posted on Sun, Aug 15 '21 under tag: hardware

My laptop’s webcam had grainy images due to scratches on its webcam cover. This is how I did a surgery on it.

You probably know that I have a liberated computer. In Debian Bullseye release party yesterday, people noticed that I had a smoky video feed. I was under the impression that since X230 is an old model, it probably had a low resolution webcam and that was the issue.

But luckily Abhas was in the same room and told me that it could be the problem with the cover of the cam and that he could help me replace it. That gave me the idea to try to fix it on my own.

There was a video on youtube about changing webcam on a ThinkPad. I followed that to remove the bezel (although X230 has only two screws as opposed to 3 in the X200 model in the video). But later I realized that I could have directly removed the webcam cover as it was just pasted in its place.

Now I had the camera cover in my hand, but I didn’t have a replacement. Since the scratches on the transparent part was obvious, I knew that I had to get rid of it. But then I remembered how they do it in cataract surgery. They destroy the original lens and keep a replacement in the same place. I decided to do the same to this cover. With knife I crushed and removed the circular part which covers the camera.

As a replacement, my first thought was that I would take the transparent plastic shell of a paper clip box. But I was too lazy to cut it correctly. And the whole process would probably make the plastic scratched. So I just took a cello tape and took a neat long piece of it (without any bend or stretch marks) and placed the cover (with the hole) on it carefully. I put another piece of cello tape on the other side of the cover too just to close the loop.

I put it back in the bezel and closed the bezel up. Checked the video and it was much better!

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