The new Logitech Quickcam Pro
9000 has some specifications and features that may provide improvements
for planetary, lunar and solar imaging. Most notable is its 2
megapixel imaging chip and video resolution of 1600 X 1200 pixels
and ability to capture via USB 2.0 at 5 frames per second uncompressed.
The Pro 9000 is widely becoming available at many retailers since
its introduction in June 2007 and is priced at less than $99.
easiest way to convert a webcam for telescope use is by purchasing
a 1.25 inch adapter that can be screwed into the webcam, after
the webcam's lens is unscrewed. Unfortunately, the Logitech Pro
9000 has an auto focus feature and its lens is not screw mounted.
Instead, the lens is mounted in plastic housing (image on left)
with two electrical leads that are soldered onto the circuit
board. To convert the Pro 9000 for telescope use, these leads
must be unsoldered.
Luckily, Logitech has made it
very easy to take the Pro 9000 apart. It's circuit board fits
nicely with room to spare in a plastic project box readily available
from Radio Shack. The T-thread from any camera T-ring can be mounted
on the project box along with a T-thread to 1.25 inch adapter
and the Fusion is ready for telescope use in any focuser.
USB 2.0 Cable:
The Pro 9000 does have the advantage
of having a high speed USB 2.0 interface. The USB cable that comes
with the Pro 9000 is six feet long. If this cable length will
suit your telescope setup, you can omit the steps below that explain
replacement of the USB cable. I use a 20 inch f/4.5 scope for
planetary imaging and need a longer USB cable, so in the instructions
I detail how to replace the six foot USB cable with a heavier-duty
sixteen foot cable. A high quality USB 2.0 High Speed cable is
recommended for the replacement.
Very simple tools are needed:
Jeweler's screwdriver, razor knife, drill, small drill bit and
hot glue gun, soldering iron and wick. Supplies: Superglue and
Radio Shack Project Enclosure
Part No. 270-1802
Radio Shack 10mm Insulated Standoffs
Part No. 276-1381
Package of four: $2.79
Belkin 16 foot High Speed USB 2.0 Cable Part No. F3U133-16
- Walmart - $13.97
Camera T-ring: $10 to $20
T-ring to 1.25" adapter: $12
Opening the camera will void your
Logitech warranty and you may ruin your webcam. Proceed at your
own risk; I am not responsible for any damage to your webcam.
That said.......the webcam is very easy to open and you're just
mounting it in a plastic box.
Step 1. Remove
five screws as shown:
Step 2. Separate
the plastic holder bracket by starting at the camera end. You
can squeeze the plastic apart sideways if you want to avoid breaking
the small plastic loops (one on each side). One of mine broke.
These are not needed if you ever want to reuse it since the two
plastic halves are screwed together.
Hold the black plastic halves apart in order to remove the four
screws that attach the camera to the holder bracket:
the camera from the holder bracket:
Remove two screws from the camera housing:
Lift back cover away from front cover:
Remove metal slip ring with small driver:
Use a small driver to disconnect these two wire connectors:
Remove 4 short screws that hold the circuit board to housing:
Lift circuit board off housing half:
Remove the USB cable ground from the circuit board by applying
a soldering iron on the opposite side of the point shown here:
( You can skip this step of
removing the ground connection, but it was easier for me to splice
the wires with the cable disconnected from the circuit board)
As heat is applied with the soldering iron, gently pull off the
Remove small switch board connector from circuit board with driver:
Remove two screws from the circuit board shown below:
Use solder wick and solder iron to remove the solder from these
Lift lens off circuit board:
to continue to Part 2 of Modification.