Salvaging and Reusing an Old Laptop Camera to USB Camera

Introduction: Salvaging and Reusing an Old Laptop Camera to USB Camera

About: I am a software Engineer with a great enthusiasm to build things and reuse anything that could be.

This tutorial gives you instructions on how to reuse an old laptop camera as a USB Webcam. I salvaged this webcam from the old Acer Laptop I had which was 10+ years old and dead for at least 8 years. You can check my other tutorials on how I reuse other things in the laptop from the below links.

Re-Purposing-Your-Old-Laptop-Charger

Convert-Your-Laptop-LCD-to-External-Monitor

Web Cam Specifications:

The webcam that my old laptop had is a Camellia CNO314-0VO3 identified from the labels on the circuit board. This information can be used to get the drivers online for windows/linux based on the requirement.

Step 1: Connections

This is a pretty simple task. The webcam module I had 5 wires coming out of the module. Just follow the circuit connection drawing in the images section.

Dont forget to use 2 1N4001 Diodes in series just as shown in the drawing. I tried without these diodes initially and the system showed as "USB Unrecognized" error. And don't ask me why I used the diodes as even I just followed what was shown in the drawing :P

For USB extension I used a mobile USB charger cable, stripped of the micro USB connector from the wire and exposed all 4 wires. Carefully strip the wires and solder them to the appropriate wires and insulate them so that no 2 wires get short.

Once the soldering is done I just used a black insulation tape to put all wire together. I am still planning on making a casing for the circuit board along with some clips to attach.

Step 2: Worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just plugged it into my current laptop and since I have ready drivers already installed, webcam is detected.

I used MyCam software downloaded online to take pictures and video from the USB Webcam.

Here are some pictures from the webcam and the WebCam itself.

Please post your comments and reviews and help me improve.

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    7 Comments

    0
    narvorp
    narvorp

    3 years ago

    Nice ! Going to do this. (BTW I think the two diodes are there to bring the voltage closer to 3.3V. It is a standard voltage for some electronic components. With two 1N4001 you have 5V - 2x1V = 3.0V, which may leave the voltage more acceptable for the camera).

    0
    FredericL28
    FredericL28

    Reply 1 year ago

    How about using a resistor instead?

    0
    narvorp
    narvorp

    Reply 1 year ago

    Well the point of the diode is that their voltage does not depend of the current going through it. So regardless of the current used by the camera, the voltage will stay the same. It won't be the case with a resistor. (The resistor voltage is proportional to the current, so the more the camera will try to "pump current", the more the resistor voltage will increase, and the camera voltage decrease).

    0
    santu.sanucupid19
    santu.sanucupid19

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you Narvorp for the explanation. How did I miss that?

    0
    GordonW49
    GordonW49

    1 year ago

    Where can I find salvaged old laptop webcams for sale? I find all kinds of external webcams, but I am looking for the ones that have been salvaged from the insides of the old laptops.

    0
    Jiyaiham
    Jiyaiham

    Reply 1 year ago

    You can search on ebay laptop built in webcam

    0
    -Skar-
    -Skar-

    4 years ago

    Awesome!
    Got one lying around - definetly going to do this! Thanks for showing up this is so very easy.