How to replace the Microphone in a Digital Camera (Car DVR)

Hello guys… Today I’m going to share with you how I replaced the microphone in my digital car camera. The reason for this was because the microphone distorts due to the loud low-frequency vibrations found in older cars like mine. Needless to say my replacement didn’t really solve the problem, but it was an interesting experience! The camera I have is the “Car DVR Blackbox R280” wide angle lense, 1080p etc. You can find many sellers with this item on eBay, for about $80. New Camera This particular camera is fairly easy to dismantle without ruining stuff if you are careful. You may notice that my camera looks a little different to the ones on eBay. This is because I have already modified it – I added a screen cover flap since the screen is always on when the camera is recording. The other thing I did was cover the shiny silver trim ring around the camera lense to make it less visible from outside the car – cameras and GPS units are attractive to thieves. Step 01 - Screws First step is easy – remove the screws joining the case together. Step 02 - Lever End-Cap Next step is to lever out the end caps which also hold the case together using a flat head screwdriver or plastic opening tools. Be careful not to scratch the camera lense when performing this step! Step 03 - End-Cap pops off The end cap is removed… Step 04 - Unstick the speaker This particular camera has a speaker attached to the opposite casing, luckily it is only held on by a sticky foam ring and is easy to remove. If your camera has a difficult-to-remove speaker, then you can always de-solder the wires from the speaker. Step 05 - Unlock the cable and remove the screws Now looking at the circuit board, you will notice a few ribbon cables that go to the LCD screen and the light sensor. I removed the cable to the screen, however I left the cable to the light sensor attached since it was stuck under the battery and had enough slack to remove the circuit board. You can unlock the cable by gently pulling the brown tab away from the white connector by using a thumb on either side. It will only move about 1mm, so don’t keep pulling it once it unlocks! Once you have done this, you can remove the screws securing the circuit board to the casing. Step 06 - Slide out the Cable The cable to the LCD screen can be disconnected by gently pulling away from the connector using a finger on the tiny components on the ribbon. If yours is difficult, check the lock tab is completely unlocked. Be careful not to rip the components off the cable! Depending on your ribbon, you may need to unstick tape that may be holding it secure. Step 07 - Access to the mic is granted!   The circuit board is now able to rotate so that you can access the solder points for the microphone. Try not to put too much stress on the thin ribbon cable to the CMOS light sensor.   Step 07 - Removing the microphone   You can remove the microphone by melting both the solder points at once and levering with a small flat head jeweller’s screwdriver. Try not to leave the iron in contact with the solder points for more than 5 seconds or you may cause heat damage to components (mainly the microphone). A small soldering iron is beneficial for tasks like these. Here’s one I use. 🙂 Pic 01 - New microphone   To insert the new microphone is just a reverse of all the previous steps if you used a microphone that is the same size as the one you removed. Mine was bigger than the old one and wouldn’t fit in the old position, so I decided to attach it via a short wire (old headphone cable). Remember to check the polarity of the microphone! It seems they are usually marked by a circle around the pin for positive. The polarity is marked on the circuit board so there is no issue there. 🙂 Pic 02 - Tight squish!   I carefully drilled a hole in the casing and glued the microphone and associated wires into position. Superglue was used for the microphone/casing join and contact glue (flexible) was used for the inside and the wires. Pic 03 - The finished product Success! Somehow I managed to get the microphone aligned so that it actually looks decent… 😉 Hopefully you managed to get your camera back together in a working order! As uncommon as microphone failure seems in a camera like this, the steps described here should be useful nonetheless if you ever need to open your car camera for any reason. Happy tinkering! Rennie ♪

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