USB Camera Re-Cabling

The bCNC doc shows how to use a USB camera for XY alignment and I want to try it out. The Box o’ USB Cameras emitted a likely candidate with a focusing lens, six (!) white LEDs, and a ball mount attached to an aggressive spring clip, but its thick USB cable included a lumpy brightness pot for the LEDs and sprouted a mic plug (apparently, it predated cheap USB audio):

USB Camera - OEM wiring

USB Camera – OEM wiring

The Box o’ USB Cables emitted a surprisingly long cable amputated from some random hunk of consumer electronics.

The LED brightness won’t need much adjustment after the first few minutes. I found a little 2 kΩ trimpot to fit the PCB holes:

USB Camera - inside - brightness pot

USB Camera – inside – brightness pot

Miracle of miracles, the dial ended up almost centered behind the original mic pore. A few minutes of gentle filing embiggened the pore and moved it over the trimpot:

USB Camera - front with brightness pot

USB Camera – front with brightness pot

Yeah, the hole may need a plug or tape to keep the dust out, but there’s an even bigger gap around the lens.

It produces a 640×480 picture with pretty much the expected quality, which should suffice for its intended purpose.

Next step: stick it somewhere on the MPCNC.


  1. #1 by Simon on 2018-02-22 - 08:24

    I am impressed by your ability to find a USB camera that will talk to anything – my Box ‘o USB Cameras has several that apparently function, attach but refuse to operate – mostly because I cannot manage to match the camera with a driver from a source that I am prepared to download from…..

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-02-22 - 11:43

      The V4L Linux drivers handle (most of) the cheap USB cameras from Long Ago, although the Raspberry Pi 3 doesn’t have enough oomph to produce a real-time display through VLC with any of them.

      The situation in Windows might be entirely different …

      • #3 by Simon on 2018-02-22 - 13:20

        “The situation in Windows might be entirely different …”

        The situation in Windows “IS” entirely different….and I wish it was otherwise – but I run a multiple Windows environment for my sins and its unlikely to change… :-(

        • #4 by Vedran on 2018-02-22 - 14:26

          It’s easier when you stop resisting the inevitable :)
          Though they do tend to make them worse with every new release

        • #5 by Ed on 2018-02-22 - 18:09

          On the upside, you’re obviously working off a powerful karma burden: your next iteration should be pretty good. [grin]

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