macbook/macbook pro isight

Posted by: Rayford Booth

macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 06:33 PM

Ok so here is what i want to do.

I need to get a isight from a macbook or macbook pro and wire it into a PC laptop.

Is there any special hardware i will need except for the isight?

Thanks
Posted by: Rayford Booth

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 06:43 PM

I know its not exactly a mac mod, but i have a macbook pro and i know how small those cameras are. So i want to use the same tech in a Panasonic Toughbook

Anyways any help would be greatly appreciated. I really just need to know if the connection on the end of the camera wire is a chopped down version of a USB 2.0 port which can be soldered onto the toughbooks mobo.

Thanks
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 07:59 PM

I don't really know, but my guess is that you are looking at some sort of micro usb2 port. I am sure some soldering will be required, that thing is tiny... Im not sure anyone is going to have much feedback for you on this as those cameras are fairly new...

I would love to hear how everything goes. I would say just go for it!
Posted by: Rayford Booth

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: "oojacoboo"
I don't really know, but my guess is that you are looking at some sort of micro usb2 port. I am sure some soldering will be required, that thing is tiny... Im not sure anyone is going to have much feedback for you on this as those cameras are fairly new...

I would love to hear how everything goes. I would say just go for it!


Is there a service manual for the macbook what will tell me what it is?

I think its a mico USB connector. maybe a mini
Posted by: Rayford Booth

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 08:32 PM

Also is there a way to tell if its a USB or firewire connection?

Thanks
Posted by: Rayford Booth

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 08:34 PM

Ok ya its a USB

Took this right from the system profiler of my Macbook Pro under the USB tree

Built-in iSight:

Version: 1.84
Bus Power (mA): 500
Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Micron
Product ID: 0x8501
Vendor ID: 0x05ac (Apple Computer, Inc.)
Posted by: Rayford Booth

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/25/08 09:26 PM

Ya see the isight is on the same USB bus as the external USB ports (atleast the right side one, have not tried the left side). If you plug a external HD into the MPB and look at the system profiler. The isight and the External HD show up on the same bus. So what i am going to try is buy the macbook isight. but a normal USB and wire them together. Will most likely have to do a little trial and error to figure our which wires to connect to what part of the usb. But with a little luck i wont short anything out smile
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 03/26/08 12:02 PM

That works with the cameras from the iMac G5. I believe it will work for the laptop ones too. I had one kicking about at one point.

In the MacBook, the cable is built into the same ribbon as the LVDS. It connects to the mobo on the same connector as the LVDS too, but it is USB so if you get the wires right it will be fine. You might need a MacBook LVDS cable so you can snip off the part of the cable which plugs into the camera board.

The camera in the MacBook Pro has its own connector on the board but I don't get to look inside the clamshells much on them since they are whole unit replacements from Apple.

The other trick will be the driver. Apple does write Windows drivers for the iSights, but whether you can extract them from a Leopard DVD in a way you can use them is another matter.
Posted by: markh

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 05/18/08 12:03 AM

did you work out the connections for the cable? wondering of the isight camera kit (board + cable) would work on a powerbook 12" G4???
Posted by: 987687

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 05/18/08 06:36 AM

Originally Posted By: "Waragainstsleep"
The other trick will be the driver. Apple does write Windows drivers for the iSights, but whether you can extract them from a Leopard DVD in a way you can use them is another matter.

What about when you run XP on a macbook (pro)? It must have the drivers for the iSight.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/03/08 05:33 AM

If you end up getting this done, i want to see a full write up with pics. My iBook tablet project could definitely use an isight.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/09/08 12:25 PM

question.... could i run the isight on an ibook, given i find one and solder it to an internal usb?
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/10/08 07:42 AM

tayedrumma: the iSight's in these models are USB2 (High Speed) and as far as I know, the only way to get USB2 on your ibook would be to disable one of the external ports.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/10/08 11:38 AM

hm... worth it in my opinion... i'll probably pick one up
Posted by: commandnotapple

