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Thread: Webcam HD-5000 autofocus disable

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Webcam HD-5000 autofocus disable

    If anyone wishes to “permanently” disable autofocus on the MS HD-5000, there is a way.

    You do not want autofocus in a car, especially with a camera looking through the screen, and the HD-5000 has a problem with autofocus as it is. On top of that it will revert back to autofocus any time +5v USB power is removed.

    I kept coming back to this camera because it is far better than the Logitech 9000 in picture quality and in the real FPS that they will actually do, also because of its low cost and size. I run 720 x 1280 30FPS.

    Of course you void the warranty and there is always the chance you could kill the camera if you do something wrong. Still at around $30 to $50 for the camera it’s not too big a loss. It really is a great little camera.

    The first thing to do is to turn off autofocus in software and move the software manual focus bar all the way to sharp distant focus, now unplug the camera, this ensures the focus motor is in the correct position.

    UPDATE: I have rewritten this intro to the thread as thanks to input from BADMOPAR you can easily pry the front plastic glass and trim from the camera face.
    There are two screws behind the trim, remove these screws and the housing comes apart easily.

    The PCB with lens is screwed to the back part of the housing and the lens is screwed to the PCB.

    There are two solder tabs on one side of the lens, I heated the tab closest to the edge of the lens and used a pin to pry it away from the PCB solder tab, the metal connecting tab is very flexible and moved easily.

    I reasoned that this could have been the supply to the Autofocus motor and it appears I was correct.

    You need to be careful not to splash solder on to the small SMD chips near the tab as you unsolder it. I used a bench magnifying glass to unsolder and check for any solder spray. Make sure there is no dust or rubbish on the lens or inside the front housing and reassemble.

    Mine is working great, no more stupid autofocus.
    Last edited by Mickz; 08-17-2011 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Updated Info
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate BADMOPAR's Avatar
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    Have you asked Microsoft to change the drivers ? I'm afraid that in my case my camera will die.
    I don't wanna be a product of my environment.
    I want my environment to be product of me.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Not a driver issue. I don’t use the MS software as its utter rubbish. A few folks have found, as I have, that installing the supplied SW will cause the camera to report a drastically reduced max resolution to programs like MiniCam. Even the MS program for the camera control will not keep the setting. IMHO It’s a hardware issue and the flaky hunting autofocus is also most likely a HW issue as a firmware update changed nothing.

    It’s a nice thought but good luck with MS changing anything for anyone. This focus issue is all over net and has been for a long time.
    Last edited by Mickz; 08-14-2011 at 04:37 AM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate BADMOPAR's Avatar
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    I have talking about drivers not software, I don't use the Microsoft software too. Maybe some registry changes could be the solution, but I don't know, I'm not a programmer.
    I don't wanna be a product of my environment.
    I want my environment to be product of me.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Registry settings and the driver are not the problem.

    The MS software (which we don’t use because it’s useless for any decent recording) should talk to the webcam when it sees it and reinitialise the camera, however it doesn’t, but its a moot point anyway as everyone is using 3rd party recording software, nothing you do, short of writing an application to talk to the camera on resume from standby/hibernate and/or install/removal of the camera from the port and force it into auto mode is going to work, that would cost more than wrecking a camera.

    This hardware mod costs nothing (unless you break the camera) and only takes a few minutes, and autofocus can never enable again unless you resolder the wire.

    When I get a chance I will take some pictures and show how simple it is.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate BADMOPAR's Avatar
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    It would be very appreciated.
    I don't wanna be a product of my environment.
    I want my environment to be product of me.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Having opened the first camera and had a really good look I now know that the case is actually screwed together at the bottom. The screws are inserted from “behind” the front panel clear plastic and trim.

    UPDATE: I have rewritten Post to reflect new info on opening thew case. You can easily pry the front plastic glass and trim from the camera face. There are two screws behind the trim, remove these screws and the housing comes apart easily.


    HD-5000


    .

    Unsolder this connection to the Lens housing. I placed the camera mount in a small vice to keep the camera stable and used a long pin to prize the connection away from the solder pad as I heated the pad with a soldering iron.


    .

    Connection unsoldered. Now check for any solder spray and brush it off.


    .

    This is the second camera done, about 5 minutes and works perfectly. Just remember to set the autofocus to off and move the focus to distant in software before unplugging the camera and doing this mod.

    Again, you void any warranty and you do this mod at your own risk!
    Last edited by Mickz; 08-17-2011 at 08:03 PM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  8. #8
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    I got one of these coming in the mail. Thanks for sharing the hack.

  9. #9
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    Thank a lot Mickz! Your guide would become quite handy even though my camera is LifeCam HD Cinema.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate BADMOPAR's Avatar
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    You don't need to drill holes anymore



    Simply use your fingernails to remove the front plastic glass.
    I don't wanna be a product of my environment.
    I want my environment to be product of me.

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