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 808 Car Keys Micro Camera Review
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#3 Camera

The #3 is one version of the 808 car keys micro camera.

Table of Contents
Links on this page
#3 Sellers of the #3 camera
#3 Q&A
#3, My New Camera
#3 Sven's Time Lapse Mod
#3 Webcam Driver
#3 Camera Focusing the Lens
#3 Date Time File Format
#3 Podcast, Daily Giz Wiz 1029
#3 Oscilloscope Images
#3 Second LED
#3 Adding External Power
#3 CCM Short Circuit
#3 Periodic Photo Project
#3 Power Supply Research
#3 Dead Camera Revived with Hard Reset
#3 Camera Module Tear Down
#3 Firmware Mod
#3 Un-brick
#3 Video Date Time Stamp Removed
Timestamp Removal Instructions by Simon
#3 Sample Firmware Files
#3 FirmwareChipEEPROMProgrammer
#3 #8 Low Light Comparison
#3 Charging Circuit Problems
#3 More about #3 Battery Charging
#3 Missing Frame Comparison
#3 Two Failed and Repaired Cameras
#3 Linux Tips
#3 2MB Firmware Chip Dump
#3 Time Stamp Removal - Chip Method
#3 #6 Schematic DataSheet
#3 Open Source Firmware Project
#3 MD80 Schematic
External links
#3 Instructions Sheet (for reference only)
#1 vs. #3, Comparison
#3 Manual (YSB-006) in the manuals folder in the vault
#3 & #7, Video Comparison

#2 & #3, Tear Down
#3 & MD‑80, Camera Timestamp Remover

  
130307 - 808 #3, No MAC webcam
Many (most) newer enumerated versions of the 808 cameras do not require a webcam driver.
The #3 has been around for about 4 years and does require a webcam driver.  Only a PC driver has been offered by the producer.

  
120820 - 808 #3 Horizontal FOV is About 34 Degrees
808 #3 FOV measurement34 degrees - The horizontal FOV (Field Of View) of the 808 #3  for both video and photos.  It is possible that suppliers could use various lenses so YMMV.

34 degrees - The FOV of a 59mm lens on a 35mm film camera.

56 to 90 degrees - The 808 #16v2 is available with various lenses and FOV.

See how to measure.
Video frame   arctan(( 720*11)/(2*36*363))*2 = 33.7
Photo frame   arctan((1280*11)/(2*36*638))*2 = 34.1

The #3 uses the OV7670 image sensor with image area of 2.36 x 1.76mm and the diagonal is 2.94mm.  A 35mm film frame diagonal is 43.3mm.  So the 808 #3 lens factor is about 14.7 (43.3/2.94).


  
111204 - #3 Report
120723 - Steve in the UK says this is probably a #6, not a #3, because the circuit board matches his #6.

Claudio from  France wrote: 
I recently bought a 808 camera on ebay from the globalink2010 seller; he advertises the camera as #3 and indeed from the time stamp and the low missing frames (about 10 %) it seems a real #3, maybe a newer version, since the PCB is slightly different from the ones found on your site for the #3; I'm including a picture of mine, just for reference.

I have also measured the approximate current drawn under different conditions: 
25 uA when off.
130 mA when on, but not recording.
160 mA when recording a video.

111204 Claudio 808 C3


  MD80C3Schematic
111113 - MD80 (808 #3) Schematic
I received an email with an attached MD80 schematic.  The MD80 is very similar to the 808 #3 but in a different package.  The schematic should be useful to anybody modifying an MD80 or 808 #3 camera.


C3WhereToBuy  
110714 - Sellers of the #3 camera
#3101122 - An 808 seller in the UK reports this good news:  We have had many problems sourcing reliable #3 cameras, those that we do get have had sound and charging problems.   However, one supplier today sent us this:   "Within 2 month we will complete the re-design for #3camera, we will improve the charging problem and sound problem"   Another supplier has also informed us that they will be stocking the #3 again.   So it looks like the #3 is back in production one way or another.

101121 - eBay enjoy-secret claims to have 1000 #3 cameras for sale!

101010 - Reports are that the great #3 is no longer in production, and most sellers have run out of the #3.   Caution - some sellers on eBay who listed and sold the #3 are still listing a #3, but delivering something else.   IMHO the #6 is very similar to the #3 and is the next best camera.  After the #6 the #8 is the next best camera but users have reported some audio problems.  The #3, #6 and #8 are all based on Sunplus processors.

I regularly get the question: Where can I buy a #3 camera?  Most of the sellers on eBay are in China and they don't identify the version of camera that they sell, but they have the best price.  The best strategy to buy from a China seller is to watch the forums (like this one) to find out who bought a #3 and from whom, and then order one and hope that it is a #3.

You can also order from a seller that advertises a #3.  These sellers might have a higher price but offer more services.  Some fully test the camera before shipping it to you.  If you and the seller are in the same country you will receive it in a few days.  This version is so popular, they are often out of stock.

Sellers of the #3 by version.
NOTE
This is not a list of recommended sellers.  I don't publish a list of recommended or not-recommended sellers.  This is a list of sellers who sell the #3 by version.  The buying risk it totally yours.

Selling the #3 Camera
WingmanRC, Arizona, USA  101121 - Out of Stock
BazaarLee, UK  101121 Not selling
Bob Skinner, Colorado, USA  (email: keycam@startflyingrc.com) 101121 Not selling
marktech101, North Carolina, USA  (rcgroups) 101121 - Not selling
linjiechong in Hong Kong is selling the #3 by version. 101121 - Selling the #8.  Not selling the #3
110609 Not selling any 808 camera. 101120 This eBay seller (enjoy-secret) is selling a #3 by version and claims to have 1000 in stock!  I have no buyer reports yet.
● 110601 THEMICROCAMERA.COM is selling the 808 #3 and the 808 #11.

Caution about these sellers
100926 - eletoponline365, China - This eBay seller has been selling the 808 camera for many months.  Now describing the camera explicitly as "The Camera Version is #3, Date Time Stamp is lower right and yellow color."
eletoponline365 claims to sell the #3 but recently delivered a #6 to a buyer in Germany (the #6 is also a good camera).  When asked about this eletoponline365 replied (100926):  Dear friend, i can't also belive it. it can't be happened. we even don't have #6 in storage. we do really send #3,please trust us. i'll have a check and ask our technicians in our company about this problem. sincerely thank you for reminding this. have a nice day.  yours sincerely - eletoponline365
Meritline has been delivering the #9 camera.   a variant of the #5 camera Meritline describes the camera as "The processor is Sunplus (#3)".  I have contacted Meritline about this.

Reported to be selling the #11 (808 HD 1280x720):  List of #11 sellers.


YYMMDD Table of reported historical sales.
No guarantee that you will get what somebody got.  If they don't advertise a specific version, expect to get any version.
120117 Fabio reports he received a #14 from PandaWill.
120105 Example of a bad buying experience.  Troy in Arizona ordered two 808 #3 cameras from globalink2010 in Dec 2011 and received two cheaper Mini DV voice recorders.  16 day delivery.  He was unhappy about the error.  He filed a complaint.  This seller made no correction or sent the correct item. They wanted him to keep the 808 and get money back or send the 808 back at his expense and wait to receive correct item if they were allowed to look for it.  Ebay took care of him for all but 6 dollars worth.
111204 Claudio from France recently bought a 808 camera on eBay from the globalink2010 seller; he advertises the camera as  #3 and indeed from the time stamp and the low missing frames (about 10 %) it seems a real  #3.
111012 Russ received camera #3 from eBay seller top_seller_001, from Hong Kong.  The instruction book he sent was for camera #1 (based on the instructions for setting the date and time), so he may not be aware he is selling camera #3.  Deliver was 14 days.  After struggling to figure out how to set the time (your site made it possible), Russ found it to be in perfect working order.
110922 Karen received a #3 from worthonline1225 on ebay. Arrived quickly.
110917 Is rdandsell selling the #3 or the #6?  What are the definitive characteristics of the #3 and #6?  There are probably more variations of the #3 and #6 so it is sometimes difficult to identify which version you have.

eBay rdandsell claims to sell an 808 #3. Christoph ordered an 808 from rdandsell. Because it was sold as a #3 Christoph tried to load #3 firmware into his camera and it bricked the camera.  Christoph says his camera is probably a #6 because it matches the circuit board photos of the #6 and is marked "CARDV_V1.1".  It is unknown how to unbrick a #6 camera because it does not have shorting points on the circuit board.

When asked about this the seller rdandsell wrote this:
"Thank you for your preferecnce to #3. The item I sent you is #3 rather than #6. It is a new version of #3. The old one no longer has the possibility of mass production, due to the technology update of components. Moreover, you could check the feedback from other buyers, all are #3. You could also go to this forum,http://www.chucklohr.com/808/C3/, no one said our products are not #3. Actually, I wanna know how do you define #3. If you don't mind, please tell me what's #3 in your opinion. Look forward to your reply."

The #3 and #6 were originally diferentiated by the location of the video date time stamp (#3 lower right, #6 lower left) and the #6 had more missing video frames.  Otherwise they were the same in operation. 

Since then it has been observed that the circuit board of the #3 and #6 are different.  Also the #6 firmware size has always been less then 1 megabyte.  The #3 firmware size has been various sizes less than 2 megabytes.
110826 Bruce in the UK reports that he has been buying quite large numbers of key fob cameras to build into model railroad cars  that he sells (Branor Systems). The quality of  key chains from various Chinese suppliers has been very variable.  He has settled on a supplier that supplies consistent quality of 808 #3 key chains.   eBay  accesseletech2010 and digitaleletech168.   This supplier also is prepared to remove the time and date for orders over quantity 50.
110721 Andrew received a #3 from eBay globallink2010
110719 Arturo received a #3  from  eBay seller globalink2010They claim they have a large number of them. It has all the characteristics of the #3 described on your webpage. It records 30m clips until the card is full or the battery dies. The battery lasts around 2h. The sound is impeccable. Shipped in 10 days from China to the US for $8 dollar shipping plus $2.25 (Auction). The packaging look very legit too, and it included the CD and the USB cable.
110628 Will in Houston bought a #8 from from ChinaBuye.com, SKU 42165: hhttp://www.chinabuye.com/car-key-shape-mini-spy-camera-supports-tf-card. 20 day deliver from China.  No dropped frames with Kingston 8GB class 4.  Device Driver Hardware ID 04FC 3060 (USB Mass Storage Device); Hardware ID 04FC 2843 (Webcam). After the button sequence, The Microsoft webcam driver installed on Vista 32-bit, but would not work.  Worked fine in XP 32-bit.
110624 Txibit from Spain received a #3 from ebay digitaleletech168.  14 day delivery.  
110527 Jan in Germany received a working 808 #8 from eBay seller keyhere - for US $6.90 incl. shipping.
110518 Mark from Ottawa bought his 2nd order of #3’s from globalink2010. I can only get one 30 minute file from this camera.  The previous camera from Enjoy-Secret allowed me 2 files at 30 minutes each with one charge.  My 2nd order of 15 #3’s (work colleagues and friends) from globalink2010. 1 week shipping once payment was received.
110502 Vicente in Spain received a #3  from eBay for-easy-lifelink According to time/date stamp it's a numbre 3 version. I received it in 15 days from china to Spain. It's works ok, sound and image perfect.  It include camera, cable and English/Chinese manual.
110414  Txibit from Spain received a #8 from eBay Yessshop.
110317 Niels in Belgium received a #3 from eBay Enjoy-Secret. "I bought it not on his eBay shop, but made an order through email. 8,99 USD for the camera and 3 USD for shipping to Belgium, Europe. Payment made with PayPal. Arrived within a week in bubble wrap (and with manual).  Works perfectly and a confirmed genuine #3 808 camera!"
110317
Ryan from Rancho Cucamonga, CA received his second #3 micro cam from eBay accesseletech2010.  "Ordered March 5, 2011 and delivered in 9 days, sooner than promised.  Excellent communication - several emails regarding "how to" and shipping.  Seller advertises #3 with 720 x 480 and 30FPS."
110311 JD received a  #3 from eBay “enjoy-secret”.  Ordered 2-26-11. One week delivery.  10% duplicate frames.
110308 K S received a #3 camera from eBay seller enjoy-secret.  10 day delivery. 
110308 L. T. received a #3 from eBay seller eletech086.  "I discussed with her and she told me that her 34 y.o. uncle develops the HD version of this camera - wow!  
110228 Γιάννης (John) in Greece received a genuine #3 camera from eBay rdandsell. "I measured the dropped frames in a 50sec video with Avi Dropped frames Analyser 1.0 and found only 2.396%. Item 290469314743"
110222 Giles received a #3 from eBay globalink2010.  China to Florida in 10 days. "They advertise it as a #3 (I'm only going by the yellow time stamp as verification)". 
110218 Philipp in Bavaria Germany, received a #3 cam from ebay for-easy-life, Item number 160473591697. "Received the cam 8 days after buying. Shipping from China to Germany!"
110216 Jochem in The Netherlands received a #3 camera today from eBay rdandsell (item 300488559733). Ordered 25dec2010.  Delivery 16feb2011, nearly 8 weeks, after a a paypal complaint and the seller did immediately respond.  A genuine #3 with known timestamp and 8-10% missing frames (approx 2.5-3 fps) in fair lighting.
110215 Ben from Germany received a #3 from eBay keyhere. 37 day delivery.
110212 Paul received a real #3 from eBay rdandsell item number 300514734843 on Jan 16. Deliver was 3 weeks probably slow due to the Chinese holiday.
110207 Mark in Ottawa Canada received a #3 from eBay enjoy secret.  Delivery in 10 days.  Even though they don't ship to Canada, they did.  Getting just over 70 minutes per charge.
110206 Raimonds received a #3  from eBay accesseletech2010.  "video size 720x480, yellow transparent timestamp on lower right corner, USB device ids are ID 04fc:0171 & ID 04fc:1528  respectively - for me it looks like #3"
110205 Buyers beware - Lukas tried to buy an 808 from eBay ma2009fa on 12 Nov 2010 but the camera was never delivered, even after multiple promises by the seller.  ma2009fa has high negative feedback in the last month and has stopped selling anything.
110122 Joachim in Germany received five #3 cameras from eBay troyexporter.  Delivery was 16 days.
110116 Michael in Germany received a #8 from German ebay seller Flupi-Discount. The seller is advertising a #3.  "On his recommends he pretends that there is no #8 and #3 is the "highest version available". He is advertising with #3 information about the audio and gives fake information about photo resolution."
110111 Andy got a #3 from eBay enjoy-secret. Delivered from China to California in 7 days.  "Put a 16GB card into it and ran some tests. Seems to work good".
110105 LeRoy reported that in the summer of 2010 he received #3 and #6 cameras from interelectronics.us.  His cameras were shipped from Florida.  Delivery was 3 days US to US.  This seller sells two varieties of 808 cameras, but does not identify the version in the sales listing.
101224 Philip Nelson of Australia received a #3 from  eBay rdandsell.  "I have confirmed it is a #3 camera. I have tested it with a 4GB Patriot class 10 micro SD card and it works very well (I was told some devices are not compatible with class 10 cards)."
101214 Ken received a #8 novapcs on Ebay.  3 day delivery from Brooklyn to NJ.  "They promised me a #3, but after two shipments, they finally admitted they can only supply a #8.  They refunded my money for not being able to supply a #3 as promised".
101212 Dan C. in Canada received a genuine #3 new version (33% missing frames) from eBay enjoy-secret.  "Great communication from seller".

Acigrant in Australia received #3 cameras from eBay digitaleletech168.
101207 Bob received a genuine #3 from eBay enjoy-secret.  Great follow up on any questions from seller.
101206 Sune in Denmark received two #3 eBay rdandsell. 300488559733.  11 day delivery.
101205 Eric in Germany received a #10 from  buyincoins.com. Normally they deliver #3.
101130 Oliver in Germany received a real good #3 from eBay rdandsell (ebay 300473872161).  Delivery was 14 days.  "I think it is a #3 cam, the old version: yellow tie stamp, lower right corner, without black background, 5-13% missing frames."
101122 Marc in Germany received four #8 from eBay crownall.  "They all work good ... but they have pops in the sound".
101113 I received two #3  from eBay digitalele889.  11 day delivery from Hong Kong.  In most respects this camera is just like a #3 but it has a very high missing frame rate.  So, there is the possibility that this could be a underpowered or fake #3.
101112 Todd received three #8 from eBay hi-tech.
2010 Nov 11 Alex received a #8 (EKEN002 processor) from eBay crownall.  This seller has been delivering both the #8 and the #3.  Alex was able to adjust the focus. About 38 MB per minute video. Video is more telephoto than his gumpack camera. Audio volume is very low.  Video and photo frame sample look very good.

