area on backside.

2. Definitly, twisted wires are D+ and D-. They must be connected to green and brown wires on usb cable.

I don't know how to distinguish 3.3V camera from 5V. You can always use double sequenced diod 1N1004 (or same) on red-usb-wire for safety attemp.

P.S. My camera pins are:

black - 5V (usb-red)

grey - D- (usb-white)

red - D+ (usb-green)

yellow and brown - GROUND (usb-black)

5TwentyNine made it! (author)2016-01-06

Please Help, I have an hp webcam from a hp g42 laptop. It has black, silver, red, orange, and yellow wires. The black and silver are twisted. I can not figure out the wiring on this thing. Please help.

AluguelA (author)2015-12-11

Hi all,

My cam is from pavillon HP - CMN5746

The USB is:





The camera acording to is:






however, this connection does not work

My linux informs:

[ 7400.148134] usb 2-2: new low-speed USB device number 2 using uhci_hcd

[ 7400.272146] usb 2-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71

[ 7400.500148] usb 2-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71

[ 7400.716144] usb 2-2: new low-speed USB device number 3 using uhci_hcd

[ 7400.840146] usb 2-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71

[ 7401.068156] usb 2-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71

[ 7401.284153] usb 2-2: new low-speed USB device number 4 using uhci_hcd

[ 7401.700103] usb 2-2: device not accepting address 4, error -71

[ 7401.812164] usb 2-2: new low-speed USB device number 5 using uhci_hcd

[ 7402.228067] usb 2-2: device not accepting address 5, error -71

[ 7402.228140] usb usb2-port2: unable to enumerate USB device

Please, someone can help me?

FredericM (author)AluguelA2015-12-17

Maybe you swapped the D+ and D- lines? So 1 becomes 0 and 0 becomes 1 or something like that so linux cant detect what kind of device it is.

AluguelA (author)FredericM2015-12-17

Yes. I think my computer is not able to identify the device. Could someone suggest kernel linux and driver to install?

Sn0rk18 (author)2015-12-01

Do i need to use those diodes ?

Gelfling6 (author)Sn0rk182015-12-17

I believe the reason he put those in the +5V line, is some cameras run a 3.3V, thus, 5.0V COULD potentially fry it. the diodes act as kind of a resistor, lowering the voltage.. I've seen it done with Bluetooth modules.

Gelfling6 (author)2015-12-17

I think I've got a REAL Wowser of a camera module! It came out of a CTL 2Go Netbook (can't remember the model# of the PC, long gone.) But.. I can't seem to find the wiring.. It has 6 wires, instead of 5, 09P2SF117A. (I've found a 09P2SF119, but that's only 5-pin, NOT the same animal!).. This module also includes the Condenser Mic. I found the part# after removing the foil covering over the module. Can anyone find some specs on this, and point me in the direction? Would appreciate it!

anandhs1996 (author)2015-11-27

this camera is lenovo 3000 have five colour blue,yellow,orenge,red,black.

how to connect to usb cable

anjoze (author)2015-08-19

I've tested 3 webcams:

1- Asus A7 1.3Mp
2- Chicony 001-46122L-A01 (chipset SN9C2)
3- CNF7017

and the connections are the same for all:

USB --> LD1117A --> WEBCAM

RED --> VCC_IN ------ VCC_OUT(3.3V) ----> 1

BLACK --> GND ----------- GND ----------------> 5

D+ -----------------------------------------------------> 2
D- ------------------------------------------------------> 3

anjoze made it! (author)anjoze2015-10-09

One example

jsiot made it! (author)2015-10-03

Thanks for the instruction. It works for me with Chicony CMN 5733

AsadA13 made it! (author)2015-08-27

Dell mini 1012 Webcam model number:CN-0V8FJV

there is six cable. help me out

JurajP3 (author)2015-08-18

Hey guys can u help me with that one? everyone have greed or ect. colors but look at mine :/ please help me :X

tuur.vanboxtel (author)2015-06-22

Hi i need help! my webcam wires: are black orange red and metal color,

metal color and red color were twisted but i dont know if the metal color is unshielded because it doesnt look like it is. my usb cable wires are: red green white black.

i dont know what wire goes on what wire. please help! sorry for my english im also dutch :)

sellena (author)2015-06-17

Hi to everybody,

I have a HP pavilion dv7with 6 cables (see image)! I think there are two for the mic but I don't have idea about the other! Somebody could help me?

Thank you

sergio samuelg (author)2015-06-17

Hi guys, I have an Acer Aspire E1 series Model Z5WE3 and I don know how to wire the cables, can you please help me?

edsonl (author)2015-05-26

hi my webcam is 6-88-m5e4c-4921
Unshielded (metal color)

brown and green were twisted
how is 5v D- D+ gnd?

this a image:

About This Instructable




Bio: Studying Mechatronics Engineering in the Netherlands
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