Remove IR-filter From Microsoft's HD 3000 Webcam




Introduction: Remove IR-filter From Microsoft's HD 3000 Webcam

Just quickly wanted to share my experiences about disassembling the HD 3000. I assume you already know what function an IR filter serves and why you want to get rid of it (that's for sure not the first and not the last Instructable about modifying a webcam, it's more about letting you know it can be done with that specific model). Be aware that Auto-Focus ability will be impared, even if you adjust the lens afterwards (which is possible). I read another Instructable that suggested using an abrasive fluid to get rid of the IR reflective coating, keeping the glass itself, thus not affecting the focal length of the lens system. You can have a look, I just pried the thing out. Also I believe auto focus will always be impared by IR light because of the different focal length for the different wavelengths. No liabilty on my side, have fun! ;)

Step 1: Remove Outer Screws Hidden Next to the Foot

I only saw those screws after breaking the case open. To not make this mistake look closely left and right next to the foot mount in the case.

Step 2: Pry Open at the Upper Edge

Inside, at the upper edge of the camera case are some hooks. If you jam something thin in there (knife or small flat screwdriver) you can gently pry it open. Since you removed the screws the case should easily open.

Step 3: Fold Case Open

I didn't want to detach the microphone so I just pulled the front half of the case to the side. It is still possible to unscrew the board

Step 4: Unscrew the Board

Maybe need to be a bit firmer with these ones. Get a well-fitting screwdriver.

Step 5: Fold Board to the Side

Same goes for the USB cable as for the microphone cable. I left it attached so I had to fold the board to the side. Should still be able to access the screws.

Step 6: Unscrew the Lens

Againn get a well-fitting screwdriver. Make sure to not get any dirt/dust on the sensor. With all the cables still attached the board should be anyway in a facing-down position now.

Step 7: Get a Sharp Knife and Prepare the Edges

The IR filter is on the sensor facing side of the lens. It reflects red. Be careful: It's glass and brittle. Cut from the edges of the filter towards and through the plastic ring. This way you will have some gaps to jam your knife in an pry the IR filter out more or less in one piece.

Step 8: Pry the Filter Out

Time to get your hands dirty! Be careful with the broken glass. Be careful to not scratch the underlying lens!

Step 9: Reassemble Lens and Board

You took it apart, I assume you will be able to put the lens and the board back on. Don't close the case yet.

Step 10: Adjust the Lens

When you look at the assembled lens you will notice it looks a bit like a triangular screw. And that's what it is. Get some pliers and gently and carefully adjust the lens to make up for the changed focal length. Careful so you don't scratch the lens with the pliers. Do find the proper adjustment open a video capture app (eg. the Skype config menu or Win 10 Camera App) and look at an object a few meters behind you. You will notice that if you turn in one direction everything right in front of the camera will be very sharp, if you turn in the other direction stuff that is far away will be in focus. The autofocus can change the focus a bit. It's try and error now until you find a position that's good for your desired range.

Step 11: Close Case (or Not) and Have Fun!

Now you can assemble the case, or better leave the screw out, because you will maybe want to tinker a bit more with the lens adjustment during the next use. Once you have it figured out, you can close it. Have fun! You can explore your surroundings in infrared (trees are red) or build an Infrared lamp and have a night vision system. (I attached 9 Infrared LEDs (3 x 3 with a proper resistor) to a USB plug and can now easily use Skype in the dark.)

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    Cool. I love learning how to hack new things. Thanks for sharing.