JP in France received a  #3 from eBay rdandsell.  The seller displays this image.  The SPCA1537A is a Sunplus processor.  The OV7670 is a 640x480 OmniVision CMOS sensor.
2010 Nov 08 Bill in Ohio received a #3  from eBay crownall.
2010 Nov 02 Chad received two #3 from eBay digitalele889. Ordered 10-18-10 and received 10-30-10.    "The quality is 100 times better than the crappy #7's I got from Hobby king".
2010 Nov 01 Brandon received two #3 from eBay crownall item=280575155482.
2010 Oct 20 gapi in the US received 4 #3 from Hong Kong eBay crownall.   
2010 Oct 16 Austin received a #3 and mains charger from UK seller eBay a_novelty_4_you!.  Pricey at US$40.

Brian reports this:   eBay
linjiechong is selling what is claimed to be #3 cameras in the listing, but actually shipping the #8 cameras instead.  Furthermore, one unit of two arrived with a faulty battery (won't hold a charge)--the other suffers badly from the pops, clicks & stutter in both audio & video as outlined on your #8 page.  I purchased on 9/23/2010 and received them on 10/13/2010.  EKEN identifier on the one working camera.  Linjiechong is unrepentant, claiming that, "The factory has upgraded the product" and has thusfar offered only to refund $1.45.  I have opened an eBay Buyer Protection case.  The #8 is not an "upgrade" and that the items were not as described.  We'll see if the seller refunds both items & shipping, as requested (and allowed for under the new Buyer Protection policy).
2010 Oct 12 Christian in Germany received 11 #6 from keyhere.  13 day delivery.  The #6 videos looked much better than the #3 ones. The sound is slightly worse..but overall I'm amazed of the #6 ones.

Xenu in Florida received two #8 cameras, one from each linjiechong and yaunminqi.  Both mailed from the same location in Hong Kong.  Both were advertised to be #3 on eBay.  Quality is not as good as #3.  Contacted both sellers for refund or exchange.   
2010 Oct 11 Chris received a #8 from Meritline.  The sale listing claims #3.  They have been shipping #9.  You don't know what you will get from Meritline.
2010 Oct 08 Ed has these comments:  I received a #8 camera today from linjiechong instead of the #3 promised in his eBay auction.  Ordered it on 9/27/10, so it took just 10 days to arrive.  I emailed them and requested the #3 camera I had ordered and the response was:  "Dear customer, The factory has ungrade the product. It is better."  He unintentionally outed himself by calling the #8 an "ungrade" instead of an "upgrade".  Luckily I retained a copy of the auction specifying #3 camera, so I informed linjiechong that the #8 is not an "ungrade", especially the horrible sound recording, and demanded a #3 camera.  It will be interesting to see how he handles this, since I will definitely leave him negative feedback and file a claim with PayPal for a refund including return postage to China if he does not step up.

Ed reported that he received a refund from linjiechong for advertising a #3 and shipping a #8.

Iain in Scotland received a #8 from eBay KKWVFP.  Though the picture quality is quite good, the frame rate is awful. I'd estimate that it's just a few frames per second; even with good lighting. Motion is therefore very blurred and footage unusable. I'm using a new, FAT32 formatted, Kingston class 4 8gb micro sd. The seller, after my complaint through eBay, claims the 808 is a "new #3...from the same factory" and has offered me a discount on further purchases. However, they do not do returns and have apparently sold an item not as described and I've given appropriate eBay feedback.

Petra in Germany reports this message from eBay troyexporter:
Hello, Thanks for your message. I am sorry we forgot to tell you that We sell the #8, New Camera Version at present. High video quality, Similar to the #3 and #6 camera. This is a upgrade version camera, and it has more stable performances than #3,so we choose this new version. Also the factory is out of manufactured #3 already. Please do not worry, maybe you can try to use it. Thanks for your understanding. As to the video, can you tell me more details about it? Please advise. We serve to service you better. Any questions please feel free to contact us. Wish you have a nice day!
2010 Oct 07 Tom received a #8 from eBay buyincoins.  "I received a notice upon purchase that there would be a delay due to increased demand for the low price.   It's a #8 unit, with a board identifier D006C-V3.  I did find an annoying feature inside.  The double sticky tape on the battery wasn't really holding onto anything.  I added some foam tape to stabilize the battery."

Paul in The Netherlands wanted to buy another #3 but got this reply:  "Dear customer, Sorry, the factory just told me that they won't produce the product any more.  The said the new one is better.  Thank you. - linjiechong"

Meik in Germany got this email from eBay we-best-store: "Hello, Well received your message, i am sorry to inform you that it is all #8 cameras in the market now, this quality is more better than #3, and there is no #3 on Chinese market. Please well noted and please keep me posted for your opinion, i can solve with you asap, have a nice day!"

David sells 808 cameras in the UK made these comments:  I was in contacts with my original supplier again and it seems that the factory he buys from stopped production of the #3 camera 20 days ago due to a lack of available processors, hence the use of the EKEN002 (#8).   I don't know how many factories are churning out #3 camera but it may now mean a serious reduction in #3 available.

Felix in Germany received a #6 today from the eBay keyhere

Luke received a #3 from eBay yuanminqi.  11 day delivery.

John received a working #3 cam from keyhere, ordered 100914, received 101007.
2010 Oct 06 Petra (Gruss) in Germany received 5 #8 from eBay Troy-e-store.  In the past received many #3.

Pieter in South Africa received a "crappy #8" when the listing said #3.  Ordered from eBay Zhaohaoting and linjiechong, same seller.

Meik in Germany received a #8 from eBay we-best-store.  Seeing the photos in his auction i thought he sells #3 camera. I ordered one with the advice to deliver only #3 camera. I received the item yesterday Oct 05. This is a very good shipping time. But after I made the first video i saw what's happened: Obviously a #8 camera! The first AVI is split after 1GB. All following at 500MB. If the camera has bad temper, the AVI is split after 8 minutes or 20 minutes apathetically of the file size. The Video quality relative good(~every 2nd-3rd Frame is a Duplicate; resulting Frame rate is relative exact 20FPS at sunlight)  but the sound is terrible. Once per second you hear a ~100ms long "voice fragment" from the voice which was recorded ~500ms ago.

TSX532
received a #8 but ordered a #3 as advertised by linjiechong.  This seller is still advertising a #3 on some eBay listings, but delivering a #8..
2010 Oct 05 Metanei in Spain received a #3 from linjiechong, had problems with the camera, and linjiechong replaced it with a #8.

Ed received a #3 from laptopz-outlet.  Delivery NY to Dallas in 4 days.

Kevin received a #8 from linjiechong but wanted a #3.  linjiechong has removed this comment from his eBay listing:  "It is version 3, The date time color is yellow stamp on lower right".
2010 Oct 04 Jorge received a #8 from linjiechong but the website advertised it was #3.
2010 Sep 30 Problem: Michael in Germany ordered a #3 but received a #6 from eletoponline365.
Cletus hoped to received three #3 cameras but received three #8 cameras from linjiechong.
Cletus received a #3 from ebay  A-shop-with-a-view, then received two #8 cameras from A-shop-with-a-view.
Jonathan in New Zealand received 15 #3 cameras from eBay linjiechong.  One of the cameras is a #8.
2010 Sep 28 Brad received a #3 from eBay laptopz-outlet in Brooklyn, NY USA.  Delivery 3 business days USA to USA.
2010 Sep 25 Problem: Christian ordered a #3 but received an variant of the #5 from Meritline
2010 Sep 23 nurmichl in Austria received a #3 from eBay yuanminqi in Hong Kong.  13 day delivery.
Problem: Jonas in Germany ordered a #3 but received a #6 from eBay eletoponline365
2010 Sep 22 Problem: Alchemist ordered a #3 but received a #8 from eBay kkwvfp. The eBay listing claims "It is #3,Date time color is yellow,stamp on lower right"
2010 Sep 18 Christian in Germany received 2 #3 from keyhere.  9 day delivery.   The distant focus was poor.  He tried to change the focus on one cam, but by that try he destroyed the cam...
2010 Sep 08 Clarke received a  #3 from cellularfactory for about US$8 shipped. Deliver was 12 days from Thailand.
2010 Sep 01 Bandit received two #7 from eBay laptopz-outlet US$10 each. Delivery from Brooklyn NY USA to USA 5 days.
Hugh received a #3 from Meritline item Number 400-808-001 delivered from China US$13.
JP received 3 #3 cameras from keyhere
2010 Aug 27 Florent in France received a #3 from eBay linjiechong.  Delivery from Hong Kong to France in 8 days. €6.21
2010 Aug 26 Andreas in Germany received two #3 each from a different eBay seller: keyhere, linjiechong.  12 day delivery.  He likes the keyhere camera better because the case is different and 0.8g lighter.  The linjiechong-cam always needs to get reconnected to the computer after you disconnected it, otherwise it won't turn on.
2010 Aug 25 Pedro in the Czech Republic received a #3 from eBay zhaohaoting from Hong Kong.
2010 Aug 23 Michiel B. in The Netherlands received two #3 camera's from two eBay sellers:  eunion4u US$7.75 (cheapest key camera at that time) and eletoponline365 US$9.99
2010 Aug 22 gohansayian received a  #3 from WingmanRC.  Everything works.
2010 Aug 21 Poulsbobill received a #3  from eBay keyhere with 12 day delivery to the west coast USA.  He removed the battery and added an external jack to power it from his BEC on an RC airplane (used a diode to reduce voltage 0.6v).  The new weight is 11.1 grams.  He verifies that the camera, with no battery, will work with a USB connection, no harm done.
2010 Aug 20 Ryan from Rancho Cucamonga, CA received a #7 from eBay ecmonster. Shipped from Hong Kong, US$7.49, 13 day delivery.

Wayne purchased two #3 cameras from eBay Keyhere.  One stopped working and he checked the battery and found the same symptoms described as the #BatteryProtectionProblem.  He unsoldered the black wire at the battery protection board, then re-soldered it.  This solved the problem.
2010 Aug 19 I received four #3 cameras, each from a different eBay seller: keyhere, black-bread, e-store-family and power-gps.  Two from Singapore, and two from Hong Kong.  Delivery to Michigan USA was 10 days from Singapore and 14 days from Hong Kong.  Each camera averaged US$8.28  No packing slips were provided so I don't know who sent what.
One camera was received dead, but I was able to fix it.  It would only work while the USB cable was connected.  See  #BatteryProtectionProblem.

Stefan in Germany received a #3 camera from eBay troyexporter.
2010 Aug 14 Martin in Montreal Canada received a #3 from eBay e-store-family.  Two week delivery.
Patrick received a #3 from eBay cctvehome.  Ten day delivery.
2010 Aug 12 SM received a #3 from eBay e-store-family. Delivered to the USA in less than a week.
Patrick in Germany received a #6 from eBay.de greencityde.  Seller in Frankfurt.  Webcam works with win7-64.
2010 Aug 09 Björn in Sweden received a #6 from eBay dailysource2005.  17 day delivery.
2010 Aug 07 Steve received a #3 from eBay jahhili.  Seller is in Canton, Ohio, USA.
2010 Aug 05 Vasilis in Greece bought five #3 cameras from eBay linjiechong.
George in Romania received a #4 from eBay globalink2010.
George in Romania received fifteen #3 cameras last month from eBay yuanminqi.
Michiel from The Netherlands received a #3 from eBay yuanminqi.
Jan from Germany received a #6 from eBay eunion4u.  7 days delivery.
Jan from Germany received a #3 from eBay power-gps.  9 days delivery.
2010 Aug 02 Thijs from Holland received a #5 from eBay low_price_city.
2010 Aug 02 Johannes in Germany received a #3 from eBay greencityde. Delivery 4 days. Germany to Germany shipping only.
2010 July 30 Allan received a #3 from eBay eletoponline365.
2010 July 29 Carlos received a #6 from eBay black-bread.
2010 July 27 P. in the UK received a #3 and a good USB cable from eBay keyhere.
2010 July 25 Seb received a #3 from eBay power-gps
2010 July 23 Kham in NZ received a #3 from eBay e-store-family
2010 July 15 Gert received a #3 from eBay keyhere.
2010 July 14 M.W. report: Defective #3 was delivered from eBay troyexporter. Mailed the seller but no response for 2 weeks, then seller offered full refund.
2010 July 08 Jon reports he received a #3 from eBay e-store-family.
 2010 June 24 Justin reports the eBay black-bread sold him a #6 camera.
 2010 June 24 Received one #3 camera (400-808) from Meritline.com.  Ordered 2010 June 12.  $13.59.  Meritline sent the wrong camera.  I ordered a 119-198, they sent 400-808.  Camera tests OK.
 2010 June 21  Received two #3 cameras ordered from eBay seller troyexporter.  The biller is Chang Yuan Chen.  Shipped from Empire Techno Centre, Singapore.  I ordered them 2010 June 12 (not sold by version number), US$9.48 each.  They both test OK.  YMMV.
 2010 June 21  Brian has received #3 cameras from for-easy-life.  Seems to be the same eBay listing as troyexporter.
2010 May M. B. in Italy reports he bought two #6cameras from e-store-family (not #3 as someone reported). The USB cables were bad and one of the two didn’t go on after a charge. The LED was always off, and it turned on only while charging. I tried to contact the seller but he didn’t answer. I charged it again with a good cable and now it works again



C3OpenSourceFwProj  
110705 - #3 Open Source Firmware Project

808 #3 by soldering a 10K resistor as shown the camera outputs debug info.
 UART 56K 3.3V
Stefan has started an open source firmware project.  https://github.com/mandl/808MicroCam

Stefan discovered that the camera can output debug information in UART 56K 3.3V format.  This feature is activated by soldering a 10K resistor.  See the photo.  https://github.com/mandl/808MicroCam/wiki/808-Micro-Camera-Firmware

















Sample UART output
spiBoot
1c3114 
Ld Ok

TK B F/W version is T32 V272-00
F/W compiled @ 08/09/10, 10:23:59

1c3114 
diskPhySectors 0xb0,G_SPI_CisBlockAddress=ea
IOTrap 84
Msg(2)
SD card Insert!
Msg(40)
Msg(40)
L1_Storage.c 130, isSdVer2=1, SD, arg=40040000
OCR: C0 FF 80 00 
SDHC
CID: 03 53 44 53 55 30 34 47 80 51 56 85 24 00 AB 27
CSD: 40 0E 00 32 5B 59 00 00 1D 8A 7F 80 0A 40 40 B9
tTAAC=1(ms) tNSAC=0(clk)
sd\sd533.c 214, rwFactor=8 SD Ver=0
48MHz 
total=1, cur=100
No text file!
Msg(3)
still view init
Msg(42)
Msg(b)
SS

  
110505 - Sunplus SPCA1527 Schematics (808 #3 and 808 #6 processor) processor)
Alexander in Russia sent me these links to Sunplus (GenPlus, iCatch) SPCA1527 / SPCA1528 documents.  Unfortunately the links are to a view of aPDF that can't be downloaded without a Baidu account.

Comment from Alexander:  
These links to datasheets with pinouts of processors, maybe they would more useful for people ? As for me, it is interesting to get an analog video out directly from #8 camera (it seems to me, the EKEN002 processor must be similar with SPCA 1527, but it needed to found out

  

http://wenku.baidu.com/view/4c13fb01b52acfc789ebc9d3.html - SPCA1527A sample schematic development configuration.  First SPCA1527A schematic that I have seen.

http://wenku.baidu.com/view/8032f51414791711cc791727.html - 32 page Sunplus mMedia SPCA1528A (like SPCA1527A )DataSheet

  
110331 - #3, USB Amperage, no LiPo
I received a request to measure the USB Vcc amperage if the camera LiPo battery was not present.  Here are the bench results for one of my #3 cameras with ground and Vcc (+5) connected and data lines optionally disconnected.  The unloaded USB Vcc was 5.21 V.

125 mA with the USB data lines connected.
125 mA with the USB data lines disconnected.

  
110208 - #3 Time Stamp Removal - MSP430 Chip Removal Method
USWaterRockets on YouTube has three tutorial videos about how to remove the firmware chip from the camera, blank the font, and replace the chip.  This procedure used the TI MSP430 LaunchPad development board (USB) for only US$4.30 . 

Follow the instructions in the videos and do this at your own risk.  The SunPlus cameras (#3, #6) use many different firmware versions so I don't know if this procedure works for all of them.

