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Old 10-04-2017, 04:01 AM   #1
triciasurfer
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Keeping taptop's built-in webcam LED permanently off


How can I keep my built-in webcam's LED (in a laptop) permanently off, even when the camera is in use?

ThinkPad 430, Toshiba Satellite P200, Toshiba Satellite C655

I've tried `uvcdynctrl -c`, but it doesn't appear that "LED1 Mode" (webcam light toggle) is controllable with uvcdynctrl.
Quote:
uvcdynctrl -c
Listing available controls for device video0:
Brightness
Contrast
Saturation
Hue
White Balance Temperature, Auto
Gamma
Power Line Frequency
White Balance Temperature
Sharpness
Backlight Compensation
Exposure, Auto
Exposure (Absolute)
Exposure, Auto Priority
Pan (Absolute)
Tilt (Absolute)
Zoom, Absolute
Privacy

Last edited by triciasurfer; 10-04-2017 at 04:07 AM.
 
Old 10-04-2017, 01:28 PM   #2
rtmistler
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I use black electrical tape.

And I'm serious.

One distribution of Linux, the File Manager showed the USB resource for the webcam, but I didn't know what it was, so I once clicked on it, it went off to think for a while, and then eventually popped up a webcam local view window to show my mug.

Most laptops are black plastic. I have two of them open on my desk right now, and am looking at two small pieces of black electrical tape over the webcam lenses.

Problem solved.

Last edited by rtmistler; 10-04-2017 at 01:37 PM.
 
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:56 PM   #3
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
I use black electrical tape.

And I'm serious.

One distribution of Linux, the File Manager showed the USB resource for the webcam, but I didn't know what it was, so I once clicked on it, it went off to think for a while, and then eventually popped up a webcam local view window to show my mug.

Most laptops are black plastic. I have two of them open on my desk right now, and am looking at two small pieces of black electrical tape over the webcam lenses.

Problem solved.
I love this.

Sometimes it's refreshing to see a simple non-technical solution to a problem ...

That said, however, my understanding of the OP's post is that she is trying to find a way to turn off the LED light next to the camera, even while it is being used, and not block the lens itself. I believe your solution may still apply, rtmistler ... just thought I'd chime in with my understanding.

Cheers !
 
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:23 PM   #4
triciasurfer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
I love this.

Sometimes it's refreshing to see a simple non-technical solution to a problem ...

That said, however, my understanding of the OP's post is that she is trying to find a way to turn off the LED light next to the camera, even while it is being used, and not block the lens itself. I believe your solution may still apply, rtmistler ... just thought I'd chime in with my understanding.

Cheers !
Rickkkk is righttttt. I want the webcam to still work. It's just the webcam LED I want concealed.

Sadly, I don't think black electrical tape is gonna work for my project.
 
Old 10-04-2017, 08:29 PM   #5
JJJCR
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by triciasurfer View Post
Rickkkk is righttttt. I want the webcam to still work. It's just the webcam LED I want concealed.

Sadly, I don't think black electrical tape is gonna work for my project.
You need to hack the driver for your webcam, I don't think manufacturer of computers will give you an easy way to turn off the LED.

Of course, if you don't want the black tape. You can easily poke the LED with a hard sharp metal and boom LED spoiled no more light forever.
 
Old 10-04-2017, 08:29 PM   #6
frankbell
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Fold an index card over and use it to cover the LED.

Aside: I trust you are not planning surreptitious recording.
 
Old 10-04-2017, 08:36 PM   #7
Shadow_7
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Some laws prohibit "recording" while the LED is OFF (or missing). The uvcdynctrl lets me control the LED on my c720 webcam. That's about the only way I know of, outside of module parameters. Or code modification. Or hardware modification.
 
Old 10-04-2017, 09:13 PM   #8
triciasurfer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJCR View Post
You need to hack the driver for your webcam
Okay, I'm willing to do this, if necessary. How do I go about hacking the webcam driver?
 
Old 10-04-2017, 11:45 PM   #9
JJJCR
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by triciasurfer View Post
Okay, I'm willing to do this, if necessary. How do I go about hacking the webcam driver?
Hmm..you need to be familiar at least with embedded or firmware programming.

Of course, you need to know which driver, which file you need to change.

Or you can check the chipset of your camera, then you create your own driver to satisfy your needs.
 
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:25 AM   #10
triciasurfer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJCR View Post
Hmm..you need to be familiar at least with embedded or firmware programming.

Of course, you need to know which driver, which file you need to change.

Or you can check the chipset of your camera, then you create your own driver to satisfy your needs.
hi JJJCR.
I'm not in the least bit familiar with embedded or firmware programming.
How can I figure out which driver or file I need to change?
 
Old 10-05-2017, 04:29 AM   #11
JJJCR
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by triciasurfer View Post
hi JJJCR.
I'm not in the least bit familiar with embedded or firmware programming.
How can I figure out which driver or file I need to change?
I am not sure of your intention whether you want to harm other people or do some malicious act. But to be honest I don't know also which driver or file to change on the system it is so complex and as what I have told you before the manufacturer won't give anyone an easy task to circumvent such feature. It might not be even possible unless you destroy manually the LED or use a black tape.
 
Old 10-05-2017, 07:02 AM   #12
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triciasurfer View Post
Rickkkk is righttttt. I want the webcam to still work. It's just the webcam LED I want concealed.

Sadly, I don't think black electrical tape is gonna work for my project.
Sure it will.

My wife and I cover every LED status light in our bedroom for entire darkness.

You have things like a power plug with a LED on the plug body, and other stuff.

We have a roll of electrical tape conveniently located just for this purpose.

And what "project" are you referring to? I'm just figuring you don't want a bright LED in your face.

Also interested because I've had a zillion laptops and NONE of them have had a LED to accompany the webcam. My phone does, and I can turn it off.
 
Old 10-05-2017, 07:06 AM   #13
rtmistler
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Do you mean an ON indicator as opposed to a light for illumination?

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht072130

This says, for the model indicated, that it is hardwired and intentional so that you'll know it's on.
Quote:
Indicator lights are tied directly with the hardwares. Currently there is no software or special key pressed that will disable the indicator only.

Camera light is designed to be on once the camera is enabled. This design is aimed to protect your privacy and prevent the camera from being enabled maliciously without your notice.

Last edited by rtmistler; 10-05-2017 at 01:54 PM.
 
Old 10-05-2017, 09:25 AM   #14
colorpurple21859
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If you want it permanently off take apart and cut wire to led
 
Old 10-05-2017, 01:41 PM   #15
ondoho
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^ i don't think this will work because often light emitting diodes are an important part of the circuitry (they are still diodes), and cutting them will cut the flow.
i speak from experience (not with webcams though).
 
  


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