How To Modify A QuickCam

The black and white Quickcam digital camera uses the Texas Instruments TC-255 CCD chip.  This is the same imaging chip found in several cameras designed specifically for astrophotography.  To use it, I opened the Quickcam shell and removed the circuit board. **WARNING: opening the camera shell will void your warranty!

The black & white Quickcam in its natural state.

First, the ball housing must be pried open.
Once opened, the metal weight/mounting nut can
be discarded and the circuit board removed.
This photo shows the various parts that must be 
removed to expose the chip.
The CCD after the filter and lens assembly have 
been removed .  The telescope will become the 
new lens.
Here's the CCD on the board ready for a new 
I have found that the plastic lids of 18 oz. peanut
butter jars (shown in blue) are the ideal shape and 
size for the new housing.  For the back of the 
housing I used the clear top from a can of potato
The CCD is seen here through a hole that I drilled
in the center of the lid (this one happened to be
red).  The two screws that held the lens assembly
now hold the circuit board to the inside of the lid.

The black circle is the inner thread ring removed 
from a standard 35mm T-ring adapter.  These
are available in any photography store.  The white
is silicone adhesive used to attach the T-ring and 
back cover.

The painted, finished camera is shown here
with a 1.25" barrel screwed into the T-ring.  This
allows the camera to slide into the telescope in
place of an eyepiece for prime focus work.

Other collars can be attached for eyepiece
projection imaging.


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Special thanks to Michel Collart and Hanno Mueller for providing some of the camera interior pictures above.

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