I have not tried it but email me with your success or failure stories.

Timestamp Removal: MD-80 / 808 Car-Keys / Gumpack Camera, Part 1

Part 2: MD-80 / 808 Car Keys / Gumpack Camera Timestamp Removal

Part 3: MD-80 / 808 Car Keys / Gumpack Camera Timestamp Removal


  
110107 - #3 Dump of the 2 MB Firmware Chip
Using the ISP program Jose M. read the firmware from his #3 camera.  It is BRN version 2FBC5D6E. 

Jose created a tool using a PIC18F14k50 micro to read the content of the 2 MB firmware chip from a #3 camera.

Here is the 2 MB (2097152 byte) dump file.

Here are comments from Jose about the format of the dump file and the BRN.
==========
"I have noticed that data at 0x000200-0x0003FF on the dump is slightly similar to SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz.TXT, so I saved this part on a file SYS_REG_MYKEYCHAIN.TXT and used it as a parameter file for ISP, then I dumped the flash again and for my surprise this zone seems to have random data as if the ISP refused to burn it, but the keychain works fine, it's quite strange."

----------------------------------------
SPI FLASH DUMP
----------------------------------------
Size: 2097152B = 16777216b = 16Mb
Block size 0x1000 = 4096B
See http://spmp305x.spritesserver.nl/wiki/index.php/NAND_Flash 0x000000-0x0001FF NAND Spects -> FW blocks = 0x0080 blocks, FileSystems A & B blocks = 0x012F (A 0x0118, B 0x0017) 0x000200-0x000255 SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz.TXT
0x000255-0x0003FF ????? (I think 0x200-0x3FF is for SYS_REG)
0x000400-0x000FFF EMPTY
0x001000-0x00125D Count from 0x0083 to 0x01B1 (0x012F blocks of size 0x1000, mapping FileSystem A and B)
0x00125E-0x0017FF EMPTY
0x001800-0x0817FF Fw.bin (0x0080 blocks of size 0x1000: 524288 Bytes)
0x081800-0x082FFF EMPTY 0x083000-0x0832C3 FileSystem A Header (see below)(708 Bytes)
0x0832C4-0x19AA71 Resources in "download\A" (1144750 Bytes)
0x19AA72-0x19AFFF Seems to be trash (pieces of files on filesystems) 0x19B000-0x19B01B FileSystem B Header (see below)(28 Bytes)
0x19B01C-0x1AB21B Resources in "download\B" (66048 Bytes)
0x1AB21C-0x1B1FFF Seems to be trash (pieces of files on filesystems) 0x1B2000-0x1FFFFF EMPTY

----------------------------------------

FLASH DUMP FileSystem Format
----------------------------------------
uint32 NumFiles
uint32 PosDiskEnd-10
[NumFiles]{
uint16 FileIdx
uint32 FileOffset
uint32 FileSize
}
[NumFiles]FILES
uint16 TagDiskEnd (0x246D)

----------------------------------------
1528.bin.brn
---------------------------------------- 0x000000-0x00000B "SUNPLUS 1528"
0x00000C-0x0002FB FileSystems Header (see below)
0x0002FC-0x117AA9 Resources in "download\A" (1144750 Bytes)
0x117AAA-0x127CA9 Resources in "download\B" (66048 Bytes)
0x127CAA-0x1A7CA9 Fw.bin (524288 Bytes)
0x1A7CAA-0x1A7CAB EndTag 0x7F7E

----------------------------------------

1528.bin.brn FileSystem Format
----------------------------------------
uint8 TagSUNPLUS1528[12]
uint32 ????
uint32 NumFilesDiskA
uint32 NumFilesDiskB
uint32 SizeDiskA
uint32 SizeDiskB
[NumFiles]{
uint16 FileIdx (0x0000-0x007F: DiskA, 0x0080-0x00FF: DiskB, 0x0100-0x01FF: FW)
uint32 FileOffset
uint32 FileSize
}
uint16 TagHeaderEnd (0x246D)
[NumFiles]FILES
uint16 TagDiskEnd (0x7F7E)

 
#3 camera header with socketed 2 MB firmware chip.
 
Breadboard with PIC18F14k50 micro and #3 camera 2 MB firmware chip.

  
110103 - Does Blanking the Font Increase the Missing Frame Rate?
Thomas reports that he blanked the font in his #3 camera.  Before blanking the missing frame rate was 6%.

"I did an upload of the modified firmware with a blank parameter file as suggested" by the Roger M procedure.

After blanking, the
missing frame rate increased from 6% to 15%.

When the original firmware was re-written, the missing frame rate remains at 15%.

  
110109 - #3 Sample Firmware
Update 110109 - There might not be a best firmware.  Each firmware version might be optimized for a specific hardware configuration. What worked best for somebody's camera might not work best in your camera.

The original purpose of changing the firmware has been to remove the video date time stamp, and the purpose of posting the firmware versions is to assist with that goal.

It has been reported that an undesirable side effect of blanking the font is that the missing frame rate increases. Re-writing the original firmware does not fix this problem. Some camera optimization probably gets lost in the writing process.

If a person is adventurous and wants to try a different version they can take that risk. It could brick the camera, or make it worse, better or unchanged.
110107 - Cameras have either a 1 MB (8 Mb) or 2 MB (16 Mb) firmware chip (8-pin serial SPI flash memory chip).  At power-up, in a fraction of a second the firmware is copied from the chip to RAM and executed.

If you read the firmware from your camera and it is less than 1 MB then the chip is probably 1 MB.  The part number on the chip can confirm the size (but sometimes there is no part number).  If a 1 MB chip, do not try to write firmware larger than 1 MB because the write will fail and brick the camera.  Hopefully you can un-brick it.  Vetall in Russia successfully replaced the 1 MB chip with a 2 MB chip (a difficult job), and was able to write a larger firmware.
101105 - For reference, here are some #3 (and #6) camera firmware (FW) files.  1528.bin.brn is the downloaded firmware file.  1528.bin.brn.new is the downloaded firmware file with the video font blanked.  Blanking is done with the NoTimeStamp program by Isoprop.

The firmware is identified by the CRC32 of the downloaded file.

The CRC32 of a file can be calculated using HxD.exe or CRC32.exe or WinRar will display the CRC32 of a file in an archive.

NOTE - The knowledge about re-writing firmware is based on hacking, reverse-engineering and trial-and-error.  Certain procedures that work today for some cameras might not work for all #3 cameras and might not work in the future. 

Update your camera firmware at your own risk.  Good luck.

Firmware files are in the C3 or C6 folder of the vault.


Original Unmodified Firmware Firmware with
Video Font Blanked
808 Note
CRC32 Bytes File
C8655740 969538 c8655740.1528.bin.brn c8655740.1528.bin.brn.new #3 From Mike in Poland. Much smaller file.
2FBC5D6E 1735852 2fbc5d6e.1528.bin.brn 2fbc5d6e.1528.bin.brn.new #3 I have six cameras with this FW.
A3CB0699 1735852 a3cb0699.1528.bin.brn a3cb0699.1528.bin.brn.new #3 My camera received from eBay joymyzone, September 2009.
F7037EF9 1735852 F7037EF9.1528.bin.brn F7037EF9.1528.bin.brn.new #3 101115 CLOHR. Don't use.  Bad missing frame rate in low light. Camera from digitalele889.
AAA43929 1735852 AAA43929.1528.bin.brn AAA43929.1528.bin.brn.new #3 101116 JN.  Of many cameras from digitalele889, the better FW.
CCC00464 920376 CCC00464.1528.bin.brn   #3 110102 From Vetall, from his #3 camera.  Small firmware size.  Some people report that they are unable to replace this firmware with a different #3 firmware.  See 83C1BA8D.

Vetall replaced the firmware 1MB chip with a 2MB chip so he could load a larger firmware. The 1 MB 25F80 was replaced with the 2 MB  25O16.   Then he wrote it with the AAA43929 firmware.  Works OK.
83C1BA8D 920376 C3.83c1ba8d.1528.brn   #3 110105 Cyn reports that 83C1BA8D and CCC00464 came in cameras from enjoy-secret.  He was able to read the firmware from each camera and write it back into the same camera, but not able to write different firmware into the cameras.  "They both also exhibit the low light low frame rate / high frame loss of the newer #3’s I received.  The difference is that I cannot load the older #3 firmware onto this version."
           
FEBE9E93 951094 C6.febe9e93.1528.bin.brn C6.febe9e93.1528.bin.brn.new #6 101117 JN #6 downloaded, blanked font, uploaded, works.  Tried uploading #3 FW to #6 camera, failed.
EA5A6FDE 951094 C6.EA5A6FDE.1528.bin.brn   #6 101119 Dean downloaded this FW from his #6.  Was not able to blank the font.
31E3BE2D 951094 C6.31E3BE2D.1528.bin.brn C6.31E3BE2D.1528.bin.brn.new #6 101120 Steve downloaded this FW, blanked the font, uploaded and it worked.
9310489E 951094 C6.9310489E.1528.bin.brn C6.9310489E.1528.bin.brn.new #6 101204 #6 Frank patched.


  
101224 - #3 Information for Linux Users
Philip Nelson of Australia (OK to email him at philip@whatsbeef.net) received a good #3 and has these tips for Linux users.

==========
lsusb output when in mass storage mode:

Bus 001 Device 013: ID 04fc:0171 Sunplus Technology Co., Ltd SPCA1527A/SPCA1528 SD card camera (Mass Storage mode)

Pressing the power button (short press) and it changes to:

Bus 001 Device 014: ID 04fc:1528 Sunplus Technology Co., Ltd SPCA1527A/SPCA1528 SD card camera (webcam mode)

The webcam works fine in Linux with the gspca_spca1528 v4l2 kernel module. If your distro/kernel version doesn't have this, you can try downloading the latest gspca code from http://moinejf.free.fr/ and compiling gspca_spca1528.ko - then just plug it in, select the webcam mode and any application that uses v4l2 will
work.


  
2010 Nov 29 - Two Failed and Repaired #3 Cameras
110530 - See this link for a source of the S4 diode.

101129 - I recently received two #3 cameras and both of them failed.  I repaired both of them with replacement parts.  They were received from eBay digitalele889 on 2010 Nov 13.  I reference these cameras as #3-8 and #3-9.
Top - defective S8 S4 diode.  Middle - replacement diode.  Bottom - smaller S4 diode not used.

SYMPTOM
The battery would not charge.  The battery voltage would not get above 3.9V.  The forward voltage of the S4 diode in the charging circuit was between 0.9V and 1.4V (not shorted or open).  Should be less than 0.6V.

FAILURES
 
1.  The charging diode (marked A8 S4) in the USB battery circuit failed on both cameras.
2.  The RTC crystal (nearest the USB connector) in #3-9 was badly soldered and fell out of the camera when I touched it. 
3.  C3-9 looks like it was modified in a strange way at the factory.  The modification might have been made to compensate for the failed diode.

REPAIRS
I removed two good S4 diodes, labeled S4 and size SMD-123, from an old broken camera and replaced the bad diodes (labeled A8 S4).  That fixed the charging problem.  I don't know if the new diodes will also fail.  The new diodes are marked and shaped slightly different than the bad ones.

I carefully re-soldered the RTC crystal.  The crystal leads do not hold solder well.  Generous flux helps to create a good bond. 

Now both cameras work. 

Repair tools included a 1.5mm temperature controlled soldering iron, magnifying glasses, tweezers, solder, solder wick, solder flux, digital meter.

COMMENTS
It is unknown if the diodes failed because of a design error, or defective part.  SMD-123 diodes marked S4 are usually Schottky with a low forward voltage, nominally 0.55V, and an absolute maximum forward current of 350 mA.  In some situations that might be exceeded.


#3-9 camera, unmodified.  Shows the A8 S4 diode and the RTC crystal.  Also shows the weird factory solder globule mod.  The red battery lead should be soldered where the + is.

#3-9 camera repaired. Replaced the bad diode (replacement labeled S4) and re-soldered the crystal.

  
2010 Nov 28 - #3 Comparison of the old and new camera.
The #3 camera being delivered today is not the same camera from last year.  The missing frame rate is much worse in the new #3 camera.
The following tables compare the missing frame rate of my old #3 camera (September 2009), and my new #3 camera (November 2010).

Video was captured from the old and new camera.  Outdoor bright lighting was used.  A class 6 PQi 4GB flash card was used.

The VirtualDub hex editor was used to make the frame maps below.  The maps show the size of video (00dc) and audio (01wb ignore them) chunks.  Each video chunk is one video frame.  The 0 length video frames are missing frames.  The left column is the old camera and the right column is the new camera.

Not shown in these samples are the long strings of missing frames (30 or more frames per string) that occur periodically in the new #3.

Good frames are about 30% larger on the new camera.  So the total video date rate of both cameras is similar.

The old camera has about 10% missing frames (very good).
The new camera has about 33% missing frames (bad).


#3 Frame map from VirtualDub showing missing frame rate of old #3 camera.

#3 Frame map from VirtualDub showing missing frame rate of a new #3 camera.

  
2010 Nov 28 - More About #3 Battery Charging
Is there a clear cut way of knowing when the battery is fully charged on a #3 camera?
Unfortunately the only reliable way to know that the battery is fully charged is to remove the case and measure the battery module voltage. 
Or modify the camera by bringing the battery module wires outside the case to a connector so that a reliable external LiPo charger can be used.

Since the charging circuit is not "smart" it only charges the LiPo battery to about 70% of its possible maximum.

==========

There are a lot of problems associated with 808 battery charging.

Will the camera indicate when the battery is fully charged?
While the USB is connected, some cameras blink the LED to indicate charging.  When the battery is fully charged the LED is on and not blinking.
Very unreliable.  Works on some cameras, not on others.

How long should the camera be connected to insure it is charged?
The USB cable connected to a good camera will charge a discharged battery (3.6V) to 4.2V in about one hour. 
Longer than that does no good because the protection circuit has disconnected the battery.
If the battery is not fully discharged, charge for less time.

What voltage will the battery be at if it is fully charged?
If the USB cable is connected, when fully charged the battery module voltage will be 4.3V to 5.0V (the LiPo will be 4.2 and disconnected by the protection circuit). 
If the USB cable is not connected, when fully charged the battery module voltage will be about 4.2V.

How do defective components in the camera effect camera charging?
Recently (November 2010) many #3 cameras have experienced a failure of a diode in the charging circuit. 
When USB connected, the camera will either not charge, or will not fully charge.
Diagnosis:
     Remove the plastic case.
     With the USB cable connected if the voltage across the charging diode is greater than 0.6V, then the diode is bad and the battery will not charge.

Some USB cables, especially the ones that come with the 808 camera, have caused charging problems.  The exact problem is unknown but high resistance in the power and ground wire is suspect.

  
101126 - #3 Charging Circuit Problems
SYMPTOM:
Camera owners and sellers have reported problems with LiPo battery charging.  The most obvious symptom is that the LED flashes continuously when the USB is connected, indicating that the battery is not fully charged (4.2V). It never fully charges.  One of my own #3 cameras would not charge the battery above 3.9V no matter how long it was connected.  Normally, one hour is enough to charge the battery.

PROBLEM DESCRIPTION:
The diode (labeled A8S4) is bad. 

PROBLEM HYPOTHYSIS'S:
1. When the USB cable is connected, the USB voltage (nominally 5V) pulls up the battery through a diode (A8 S4) and a resistor (1.5 ohm 1R5).  This circuit intends to charge the battery and supply current to operate the camera.  The current through the diode will be large and even larger when the battery voltage is low.  The current is limited only by the resistor, cable resistance and the forward voltage drop of the diode (nominally 0.55V).  The current exceeds the absolute maximum for the diode, damaging it.  The damaged diode forward voltage rises above 0.9V.
2. The diode does not meet specification and is damaged by less than the absolute maximum current.
3. The diode was installed defective and never tested and the battery was installed fully charged.

PROBLEM ANALYSIS:

Bad engineering.  Bad design.  Bas quality control.  Bad diode in the charging circuit.  High resistance USB cable.

The charging circuit consists of three parts:
1. a diode (sometimes marked A8 S4) in series with
2. a resistor (about 1.5 ohm, sometimes marked 1R5) pulled up to USB voltage (nominally 5V).
2. a battery module that has a LiPo battery and a protection circuit that disconnects the battery above 4.2V.

