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Old Nov 27, 2007, 10:43 AM   #1
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First, To open the A-HD, remove the battery cover and battery. Under this you will see four small black screws (long). (no photo) Remove these screws and the bottom of the casing will become loose. This is the tricky part. On the top of the A-HD there is a silver grill covering the microphone and speaker. Slide this backwards (may require a little prying) and remove to expose a fifth screw (short) (see photo). Remove this and the two sides should be able to separate. A little gentle prying is required near the top, be careful and you shouldn't damage anything.


Remove the battery-side cover and you are left with something that looks like this:


Remove the three short screws, and the one long screw. The one long screw is in the blue translucent circle around the lens housing. Now the other side of the casing should be able to separate from board. Gently move aside the blue translucent plastic and get access to the screen connector. Be careful! This is probably the most fragile part of this process.




The connector is in a port. Don't do what I did and just yank it out. Gently slide the white plastic guard towards the wires by each side and this should loosen the connection. Once it's loose it should easily come out. Hopefully your connector is in one piece, go ahead and set this part of the case aside.



Now you should have access to the microphone! It is a small silver cylinder with two solder points, surrounding by black rubber.



You could hard-wire another Microphone here, but I decided to add a 3.5mm TRS jack. I found an old CD-Rom drive and demolished it to get access to this board.



A little bit of desoldering braid and I had a nice jack!



Here's the microphone after removing the rubber shield. The pins are soldered on this side, but also go through the circuit board to the opposite side. In order to get to the other side, the lens housing would have to be removed. After inspecting this and seeing how it was held together (screws on all three sides and some solder between the boards) I decided to just snip the pins here.



I tinned a couple small wires and added flux to all the points. Then wired the jack to the microphone ports. This is not difficult soldering, just make sure your iron is only around 15 watts so nothing gets damaged from excess heat. I didn't have any equipment to take measurements, so I took a guess that the square pad was ground and the circular one was tip, I was right! I wired the TRS jack up this way. The A-HD mic is mono, so in reality only a TS jack is needed, so I ignored the ring pin. More info on the TRS/TS jack here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_ring_sleeve



At this point I half-assembled everything (without screws) and tested. It worked! Pretty simple stuff, I just wasn't sure if I had the pins reversed. I globbed a bunch of hot-glue on the jack to keep it secure, although not pretty.



Again be careful when inserting the screen wiring. Loosen the port by sliding the white plastic guard forward, insert the wiring, and then slide the guard back to seat the cables.



Everything else is just putting the right screws in the right places. The five long screws go on the outside and on the blue plastic ring. If you remove the silver mode/menu/photo buttons, realize that this screw has to be inserted from the reverse side, so do it first. Removal of these buttons is not necessary. If you go beyond this disassembly guide, just note that some of the screws do get smaller so keep track of what goes where.



In retrospect I wish I had positioned the TRS jack a little better, so it would be flush with the silver grill. I then would drill a hole and just have a nice clean jack on top of the A-HD. Unfortunately I let the glue set, and it's a bit recessed and off-center. This is still fine, just not as pretty! The silver grill slides right back over this if I want to take video without any audio. Hopefully I'll find a nice little Mic to plug into the jack and then I can cut away the grill as necessary. Test videos coming soon hopefully!

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Old Nov 27, 2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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crazy!

waiting to see how the test goes

there's no way to fit there a stereo jack ?

(reaching the impossible..)

have you allready confirmed that even with no MIC there's noise in the movies?
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 1:01 PM   #3
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Technically the jack I put in could handle stereo, but Aiptek's mic was only mono so that's all I could solder to. Maybe the mic could be traced back to the chip and it possibly has stereo-in - but I'm not an eletrical engineer so I didn't get nearly that far.

Yes I did do a recording with no Mic and I still get a static hissing. It doesn't sound too bad on TV, but on my PC it's really there. I would have thought the recording would just be silent. I guess it could be interferance, or the encoder adding noise, or just the high-gain on the mic input.

An external mic is definately better, but all I have is a crappy PC microphone and it doesn't get very good distance - but the voices are clear, and they definately weren't for me before. Just that dang background noise.

I can't post videos from work here, so I'll update this evening.
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 1:13 PM   #4
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taking the A-Hd to the next step, hats off:|

looking foward to the vids. this may be something you want to test as well, take the Aiptek mic and try some other device and see if any difference in that vid

hint hint thank you for the great tutorial
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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How easily does the metal barrel around the lens pull off once disassembled? I may have found a small Wide Angle lens which can fit in there. I'll try it, if the barrel comes off easily.
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Old Nov 29, 2007, 12:52 AM   #6
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Sorry I haven't posted videos yet, I'm still trying to find a decent microphone. All I have around here are unidirectional mics, which sound good up close but pick up nothing from a distance really at all. I bought a cheap omni-directional clip-on mic from radio shack, but it's not working with the camcorder for some reason. It's possible that the 'ring' does need to be wired, so I might have to open it up again. I'll keep you guys updated, but if you have any suggestions for a good cheap mic to pick up all sounds in a room, please let me know!
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Old Nov 29, 2007, 1:23 PM   #7
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So I finally gave in and registered here. I've followed these forums for a long long time, back when the MPVR was announced and there were "New" reviews about it.

I got the A-HD, 1.600 firmware, US, etc. I don't want to update because of the lack of future update issue, and I want to stick around until Aiptek hopefully gives out another updater for those who didn't update to 2.002 and try all that risky business and whatnot for mac support and low mic gain.

Anyways, I am really impressed with this thread. Does this, in theory, allow me to use my RCA Male to Headphone jack male (the Y-cable, if you will, that allows playback from an iPod or device on a television or stereo speaker) and record the audio from there while also recording video from the camera? It would be an interesting thing to "fool" around with.
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 3:03 PM   #8
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Hi

I would like to know if it can possible and if you have see a place on the board to : turn off the auto focus ?!! I do a project with the camera, but i need to turn off the autofocus.. Do you saw any cable that can drive the focus power motor ?



Thank
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 11:14 PM   #9
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Any updates?



dbrowder wrote:

Quote:
Sorry I haven't posted videos yet, I'm still trying to find a decent microphone. All I have around here are unidirectional mics, which sound good up close but pick up nothing from a distance really at all. I bought a cheap omni-directional clip-on mic from radio shack, but it's not working with the camcorder for some reason. It's possible that the 'ring' does need to be wired, so I might have to open it up again. I'll keep you guys updated, but if you have any suggestions for a good cheap mic to pick up all sounds in a room, please let me know!
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 11:16 PM   #10
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This camera can't autofocus, so it doesn't have any focus power motor

You're all set - it is disabled by default



Opcod wrote:
Quote:
Hi

I would like to know if it can possible and if you have see a place on the board to : turn off the auto focus ?!! I do a project with the camera, but i need to turn off the autofocus.. Do you saw any cable that can drive the focus power motor ?



Thank
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