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Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

R, A, G and Z series specific matters only. NOT for AMD-Ryzen.
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jhawkins002
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Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

#1 Post by jhawkins002 » Sun May 06, 2007 1:06 pm

Greetings all!

I have lurked here for a few months, and have found the information scattered around these forums literally indispensable. Now I have finally gotten to something I have not been able to find an answer for - so help me please!

I have just purchased a Z61m - and it was one of the models that comes without a camera attached to the screen, and I was wondering if in the future I should be able to just add the FRU part from IBM that has the camera attached to the screen-casing.

Are the cable hookups, hardware support, etc. to attach it to the motherboard universally available in the Z61 line?

I have done part-switching like this in older models, and it seems as though it should work - but I also know that before spending money on such a project, one should do their homework :wink:

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#2 Post by BillMorrow » Sun May 06, 2007 1:41 pm

maybe, maybe not.. :)

have you compared the part numbers and so forth in the hardware maintenance manual for your thinkpad model..?

it SHOULD have all the info you need..

if the camera and non-camera models share the same system board (assuming the camera cable is attached to the system board) then i would think the answer would be yes..

though you'll need to do a fair amount of work to install..
bezels and printed wiring cableing around the display, through the hinge and to the attachment point on the system board..

as an afterthought it would seem logical that in this age of highly customizable thinkpads the system board would support all the possible options..

so as to reduce inventory on this high cost part..

unless the camera connects to a daughter board of some type..
but cameras are probably seen as a USB device and thus easily connectable..

/end mind dump
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bontistic
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#3 Post by bontistic » Sun May 06, 2007 6:30 pm

For the Z61m, there are 3 types of LCD cables as mentioned on the parts list.

LCD cable assembly, 15.4-in. stereo without microphone/camera 91P7006
LCD cable assembly, 15.4-in. stereo with microphone/camera
91P7007
LCD cable assembly, 15.4-in. WXGA 91P6957

As for the hardware support, I have tried doing this before with a Z61p but ended up unsuccessful. I am not discouraging you though, I might have gotten a bad cable or another bad part, but just so you know that one has failed.

And yes, you have to disassemble the LCD assembly to be able to do this (unless the cable that comes with your machine already has the slot for the camera).

Another thing to note is that the camera rides on the same bus as the bluetooth card. Probably the same reason why I didn't get bluetooth running as well.
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#4 Post by jhawkins002 » Sun May 06, 2007 6:56 pm

bontistic wrote:Another thing to note is that the camera rides on the same bus as the bluetooth card. Probably the same reason why I didn't get bluetooth running as well.
Say it aint so! The bluetooth was another item I was going to install on it - but since I have performed that operation before on an older R series, I just assumed it would be a similar operation and no great biggie...

I hate to hear this has been attempted before - to no avail... :?

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#5 Post by bontistic » Sun May 06, 2007 7:01 pm

I thought so too, I've done bluetooth upgrades many times on the T R and even the X series but by far the Z was the most difficult. Probably because of the USB implementation?

Don't lose hope, I might just have been unlucky on that attempt. If I come across another chance, I would definitely try again. :D
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#6 Post by PointZero » Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:28 am

For those that have attempted this upgrade? How much did it end up costing you? The camera, the micrphone (do they come as one?) and the new LCD bezel - what monetary sum are we looking at here?

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#7 Post by zhenya » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:01 am

In addition to the other parts listed here, if the z61m's camera is similar to that of the z61t, you'd need a new palm rest with the relief for the camera so that you can close the lid.

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Re: Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

#8 Post by underclocker » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:12 am

Just reviving a 3.5 year old thread...

I'm on my second attempt to retrofit a Z61m/p with a webcam. This time I'm being more methodical and I've learned a little more.
zhenya wrote:In addition to the other parts listed here, if the z61m's camera is similar to that of the z61t, you'd need a new palm rest with the relief for the camera so that you can close the lid.
For clarification purposes, you definitely DO NOT need an alternate palmrest. The same palmrest is used on Z60m/Z61m/Z61p models. No cutout is needed or there since the machine is so massive to begin with. (Z61t palmrests do have camera cutouts.)

Over the years I picked up a Z61p (WUXGA, no webcam, ATI V5200 video) and a Z61m (WSXGA+, webcam, ATI X1400 video). I figured I'd try to build an ultimate Z61p with the webcam. My plan was to swap the LCD assemblies, then swap the panels.

The webcam worked perfectly on the Z61m and I even used the same hard drive between the Z61p and Z61m to ensure the drivers worked and I had an app that used the webcam (Skype). The only difference between the LCD assemblies is the LCD cable, webcam and plastic LCD bezel (both models had Bluetooth). The LCD connectors are physically the same.

