CVS Camcorder Download Alpha

cvs camcorder

A few people sent this in, but credit goes to [chris tt] for providing all the necessary links. Here is the process for using the camera with windows. First you need to build a USB cable [pdf]. Next, plug in the camera and create an inf file using libUSB. Finally, grab the OPS program and start extracting the video. Here is the thread announcing the release. Congratulations to BillW, morcheeba, daBass and anyone else who helped contribute to the project.

UPDATE: MAKE:Blog has a chronology of how this latest development happened.

74 thoughts on “CVS Camcorder Download Alpha

  1. Whoa, thats a crazy hack. Ive never attempted anything on this scale before, as in unsodering wires and sodering new ones back in and all that, but gotta start somewhere right? Anyone have any advice on equipment to use or anything like that? Also I saw on a site something about ‘shorting’ USB pins in a cable…exactly how is that accomplished? Is that the same thing as unsodering or something different? Yes I know, questions questions, but we’re not all people with electricians degrees so any help is appreciated :)

  2. SWEETNESS, already got mine dumped, it could use a better description of how to get it going once you get the cable made.

    1 you need to make a libusb driver with inf-wizard, i used a VID of 0x167B and PID of 0x0101. MFG of Pure Digital and device name of Saturn. i’m pretty sure the MFG and device name are arbitrary. then name the driver like saturn.inf.
    2 run that through the regular windows driver installing routine, give it the file from libusb it asks for in the driver install if it asks for it.
    3 run the OPS camera dumping utility. it has 3 builds of the OPS exe when you download OPS, so run the one with the version # that most closly matches your libusb version.
    4 When you have OPS going, click “open camcorder”, it should say the “found camcorder” and “connected to camcorder”. click “unlock camcorder” it’ll make a key for the camcorder and should unlock it. once the camcorder is unlocked, click “download last movie”, give it a filename and hit “save”.

    congrats you just got a video off the camcorder! to get the other videos off you need to delete the last video off the camcorder. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACTUALLY GOTTEN THE LAST VIDEO ONTO THE COMPUTER FIRST! TEST IT TO MAKE SURE! then delete the last video of the camcorder with the delete button on the back of the camcorder. you don’t need to unplug the camcorder while you do this either. lather, rinse, repeat step 4 to get the rest of the videos. when done you should have an empty camera and all the videos on your hard drive. hack a nice day.

  3. Chris26 – battery life is decent I’ve been playing with mine for a while and its still on the crappy toshiba alkalines it came with. And you can switch them out – paperclip into the hole on the bottom.

    I got this working at 3 this morning heh

  4. do you think that after they find out about this that they might discontinue them? i mean i bet at least half of the people buying these are gonna be trying to screw with them.

  5. I couldn’t find an m100 sync cable so I soldered a female USB plug onto the camera itself. Just took it apart for more room, but it works like a charm, if you don’t mind a huge usb thing hanging off the top

  6. Is it really worth it to get this? From the reviews I’ve read, the image quality is horrible and playback on tv (I’m guessing primarily from DVD) has many artifacts and effects from light. Granted, it is a 30 dollar disposable camera, but many of the cheap usb cameras can do the same. Toy factor is a plus, but rationally I may pass at this and spend my money on a margarita machine. ;)

  7. This is pretty sweet! I did the CVS Red Digital camera Hack for a project on hacking for school. It was a fun project but the picture quality was not worth the $20 bucks (but the A on the project was:-)) When I started the project, they had just came out the the video camera but it had yet to be hacked.

  8. To those people who can’t get them:

    I called my local CVS, and the guy said he has a bunch of them.

    If you want one, I have no problem shipping them, if you pay via paypal. email me offsite at rhenderson [at] that google email service thing . com and we can figure out how much it’ll cost to get you one. I’ll also provide my ebay profile link so you can see my 40+ positive buying and selling feedback.


  9. “”37. Posted Aug 4, 2005, 10:01 AM ET by mE

    any word on when the hack for the cvs video camera will be out?

    WTF, please quit posting on sites on this planet. Thats what this hack is, everything you need to get the videos. Pls quit wasting our time.

  10. Anyone w/ problems w/ Ops, check the forum. Also, the .1 version here is not the newest. .2 is out and on sourceforge. eliot, if you want a camera, email me: evanmj ]at[ g-mail=com, i can get them at a discounted price. on that same forum (linked by make), there is a tool called “saturndownloader’ that us supposed to work on all OS’s, including macOS. and one last thing, dont buy a palm cable, theres a guide on how to make a cable from an older printer cable. google the still camera cable and its on the first page.


  11. auger> are you unlocking the camera? ops crashed for me when i tried to download before i unlocked it. you have to unlock it each time i believe?

    tired2> i think he was joking :-P

  12. its a serial cable, just use the camera connector, the serial cable gets desoldered. its WAAY worth it to use the palm cable though over the old printer cable method in my opinion, i tried both, the m100 cable was much better, a perfect fit. and id says the 30 bucks is well worth it considering this is the first release of the hack. but i guess only time will tell if it does (dont see why it wouldn’t) if you’re willing to risk the money dont forget to sign up for a cvs card ;)

  13. For anyone interested, I have 2 cameras left. 3 people have bought from me and I shipped them their cameras via UPS today.

    (Funny story: I told the CVS woman what I was doing with 6 cameras, and she was *not* impressed; obviously she was one of the only people that work at CVS smart enough to realize that CVS sells these at a loss.)

  14. Just did this. Carpespasm’s post helped a lot. I also made my own connector with some paper; just holds the wires on the contacts. If anyone wants to know, the wires go, from right to left looking at the top of the camera with the lens up, black, white, green, unused, red.

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