Connectix QuickCam

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Quickcam bw.png

Essentially the original "webcam" before the term even existed. The original model was created for the Macintosh computer and was capable of 320x240 resolution and grayscale.

Disassembling the B&W Quickcam ball

[Note by William Lewis (wiml@omnigroup.com): "I'd just like to mention that I've ripped my QuickCam apart a zillion times (the first time I didn't know about the paper-clip-in-the-pinhole trick; I think I was one of the first people to mention it here) and have broken off two of the three clips that hold the ball together, but it stays together just fine by friction. So it's not quite the end of the world if you're a little clumsy taking it apart. (I would recommend being careful about static electricity, though, on general principles.)"]

On the backside of the ball, there is a little hole behind a sticker. Use a paper clip or a similar small metal stud to gently press in there until you feel resistance. That is the first lock clip. Push it gently forward until it unlocks (you'll hear a little "click"). Don't push too hard or it will break off.

There are two other clips above and below the lens' opening. To unlock these, you have to tear apart the two plastic caps of the ball. This is the most dangerous part, so be very careful. (I almost broke one of the clips while doing this, luckily I had some glue to fill the crack.)

You will now get the interiour parts of the camera ball: the circuit board, the plastic box that covers the CCD chip, that contains the infrared filter and that holds the lens.

You can refocus the lens (B&W camera only) after loosening a small screw - see the section above.

You can also remove (or repair) the infrared filter. It is inside the plastic cover box, so you have to take it off the circuit board after loosening two small screws. The filter is attached only by a few drops of glue, so that it comes off pretty easy if the QC falls down.

If everything went smoothly, you can reassemble the QC with no visual trace of the opening process. Before you do that, check the three clips and all other plastic parts for any cracks.

Known issues

  • (Hardware) About 1/3 of the Quadra 605, Performa 475, and LC 475 motherboards will work sporadically with QuickCam We've been making hardware modifications for owners of such machines, but we believe we'll change over to a software fix later this week. This is an Apple problem, not ours, but, of course, it's always the third party vendor's issue to fix.
  • (Hardware) Some 5xx PowerBooks do not have enough power on their port to let QuickCam function. Until the end of the year we'll provide a free "jumper" cable that takes power off the ADB port to users who report this problem. After that, there will be a $9.95 shipping and handling charge (and I believe we'll mark the boxes and change the literature to reflect that).
  • (Hardware) We've had a few reports of fuzzy pictures on Power Mac 7100's, but not enough to isolate to the machine.
  • (Software) Versions prior to 1.0.2 were 24-bit dirty (i.e., they would crash in 24-bit mode under some circumstances). Workaround: use 32-bit mode.


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