Homemade QuickCam VC Webcam Adapter & Cooling Fan
                              

Safety

Electrical modifications and construction of electrical accessories can be dangerous. Do not attempt such activities unless you are qualified to do them safely, without injury to yourself or your property.  Anyone not qualified for these activities should secure the help of a licensed electrician. It is always recommended to consult with the appropriate manufacturer prior to modification of any equipment, as this may void warranties and/or alter the equipments performance.

Removing the QuickCam Lens and IR Filter

I purchased an old logitech Quickcam VC ($5.00 from ebay). For astrophotography, this camera requires removal of the lens; the lens isn't needed because the telescope functions in place of the lens. There is also an IR filter that should be removed. Following are instructions for removing the lens and IR filter:

The assembled QuickCam is shown below (left photo). Remove the mounting bracket screw and top cover (right photo)

 


Unscrew the lens and remove the camera from the black plastic housing (below left photo). Remove the two screws holding the threaded plastic lens mounting cover over the ccd chip (below right photo). Be careful not to damage or smudge the ccd chip or loose the small screws. The IR filter is the blue-green circle inside the
plastic lens mounting cover.




Remove blue-green IR filter from the plastic lens mounting cover (below left photo). Optionally, the plastic lens mounting cover can be reinstalled to protect the ccd chip (below right photo).




Reinstall the camera into the black plastic housing (below photo); note that in this photo, the camera is installed without the plastic lens mounting cover over the ccd chip.


QuickCam Webcam Adapter

Low cost astrophotography with a web cam requires some sort of adapter to attach the web cam to the telescope. Typical methods are to tape a 35 mm film can or eyepiece barrel to the webcam or purchasing a commercial adapter (typically $20-$50). I just taped an unused 0.965 inch. eyepiece barrel to the QuickCam with electrical tape. Provided you use enough tape to get a strong connection, this works just fine. The same procedure could easily be applied to constructing a 1.25 inch. adapter.



QuickCam Cooling Fan

I constructed a webcam cooling fan from a small DC computer fan (purchased for $5.00). The cooling fan is mounted to polycarbonate hobby plate that is cut to fit the contours of the round QuickCam (below photos).



I cut a hole into the QuickCam housing (below left photo) and the fan attaches with electrical tape (below right photo). I used a low voltage DC power convertor (from an old mobile telephone) to power the fan.




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