Engineering design considerations:
1. USB port voltage - compliant USB port voltage can vary from 4.75V to 5.25V.
2. Diode forward drop - a normal diode forward voltage drop can vary from about 0.3C to 1.0V, depending on the type of diode and the current.  In this application the diode forward voltage is nominally 0.55V.
3. Camera operating current - While USB connected, the total USB current supplies about 125 mA to operate the camera and some additional current to charge the battery.
4. USB cable resistance - The power resistance of a 6 foot USB cable (ground wire + positive voltage wire) is about 2 ohms.  This includes the resistance of the wire (usually about 28 gauge) and the connector resistance.  So the cable added resistance, and resultant voltage drop, is part of the charging circuit.
5. Camera heat - The heat from the camera components might over-heat the battery.
6. When the USB cable is connected, the battery module functions like a very large low resistance capacitor.  Pulling the battery up to USB voltage through a resistor and a diode will cause an enormous current limited only by the diode voltage drop, the resistor and the resistance of the USB cable.  This current could exceed the absolute maximum current of the diode, and possibly not be the correct current to charge the LiPo battery.
7. It is possible that some diodes are more susceptible to over current damage than others, so this failure might not happen in all cameras.
8. A resistor of 4.7 ohms is used in some Anyka 808 cameras.  This might limit the current, prevent diode damage and lengthen the battery charge time.
9. Using any compliant USB voltage (4.75 - 5.25V) should be OK.  With this diode problem, using a high USB voltage will charge the camera faster but might damage the diode.  Using a low USB voltage might not charge the battery fully.  Reports are that some external USB power sources (AC powered or battery powered) work well so they probably provide this higher voltage.

PROBLEM EMPIRICAL EXPERIENCE:
My desktop computer USB voltage is 5.14V unloaded.  At the #3 camera circuit board the USB voltage with a 5 foot good USB cable is 4.97V (a cable drop of 0.17V), the diode drop is 0.92V (indicates a damaged diode), the resistor drop is 0.17V and the battery module voltage is 3.88V. So the USB current (0.17V / 1.5 ohms) is only enough to keep the camera powered, and nothing charges the battery.   
In this situation it will take forever to charge the battery to 4.2V. 
I removed the battery module and verified it is good by charging it on a external LiPo charger. 

On my Dell laptop, the USB port voltage is 5.14V unloaded.  5.07V at the #3 circuit board through a USB adapter.  The diode drop is 1.42V (indicates a damaged diode).  That is a defective diode as noted in this report.

SOLUTION:
1. The charging circuit probably needs to be re-designed to accommodate various USB voltages and USB cables, limit the USB current, choose a diode that will survive, and produce the correct current for both the camera and the charging battery.
2.  Replacing the diode might temporarily or permanently make the camera functional.  If the replacement diode is more tolerant of over-current, it might last.  If the diode is bad most consumers can't fix it. It takes an experienced SMT technician to replace that diode, and find the correct replacement.
3.  Replacing the bad diode, and replacing the resistor with a 4.7 ohm might work better.  More bench research is needed.
4.  Using a USB connection with low resistance (a short USB cable or a USB adapter) will increase the available USB voltage at the camera circuit board.

  
101122 - #3 Will Not Charge - Fixed
Jon reported that his #3 had symptoms of low battery charge:  motor boating in the audio, and the LED would perpetually flash while USB connected.

After comparing the voltages of a good #3 with the problem #3 he determined that a diode (in the photo marked A8 S4) was bad.  He replaced the diode with a diode from a damaged #8.  That fixed the camera.

When the USB is connected the battery module is charged through the diode, and the resistor labeled 1R5 (about 1.5 ohm).  In the photo, the top end of the diode is the USB voltage (about 5V) and the diode forward drop is nominally 0.55V while the battery is charging.  Once charged (4.2V), the battery module protection circuit disconnects the LiPo battery, and the battery module voltages rises to almost 5V.


Jon's comments:
With the battery disconnected and USB plugged in, the bad rectifier diode's "in" measured about 4.65v (about the same on the other two cameras' identical rectifier diode) and the "out" was only about 3.65v (but it was about 4.20v on the other two cameras!). I'm not totally sure, but I think the diode's out voltage goes straight to the battery for charging and measuring 3.65v in a battery disconnected state was too low to charge the battery properly, hence the perpetually flashing low battery charge LED while USB connected, short recording time, and excessive motor boating. So I replaced the apparently bad rectifier diode ... After I did that, the problems went away!!! The LED behaves properly now, blinking for a short time during early charging stage and staying solid otherwise and it now charges the battery fully (I get a little over an hour of recording on 1 hour's worth of charging). The motor boating is greatly diminished, becoming noticeable after about 45 minutes into recording (maybe this is normal). I'm still testing it but so far it seems to behave more like my good older version #3, and I think this new #3 is fixed! I'm amazed that I was actually able to fix it, and couldn't have done it without all the helpful info on your site. Thanks; Jon

  
2010 Nov 21 - #3 #8 - Low Light Comparison
Here is what I know, from my own experiments in low indoor light, comparing the #3 and #8 cameras.  There is a design trade-off between exposure control and shutter speed.  Each camera is a different design.

For indoor low lighting the #8 takes correctly exposed video, but severe motion blur because the shutter is slow.   It works best if the camera is stationary, not hand-held.

For indoor low lighting the #3 takes a dark exposure and grainy video with much less motion blur because the shutter is fast.

In outdoor lighting, the motion quality is much better in both cameras, because the shutter time is fast.

Motion blur is more severe with the 808 partly because the camera is only about 1/2 oz..  Tape the camera to a heavy object (I have done this with a brick) and when hand-held you will get less hand movement and less motion blur.


  
2010 Nov 14 - Firmware Chip EEPROM Programmer
Roger M.  received an EEPROM programmer (NANO BIOS Programmer)  from eBay (12 day delivery to the UK) that can directly read and write the firmware flash SPI chip (SOP-8 package) in the camera.

Roger had a bricked camera.  He was able to un-brick the camera by reading the chip from a good camera, blanking the font, and writing it to the chip in the bricked camera.

Rogers comments:

Included with the order is a SOP8 to DIL8 adapter, this one you have to solder on the IC then plug it into the programmer. For a combined package total of less than $25 i thought that was money well spent considering i have the soldering skills to keep soldering and removing the IC's. I have now ordered a special SOP8 to DIL8 adapter from this eBay supplier this seller is the cheapest i have found so i do not have to keep on soldering and de-soldering the IC.

Until my new units arrive, I won't have an unmodified image to download to the programmer, so if anyone wishes to take a look, I have also included the 2MB datestamp modifed bin image that was saved via the programmer.  File 4520bfdd 101114 C3 SPI Flash Dump.1528.bin in the C3 folder of the vault.   NOTE: you can not upload this file using the ISP program.



  
2010 Nov 15 - Report on New #3 Cameras
101129 - Both #3 cameras from eBay digitalele889 failed and were repaired.  See the report.
101115 - Update - I opened the case.  The battery is unmarked.  The processor is SPCA1527A.  The board is marked ND600V4.

Great News - I installed old firmware from a #3 I received in September 2009 (CRC32 = a3cb0699).  I did not know if the old firmware would work.  The indoor missing frame rate dropped from 50-75% to about 18%.  Wow!  More testing continues.

101114 - I received two #3  cameras from eBay digitalele889.  11 day delivery from Hong Kong.  This seller advertises the camera as the #3.

Compared to the "genuine" #3 that we know, this camera has some disappointing problems.  Based on the measurements, this camera seems to have an underpowered processor.

Things that are the same: 720x480 video, 1280x1024 photo, 353Kbps audio, yellow video date time stamp in the lower right.

I used a formatted PQi class 6, 4GB micro SDHC card to do tests.

High missing frame rate - The FPS is 30.9 and the missing frame rate is high; about 50-75% for indoor lighting and 18-20% in good outdoor light.  The missing frame rate is the lower number when the camera is stationary.  A good #3 has less than 10% missing frames.

Low total data rate - The indoor and outdoor total AVI data rate is 38 MB and 61 MB per minute, respectively.  This low rate is partly due to the high missing frame rate.  The camera writes missing frames as zero length records in the AVI file.  A good #3 would be about 85 MB per minute. 

Tele AOV - The angle of view is 37 degrees, about 54mm equivalent.  This is slightly more telephoto than I have seen on other cameras.

Different firmware - I downloaded the firmware.  The 1528.bin.brn file (CRC32 = F7037EF9) is different than my other #3 cameras.

High video noise - There seems to be an excess of video noise.

I will be opening the case and doing some more tests..

2010 Nov 11 - How to Un-brick Your #3 Camera!
101111 - Reports are that ISP and the un-brick procedure do not work with Windows 7-64, but do work with XP-32 and 7-32.
101102 Many, many thanks to Xorg for this tip!!!!

If you brick your #3 camera while trying to reload the firmware, here is a way that might un-brick it.  After un-bricking you must then load good firmware into the camera using the ISP program.

I accidentally bricked my #3 camera using ISP.  This procedure un-bricked it.  I then used ISP to load good firmware.

Roger M. reports that this procedure did not un-brick his #3 camera.

1.  Install the webcam driver.
2.  Remove the plastic case and remove the circuit board from the case. 
Caution - the voltages are live while the battery is connected or the USB is connected.  Work on a non-metal surface.

3.  Connect the USB.
4.  Short the two contacts shown in the photo.
5.  While shorted, long press the reset button.
6.  Remove the short.
7.  If the camera USB connects (expect the Windows USB connect sound) the camera is un-bricked.  Your camera will not work until you load working firmware.
8. Run ISP and load working firmware.



101109 Gavin in the UK contributed this great tip:

I have 3x #3 cameras and recently tried to de-timestamp them. Followed the guide, but it didn't go so well. It is certainly a dodgy process! Ended up bricking two of them, so followed the un-bricking guide.

The PCB's had a slightly different layout. One of them was as per the picture and worked fine, no issues. Plus it accepted the file straight away and worked fine.

The other one was different, but I did work out the two grounding points. However, it didn't quite work the same, when you press the reset button while grounding the two points, the LED would merely flicker. It didn't want to work at first but after some messing around (not 100% sure of the exact process! I kept it ground and just kept on pressing the reset button, plus the on/off button too) it recognized the device and I flashed the firmware. It works perfectly now.

Here's a picture of the new layout.

  
2010 Nov 04 - 808 Keychain Cam #3 Timestamp Removal - by Simon
Simon's instructions: How to modify the #3 camera firmware to blank the font which will disable the video date time stamp.

Readme.txt file: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=3571609

RCGroups post: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16446110&postcount=5954


  
2010 Nov 06 - Wildview Firmware Updates
Matt in Australia found this interesting information.  Wildview (www.wildviewcam.com) makes some wildlife cameras that seem to use the Sunplus 1528 software.  They publish firmware updates for some of their products. 

==========

Comments from Matt:

I have done some more research with irfanview on the firmware files and discovered that they all have hidden under the fonts a triangle with a exclamation mark inside it. Under that there is some other words. I managed to assemble them into the word 0 WILDVIEW (see attached file).

After a quick Google search I discovered this web site http://www.wildviewcam.com and more importantly the support page with these firmware updates http://www.wildviewcam.com/downloads.html (view the updates for the "Wildview Scouting Camera Firmware".)

If you download any of these files you will find a PDF with firmware update instructions and in another zipped file there is these 5 file,
1528.bin
DRAMPARA.TXT
ISP.BIN
ISPKEY.TXT
OXOXOXOX.XOX

If these files are loaded to a formatted memory card it is possible to update the firmware on the Wildview camera directly from the SD card. I wonder if it is possible to use some of these files to do the same on a 808 etc? This may be a quick way to update the patched firmware?


  
2010 Nov 02 - #3 Video Date Times Stamp Removed
This is to report that I removed the video date time stamp from one #3 camera.  My OS is Windows XP-32.

110109 CAUTION - Reports are that changing the firmware increases the missing frame rate.  Even if you re-write the original firmware the increase in missing frame rate remains.

If you try this, do it at your own risk.

ISP.EXE (In System Programming)  is used to download and upload the camera firmware.

ISP is compatible with XP-32 and 7-32. 
ISP is not compatible with 7-64 (Tom, Carlos).

If you get any errors, do not proceed.
 
If something goes wrong you might brick your camera.
 
Sometimes a camera can be un-bricked.

If you try this procedure on a different operating system, email me with your success or failure.

No guarantee that this will work for your #3 camera, and it might brick it.  The risk it totally yours.
This procedure has also worked with the gumpack camera that has the Sunplus processor and same electronics as the #3.

Here is the basic procedure.
1. Downloaded the firmware from the camera and observe the file size.
2A. Blank the font in the firmware file
2B. Make sure that the downloaded file size matches the size of the new firmware
3.Upload the blanked font firmware file

==========

I install the latest #3 webcam driver SPCA1528.rar.
I connect the USB. 
I go into webcam mode (short press the #3 power button).

I download driver.rar from the web. 
I extract the isp rar file from the driver.rar file. 
The isp rar file might look like "isp⟨⟨⟨⟨⟨⟨.rar" or "isp(软件工具).rar". 
Then I extract the files in that rar file.

The isp.ini file needs to be edited.  I correct these paths so they are correct for my computer:
  ParamFile =C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz.TXT
  IspFile   =C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\ISP_SPI.BIN
  FwFile    =C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\1528.bin.brn



The ISP program is used to download (#3 to PC) the firmware or upload (PC to #3) the firmware.  When uploading use the brn file, not the raw file.

I run isp.exe.

I press the "Ver. Check" (version check) button. 
If ISP displays like this stop, something is wrong, do not proceed.

The ISP display is something like this:

I press the "Read [F6]" button.  I am asked for a folder name for the download files.  Files and folders
(from #3 to PC) are downloaded. 
The important files are:
SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz.TXT
ISP_SPI.BIN
1528.BIN.BRN



The NoTimeStamp program will blank the font in a bin.brn file.  The input and output file will be the same size.

I run NoTimeStamp.exe written by isoprop. I specify source 1528.bin.brn and destination 1528.bin.brn.new.  I press Patch!  I press Exit.

I press the ISP [F5] button.  I specify   SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz.TXT,   ISP_SPI.BIN, and firmware file 1528.bin.brn.new.

I press the OK button and wait up for a few minutes (45 seconds on my computer)  for the upload (PC to #3 firmware write) to complete.  While uploading Windows will make sounds to indicate USB connect or disconnect.  The ISP program looks dead (no activity indicated), but be patient and wait.

When the firmware is successfully uploaded, The ISP displays something like this:

I disconnect the USB. 
I reset the camera.  Then if the camera seems dead, I do the next step.
The camera does not respond so I connect the USB, wait until the LED comes on, then immediately USB disconnect.
The camera seems OK and can be turned off and on.
I take a sample video, and play the AVI file.
Video Date Time stamp is gone.



  
2010 Oct 30
#3 Firmware Mod
Downloading (#3 PC) and Uploading (PC #3)
Removing the Date Time Stamp
CAUTION

Use at your own risk.

This mod involves downloading firmware from your camera (safe) and uploading new firmware to your camera (risky).

The upload is risky because it has been done successfully only on a few #3 cameras.
It is unknown if it will work for all #3 cameras.
If it does not work on your #3 camera it could brick (make inoperable) the camera
and you will be unable to reload the original firmware.  How to un-brick.

This mod is only for the #3.

Roger M. has completed 4 videos and a setup package for the #3 808.

==========

Comments from Roger M.:

I'm in the process of making an upload firmware video and possibly a modify 1528.bin file video too so owners can modify their own bin file.
The setup package has a modified 1528.bin file which has the datestamp removed. Another #3 owner, Simon, used the file on his #3 and it worked.

Step-by-step process:

1) Download and install setup package - #3 ISP (In System Programming) tool, webcam driver, webcam viewer, modified 1528.bin file.
   C3 variant 808 setup files.rar

2) How to setup software package     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En_bjjgyyyY

3) How to put camera into setup mode    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7JBxnZLJds

4) How to download firmware    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBY4v9hgA24

You are doing this at your own risk.  If you have any doubts, do not upload.

5) 101108 Uploading (PC to #3) the firmware.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gaaNuD1vDs

  
2010 OCT 04 - Removing the #3 Video Date Time Stamp -
Using the ISP (In System Programming) Tool to Dump the Firmware,
Edit Out the Font from the Firmware,
and Reload the Firmware.
101030 Update - See #3 Firmware Mod
Roger M.  in the UK has found the way to download (camera to PC) the #3 camera firmware!  He is using the SunPlus ISP (In System Programming) tool.  SunPlus makes the processor in the #3, #6 and #8 cameras.

