Tag Archives: laptop

Breathing life in old laptop camera module

Continuing the saga with the reusable components from the old laptop I got from colleague of mine (or spare parts already in various bins), the camera module also did not feature many wires and being quite far away from the motherboard, I was kind of hoping it was USB. The connector is 5 wire on the module side, so there is a good chance it is actually USB, and the cable itself is only 4 wire cable, with two of them twisted together.

Ground was easy to spot with a continuity meter, the two wires twisted together should be obviously  D+ and D- and the remaining one should be VCC. Using the wire side of the connector is quite easy to work out the pinout of the board:

After soldering and fingers crossed, plugged it in the USB connector (ok, USB hub, it is cheaper to change a hub than a motherboard), and .. success:

 

$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 046: ID 05ca:183b Ricoh Co., Ltd Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC8 [R5U870]

Unfortunately the device does not seem to initialize correctly. After quick search, seems like there is a kernel module which can be compiled and fix this. Regardless, the USB device is detected as a camera.

Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.032162] usb 3-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 9 using xhci_hcd
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.125191] usb 3-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=05ca, idProduct=183b
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.125204] usb 3-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=0, SerialNumber=0
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.126349] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device <unnamed> (05ca:183b)
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.127159] uvcvideo: UVC non compliance - GET_DEF(PROBE) not supported. Enabling workaround.
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.127532] uvcvideo: Failed to query (129) UVC probe control : -32 (exp. 26).
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps kernel: [951779.127539] uvcvideo: Failed to initialize the device (-5).
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps mtp-probe: checking bus 3, device 9: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.3/0000:04:00.0/usb3/3-1/3-1.1"
Mar 20 21:53:21 dell-xps mtp-probe: bus: 3, device: 9 was not an MTP device

I had an additional module from some other laptop, but no cable attached to the connector. The connectors look the same, would it be possible that module to have same pinout? I’ve checked the GND and seems to be in same place, so I’ve switched the modules, some more fingers crossed and .. success:

$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 045: ID 5986:0300 Acer, Inc

$ dmesg
[951353.098849] usb 3-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 45 using xhci_hcd
[951353.491803] usb 3-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=5986, idProduct=0300
[951353.491811] usb 3-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
[951353.491815] usb 3-1.1: Product: BisonCam, NB Pro
[951353.526341] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device BisonCam, NB Pro (5986:0300)
[951353.543772] input: BisonCam, NB Pro as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.3/0000:04:00.0/usb3/3-1/3-1.1/3-1.1:1.0/input/input2


Device successfully detected. It is even visible in v4l subsystem:

$ v4l2-ctl --list-devices
BisonCam, NB Pro (usb-0000:04:00.0-1.1):
  /dev/video1

Happy hacking! ­čÖé