Webcam Reuse Module

I’ve just sent off a prototype of a module to reuse old webcams after upgrading to the new module, this board is only to validate the overall idea and get a working version of the firmware for the RP2040

I’m using an RP2040 to convert the PDM mic audio into USB, and then through the CH334F, and since the actual webcam is only USB I can directly connect them together. I’ll probably end up selling this with an enclosure if I can get details on the dimensions of the webcam and I’ll also need to source some cover glass

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According to Framework the webcam module is 85 mm wide x 6 mm tall x 3.45 mm thick.

Since you’re using a RP2040 maybe you could break out a few gpio for anyone who wants to add some extra functions. Perhaps controlling a small led ring light, ir leds (removing the camera’s ir filter), maybe even pan / tilt servos.

I’m more looking for a drawing which shows clearances, locations of components/connectors.

Good idea, I’ll implement this.

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Initial prototypes, now to work on the RP2040 PDM firmware, the USB hub and the UF2 drive appear so these seem to at least minimally function.

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RP2040 Firmware has been completed and it functions and I’m able to get audio out of it! Now to work on my production level version (smaller form factor). I’ll also need to buy custom FFC cables since these cheap aliexpress ones are very intermittent.

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Hey Josh, I just have to say man. You are an absolute pillar of the Framework community! Keep doing what you’re doing! Absolutely made my day to see that there are efforts to reuse the webcam module.

Off-topic: Do you have a sponsor link on your github account or something to support your work? Would love to donate some money to you for all your efforts

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The best way of supporting me is probably purchasing any of my products, I used to have a Patreon account, but I just took it down since it complicates tax somewhat for me.

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Nice.
Do you plan to have a long board that goes behind the webcam’s board in order to match its slim profile and keep it as small as possible?

It would be really nice to fit it along the top of a monitor. And when paired with the new upgraded FW camera, some might even look to clip it to other laptops, since it’s much better than normal laptop cams.

Yep, this was just a test board, I’ll probably have an update in a couple weeks with my second revision.

What I want to do is remove the camera off the long board and fit it onto something not much bigger than its own profile (think in terms of mounting the camera in an H0 model train). Essentially I want to cut the PCB and turn the camera at right angles, while keeping the functionality. Haven’t taken the camera out of my unit yet to see what is required in the way of fitting patch wires if I did this.

There are usb camera modules available with the camera sensor on a flex ribbon cable. Example aliexpress.com/item/3256804992097328.html
Sounds like that would work better for you. The Framework camera sensor looks to be a surface mounted BGA.

OK, thanks for the link. That certainly looks like a possibility, and at that price one can hardly complain.

2nd revision, with a smaller form factor at 85mm x 10mm (webcam measures 85mm x 6mm).

Layout is done, now to route components. I was debating rotating the USB-C receptacle 90° and shifting it further right to allow 2 screws to fix both PCBs together, I might still implement this. There are also 3 GPIO on the back (I may move them to the front because there is conductive tape on the back of the webcam)

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Very nice!

Keeping it in-line feels nice, more compact to me personally.

1st pass of routing, done on a 4 layer PCB, also added ESD protection on the USB-C port along with the termination resistors for the RP2040.

Estimated price is $20-30AUD plus shipping

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Inital purchase link is here.
$30AUD plus shipping and duties and taxes (EU only)

can we get a full picture of what’d we’d potentially be buying?

I’ll share more information on it once I get my final prototypes assembled, which I have just ordered.

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