Photos Below↓

=====  Comments from Roger  =====

2010 Oct 03 22:00 - I read up about the MIQI Q7 camera and the subsequent driver package that i found some very interesting stuff. I have managed to download the firmware of a #3 808!!!! :) using the ISP program that came with that driver package that you have linked to. I have included some pictures of it working. The first picture is proof that ISP can see the camera. The second picture is start of the reading process, I'm about to select the location where to save the files it downloads from the camera. The last picture shows the reading complete. The files it reads from the chip are as follows:

1528.bin
1528.bin.brn
Res_0x100
2 Directories of Res files A & B
Directory A - 70 Res files Res_0x0 to Res_0xf
Dirctory B - 2 files, Res_0x80, Res_0x81

How to get ISP and the #3 camera to work was as follows.
By the way, setup mode seems to be the same key press function as putting the 808 in webcam mode. Make sure the 808 is switched off, keep you finger pressed on the 808 mode (photo/video) button then plug in the USB cable. You will hear a few beeps from your computer indicating that it has seen the 808. First time connecting on my PC brought up new hardware detected so i installed the webcam drivers. When you have heard the beeps, the light should be on the 808 so now you can release your finger off the 808 mode button now.

1) Had to find a know working USB lead, i tried 3 and all would no go into setup mode. I'm actually using the USB cable from my Motorola Razor V3 phone. It works every time. Anyway, to confirm that the ISP program can see the #3 808, i press the Verify button, look at picture one to see what the result is you should be getting. If it does not work, you will get 'USB connection error' displayed.

2) If you wish to read the contents of the #3 IC you must change the directory listing in the ISP config file to match the location of where you have unzipped the archive. NOTE: The ISP program does not like spaces in the command line so don't save the archive to a location that has spaces in the listing like 'C:/Documents and Settings/' When i tried to read, it would just hang. The line that needs changing is IspFile = .If you notice on the screen grab i've done on picture two, you will notice that it says C:\ISP_SPI.bin so in the ISP configuration file, the command line was changed to IspFile =C:\ISP_SPI.bin

3) When your ready to read the contents of the IC, just press the Read button, this will start to download files of the #3 808. If you look at picture 2, it asks you for a location where to save the files, once you've choose a location, it carries on reading the contents of the IC.

4) Picture 3 shows what a successful read looks like.

I've only downloaded the contents of the #3 808. I've not done any further checking because it's now 3am and i'm exhausted. Hope my investigation helps many others out there.


2010 Oct 04 07:00 - Comments from Roger M.
I wanted to let you know that while i have been able to download the firmware of a #3 808, I've not been able to upload it back. I have now bricked (killed) 2 units (how to un-brick). Have ordered another 3. This is getting to be rather expensive lol. Anyway, looking at the 1528.bin file that it creates when downloading the firmware, you get to see various parameter entries like 4 settings for the Video display, 3 settings for the audio, some settings for the camera module.

Now looking at the various txt files in the ISP folder, it would appear that they are parameter data for the SPI chip. If you open up the txt files you will note that the data is unreadable. Data like this in a txt file usually means that another program was used to make the parameter entries but saved its data in its own format as a txt file, hence why it is unreadable to us. My own fault, i was still tired from the day before and used one of the pre-existing SYS_ txt files, uploaded it via ISP, it said it had written ok. I unplugged the USB, turned off the 808, but now neither of them will switch on. I believe the parameter data in the txt file i used was wrong for that type of SPI chip.

There is a feature on ISP that when you click the ISP button, there is a tick box 'Param Only', when i ticked this then clicked ISP button, it indicated that it was trying to download, but because my unit is dead it would not work so i'm wondering if this option is ticked, that it would download the parameters from the camera. That's why I've ordered some more cameras so i can try.

Also, there are 4 core files, NAND, NOR SPI and ISP_SST. I can only assume these relate to the ram chip on the unit and you must select the right one.

So please, inform your readers that it's is not just a simple case of download the firmware of the camera, look for where timestamp data is then upload it again. We must make sure we have the right parameter file AND the right ISP core file. Get either of wrong and you've killed your unit, as i have.

But the fun is in the trying though isn't it :)


2010 Oct 04 11:00 - Comments from Roger M.
Attached is a text file showing a list of possible parameters that i have found in the 1528.bin file that was downloaded off my #3 before i killed it  haha, oh well. Anyway, I've done my best to show what parameters appear by using a hext editor to trawl through the .bin file. I am sure there are errors in there somewhere but an item of note that is worth pointing out is that it has a parameter to turning the datestamp on and off.

I'm now seeing where the locations are for the text for the datestamp to possible but empty values there. Just like was done with the gum camera.

I'll keep plugging along

==== #3 808 paramaters.txt ======

Parameter settings for #3

Still Record Resolution - 2592x1944, 2048x1536, 1024x768, 640x480
  Quality - Super Fine, Fine, Normal
  Metering - Center, Multi, spot
  White Balance
    Auto - Daylight, Cloudy
Fluorescent Tungsten Exposure - -2.0, -1.7, -1.3, -1.0, -0.7, -0.3, +0.0, +0.3, +0.7, +1.0, +1.3, +1.7, +2.0
Driver Mode - off, selftimer 2s, selftimer 10s
Burset Effect - Normal, B&W, Sepia, Negative, Red, Green, Blue
Date Stamp - Off, Date, Date&Time

Video Menu
Movie size - 640x480, 320x240
Frame Rate - High, Low
Metering  - Center, Multi, Spot
White Balance
  Auto - Day, Cloudy, Flurorescent, Tungesten

Audio Menu
Audio Qulity - 48Khz, 22KHz, 8Khz
Playback lock
  Lock/Unlock one - Yes, No
  Lock All - Yes, No
  Unlock All - Yes, No
  Delete
    One - Yes, No
    All - Yes No
Slide Show
Start Interval - 1sec, 2sec, 3sec, 4sec, 5sec, 6sec, 7sec, 8sec, 9sec, 10sec
Repeat - Yes, No
Effect - B&W, Sepia, Negative, Red, Blue, Binarize, Sunset, Warm, Cold, Contrast
Rotate
Rotate - Save, Back
Resize - 2048x1536, 1024x768, 640x480
Voice Memo - Add, Delete
Startup Image - set, cancel, setup, sounds
Shutter - on, off
Startup - None, 1,2,3
Beep - On, Off
Volume - 0,1,2,3
Auto Review - Off, 1sec, 3 sec
Power Frequency - 50Hz, 60Hz
Power Save - 1min, 3min, 5min
Date & Time
Year - 2000 through to 2030
Month - 01 to 12
Day - 01 to 31
Hour - 00 to 23
Minute - 00 to 59
TimeStyle - MM/DD/YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, YYYY/MM/DD
Language - English, S Chinese, T Chinese
TV Out - NTSC , PAL, USB, MSDC, PCCAM, SIDC
Start-up Image - off, System
My Image
Format - Yes, No
Reset All - Yes, No
DPS
Print
  Standard Index
  Image - Single, All
Quality - Auto, fine, Normal
Draft
Layout
  Auto - 1,2,4,6,8, Full
Page Size
  Auto - L, 2L, 100x150(mm)
Postcard - 4\, 8\
Letter - A4, A3
Paper Type
  Auto -  Plain, Photo, F
Photo Date
  Auto - Off, On
File No
  Auto - Off, On
Reset - Yes, No

Calibration
USB Power Mode
  Configure
    0B - Off, On
Lens Shading - Off, On
Gamma - Off, On
AE
Manual
  Auto
  AE Gid +/- - 0 to 100
AWB - Off, On
Snap Raw
Snap Pure Raw. PV, Raw.PV YUV
AE Test - Test Part1, Test Part2, Test Part3


2010 Oct 05 17:00 - Comments from Roger M.
Here's some more info on the 808. Firstly, I've attached three files. One shows a hex edit of two different 808 firmwares. I've labeled the pictures accordingly new_fw and 808_3_fw. The new_fw image is taken from the .bin file that is on that Google source site and the 808_3_fw image is taken from the fw.bin file that i download from my own #3 808. You will notice that i have highlighted the version dates in both and you can see, the #3 version date (May 20 2009) is older than the one taken from that source site (Oct 10 2009), so if we ever work out how to upload to the 808, it might be worth using that fw.bin file just to see what happens.

The third file (files.ini) is a list of the file names that correspond to the Resx0 files that gets downloaded from the #3 808. I can only assume that it may correspond to other 808 versions too, that's if anyone else tries to download the firmware, but if they do, at least they will know what Resx0 file relates to fw.bin and then they can use a hex editor to look for the version date.

That source site you linked too is very useful. It is definitely related to a LCD media device because the source files show the model numbers of the LCD's that they are using, as well as the model numbers for the camera modules too.

Will be interesting to see if anyone else manages to download the firmware off their 808.

====  files.ini   =====
Folder A File List

Res_0x0.res = Adf.bin
Res_0x1.res = AVIHeader.bin
Res_0x2.res = Exposure.bin
Res_0x3.res = AVIHeader_PCM.bin
Res_0x4.res = AwbCtt.bin
Res_0x5.res = BadPixView.bin
Res_0x6.res = BadPixCap.bin
Res_0x7.res = LensLut.bin
Res_0x8.res = Gamma.bin
Res_0x9.res = CdspPara.bin
Res_0xa.res = english.sfn
Res_0xb.res = VideoHeader.bin
Res_0xc.res = UsbStr.txt
Res_0xd.res = Open.jpg
Res_0xe.res = Open_1.wav
Res_0x2a.res = pblock.yuv
Res_0x2b.res = pbmemo.yuv
Res_0x2c.res = pbvideo.yuv
Res_0x2d.res = photoframe.yuv
Res_0x2e.res = cdsphc.bin
Res_0x2f.res = fileerr.yuv
Res_0xf.res = Menu.jpg
Res_0x10.res = Shutter.wav
Res_0x11.res = Open_2.wav
Res_0x12.res = Open_3.wav
Res_0x13.res = Beep.wav
Res_0x14.res = Pwrctrl.bin
Res_0x15.res = AUDIOBG1.jpg
Res_0x16.res = Usb.jpg
Res_0x17.res = BG.jpg
Res_0x18.res = Close_1.wav
Res_0x19.res = stamp.yuv
Res_0x1a.res = icon.sfn
Res_0x1b.res = chinese_s.sfn
Res_0x1c.res = chinese_s_1.sfn
Res_0x1d.res = chinese_t.sfn
Res_0x1e.res = chinese_t_1.sfn
Res_0x1f.res = Frame_A.jpg
Res_0x20.res = Frame_B.jpg
Res_0x21.res = Frame_C.jpg
Res_0x22.res = Frame_D.jpg
Res_0x23.res = ds_6432.yuv
Res_0x24.res = ds_4824.yuv
Res_0x25.res = ds_3216.yuv
Res_0x26.res = ds_2412.yuv
Res_0x27.res = ds_2010.yuv
Res_0x28.res = ds_168.yuv
Res_0x29.res = ds_106.yuv
Res_0x30.res = criteria.dat
Res_0x31.res = ob.dat
Res_0x32.res = awb.dat
Res_0x33.res = iq.dat
Res_0x34.res = speTableHour.dat
Res_0x35.res = speTableWavy.dat
Res_0x36.res = speTableBubble.dat
Res_0x37.res = ob_cal.dat
Res_0x38.res = string_en.res
Res_0x39.res = string_cs.res
Res_0x3a.res = string_ct.res
Res_0x3b.res = LensLut1.bin
Res_0x3c.res = LensLut2.bin
Res_0x3d.res = stamp320x24.yuv
Res_0x3e.res = stamp640x32.yuv
Res_0x3f.res = sun192x24.yuv
Res_0x40.res = moon192x24.yuv
Res_0x41.res = sun288x32.yuv
Res_0x42.res = moon288x32.yuv
Res_0x43.res = cwb.bin
Res_0x44.res = 0320Q850.hdr
Res_0x45.res = BadPixCap1.bin

Folder B File List
Res_0x80.res = Udf.bin
Res_0x81.res = Open.jpg

[FW]
Res_0x100.res = Fw.bin

100708 08 - Comments from Roger M.
Using the same method as was done by those who timestamp hacked their gum camera (worked out on my own how they achieve it, i didn't email anyone asking how they done it), i've applied the same reasoning to the 1528.bin file that was download from my #3 808. You will notice from the two pictures that i have managed to remove the fonts.

Their site shows using InfraView to view their file as RAW. The downloaded files i got with my #3 808, i used InfraView in raw mode to check both fw.bin and 1528.bin and the fonts only show up in 1528.bin. It is therefore interesting to assume that both these files reside in the SPI chip or is the fw.bin in the SPI and the 1528.bin in the SPCA1528 chip. I think the only way of knowing for sure is to take off the SPI chip and read the info off it directly by an eprom programmer (something i plan in the future). But for now, the fonts have been removed from the 1528.bin file. I just need to figure out how to upload it to a new #3 808 when it finally arrives.

101009 19 - Comments from Roger M.
Hi, have got some very good news. I have finally solved the problem of removing the time stamp from my #3 808 using the ISP software to upload a modified 1528.bin file. I've attached a very short video as evidence. You will notice that i have not fully removed the time stamp, you can still see some lines. The video is a shot of my table football pitch (subbuteo) but it is enough to prove that it can finally be achieved. The only thing i did different this time was to download the parameters off the 808 first and modify a different 1528.bin file (explained further in the message). If you press the ISP button, the next screen that appears, you will notice there is a small tick box titled 'Param Only'. I ticked this box. The other settings are as follows:-


#3 camera, video frame, font almost removed, 1/2 scale
Parameter file = SYS_REG_DS64_D96C96_SPI_12Mhz
ISP Core file = ISP_SPI
ISP Firmware file = 1528.bin

VERY IMPORTANT: You must carry out the the above download first otherwise i believe your 808 will just fail to power on.

If you follow the steps in a previous post of mine to get it connected to ISP, making sure that the 'Param Only' tickbox is ticked, if you press ISP again, you will notice that it will download the parameter off the 808. I am assuming that it overwrites the file you have selected in 'Parameter File' because i cannot find the newly downloaded parameter file. Once you've done that, you now uncheck that 'Param only' check box, but before you press ISP button again, make sure the 'Read Verify' box is ticked. Now you can click the ISP button and you will notice that it will start to upload the modified 1528.bin file to your unit. Once it's finished i closed down the program and ran two steps that i found under the heading 'problems and how to fix them'. It is the last two, test 1 and 2. I carried out both these tests. Plugged in my SD card and as you can see by the test video, i have a result :).

Oh yes, the modified 1528.bin file. This is probably where i went wrong the last time also. When you download the firmware off the 808, you get two 1528 files, a .raw and a .brn. Using a hex editor, i noticed that there are slight differences in the two files, so this time i chose to modify the 1528.bin.brn file. Using a hex editor i removed the font's for the date stamp. Saved the file and renamed it to 1528.bin. This is the file selected in the ISP program. I've just spent the last 6 hrs working on this problem and i can truthfully i am utterly overjoyed at my results.


 

#3 camera, video frame, font removed, 1/2 scale
101010 11 - Comments from Roger M.
I have just completed around 15 uploads to my #3 808 without any problems. I'm still not totally convinced about the parameter file even though i made a blank one.  What i did was basically make an empty notepad file and saved it as Parama.txt. I then downloaded the parameters off my camera by selecting my new file as its location. The only thing is, the file is totally blank, nothing in there and the file size says 0 bytes. This potentially shatters my previous remarks about significance of using a correct parameter file when uploading bin files. It just seems weird that even though the parameter file I'm using is a blank file i made myself, the camera still functions ok. When my other 808 camera's arrive, i will see if just a blank parameter file, the isp_spi core file and a modified 1528.bin.brn file is all that is required. Now that i am continually modifying the 1528.bin.brn file, renaming it to 1528.bin then uploading it, I've had success in all the
15 attempts at uploading. The test2 video file i have just this minute taken after the 15th upload, so i know the process i am doing is working because i can repeat the process and have the camera working every time.

With regards to the two font image files i sent you, i have recently found an error. If you look at an unmodified bin file you will notice two sets of fonts. The modified one i sent you shows the top set of fonts removed. During my investigation, i have recently found out that the top set of fonts relate to the date stamp on pictures, and the second font for the videos. I enclose a new test video and you will notice the date stamp has been totally removed. I had to return to the original 1528.bin.brn file and modify it all over again. This time i still have font issues with regards to pictures but you will notice those horrible lines have now gone. Therefore you will need to modify my original post on your site to reflect my error.

Also find attached a quick how-to tutorial for downloading (camera to PC) #3 firmware. Have a look, give it a try and see if you can spot any errors in it. This way it gives the community a helping hand in downloading the firmware.
English -  101010 808 C3 firmware download tutorial.pdf
Spanish translation - 101020 Carlos Manual_descarga_firmware_C3-1.pdf


101010 05 - Comments from Roger M.

