Maker Faire

Hacking Disposable Digital Cameras for Model Rocketry

Type: Presentation
Program Area: Rocketry

Day/Time: Saturday, April 22 1:30 PM (30 minutes)

Day/Time: (30 minutes)

Location: Make Theatre

I have hacked a disposable digital cameras and launched it in a model rocket, capturing video from high above my house.

First, I will explain the whole hacking process from scratch: from physical disassembly, to what's inside, to how to read the memory chip. Next, we'll dive into reverse-engineering the program that controls the camera. Beginning with a mess of numbers, we'll develop tools that will make sense of them. Each step of the way, the data will become more and more readable until we determine how the camera works and how to interface to it. Then, we'll find and remove the assembly-language code that prevents downloads.

I'll show the more interesting nitty-gritty technical details, but don't worry - the presentation will be accessible to anyone.

Finally, I'll show how I constructed a model rocket with the camcorder inside. I'll show the video of the launch, which you can also see at my Maker exhibit.

Related site:


Presented by

John Maushammer

I'm the hacker who figured out how to make the disposable digital cameras reusable again. I've got an article (slated for Make 07) about launching one of these camcorders in a rocket. I'm also sort-of an ex-rocket scientist.