I swapped the Z61m w/webcam assembly to the Z61p and it was a no go. The webcam is not seen in the device manager and it certainly doesn't work in any application. This was the same result I had years ago.
BillMorrow wrote:...unless the camera connects to a daughter board of some type...but cameras are probably seen as a USB device and thus easily connectable...
I think Bill was on to something here. While reassembling the machines I noticed that right in the middle of the motherboard is an unlabeled daughtercard of some sort (held in place by two screws). And no, it's not a WWAN adapter or modem. It's about half the size of a mini-PCI express adapter. I also noticed that the one on the Z61m had an extra surface mount chip soldered to it, marked SMSC. That chip was missing from the one on the Z61p. (Refer to eBay for pictures, many Z61m motherboards listed with pictures on eBay include a clear picture of the duaghterboard.)

I ran out of time for experimenting, but will attempt swapping this chip on the next try. Does anyone have any more info about Z61m/p motherboards or about this chip? Perhaps the webcam and chip work in tandem?
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Re: Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

#9 Post by underclocker » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:58 am

Update FACT: The small daughterboard in the middle of the Z61m motherboard controls/enables Bluetooth and the webcam (perhaps other things too, like the SD card slot?) I removed the daughterboard from the Z61m with working BT and webcam and both stopped working and were not seen as installed devices.

I will try upgrading my Z61p with the LCD assembly and daughtercard to see if a webcam upgrade for a Z61p is possible. If successful, I'll go for the WUXGA swap.

*********************************************************************

FINAL VERDICT: Upgrading non-webcam Z61m/Z61p can not be done. I swapped displays (again) between the Z61m w/webcam and Z61p w/o webcam and I swapped the daughtercard. No go. Even the Bluetooth on the Z61p wouldn't work. There must be something hard-coded into the BIOS, some motherboard chip or some other support chip that is required for webcam support.

Bottom line, there may be some odd combination of parts that support an upgrade, but I've tried two, neither worked. It appears that you need a specific motherboard (a particular ATI X1400 model) and related parts (a special daughtercard) to use a webcam on the Z61m.
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Re: Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

#10 Post by exfarmer » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:38 am

I know, I'm a little late to the party...

It can be done. I just added the webcam of a Z61m to another Z61m which wasn't shipped with one.

Some info: the daughterboard is a USB hub with two ports. Both bluetooth and the webcam are USB devices in the cover - but the older mainboards only provide one USB port - for bluetooth. The display cable of a cover with webcam uses two (otherwise unassigned) pins for the USB webcam. Those two pins are routed to the daughterboard - even if the mainboard does not support a webcam by default. To support the hub on the daughterboard, obviously the line to the bluetooth has to be routed via that board - which apparently only happens on boards with ATI graphics that actually support the webcam. The bluetooth line is not routed that way, if the board doesn't support the webcam - which is the reason, why it doesn't work, if you change the daughterboard. I'd guess, the bluetooth line is routed via some soldered jumpers...

So, all you need to activate the webcam is an unused USB port. You can either create one by adding a hub - or just use the one from the WWAN mPCIe slot, for example. Which is what I did to check the concept.

To do that, just add two wires from the daughterboard (pins 8 and 9 from the empty hub space) to the mPCIe socket. To contact the socket, I used an USB adapter for that socket (you can get those from ebay for two bucks, shipped from china). By using that adapter, there was no need to get the mainboard even near the soldering iron :)

If you want to check the connections:

The positive USB data line comes from pin 1 on the LCD connector to pin 8 of the empty USB hub socket on the daughterboard (that connection should already be there, routed on the mainboard) and has to be wired to pin 38 of the WWAN mPCIe socket. The negative USB data line comes from pin 3 on the LCD connector to pin 9 of the empty USB hub socket on the daughterboard (that connection should already be there, routed on the mainboard) and has to be wired to pin 36 of the WWAN mPCIe socket.

To make that clear: I only used the cover from the Z61m with the webcam, including cables and, of course, the webcam. I kept the empty daughterboard on the mainboard.

As a sidenote: the stereo microphones from the cover with webcam worked out-of-the-box.

BTW: too bad IBM didn't route four more wires from the chipset to the WWAN socket... it could have doubled as a slot for mSATA SSDs at no additional cost.

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Re: Adding a FRU camera to Z61m

#11 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:50 pm

exfarmer wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:38 am
BTW: too bad IBM didn't route four more wires from the chipset to the WWAN socket... it could have doubled as a slot for mSATA SSDs at no additional cost.
That's impossible, because mSATA was announced in 2009, long after the Z61 came out. :lol:

mSATA-equipped laptops like the Thinkpad X220, T420, T520. and W520 came out in 2011. :D
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