Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hacking the CVS Disposable Camcorder

CVS (http://www.cvs.com) has released a "One Time Use Camcorder" in which you can buy from them for around $30. It records 20-25mins of 320x240 divx compressed video. The catch is you have to return it to the CVS store to have them retrieve the video and put it on a CD/DVD for you. They then keep the camcorder, refresh it and put it back on the shelf for another customer to use. Well I am going to show you how to easily create a Camcorder Dock that will allow you to keep your $30 camcorder, and download your movies!

You will need the following parts:

1) CVS One-Time-Use Camcorder
You will need to go to your local CVS store to pick one up. You can use this store locator to find you nearest one. If you dont have one locally, you can always try our forums to see if anyone will pick you up one. (and then there is always ebay) The camcorder will cost you around $30 but if you sign up for their "buyers card" you can save $5 plus there may be a coupon floating around here or there for another $5 off.. Regardless, this thing is worth way more than $30, so give CVS a break. =)

1) PalmIII sync cradle
To be honest, this was the hardest thing for me to find. I went to Microcenter, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Office Max, and Office depot and could not find one! Then went to the DAV, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Dollar Store, and Big Lots hoping I could find one.. I tell you I couldnt believe how hard it was to find! Well of course there were plenty on ebay, but I didnt want to wait for shipping, so I tried emailing all my geeky friends as well as put a post out on Freecycle. Luckily there was a kind soul on Freecycle who had a spare and GAVE IT TOO ME! If you are reading this, Thank you! Literary millions of people will be looking at your cradle! =)

1) Usb cable that you dont care about.
You will need a spare USB cable that you will cut. This could be off an old mouse/keyboard that doesnt work anymore, or just a spare USB cable that you have laying around. It will need to be a "Standard A Type" USB connector. (the type that you plug INTO your computer)

You will also need assorted small screwdrivers, a soldering iron, solder, solder wick, and gorilla glue. (or other superglue) You will also need some software, but I will get to that later in the article.

You can get construction details here at the original post.


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