With regards to the challenges now facing us 808 owners, I shall comment on each one.
 
1)  There are two options, we try and explain how and where to edit the bin file, this method  can cause problems for those who are technically challenged and might cause them to brick (how to un-brick) there 808. Or we get the owners of the 808's to download the firmware files and send me the 1528.bin.brn file of all the different variants. I can then edit the bin file and you could then post a repository on your site with all the variants and there modified bin file.
 
2) The only way i know of confirming the fw version of each variant is to check the date using a hex editior of the fw.bin, like i showed in one of the emails i sent you. I have not checked to see if there is a version date on the 1528.bin.brn file, that is something i've yet to do. If ALL #3 808 have the same hardware then the 1528.bn.brn modified file will work in it because the settings hidden in it are for the specific chips in there. It will only cause problems if the SPI chip or the RAM chip are different types. The SPCA1527A is common to all of them i am assuming.
 
3) You point out that the #3, #6 and #8 are all of a similar model. As long as can confirm that the 3 main IC's, the SPI, the RAM and the SPCA IC are all the same, moving fw.bin and 1528.bin files between models shouldnt be a problem, as below explains.
 
The reason i know this is because as you know i bricked (how to un-brick) my original #3. I have a faulty gum camera which has the same exact hardware as the #3. So i desoldered the SPI IC off the #3 and replaced it with the one off the gum camera. When i powered on the #3, it came to life but get this, the button functions for operating #3 didn't work as they should have done, what worked was when i used the button press functions of the gum camera. Now it powered back on, I used ISP to put the original fw.bin and the modified 1528.bin.brn file over to the #3 and it worked, as by the test.avi video i emailed you. So lets recap, a SPI IC containing the fw and 1528 bin files off a gum camera with the EXACT same hardware worked on a #3 808. That's why i know that as long as the hardware in each 808 variant is the same for that model, the fw.bin and 1528.bin file doesnt really matter. I shouldn't brick the 808. But i can understand how many 808 owners might be skeptical about this so therefore i need to do further testing, but not have a many 808's of different variants, my testing is going to be very limited.
 
Other Notes:-
From my investigations of downloading and uploading files to the 808, I'm assuming that the parameter settings that get downloaded is unique to each camera hence why we see the differences in video quality. If you remember, the 1528.bin file shows various settings for the camera when you go looking in there with a hex editor. I need to do further investigations on this also because i am not 100% convinced that choosing the wrong parameter from the pre-existing list of files that came with the Q7 camera is what caused me to brick my #3, but i know that it is related somehow. If you look at the fw.bin file, there is a small section in there that deals with SPI and it is  looking for 3 files, FW.BIN, 1528.BIN and DRAMPAR.TXT. My conclusion is, that it is the DRAMPAR.TXT file that includes the settings for the camera, the hue, backlight, stuff like that and the 1528.bin file interacts with this DRAMPAR.TXT file and matches the string values in there with the string values you see when using a hex editor. So, based on this, it should be possible to download the parameters off a #3 and reload them into a #8.
 
The problem now facing us is lack of variants to try. Getting users of 808's to download files off there unit is the easy part because there is no uploading involved so it wont brick there unit. I've now got a seriously modified #3 that i can no longer confirm the integrity of using its data in other peoples 808's. To be honest, to help the 808 community further, i am going to need some good Samaritans who can send me a unit of each variant. Otherwise we are going to have to rely on other 808 users to also do a lot of the testing and investigation, as i have done.
 
Apart from all that, things are looking bright for removing date stamp from the 808's. It just needs a lot of further testing before we can safely roll out our results to the community. As you point out, last thing we want is users bricking (how to un-brick) their 808's .






  
2010 Aug 25 - Misc
100820 - googlebot received a #3 camera from bazaarlee and reports:    It is much better than version 7 at low light conditions.  But the interesting that I found is that the frame rate of the camera is variable. Unlike the version 7 whose frame rate is constant at all light conditions (~20fps).  The frame rate of version 3 depends of the light.  At outdoor the frames are about 28fps , but at low light indoor they drops to 7-8fps!  It seems this dramatic improves the video quality at the expense of the fps of course .
 


  
2010 Aug 21 - #3 Camera Module Tear Down
InInside the 808 camera is a "camera module", sometimes called a CCM (compact camera module).  I did a tear down on a camera module and here are the results.  Even within a version of the 808 camera there are various camera modules used so the camera module in your camera might be different.


Tear Down of a Camera Module, YouTube Video

C3 Camera Module Tear Down
C3 Camera Module Tear DownI had a damaged #3 camera so I tore down the lens to see what is in there.  The optics consist of 4 plastic lenses and a glass infrared blocking filter. 

From left to right. 
1. Plastic lens barrel.  The threads seem to be 6 mm x 0.35 mm thread pitch.
2. Positive plastic lens.
3. Thin black lens separator.
4. Negative plastic lens.
5. Thin black lens separator.
6. Positive plastic lens.
7. Thick black lens separator
8. Positive plastic lens
9. Black lens separator
10.Glass infrared blocking filter.  Broke during removal.
11.Plastic camera housing.
12.CMOS camera sensor, back side, shows 24 BGA (Ball Grid Array) solder points.  Might be an OV7670
13.Flat cable assembly, showing 24 BGA points and 24 pin solder connector.

  
2010 Aug 16 - Format in an External Reader
 Format the flash card in an external reader will give the largest free space.  The #3 does not size the card correctly during format, reducing 4GB free space 7.4%.

3745947648 free bytes - Formatting 4GB using my #3.
4060520448 free bytes - Formatting 4GB in an external reader.

The #3 free byte size error of 7.4% happens to be the difference between the two ways that gigabytes are represented.
Two to the thirtieth power, or 1000000000. (2**30 / 1E9) = 1.074.

  
Some Special #3 Tests

Special Case Conclusion Test
100815 - When the flash card is full. The camera will not take video or photos.  The camera installs as an empty mass storage device.  Webcam mode works.
Power on - The LED comes on.
Take a Photo - The LED stays on.  No JPG file is created.
Take a video - The LED stays on.  No AVI file is created.
Power off - The LED goes off.
Connect the USB cable - The camera installs as an empty mass storage device.  Short press the power button - The camera leaves mass storage device mode and enters webcam mode.  Short press the power button - The camera leaves webcam mode and enters mass storage device mode.
100815 - When the flash card is almost full (108E6 bytes remaining). The camera will record video until 560K bytes are remaining and will then stop recording and close the AVI file.
● Power on - The LED comes on.
● Take a video - The LED flashes three times and goes out.  Video recording continues for about 71 seconds.  The LED comes on for 1 second and then goes off (the video stops, the AVI file is closed and camera shuts off).   The AVI file is playable and the flash has 561152 bytes remaining.
100815 - When the flash card is missing. The LED will flash 35 times and the camera turns off.  The camera can install as an empty mass storage device.  Webcam mode does not work. Power on - The LED comes on. The LED flashes 35 times.  The LED goes off.
Connect the USB cable - The camera installs as an empty mass storage device.  Short press the power button - Nothing happens. Webcam mode does not start.



  
2010 Aug 19 - Dead #3 Camera Revived with Hard Reset
Before trying this extreme fix to revive a dead camera, try the following:  Press and hold the power button, connect the USB cable then release the button.  Press and hold the power button, disconnect the USB cable then release the button.  If your camera is still dead then try the hard reset.

Summary - Hard Reset: Cutting, re-soldering and re-insulating a battery wire will hard reset your camera and battery module, possibly reviving your dead camera.

I received a new dead #3 camera that only worked while the USB cable was connected.  A battery module test indicated that the LiPo protection circuit was keeping the battery disconnected.  After cutting, re-soldering and re-insulating the battery wires the problem was corrected.  My guess is this is some sort of LiPo protection circuit problem that is reset by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery module.

---- DETAILS ------

I ordered four #3 cameras and one arrived half dead.

SYMPTOMS:
USB connected - the webcan and mass storage device work.  Connected for 1 hour to charge the battery.
USB disconnected - nothing works.  No LED.  Buttons do nothing.  Reset does nothing.

DIAGNOSIS:
I opened the case.
USB connected - the battery measured 4.90V.  This is correct as expected.  The full charged LiPo has been disconnected by the protection circuit.
USB disconnected - The battery measures 3.09V.  This is not correct.  Should be about 4.2V. 

I cut the battery wires and temporarily jumpered a known good battery module into the camera.  The camera works fine.

The questionable batttery, now unloaded, measured 4.29V.  Strange.  I removed the yellow mylar tape from the questionable battery module to inspect and measure the protection circuit.  Everything checkd out ok.  With 5V across the battery module the protection circuit disconnected the LiPo.  I loaded the battery with a 25, 15, 10 and 2 ohm (150 mA to more than 1.5 amp) and all was OK.

I reinstalled the questionable battery module and the camera works fine.

I suspect that the protection circuit was in an odd state that kept the LiPo constantly disconnected.
#3 Camera
#3 camera bottom side
LiPo Protection Circuit
#3 camera top button side
#3 Camera
#3 camera battery module LiPo protection circuit.  16 mm wide.  PWB labeled OTK HT1535.  Chip labeled 4301A 9v.  Battery module labeled HT402030PL 3.7V JF29.
 


  
2010 Aug 16 - #3 Power Supply Research
Harry in Germany has done some great work identifying the power supply circuits of the #3 camera.  Schematics of the Anyka cameras (#1, #7) are available here:  http://www.chucklohr.com/808/#AnykaSchematics.  Here are comments from Harry.

What I also tried to find out is how the low battery detection works. Normally, my camera requires at least 3.55V to start, during operation 3.45V are required, otherwise the LED starts flashing. I found two resistors, that seem to be resposible for setting the battery voltage detection. There is a voltage devider, made up by a 2Meg and a 1Meg resistor. The divided voltage is then evalutated by the µC. By simply changing the resistors, one can modify the voltage the µC measures. I tried a 9Meg4 ( 2 x 4Meg7 in series) in parallel to the 2Meg. With this modification, the camera was still on with only 3V from a laboratory power supply. In this case the supply voltages (i.e. the 3V3) are no longer regulated to the nominal value. Anyhow, the camera was still recording. The picture quality of the video was not obviously affected, but below 3.6V the audio had the noise (motor boating?), below 3.4V there is no sensible sound at all.

Of course, manipulation the battery voltage detection will have some drawbacks:
* the battery will not be protected against over- or undervoltage,
* sudden shutdown and loss of data once the voltage is too low,
* different Micro-SD-card might not work and
* (as already mentioned) no sound.
C3PowerSupply
#3 camera power supply circuits, by Harry in Germany


  
2010 July 28 - If Flash Full, Will Not Record
EH has this comment about his #3 camera.

My biggest problem was ... trying to get the #3 into video record when it is full.  Once full,  you can hold the mode button down forever and the LED never blinks.

  
2010 July 26 - #3 Report
JC has these comments about the #3 camera.
Here are my preliminary report on version 3 using a PQ1 class 6 Micro SD card.
 
I did fast movement clarity tests with my new version 3 using a PQ1 class 6,  6 mb/s minimum writing speed.  I  moved the cam horizontally back and forth 90 degrees recording trees 200' away and I did some low level recording of the surface of grass while running and close ups of stairs.
 
My result were NICE AND SMOOTH and CLEAR with no frame jumpiness even at the stock 30 frames per second firmware configuration setting. The version 3 seems to focus sharp closer up than version 7.The audio was nice and sharp. A little too sharp actually with pop like crackle feedback at louder voice or sounds. I noticed the audio recording seems to automatically raise and lower according to the loudness. I wonder if this observation of mine is true or not.


  
30 Dec 2009 - Q&A About Features and Problems with the #3 Camera
Here are some common questions that I get through email about the #3 camera.  Most of this Q&A does not apply to the other camera versions.

Two important notes: 
Rechargeable LiPo batteries can be dangerous if damaged, over loaded, over heated, over charged or mishandled.
Voltages are live on the circuit board at all times, even when the camera is off.

Q. Which camera should I buy?
A. Buy a #3 camera.  This camera can be identified by the external micro SD card, and the 720x480 AVI video file.  See this YouTube video for an example of why the #3 is better than a #1 camera.

The #3 has good video quality and is more reliable (YMMV).  The camera is usually cheaper than a #1 or #2 because it does not come with flash memory.  You provide a micro SD Flash card.  The #3 comes in a number of variations but you usually don't have any choice about that and the seller does not know about it or mention it.  There are at least two lens variations with different AOV (angle of view), and the circuit boards have been upgraded on some models for what purpose, I'm not sure.

Don't buy a #1 camera. Many people have problems with it.

Some people like the #2 camera because some versions of it it have few dropped frames and the video aspect ratio is not distorted.  It is hard to identify who sells it. 

The #4 camera has some desirable features including an audio mode and date time stamp removal.  The video color tends to be oversaturated.  It comes in many variations.  The variations with video frames larger than 640x480 have a bad duplicate frame rate problem. Sometimes, the #4 camera and the gumpack camera have the same electronics.

Q. Who should I buy a #3 camera from? (100620)
A. I don't recommend any specific seller. The buying risk it totally yours.

SELLERS WHO SELL THE #3 CAMERA - For a long time the sellers of this camera (mostly in China) have not known what version they are selling, so each delivery might not be the camera version that you wanted or expected.  Now there are sellers who know the versions and sell by version number.

Here is a list of businesses who sell the #3 camera. 

SELLERS WHO SELL THE #? CAMERA -   If you don't buy by version number, you don't know what you will get.  Most eBay sellers are in China and don't sell by version, but they have a great price.  One buyer strategy is to watch the latest posts to forums, like this one, to see who bought from whom, and what version was delivered.  Then buy from a seller who sold the version you want.  Then hope you get the right version.

In the past these eBay sellers sold the #3, but maybe not anymore: joymyzone, myzone50, eletoponline365, metapark.  There are many other sellers.  From China the total delivered cost for one camera (without micro SD card) is usually US$9 to US$19.  Delivery time from China to USA is usually 2 to 3 weeks, but can be 1 to 5 weeks. 

With a #3 camera you need a micro SD or SDHC card.  If you buy online, don't buy from anyone on the list of eBay sellers who sell products with bad flash. Often a local sale price on a flash card is close to the online price.  Always run H2testw at least once on every flash card you buy.

Whoever you buy from, you take a risk.  This product is unusual in that the manufacturers don't identify themselves and many sellers know almost nothing about what they are selling.  If you ask a seller a technical question they often won't know the answer.  If you have to return a bad product to somewhere in Asia the delay can be a month or more.  Delivery time, product quality, return policy, product cost, shipping cost, these all vary.  Buy from a seller who has a good reputation and you reduce your risk of a bad experience.  You don't have to buy from eBay.  Google "808 car keys micro camera" to find sellers who are not on eBay.  Read the RC forums to get reports from buyers.  Look at the eBay seller feedback ratings.  Look at the list of eBay sellers who sell products with bad flash and don't buy from them.

Q. Do you have operating instructions, and how can I set the date time? (100404)
A. Links to operating instructions and how to set the date time.

Q. Webcam - When I connect the camera as a webcam I get a new network connection.  Under "Network Connections" I get "Local Area Connection 2, Microsoft TV/Video Connection".
A. This is a normal part of the webcam driver.  When you disconnect the webcam and reboot your computer this will go away.  Microsoft Support about this.

Q. Webcam - When I use the camera as a webcam can I use the camera microphone as a webcam microphone?
A. No. There is no audio driver for the camera microphone.  The camera microphone is disabled in webcam mode.  The webcam driver is for video only, not audio.  As a webcam the camera installs as two camera devices:
1. General still camera device, Sunplusmm, bulk1528.sys
2. General video camera device, Sunplusmm, sp5x_32.dll, dext1528.ax, ca1528aav.sys, and others ...

Q. Webcam - In webcam mode, why is there is a large vertical oval over the left side of the image? (100324)
A. See the Webcam Button Trick.  There are two "button trick" ways to enter webcam mode, a good way (no oval) and a bad way (oval).  That is a known problem and can't be removed.   (100504) 

USB cable Q. The USB cable that came with my camera works with my camera, but does not work with my GPS.
A. It's a bad USB cable.  Many of the USB cables that come with these cameras are bad.  Replace the cable.

Q. I just received my camera and it doesn't work.
A. The camera has a rechargeable LiPo battery.  It needs to be charged for 2-3 hours 1 hour by connecting the USB cable.  The camera will not work without a memory card (micro SD flash card).  You have to supply and install a memory card.

