WebCam Fix


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WebCam Fix

I have a WebCamGo by Creative Labs, it's a fun toy. It works like a regular web cam for video conferencing. But, it also can take still images like a digital still camera and, multiple snapshots like a stop motion camera. 

I was updating the drivers for the WebCamGo recently when I noticed I had left the batteries in it. Doh, that's a Homer Simpson move :-). Leaving unused batteries in any device is a bad idea, with a web cam that sits on top of a nice warm monitor it's doubly stupid.

When I cracked open the case I found the batteries had leaked onto the circuit board. After carefully cleaning the circuit board I found that the battery discharge had eaten right through a track on the board. Luckily it only damaged one track. If multiple tracks had been destroyed, it would be very hard to figure out what the original track routing was.

Since there is a good possibility I'll forget to take out the batteries again, I decided to take some photos of the track routing. The first picture was taken with my Kodak DC-215 digital camera in macro mode.

Click to see the full size version

As you can see the detail is not good enough to reconstruct the trace routing. To get better resolution in the pictures I held a magnifying lens in front of the camera lens for super macro photos.

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Detail cropped from the full size image
 

With the trace routes documented I then repaired the broken trace by bypassing it with a piece of 30AWG wire.

Click to see the full size version

The WebCamGo now works fine again.

Last Updated 09/04/2010
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