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/24/08 08:39 AM

I know this thread is a little old, but I want to know how these projects turned out (the iSight to ToughBook and the iSight to iBook). I'm looking at adding an iSight to my 15" PowerBook (mainly for Delicious Library, fyi). My biggest concern is still retaining both USB ports. I could always buy a hub, but that's not the problem. The PowerBook doesn't supply enough power to my external hard drive, and I have to have two ports for it to work (one for power, the other for data; a hub can't supply both, at least not that I've found).
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/24/08 04:04 PM

depending on which revisions of the powerbook you have, there may be an internal bus being used by the bluetooth module.
Posted by: commandnotapple

iSight and PowerBook Mod - 07/24/08 06:49 PM

My model is A1095. If I tapped into the BlueTooth bus, I would no longer be able to use BlueTooth, right? My goal is to try and find a way to keep everything intact. However, I guess I could always get a BlueTooth PC Card. My next concern is the "how-to". I'm a noobie (if it isn't already obvious) to modding, but I'm experienced with messing with the guts of computers in general. Any info or links on how to mount and run the iSight wiring would be great. And then I guess I need to know how to wire to the BlueTooth bus. Thanks!
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/24/08 08:32 PM

The bluetooth dongle inside /some/ Apple laptops just connects via USB. I think yours is one of them. If you cut the cable in half, you can mount an internal hub to the cable, and wire the other half of the cable (the bit going to the bluetooth module) into one of the hub ports. Alternatively, you can just buy a small USB dongle.

Knowing "guts of computers in general" only helps a little bit with laptop modding/repair. Things are a LOT smaller and a LOT more fragile.
Posted by: commandnotapple

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/25/08 07:54 AM

Sounds good. What kind of hub am I looking for (I don't even know what to Google)?

Also, how would I run the iSight cable up through the display?
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/25/08 08:32 AM

Originally Posted By: "commandnotapple"
Sounds good. What kind of hub am I looking for (I don't even know what to Google)?

Also, how would I run the iSight cable up through the display?


You're looking for a USB hub..

And you'd run the cable up through the display the same way that all the other cables run smile

Perhaps you should consider very carefully if you're up to this task.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/25/08 07:00 PM

would it be possible to have two? one in the standard location and another facing out the back of the screen
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/25/08 08:41 PM

Originally Posted By: "tayedrumma"
would it be possible to have two? one in the standard location and another facing out the back of the screen


On a Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminium screen module, I don't think there is even space for one in the standard location, due to the location of the latch. You would probably have to mount one off to the left or right of the latch, and mount the other one on the opposite side.

Photobooth can handle two iSights connected though (well, I've only tested with one firewire + one USB), it lets you switch between them with a control that is only visible if two are present.
Posted by: termatt56

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 07/25/08 10:09 PM

I'm thinking of adding an isight to my ibook(if I can figure out a solution for the latch), does anyone know the pinout for macbook, imac or macbook pro isight.
Posted by: johnodd4

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 08/30/08 02:44 AM

I would look into this as well.

If the isight camera is connected via a usb cable built into the macbook pro model laptop then you should be able to take it out of one machine and move it to another by just wiring the wires to the internals of the other laptop.

But if it isn't a usb cable and some sort of ribbon cable which we know apple loves to use you might be in trouble.
Posted by: Alex Dawson

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 08/30/08 03:31 AM

Originally Posted By: "johnodd4"
I would look into this as well.

If the isight camera is connected via a usb cable built into the macbook pro model laptop then you should be able to take it out of one machine and move it to another by just wiring the wires to the internals of the other laptop.

But if it isn't a usb cable and some sort of ribbon cable which we know apple loves to use you might be in trouble.


I haven't take apart a MacBook Pro, but a macbook isight is connected via USB that is part of the video data cable, which isn't FFC, but micro-coax.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 08/30/08 06:24 AM

I can get these pinouts. It will take a little time is all. The MacBook Pro iSight cable comes all the way through the hinge and has its own connecter on the board unlike the MacBook which is part of the LVDS. I was going to do the same mod two years ago to a G3 Lombard PowerBook before it got stolen.
Posted by: meisam

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 04/16/09 06:15 PM

Has anyone succeeded in hooking up an internal isight to an external USB on a mac or pc? I'd appreciate any pointers.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: macbook/macbook pro isight - 05/18/09 06:09 AM

For things to be cheaper you don't have to use a isight camera. I have a cheapy Philips laptop webcam that I stripped down. I used this in my Dell mini 9 laptop. My laptop had enough room to fit a small Belkin 4 port USB hub. I had to desolder the USB connectors and hardwire everything. For the wiring to the webcam I used some packaging tape and some gold foil from a hobby shop, I created a 4 pin cable out of it and ran it from the USB hub to the webcam's circuit board. This gave clearance for the display hinge.

Right now i'm currently trying to find a spot to add a USB port because with the HUB that will only let me use 4 USB devices internally im stuck with one external USB. I might just build myself a docking station.