Q. The LED blinking indicates that the battery is charged or isn't charged.
A. Unfortunately, the LED is not a good indication of battery charge. Connect the USB cable for a while to charge the battery ... use your own experience and judgment to decide for how long.

Q. Can an 8GB micro SD card record a longer video than a 4GB micro SD card?
A. A larger card can hold more video time than a smaller card, but there are these factors that can limit how much video you can record:
1. the size of the micro SD card
2. the full battery capacity is about 4GB of recording and then the battery will be pretty much discharged
3. an AVI file can't be larger than 4GB  (about 50 minutes).  4GB is the file system limit.  The newer #3 cameras never hit the 4GB limit because they have a close-and-continue feature.  When an AVI file gets to 30 minutes, the camera closes the AVI file, and starts another AVI file.
4. the image content of the video.  Like a JPG file, the MJPG AVI file size will be larger if the frames do not compress well.  I have measured AVI data rates of 54 to 82 million bytes per minute (about a 50% variation).  Wikipedia article about MJPG.

Q. Can I record a single video longer than 4GB?  What if I format the flash with NTFS? (100204) (100219)
A. No. The flash must use the FAT32 file system.  The camera will not work with the NTFS file system.

Q. Are there any cameras that allow recording longer than the 4GB limit?
A. Yes.  The #4 camera will break a long video session up into multiple AVI files so that each file is smaller than 4GB.  The battery and  flash memory size limits still apply.  Expect a short lost video gap between AVI files.  The #4 camera also has some disadvantages.  There are cameras that have a larger battery and record up to 4 hours:

Q. Is there a way to increase the battery capacity?
A. Yes, you could rig an external large battery.  With a large battery there are still 3 factors that limits how much you can record (see above).   To connect an external battery you need to know about electronics and batteries and know how to safely handle the internal rechargeable LiPo battery.  You also have to resolve the conflict of what happens when you connect the USB cable.  Does the external battery damage the USB port?  Does the external battery charge from the USB port?  Here is an example of an external AA battery project:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13477871&postcount=432

Q. If I start to record a video, and the size of the AVI video file hits the 4GB limit, and the battery charge is still good, what happens?
A. The camera stops recording, and correctly closes the AVI file.  The file will be a valid AVI file and slightly smaller than 4GB.  To continue video recording, you have to manually start another recording by long pressing the mode button. The camera will not automatically start another recording.

Q. Can I operate the camera as a flight recorder, that is, so that the camera is always recording and the most recent 10 minutes will be saved to the AVI file?
A.  No.

Q. Is there a way to prevent the camera from displaying the date time stamp on the video?
A. No.  It can be sort of blurred out in post processing.

Q. The LED is always on, or never on.
A. Reset the camera (the reset button is through the side case hole).  After using your camera as a webcam, you always have to reset it.

Q.  Is it OK to reformat the #3 camera micro SD flash card?
A. Yes and No. (100526)  Because of a bug in the #3 camera, formatting should be done in a good external card reader.  Formatting the card in the 808 camera will  "shrink" the device with each new formatting.

Reformatting will destroy any files on the micro SD flash card.  The #3 camera does not put system files on the flash card.  The micro SD flash card is only used to store the video AVI and photo JPG files.

The #1 camera partitions the internal flash memory into three partitions and puts system files on two of the partitions.  Reformatting a #1 camera has to be done with caution.

Q. I don't know if the camera or the flash card has a problem.
A. Charge the camera, disconnect the USB cable and remove the flash card.  Reset the camera.  Press the power button.  The LED should come on, flash 35 times and then go out.  If this happens then the camera is probably OK.  Suspect the flash card.

Q. I suspect that the flash card has a problem.
A. Reformat the card (destroys any files on the card), test the card, or try a different card. Reformatting (FAT32) can be done in the camera (connect the USB cable and run Windows format on the flash card) or in an external USB flash card reader.  If reformatting does not fix the problem, test the card with the H2testw program.  This test will take a long time, maybe hours.

Q. The camera will only operate for a few minutes.
A. This could be a camera problem, a rechargeable battery problem or a flash problem.  First check the camera and the flash card (see answers above about how to do this).  If the camera and the flash card are OK, then the battery might be the problem, and there is no easy fix for that.  The battery can be replaced, but you have to find the correct replacement battery and be qualified to open up the camera and remove and replace a LiPo battery.  It would probably be better to buy a new camera.

Q. Do you have new firmware for the #3 camera?  Is it possible to reload the firmware? (100108)
A. I don't have firmware for the #3 camera.  I don't know if it is possible to reload it.

Q. Do you have source code for the #3 Camera?  I want to modify the source code. (100204)
A. No.

Q. The micro SD card won't stay in the camera.  How do I insert the micro SD card? (100114)
A. Looking at the button side of the camera, the SD card goes in with the gold fingers up.  The card has to be pushed in farther than flush using a fingernail or a ball point pen, then it sits in the camera flush.  To remove it you press it in and it pops out.  If the card won't stay in by itself, then the SD card slot mechanism is broken.

Q. How do I get YouTube to display my AVI 720x480 video at the correct 640x480 aspect ratio? (100227)
A. Every YouTube author can tag the video to display at a different aspect ratio.  Go to YouTube and add this "tag"   yt:stretch=4:3   to the video .You can do this while uploading or after uploading.  The internal camera module takes a 1.33 aspect ratio (AR) 640x480 image but the CPU distorts this image and writes it to the AVI file with an AR of 1.50 (720x480).  

Q. I press the mode button to stop recording a video but the camera gets into a strange mode. Why do I have to press the power button to turn the camera off? (100324)
A. Use a quick press of the mode button to reliably end a video.  A long press will put the camera into a strange mode.  Not a good user interface design.

Q. Why does the video freeze for a few seconds at some points when I play the AVI video file?  (100324)
A. The video has long strings of duplicate frames because the flash card has poor random write speed.  Try a different, better flash card.  The micro SD card "class" is the sequential write speed and benchmarks show that every card is compliant.  Even a compliant card can have poor random write speed.  The only way to know the random write speed is to measure it with a benchmark program like Crystal Disk Mark.

Q.  My camera does not work.  How can I test it? (100507)
A.  Test 1 - Remove the micro SD card.  Reset the camera. Connect the camera to the PC.  The camera should install as a mass storage device (a drive letter) and show the drive as being empty.

Test 2 - Remove the micro SD card.  Reset the camera. Long press the power button.  The LED should turn on, flash 35 times, and go out.

If the tests pass then suspect the micro SD card  and try a different one, or reformat the card and try again. 

If either test fails then the camera is probably bad.  If you are technically qualified you can open the plastic case and inspect the circuit board for a defect (a solder short, a solder open, an intermittent, or a piece of metallic debris) and correct it.  If the defect shorted something, the camera might not be repairable.

Solder defects can happen anywhere, but are more often on the hand soldered parts like the crystals (metal cans).  Remember that the voltages are live on the circuit board at all times, even when the camera is off.  Touching any metal to the circuit board can short something and destroy the camera, or cause a dangerous battery explosion.  Before re-soldering anything, cut one battery lead.  The parts are so small that very small re-soldering tools are required.

  
Update 3 Nov 2009 - New version #3 Camera - Preliminary Thoughts 

 Number 3 camera Package front Number 3 camera Package back Number 3 Camera
On 2 Nov 2009 I received a #3 type camera from eBay seller joymyzone.  This seller had 100% feedback and offered a video sample.  The price was US$16.98 (no flash card), with free shipping, and was delivered from Hong Kong in 19 days (YMMV).  This camera uses an external micro SD card, so I am using a SanDisk 8GB micro SDHC class 2 flash card.  I charged the camera for 3 hours before I used it.  When plugged into a Windows XP USB port the camera was recognized as a mass storage device and an image device.  Windows mounted the mass storage device (flash card) as a drive letter.  It seems that some of these cameras come with an image driver on a CD but my camera did not come with a CD.  I was able to set the date and time using the #3 camera method belowThe overall image and video quality is much better than my old #1 camera.

Empirical measurements (research methods to follow ...)
Lens - 45 mm equivalent. The image AOV (Angle Of View) on the width is 43.36 degrees, which is the 35mm-camera-equivalent of a 45mm lens.  See How to Measure the Focal Length.  The camera orientation is horizontal with the buttons up.
Image Shape Distortion - The camera takes an image at 640x480 (Aspect Ratio AR=1.33) and upscales it to 1280x1024 (AR=1.25) in the JPG file.  This results in a slight shape distortion that makes circles look like tall ovals.
Video Shape Distortion - The camera takes video at 640x480 (AR=1.333) and upscales it to 720x480 (AR=1.5) in the AVI file.  If played back with square pixels the video will have a slight shape distortion that makes circles look like wide ovals.
AVI File Rate - 54 to 82 megabytes per minute.  Of the few videos that I have taken the AVI rate is 54E6 to 82E6 bytes per minute (3.24E9 to 4.92E9 bytes per hour).  54E6 = 54000000.  The file size is limited to (4GB - 2bytes) because it's a FAT32 file system.
Audio - The audio quality (in the AVI file) is good, but voice quality at less than 18 inch is sometimes over modulated.
Frame Rate - 30.856 to 30.999.  Based on 7 AVI files, the FPS varies as reported by VirtualDub.  In one example file the FPS was 30.955 with about 7.5% duplicate frames.  A standard rate is 29.97 or 30.0.  In one file, of 200 video frames 15 were duplicates (7.5% duplicates).  So the rate of unique frames is closer to 28.6 fps.  The duplicates were not exactly periodic.  Duplicates seem to happen about every 10 to 15 frames.  In the playback duplicates are most noticeable when panning or tilting the camera.  The rate of duplicates might be dependent on the frame content.  Needs more research.  Another note: 
USB Read Rate - 8600000 bytes per second moving an large AVI file from the camera flash to a computer SATA hard disk.
Largest AVI File - Slightly less than 4GB.  The camera will record video until the 4GB FAT32 file limit or the battery dies.  I charged the battery and recorded the longest video that I could.  The camera stopped recording at 3134 seconds (52 min14 sec) and 4293899576 Bytes (99.98% of 4GB) and it played OK.  The recording rate was about 82E6 Bytes per minute.  4GB = 4294967296 Bytes.
If No SD Card - Gene emailed me this description of what happens when the SD card is missing:  Press the power button.  The LED comes on, holds for 2 seconds, blinks 35 times, holds 1 second, and goes out.

   
2010 July 30  - Sven's Time Lapse Videos and #3 Camera Mod
#3 Camera Time Lapse Mod
Finished construction box enclosure
Sven H. from Sweden has created a great mod with his #3 camera that produces some rather dramatic time lapse videos.

Link to details (description, schematic and photos) of the mod.

#3 Camera Time Lapse Mod
Construction box showing batteries, PIC micro
and #3 camera.
Using a PIC micro, photos are taken at long intervals, then arranged in a time lapse video.  For example, one photo is taken every 100 seconds, the photos are arranged in a video and played at 20 photos per second.  This compresses time 2000:1.  One day produces a video of 864 photo frames which plays in 43 seconds.

The mod also deals with limited power.  An external lithium ion battery is used and for every photo the camera is powered on, a photo is taken, and the camera is powered off.  The PIC micro controls the power and mode buttons.

Here are some of Sven's time lapse YouTube videos.

Baltic Festival Karlshamn Sweden Main Square
Baltic Festival Karlshamn Sweden Drottninggatan



Baltic Festival Karlshamn Sweden Main Stage

Time lapse of street viewr />

 
21 Nov 2009 - There is a Webcam Driver for the #3 Camera
Use this #3 webcam driver at your own risk.  I can't support this driver.  I don't host the driver file.  I do not have any responsibility for any problems that this driver causes you or your computer.

There is an English and International version.  I have only installed and virus tested (nod32) the English version.  I created a restore point before installing this driver.  I have installed the driver on two Windows XP-32 computers with no big problems (the Twain driver does not work).  I don't know if the driver works on Windows Vista or 98.  Confirmed to work on Windows 7-32.

SirWo from Thailand emailed me information about a webcam driver for the #3 camera.  Some cameras come with a CD that has this driver.  SirWo sells the #3 camera on his Thai website Cheapen4U.com.

Here is how to get the driver.

Download the EXE file.  Virus check the EXE file.  Do a restore point.  Run the EXE file one time.  This places the installable files on your computer. Then connect the camera USB cable and the webcam driver will be installed.  The camera can be used as a mass storage device or as a webcam.  Connect the USB cable and the camera will be a mass storage device.  If you do the webcam button trick (see below) when you connect the USB cable, the camera will be a webcam.  After webcam use you might have to reset the camera.

● Go to this Thai language website 808 camera #3 webcam driver.
Below the graphic in the middle of the page are two buttons.  For 30 seconds the top button is grayed out.  Wait the 30 seconds then it will read "Download".  Press the Download key.  A website and a popup will show.  Ignore the website. The popup will allow you to save the SPCA1528.RAR file.  Save the file.  The RAR driver file is less than 4 megabytes. 
Open SPCA1528.RAR file using WinRAR or equivalent. 
Here is a link to the SunPlus webcam driver which works for the #3 and #6 cameras.
The driver file is available from multiple places on the web.  Just Google one of these files and download it.  The first file is for English.  The second file is international:

     "SPCA1528_V2237_WebCam_Eng.exe"        2.66 MB (2,791,894 bytes)
or
     "SPCA1528_V2220_MultiLan_090217.exe"   2.84 MB (2,988,037 bytes)

● I installed the English file and tested it.  I did not install or test the International file.
● Virus check the EXE file.  Do a restore point.  Run the EXE file one time.  It will load the driver files into
folder:  C:\Program Files\SPCA1528
● Do the webcam button trick (see below).

WEBCAM BUTTON TRICK - There are two ways to get into webcam mode.  If the webcam driver has not been installed, Windows will ask you to install the driver. 
1.  THE GOOD WAY - Connect the USB cable.  Once connected as a mass storage device a quick press of the power button will switch to webcam mode.  A quick press of the power button again will switch back to mass storage mode.
2.  THE BAD WAY - Press and hold the mode button, then connect the USB cable.  When the camera LED comes on, release the mode button.  There is a shadow gray oval over the left half of the video.  When you are done using the webcam reset the camera.  If you don't reset the camera it will stay on and drain the battery.

KNOWN PROBLEMS - The twain driver is part of the webcam driver.  It is used to capture still images from the camera.  It is very flakey, don't use it.

AMCAP is an application included with the driver that lets you view or capture a webcam video without compression, so the captured files are huge.  Not recommended for that reason.  It is a simple program.  Defaults to 320x240. You can configure it for 640x480.

SKYPE - I verified that it works as a webcam with Skype 4.1.0.179

TWAIN - A Twain image driver is installed but it is flakey.  Paint Shop Pro crashes with it.  Photoshop Elements 7 will not use it.  So, don't use it.

VIRTUALDUB CAPTURE - The VirtualDub capture mode works great.  You can capture raw or use a codec like XviD in real time to vastly decrease the file size.  The camera source can be VFW or Directshow, but Directshow worked much better for me.  Of course all of this depends on the horsepower of your CPU.


  
2010 Feb 01 - #3 Camera, Focusing the Lens,  f = 3.14 mm 
CAUTION
The following requires that you open the camera case.  The battery and the circuit board voltages are live.  Any metal object can cause a short and destroy the camera.  The LiPo battery is dangerous if not handled correctly.  Do this at your own risk.

Click images for full size

Camera #3 camera module with glued lens ring
Camera #3, camera module showing glued lens ring 

#3 camera camera module glue seal
Camera #3, Camera Module, Glue Seal
 

#3 Camera lens tube front
Camera #3, lens tube, front

#3 Camera lens back
Camera #3, lens tube, glass plate glued to the back of the lens tube, back
To adjust the focus you rotate the lens ring.  Webcam mode is a convenient way to adjust the focus.

Focus is one of the factors that can affect video quality.  It is possible for the camera to be in focus, and still have low video quality because of some other factor.

Before rotating the lens ring, use a knife to scribe a line in the camera lens ring and the camera body so you know the original setting.  Place a dot of ink or "whiteout" on the lens ring as a position indicator. 

The lens ring is factory sealed in place with a drop or two of soft glue.  To turn the ring you have to break that glue.  I was able to break the glue seal on the lens ring and adjust the focus.  After changing the focus, re-glue the lens ring.  Otherwise, vibration might change the focus, or wobble the lens causing video distortion.

A small rotation can make a big difference.  On my #3 camera, a focus change from infinity to 60mm is a lens ring rotation of 120 degrees.  The original focus of my camera was factory set at very close to infinity.

