1. Remove the imager board
from the webcam.
If you’re using a video board camera, go to Step 2.
Remove all screws on the web camera case, pry it
apart, and remove the imager board (Figure A).
2. Remove the lens.
Unscrew the lens holder from the circuit board
(Figure B) to reveal the imager chip (Figure C).
Don’t touch the protective glass cover; that’s
where your specimens are eventually going to go.
Webcam for output to a computer. Higher resolution
and a smaller image chip produce higher magnification. For output to a TV use Monochrome CCD
video board camera, such as the PC302XS from
2" black PVC end caps ( 2)
2"-diameter black PVC pipe, 8" long
Project box big enough to fit a camera board,
Silicone sealant for aquariums Regular silicone glue
from a hardware store contains chemicals that kill
Resistor, 1KΩ RadioShack #271-1321
3mm blue LED Digi-Key #350-1562 from digikey.com
Blue has the shortest wavelength, producing
the sharpest image. Experiment with white and
SPST toggle switch RadioShack #275-612
9V battery snap connector RadioShack #270-324
Corrugated cardboard, 3"× 3"
Plastic, 3"× 3"× 1" thick if needed. See Step 5.
Blue masking tape
Small screwdrivers slot and Phillips head
Small square file
Hand drill with 1", ½", and 1" drill bits
¼" drill bit approximately, depending on the size of
your camera chip’s imaging area
Soldering iron and solder
Hot glue gun
Live plankton available from Reed Mariculture,
3. Prepare the dark box.
Examine the imager chip. The innermost square
(Figure D, green outline) is the light-sensitive image die. The raised square just inside the soldered
legs is the ceramic case (red outline). Measure
out a third square area between these 2 squares,
covering most of the fine gold wires that connect
to the image die (yellow square). Pick a drill bit with
a diameter close to this width. We’ll be referring to
this yellow square later.
Use the selected bit to drill a hole centered in the