Pv2 camera

Keywords: pv2 camera
Description: The camerahacking.com site is the central place to get hacking information about the $10 and $20 Ritz/CVS one-time-use cameras. Oh, and they're not really one-time-use if you can cobble together a

The camerahacking.com site is the central place to get hacking information about the $10 and $20 Ritz/CVS one-time-use cameras. Oh, and they're not really one-time-use if you can cobble together a cable and download some software.

A: In a nutshell, you have to create the custom cable to connect the camera to your PC, and then run some custom software to unlock the camera for regular use.

The cable is the hardest part - http://cexx.org/dakota has links to different cable designs. Once you have the cable you should check out some of the tutorials in the LINKS forum for more information on setting up communications with the camera.

A: You can change the look of the menus and the font the camera uses. You can write programs for it with the pv2devkit. You can change the focus for close-ups. You can open them up and shock yourself on the flash capacitor, as many people have discovered.

There is an interest to hack new features into the firmware, like time-lapse mode, so this list will likely grow in time.

A: Yes, it's the same cable. Additionaly, it looks like they used the exact same connector for the new CVS/Pure-Digital one-time-use camcorder.

A: There are a number of different ways of getting pictures from the pv2.
    1) obtain the flatfoto2 driver CD (the Windows download from RadioShack isn't a full driver) and modify the supplied .inf file so it works with your cam.

2) download the Philips PocketCam 2000 drivers and modify the supplied .inf file so it works with your cam.

3) download images with pv2tool use sailpix' [URL=https://sourceforge.net/projects/pv2devkit/]smal2dng sourceforge project[/URL] to recieve .DNG format images.

4) download images with pv2tool and use daBass' [URL=http://www.digitalfluff.net/pv2/]RAW viewer/png-saver[/URL] to interactively tweak the images and recieve .png or .jpg format images.

dcoffin/dcraw/]dcraw[/URL] or one of it's forks to convert the images to .ppm format. Other utilities can be used to convert .ppm to other formats.

6) use BillW's [URL=https://sourceforge.net/projects/pv2devkit/]pv2fetch[/URL], which retrieves the images and provides .jpg format images.

Q: The tutorials I read instruct me to update the camera's firmware, but warn me that I might kill my camera. I don't want to risk my $20, is there any other way to do this?

A: You don't *have* to permanently unlock the camera by modifying the firmware, it's just more conveniant that way.

If you must use a commercial driver, you can try to follow "buster's method". Binaryweaver's recount of buster's method is here http://nystepmom.blogdns.com/phils/demanufacturing/pv2/driverx2.htm

After setting up your system for buster's method, you will need to temporarily unlock the camera with pv2tool before attempting to download pictures.

But a better solution would be to use one of the methods from the previous question that don't require permanent unlocking (methods 3-6)

A: The camera runs a "bootstrap" program that checks the camera for problems. If none are found, it then loads the FIRMWARE.BIN file from the flash chip. If problems are found, the camera beeps low tone a number of times (it's relaying an error code) and waits in bootloader mode.

A: You can revive most bootloadered cameras with PV2Tool. See the HOWTO area for BillW's Resurrection method.

A: Remove it from the cable. Try to turn the camera on, you'll hear a series of low beeps and the screen won't turn on.

Q: My screen works find, but the driver on my computer says the camera is in in bootloader mode. Are you sure it isn't?

A: If the camera screen works, it's not in bootloader mode. Some of the camera drivers claim the camera is in bootloader mode when they can't communicate with the cam. Try unlocking your camera first.

Each USB device is supposed to have a V endor ID entifier (or VID) and a PID. The identifiers are used so the Operating System can distinguish one device from another.

The VID for any cameras based on SMaL's boards, including the pv2, is 0dca. See Sailpix's more definative list of all SMaL cameras here for more information to see which non-pv2 cameras use which PID: http://camerahacks.10.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=148

A: Probably your cable. if you've never used this cable for the camera before, check your wiring with a multimeter/continuity-tester. If it's a previously working cable, try unplugging and replugging both ends of the cable.

Q: My camera beeps when I unplug the cable from it, but it doesn't show up as a device in the Windows Device Manager. What's wrong?

Q: My cable is wired with the right colors to the right pins. I've triple-checked it! What else could it be?

A: It's the cable (do I sound like a broken record yet?) Not all USB cables are wired to respect the color->pinout convention specified in the USB spec, so you can't go on color alone.

A: Pure Digital (the company that supplies CVS with the cams) used to only use one or two "unlock" keys for all of the cameras. Lately it looks like there are a whole lot more keys in use, though there's debate wether the keys are unique to each camera. In any case, your key is unknown, but there are other ways to unlock the camera. See the HOWTO section for relevant articles - the ones that still work will be at the top.

A: The blue tinge is because you're using foxz2 drivers with a newer incompatible cam. Use one of the other methods for getting images listed in the first section of this FAQ.

A: The drivers are copyright SMaL and Radio Shack. Nobody here has the right to redistribute them. Furthermore, it goes against the Acceptable Use Policy of these forums. Don't bother asking.

A: See the above question. There are utilities to ease the pain of modifying firmware. See my own pv2patch at https://sourceforge.net/projects/pv2devkit/

Q: Why do you say nobody can redistribute the drivers? They don't say "don't distribute" and they're freely available.

A: Copyright law prohibits redistribution unless those rights are explicitly granted by the creator of the work. Ie. if it doesn't say one way or the other, you are breaking copyright law by redistributing. Furthermore, people who have approached Pure Digital and SMaL requesting redistribution rights have been ignored.

For supporting info, check out Stanford's explanation of the topic. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter1/1-d.html

Q: But the drivers/firmware don't say copyright, and they don't appear to be registered at the copyright office. Can't we redistribute them?

A: My, you're persistant! A work doesn't have to be registered to be copyrighted. In fact, any and all works are copyrighted on creation - a registration of copyright just makes it easier to prove that you were the creator in court, but it's by no means required.

A: The flatfoto is a cousin to the pv2. It uses pretty much the same architecture, but has a slightly different firmware, more buttons and higher resolution.

Q: Why bother with all of the time and effort to save a few bucks? There are much better cameras available for just a bit more money.

the cameras can be easily modified. It's like a $20 stamp kit with image sensor and flash memory thrown in!

Firmware hacks: Be the first to write a game for the pv2, or hack time-lapse mode into it. Check out the unofficial devkit http://pv2devkit.sourceforge.net/ and morcheeba's arclite disassembler http://www.maushammer.com/systems/dakotadigital/lcd-firmware.html

Screen hacks: It's a lovely screen for $20. If you have the skills, figure out how to interface with it.

Q: A lot of different people have donated their time, skills, and software. But without the superhuman efforts of morcheeba we'd still be in the pv2 dark ages. Morcheeba desoldered the flash from his camera, cobbled together an adaptor to read it, wrote a disassembler, and painstakingly poured over the firmware code, documented a big portion of the firmware, created the first unlock patch, and shared all of his discoveries with the world. I get tired just relating it!

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