0.9 mm  = f.  The focal length of the lens. 
3.14 mm = f.  Calculated from AOV and sensor size.

5mm - the thread diameter of the lens tube.
0.35mm - the pitch of the threads
120 degrees - the rotation from a focus of infinity to 60mm.

I get email asking if the focus can be adjusted. The internal camera module (internal lens, threaded lens ring tube, CMOS image sensor, flat cable, 24 pin connector) of both my #1 and #3 camera have the lens ring sealed with a drop of glue.  This implies that the focus is factory set and sealed.  For general purpose photography the focus would be set so that the far edge of the field of view is at infinity.  To get the sharpest photography where most objects are at infinity, the focus should be set at infinity.  The best focus for an RC airplane would be infinity.

I scribed the camera and lens with a sharp knife to record the factory position.  The lens ring (lens tube) is a tube that screws into the camera module housing.  I turned the lens ring to break the glue seal.  The glue on my camera is soft.

You don't have to remove the lens tube to adjust the focus.  I removed the lens tube.  The lens tube is so small it is very hard to handle.  Use jewelers tools if possible.  Under a 10X loupe, you will see that everything is covered in dust.  So when reassembling you need either a can of air or a rubber bulb to blow the dust away.  A piece of dust on the CMOS sensor or the back of the lens could obscure dozens of pixels.

The lens tube has a 5mm diameter thread with a thread pitch of 0.35mm (350 micrometers) measured with a 10X loupe.  0.35mm is a standard metric thread pitch.  Looking at the face of the lens ring, one "hour" clockwise moves the ring in 0.02917mm (29.17 micrometers).  The lens focal length is 3.14mm.  See the calculations below.  Small rotations make a large difference.  The inside end of the lens tube has a coated glass plate glued in place, so the inside surface of the lens is sealed by this glass plate.

Camera #3 CMOS Sensor and Threads
Camera #3, Camera module with the lens tube removed.  CMOS sensor with optical image width of about 2.5mm.  Threads shown.  Hot melt glue holds the camera module in place.
#3 Camera lens diagram calculations
Camera #3, diagram of data used to calculate the lens focal length 
The focal length of the lens can be calculated from the angle of view (AOV) and the width of the CMOS sensor.  My #3 camera AOV measured 43.36 degrees.  The sensor width is about 2.5mm.
This is the math to calculate f.  tan(43.36/2) = (2.5mm/2) / f.     

f = 3.14mm = the focal length of the lens.  By observation, this is correct.

The following calculations attempt to calculate the lens focal length from two focal points, and the thread pitch of the lens tube.  The results, f=0.9mm, don't match reality.  More work is needed to understand the problem with this math.
The focal length can be calculated by adjusting the lens focus from infinity to 60mm (an arbitrary number), and knowing the rotation of the lens ring and the pitch of the lens tube threads.
Optical Formulas used to calculate the focal length of the lens

1/60mm + 1/(f+x) = 1/f = 1/60 + 1/(f+0.1167)
Solve for f (the focal length of the lens)
1/f = 0.01667 + 1/(f+0.1167)
(f+0.1667)/f = (0.01667*f) + 0.001945 + 1
The algebra becomes this quadratic equation:
0.9833*f2 - 0.8852*f + 0 = 0
Solve this quadratic equation for f at math.com
f = 0.9002
So, the lens focal length is 0.9mm.
#3 camera 2pm 60mm focus
Camera #3, Focus 60mm, Lens Ring 2 o'clock
camera #3 focus infinity
Camera #3, Focus Infinity, Lens Ring 6 o'clock

  
2010 Feb 11 - #3 Camera - Date Time File Format
Continuing the research done by Dan, there seems to be some confusion about the required file format of the tag.txt file.  I did some research by creating 17 different tag files and seeing what the camera did with them.  The results should apply to everybody's #3 camera.

"HxD Hex Editor" is a great free hex editor that allows the viewing and creation of  any ASCII data in a file.

The basic file format of the tag.txt file is:

     <whitespace>[date]<whitespace>YYYYxMMxDD<whitespace>HHxMMxSS<anything>

<whitespace> is zero-to-many space (SP, 0x20), carriage return (CR, 0x0D) or line feed (LF, 0x0A) characters in any order.
[date] "date" must be lower case.
YYYYxMMxDD where "x" can be any character.
HHxMMxSS where "x" can be any single character.
<anything> is zero-to-many characters of anything.

The following are valid examples of the date time in the tag.txt file for December 12, 2009 at 4:58pm (where . is a space) :
[date]
2009/12/29
16:58:00

[date].
2009\12\29.
16-58-00

[date]
2009#12#29.
16,58,00.

[date]..........
2009/12/29...........
16:58:00..........

.
...
.[date]
.
...2009/12/29
.
.....16:58:00
.
.
[date] 2009/12/29 16:58:00

[date]2009-12-2916-58-00

[date]2009#12%2916@58?00

[date]2009-12-2916-58-00ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

[date]          2009-12-29          16-58-00



  
2010 Feb 23 - Podcast about the #3 Camera - "Daily Giz Wiz" Episodes 1029 and 1036
Daily Giz WizDaily Giz Wiz 1029 #3 CameraDick DeBartolo and Leo Laporte have done a “Daily Giz Wiz” podcast episode 1029 about the #3 camera. They are both experienced gadget wizards and are amazed by the camera. A month ago I helped Dick select a camera from eBay. If you don’t know, Dick has been a writer for MAD magazine for decades, and wrote many of the questions on the “Match Game” TV show.


YouTube video of podcast Giz Wiz 1029.
Sample video from episode 1029 Dick took with his #3 camera.
MP3 file of the podcast 1029 (8 MB, 18 minutes).
Podcast description of episode 1029.

Dick read a follow-up letter in episode 1036 (starts at 14:30).
YouTube video of Giz Wiz podcast 1036.
MP3 audio of Giz Wiz podcast 1036


  
2010 Mar 23 - Camera #3 - Oscilloscope Images
Dimitri took these oscilloscope images from the 24 pin connector of the camera module in a #3 camera.
He counted the pins from the left to the right which is probably not correct?
See #Camera2-DimitriData for the pin-out of the camera module connector.
Data bytes are clocked out of the camera module at about 24 mHz.
"You can see that data comes at double rate (1280 bytes per line) comparing to cam #2 (640 bytes per line).  I think here we have 640 real pixels in the line."
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 11
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 8a - line sync, one per line, about 65 us per line
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 14, pin 11
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 8 - line sync, 480 per frame.
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 14 vs data - camera outputs one data byte per clock
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 6 - frame sync, about 33 ms per frame (30 FPS)
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 11 vs data
Camera #2 Oscilloscope Image
Pin 14 - camera output byte clock
   

  
2010 June 04 - Second LED on Camera #3
Camera 3 @nd LEDThe camera #3 has one yellow LED.  Next to that there is a place on the circuit board for a second LED, not populated.

Willy investigated this by attaching the second LED to see what would happen.  He used a SMD 0404 (0.4"x0.4") or 0402 (0.4"x0.2") LED to do the test.

Result is: this LED displays only USB power.
When there are 5V on USB connector, LED is ON. When USB is disconnected, LED is OFF.
At USB powering, LED blinks two times, very shortly three times and then stays solid until USB is powered off




  
2010 May 22 - External Power Source for the #3 Camera
CAUTION - the battery and the voltages on the circuit board are live at all times, even when the camera is off. The LiPo battery can explode and burn if not used, charged or discharged correctly. 

Proceed at your own risk. 

Many people want to take a long video but the internal LiPo battery capacity is too limiting.  So what are the alternatives?

FACTS

LIMIT OF VIDEO MINUTES - The #3 camera will fill a 4GB (4E9 byte) card in about 1 hour, if the battery last that long.  Most new #3 cameras have close-and-continue at 30 minutes where the AVI file is closed and the camera starts recording to another AVI file (there will be a few seconds unrecorded between AVI files).  Old #3 cameras stop recording at 4GB.  Close-and-continue will continue indefinitely until the flash card is full, the camera voltage ends, or the mode button is pressed.

BATTERY MODULE - The internal LiPo battery module consist of a LiPo battery and a protection circuit.  The protection circuit "disconnects" the battery below 3.0V and above 4.2V.  It is very common for the battery module voltage to be as high a 4.9V when the USB cable is connected.  If the battery gets below 3V it looses its ability to be charged.  The protection circuit might also limit charge or discharge current.

USB CHARGING - Connecting the USB cable (USB=4.75V to 5.25V) will charge the internal battery module.  Once the battery module voltage rises to 4.2V it rapidly rises up to 4.9V.  This rapid rise is probably due to the protection circuit "disconnecting" the battery.

USB VIDEO/PICTURES - You can not power the camera through the USB and take a video at the same time.  I have tried all voltages at the USB connector and the camera will not come on, take photos or take video.

VIDEO VOLTAGE/CURRENT - The video recording voltage is 3.7V to 4.2V at the battery module .  The camera stops recording below 3.6V (measured at 3.59V).  The #3 camera current was measured at 155 mA with a SanDisk 8GB micro SD card, and 160mA with a Lexar 4GB card, so expect some variation depending on the card.  Also, Philippe has noted "There are some spikes at 220 mA every 64ms. It’s probably when the SD card is written."  These current spikes are probably responsible for the "motor boating" 15 Hz noise sometimes heard in the audio when the battery voltage is low.

So here are the options:

External power sources - Alkaline battery, NIMH battery, LiPo/Li Ion battery, LiPo battery charger, power supply, 12V automobile/motorcycle, RC battery pack (3.7 - 14.8V)..

Configurations - Replace the internal LiPo battery module, Parallel the internal LiPo battery module.

<<<<<<<<<< U N D E R    C O N S T R U C T I O N >>>>>>>>>>

External Power Source Configuration Description
LiPo battery charger Parallel 12V vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc.) power using a Lithium Ion battery charger that runs on 12V. 

Here is a solution that I use and it has been bench tested, but not vehicle tested. The suitability of this charger for use in a vehicle environment (temperature, humidity, vibration, etc) has not been tested. 

SG-IC032 NB-4L battery chargerI have a Li Ion battery charger labeled SG-IC032  and have verified it can power the camera (get the polarity correct) while recording video.  I recorded for more than one hour.  I stopped the video.
Example charger for sale on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270575071062 

The SG-IC032 is designed for the Canon NB-1L Lithium Ion battery.  Using this charger with the LiPo in the 808 car keys micro camera is a risk.   I am not recommending that anybody use this charger with the camera LiPo battery.  I took the risk and it worked for me.

The SG-IC032 produces the correct voltage, enough current (300mA), is cheap (US$5), is light (70g charger, 34g 12V plug and cord), can run on 100-240VAC 50/60Hz or 12VDC.  The 12V plug has an LED and fuse. 

External Charger PlugThis project required that I open the camera and with a great deal of care parallel the battery wires and bring those wire out of the camera.  I cut the battery module wire before soldering anything.
Here is one example way to parallel the battery: ../#ConnectorForExternalCharger



So for less than US$5 for the charger, and some careful solder work, and a large micro SD card (8GB=2 hours), I can record for many hours, or until the bugs or dirt obscure the lens.
LiPo battery charger Replace 12V vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc.) power using a Lithium Ion battery charger that runs on 12V. 

Same as above, but I removed the camera internal LiPo battery module.  Since the output of the charger is not very filtered, I had to put a capacitor across the charger output. The capacitor must be 100uf or greater (47uf was not enough), 6V or greater.  Otherwise the camera will sing a high pitch noise.
     

  
2010 June 21 - #3 Camera - Camera Module Short Circuit
Seb in France reported this short circuit in his #3 camera.

... I turned it on and it smoked! And never wanted to turn on again.   After opened the box, I connect a USB cable and saw where the smoke came from, it was the small brown stuff (resistor?) just behind the camera module, (see picture in attachment) I let it smoke again and then it de-solder itself from the board and felt on the table.   Then I understood later that the metal plate on the back of the camera module may have caused a short-circuit, it had black traces just in front of where the brown component was.   I wonder if you know what is this component, and how to re-solder it? The 808 seems to work without it when I connect to USB, but I'm not sure, I remove the battery wires and the SD-card to avoid additional problems.   ...

The metallic back plate of the internal camera module contacted both ends of a component ( capacitor ? ) on the circuit board and caused a short circuit.  The heat from the short melted the solder and unsoldered the component.

On my #3 camera the full voltage of the battery module is across that component.  The metallic back plate is not connected to the battery.

C3 Short Circuit Camera Module
Damaged #3 camera showing the component unsoldered by the short against the back of the camera module. 
C3 Capacitor Short Problem
Undamaged #3 Camera.  Capacitor with battery voltage across it 0.5mm from the metal camera back plate.  If the metal back of the camera tilts back, it will short the battery.

  
2010 June 13 - #3 Camera, Periodic Photo Project
2010 March - Walter modified a #3 camera to take a photo every 10 seconds.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4rdYI_cBJ0

Walter used a Microchip Flash-based 8-bit microcontroller PIC12F629.  It periodically grounds with an open drain output transistor and one 10k resistor the button. It is simple and it works great!

He added two switches. One to start the 12F629.  Another to choose 3 or 6 photos per minute. 

He also added a connector across the battery to use an external battery charger or battery. 

The cam needs less power than in video mode. Approx 3550 Pictures can be stored in 1GB card.  At 6 frame/min the LiPo Battery supplies energy for about 95min @ Temp 15Celsius.   Time is less if the temp is lower.

==========
130503 HEX files are in the vault, folder C3,  "100614 C3 Walter Mod.zip"
V1: SpyPic629.HEX  ... 34Pics per Minute
V2: SpyV2629.HEX  ... 03/06Pics per Minute - it depends on the switch     "TIME SELECT"

#3 camera periodic photo mod
PIC 12F629
#3 camera periodic photo mod
#3 camera, Yellow wire is on the circuit point that gets grounded to take a photo.
#3 camera periodic photo mod
PIC micro and 1 mm per division scale.
 #3 camera periodic photo mod
#3 camera with mods.  External battery connector, PIC micro, on/of switch.
#3 camera periodic photo mod
#3 camera and switch added to periodically take photos.
#3 camera periodic photo mod
#3 camera mounted

#3 camera mod
#3 camera showing PIC micro wiring 
#3 camera mod
#3 camera showing external battery connector wiring.
 
#3 camera mod schematic
#3 camera mod showing PIC micro output connected to transistor that grounds the mode switch to take a picture. 

  
01 Jan 2010 - #3 Camera Notes About Setting the Date Time Time Stamp
12/30/2009 - Dan has done some research into the tag.txt file that is used to set the date time stamp on the gum stick camera.  The gum stick camera is probably internally the same as the #3 camera.  This research is time consuming as after each change you have to record a few seconds of video to figure out what it did.  Here are some of Dan's findings:

I have not been able to figure out how to turn off the time and date.  The file has to be called tag.txt and has to have the "[date]" line.

The file doesn't seem to care if you put the date and time on a separate line, so if you enter
[date] 2009/12/29 10:10:10
that will work as long as you have spaces after [date] and after /29

Additionally, it doesn't seem to look at the 20 in 2009 it only needs two characters there so
[date] 3009/12/29 10:10:10
gives the same thing as above as well as
[date] aa09/12/29 10:10:10
although you can't use two spaces.


It also seems to ignore the / and the : characters but you need to have a character or a space, so
[date] aa09a12a29 10a10a10
works the same as above as well as
[date] aa09 12 29 10 10 10
or with the addition of [date] the #1 method you could put
[date] 2009.12.29 10:10:10
and that would work.
 
The last thing is it seems to ignore anything you put after the date and time, so entering
[date] 2009/12/29 10:10:10  abcdefg1234567
it will still show the time and date as you have set it.

By putting in letters or bad date numbers I have found other than just wrong dates I can get it to display in slightly weird ways, but I haven't figured out what triggers this.  For example I can get it to add an extra number and ":" so it might display "4/22/2099 4: 10:10:10" although I have no idea what this means yet.
 
I have heard that with the cameras that use time.txt you can turn off the time by entering an N after the date and time like
2009.12.29 10:10:10 N
I don't have one of those cameras and that does nothing with this gum stick camera.

 
#3 History
   
101126 Charging circuit problem
101127 Update the charging circuit problem
101130 Add photos to #3 repaired
110505 Baidu SPCA SunPlus documents


  
2010 XXX XX - XXXXXXXX
 
   

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This work by Charles E Lohr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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IIS 6.0  There is no politically correct content on this web site.  I have never owned an SUV.