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Teardown: Wi-Fi HD Security Camera

In this teardown, we scrutinize the workings of the FunAce Robot WiFi HD Camera.

Welcome back to Teardown Tuesday! This week, we're going to rip into the FunAce Robot WiFi Dual HD Optic Camera.

The device is equipped with normal camera functionality, as well as IR night vision. The feeds can be recorded to a memory card or streamed wirelessly, paired with an iPhone or Android app.
The system also allows for two-way audio communication and can be programmed to function as both a motion sensor and sound-activated alarm.


FunAce Robot WiFi Optic Camera (front and back)

It's a Big Magnet!

The "head" of the robot is easily removed by simply pulling it off—it's only held on with a rather large magnet.


The robot's head and body are separated. A big magnet holds them together.

This is what allows the user to aim the camera, depending on how the base is mounted.

What's Inside the Head

Only two screws hold the head together. In the image below, we see the big magnet, two PCBs, and a ribbon cable.


The components inside the robot's head

One section of the head piece contains a speaker and a two PCBs. The thickness of these PCBs—that is, their friction against the plastic enclosure—is what holds them in place (see below). This is a creative approach, but still a cheap one.


The components inside one piece of the robot's head

The second head piece is the keeper of the remaining components. It contains:
  • A microphone
  • WiFi antenna
  • LEDs
  • Camera lens
  • Two PCBs


The components inside the other piece of the robot's head

A Closer Examination: The PCBs

Smaller PCBs: Connectors

The two "friction" PCBs that we highlighted above are very basic in nature:


The two "friction held" PCBs

As noted in the figure, these two PCBs are attached together using castellated edges/holes. Although these two boards seem to fit their application, this design approach is rather cheap in character. The PCBs themselves scream low-cost.

LED PCB and Camera Lens Module

The PCB with the LEDs installed is also basic in nature:


The "LED" PCB

The solder flux used during the soldering process is still on the PCB (i.e., the boards haven't been cleaned).
The nine through-hole LEDs were most likely installed by hand, as opposed to by a machine. A better approach—in terms of both cleanliness and cost—would have been to use surface-mount LEDs.
The camera lens module is attached to this PCB using two screws.

Main PCB: Major Components

The final PCB contains all the intelligence:


The "intelligence" PCB

This PCB has the following major components:
  • Switching voltage regulators (3): Although none of these ICs (part marking of either A121 or A6166) have any datasheets available online, each one of them has an inductor in close proximity. These inductors are the telltale sign of switching-type regulators.
  • LDO voltage regulator: Torex XC6206. LDO regulators are known for being very inexpensive, albeit fairly inefficient.
  • Image signal processor: The image signal processor is made by Ingenic. It is wired directly to the Image sensor.
  • Image sensor: This component has no markings whatsoever. The camera lens module fits snugly overtop of this image sensor.
  • Flash memory:  Macronix MX25L12835F. This is where the device's f/w is retained.
  • Audio amplifier: SG Micro SGM4890. This is connected to the speaker and is crucial for the advertised two-way audio chat.
  • Wi-Fi module: Mediatek MT7601U. This module is obviously provided by a 3rd party. It, too, is soldered to the main PCB using castellated holes.
  • Various test points, which are typically used during board bring-up, testing, and troubleshooting.
Amazingly, this PCB appears to be a two-sided board with no internal layers. This definitely reduces the PCB's cost.

Summary

It's surprising—and impressive—that all the intelligence to support the many advertised features of this device are crammed into such a small envelope. Given the construction approach of this device, it's clear that low-cost was the priority when manufacturing this camera.


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Hi, I`m Sostenes, Electrical Technician and PLC`S Programmer.
Everyday I`m exploring the world of Electrical to find better solution for Automation. I believe everyday can become a Electrician with the right learning materials.
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