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A540/A530 ir cut filter removal tutorial (pics)

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Thread started 15 Dec 2006 (Friday) 15:43   
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17-40F4L
Hatchling
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This tutorial will show you how to disassemble a canon a540/a530 to the sensor to remove the ir cut filter.

Tools:
#00 philips screw driver
soldering iron

couple of notes:
- there is 300 volts or so inside the camera. canon has done a pretty good job shielding those areas, and I haven't gotten shocked even though my fingers have been everywhere, but be careful anyway. it's enough energy to kill you several times if you're unlucky.
- you may end up with an ir sensitive camera, or you may end up buying a new camera.


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remove the green and red screws. the green screws are identical. take off the back cover. the back cover snaps together with the front cover at the top of the camera.


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remove the screw and loosen the clips holding the lcd. disconnect the cables connecting the lcd and set the lcd aside.


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remove the screw and take off the front cover. there's a thin dust ring between the cover and the lens barrel, don't lose it.


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remove the screws. the red screw is a metal screw. pry off the plastic io panel and tripod thread assembly.


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if you want to, now is the time to turn back :D first remove the two screws holding the control panel pcb, then disconnect and remove the control panel. very carefully disconnect the cables. the connectors are very delicate, and if you snap one, you'll be buying a new camera.

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desolder the circled wires. it is not necessary to detach the crossed wires. remove the three screws holding the main pcb (not indicated here), and reflect the main pcb along the bottom, exposing the sensor.


continued on next post...

Post #1, Dec 15, 2006 15:43:35




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17-40F4L
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Hatchling
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circuit board pics... :D

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sweet :D


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remove the screws holding the sensor. the sensor is also glued down near the screw tabs. remove the sensor by prying near the screw tabs - the glue is brittle. do not pry at the center. there are three springs beneath the sensor, be careful and hold a hand over the sensor as you pry at it so the sensor does not pop out. my guess is that they are used for focus adjustment - the springs push the sensor back to to the screw, and the screws can be loosened to move the sensor back. then glue is applied to secure its position.


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remove the ir cut filter (looks pinkish). you will need to move the sensor back slightly by approx 0.1 mm as removing the glass filter changes the optical path... there are two ways that I can think of:

1. include the springs as you reassemble the sensor. screw the sensor down all the way, and loosen the screws by an equal amount to move the sensor back. glue to secure it

2. prepare three focus spacers out of a thin material (plastic, metal) and screw the sensor on top of that. you don't need the springs if you do this.

clean the sensor and the area near the ir filter, and reassemble everything. everything should work if you didn't break anything. have fun with your now ir sensitive cam :D

Post #2, Dec 15, 2006 15:43:58




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sblais
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Any pics taken with the hacked camera?

Post #3, Dec 15, 2006 16:28:45


Sebastien
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There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet. -- Admiral William Halsey

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17-40F4L
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Hatchling
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couple of shots to demonstrate the sensitivity...

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this is a 15 sec exposure. soldering irons don't put out much ir, doesn't get hot enough to glow red.

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you have the normal red, green, blue, then what's past 720 nm is rendered as yellow and blue

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with hoya r72 filter. no rgb, just ir

Post #4, Dec 15, 2006 17:09:36




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Citizen_Insane
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Sweet, but please don't tempt me, the A530 in my room is for my sister's Christmas present, although it's tempting to hack it.......

Post #5, Dec 15, 2006 20:33:33


Gear
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17-40F4L
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Hatchling
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Citizen_Insane wrote in post #2405752external link
Sweet, but please don't tempt me, the A530 in my room is for my sister's Christmas present, although it's tempting to hack it.......

what about your christmas present? :lol:

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potato cannon is rigged to trigger the flash when the sock is shot from it. this picture was taken with the ir-modified camera and a hoya r72 filter. shutter speed was set to 5 seconds, room lights turned off and cannon fired. the flame coming out of the cannon emits a large amount of ir and at a wavelength that the camera sees as yellow. the selective coloring was not intentional. the only post processing done was photoshopping out the wire going from the cannon to the flash, curves, and noise reduction. white balance set to subject's shirt in camera under tungsten and flourescent lighting.

the flash used was a modified disposable camera :D

Post #6, Dec 16, 2006 08:47:52




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Lightstream
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Holy cow............

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Absolutely brilliant work and even more dramatic photography!!

I have an A530.. and nowhere near the guts to do this!

Post #7, Dec 16, 2006 23:41:53




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sparr
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for the record, the A630 is almost nothing like this. the good news is, its much easier to get to the sensor, no soldering required. the bad news is, a #000(?) torx bit is required, and a spring popped out of somewhere other than the sensor mount that i cant figure out :(

Post #8, Dec 26, 2006 23:40:22 as a reply to Lightstream's post 9 days earlier.




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gaban06
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please post more pictures! oh and i have a question... which brand is that 2.5 inch LCD screen?

thanks for the reply in advance;)

Post #9, Dec 27, 2006 11:06:05 as a reply to Lightstream's post 10 days earlier.




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sjafari
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that is pretty sweet! keep posting more photos!

Post #10, Dec 27, 2006 11:09:21


-Shehab-
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5Dii, 16-35/2.8ii, 24-70/2.8, 135/2

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engimonkey
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That is amazing. Too bad I can't bring myself to take apart my new Canon (just yet ;)).

Do you have any other pictures? I would be very interested to see pictures in daylight.

Thanks!

Post #11, Dec 28, 2006 16:44:09 as a reply to sjafari's post 1 day earlier.




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pteal
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First, thanks for posting this great tutorial. I just purchased an a540 and attempted the modification last night. Those solder connections and ribbon cables sure are tiny!

Anyway, in order to remove the ir filter I had to break it (two peices) and remove it with tweezers since it was glued to the housing in two locations.

After re-soldering the wires and reconnecting everything I have two issues. First, the camera is out of focus. On the wide end everything is blurry. On the zoom end it looks better. My method for changing the spacing on the CCD was to back off the 3 spring-loaded screws a little. I don't know if I backed off too much, or not enough, but I'm going to have to try one of your other methods. I purchased some microscope slide covers that were .1mm thick, but I have been unable to cut them to the correct size so far without them shattering.

The second issue is that none of the menu controls on the back of the camera work now. It also won't read the SD card. I'm hoping that I can just reseat the ribbon cables and make it come back to life.

Lastly, I'm going to have to desolder and resolder those connections again to get back to the ccd, so I was thinking of just extending those 6 wires with some thin wire so that I don't have to keep resoldering them. I wish that I had done that to start with.

If you have any additional advice for me I'd like to hear it. I'll post my results when I have something else to report.

-Peter

Post #12, Dec 29, 2006 06:38:52 as a reply to engimonkey's post 13 hours earlier.




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jcw122
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Holy cow...that camera actually has over 300 volts in some of its circuitry?! How and why?!

Post #13, Dec 29, 2006 23:31:10


"Ill show you."-John Hammond
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Lightstream
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Flash capacitor. Ultra high voltage little beastie and if you short the terminals with your finger, watch out. (putting it mildly)

The big SLRs and flashguns have them too.. just that they are bigger and meaner :mrgreen:

Post #14, Dec 29, 2006 23:33:22




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jcw122
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Wow....cool heheh.

Post #15, Dec 30, 2006 00:22:21


"Ill show you."-John Hammond
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A540/A530 ir cut filter removal tutorial (pics)
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