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Salvaging a webcam

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Hello everybody,

I found an old webcam like this http://pcdrivers.it/photos/L/o/g/LogitechQuick-Cam-USB-Logitech-1-pic.jpg
I don't really need it and AFAIK it is not even compatible with Win7. I was thinking to salvage the camera itself and use it to so some random stuff. If I do that how can I interface to the camera? What kind of circuitry do I need? Can anybody point me toward a good article or book?
If it can help you there's not much on the board (I had a REALLY quick look), just the camera, a QFP and some discrete components.

Thanks for the help

It will all depend on the image sensor and the circuitry in the webcam. Have a look and see what chips are used in there to begin with and see if there is an interface other than the USB you can use; SPI, I2C, serial, RGB etc.
I've got an image sensor and it uses 8bit bus with the image data and a number of lines for synchronisation/frame markers etc.
I would have a look and see what's currently being used and see if that can be adapted and if not you can use a different chip that accepts the same signals.

Or use a chip with USB host and write a driver for it :)

I think I have a similar one in some junk box. If I remember correctly it worked out of the box under Linux. Therefore I think its protocol is not a great mystery.

made an attempt to interface a webcam like this to a mcu or at least output a composite/s-vide/serial data. attempt unsuccessful :(

It might work as-is on Linux. Then remove the IR filter and try some IR photography experiments.


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