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Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 Microphone Problem

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gamer_ankh
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I recently got a new Lifecam VX-3000 to use with MSN messenger. It works fine for stand-alone video capture, and it works alright when using the video alone on MSN, but when I try to use the microphone at all, it just comes up with this dreadful buzzing or humming. I cant hear it on my comp when I video call or just chat with Ventrilo, but everyone else can hear it and they cant hear what I say at all.

I tried adjusting the volume on the mic, and it just jumps back up to high no matter what.

I tried disabling the microphone on it and using an external one, but the video wont work when I do that, and the external mic isnt recognized by my computer or doesnt work.

I tried moving the cam away from my speakers, but the cord isnt very long and cant reach very far away, and the cord on the speakers isnt long enough to move them very far from the cam, either.

The only other thing I can think of is disabling the webcam when I want to use Ventrilo and getting a new microphone for my computer. I really would rather just figure out some way to fix the microphone on the LifeCam, but I cant see how.

Any suggestions?

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jbennet
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is it usb or regular (3.5mm jacks)?
If its 3.5mm make sure its plugged into mic and not speakers.

Turn the webcams mic right down in the sound menu and then use the webcam/headset wizard in msn to adjust it.

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gamer_ankh
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Its a USB, and I tried reinstalling it and turning the volume down, but both tries were unsuccessful. I thought maybe it might've been an out of date driver, but oh, silly me. And even when I turn the volume down on the volume control in the task bar, it sends a horrific buzzing noise to the person I'm talking to. The only time they DONT hear the buzzing is when its muted, and when it is, I cant speak to them at all.

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jbennet
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thats wierd. is it a bad usb port possibly?
do you have another mic plugged in that could be interfering?
is it too near your speakers?

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BigSky
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I gave my parents the vx3000 for Christmas and whenever we do a video call they are producing a very similar buzzing as you describe in your post. They have a CRT monitor and I was wondering if you have one too? I'm thinking that may be the cause of the buzzing. If you have found a solution to this, please let me know!

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jbennet
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maybe as i know you get problems with screen mounted speakers and interferecne. Get a USB extension cable and try the camera away from the monitor

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KDOV
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I finally got my VX3000 to partially work without the background noise. At least when I record a file (audio only and video and audio) I am no longer getting the noise that I had before. BTW the noise for my setup was clearly the old 60 cycle hum. I have yet to try it on IM.

I went to a second microphone plugged into the front of my HP Pavillion. Wasn't all quite that simple however, I discovered I had to go into control panel and find advanced mike options and make sure the selection for the front mike imput vice the rear was selected. Then I further discovered that every time I activated the VX3000, I had to also double click the volume control in the taskbar and UN-MUTE the microphone selection. It appears the VX3000 causes any other microphone to mute. This has to be done every time one re activates the VX3000.

Hope this helps someone out there and note that I haven't tested in a 2 way setup yet.

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Phong
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I have yet to try it on IM.

I went to a second microphone plugged into the front of my HP Pavillion....

Hope this helps someone out there and note that I haven't tested in a 2 way setup yet.

It's true that bypassing the VX3000 built-in microphone avoids the problem, even with IM. However, that doesn't solve the primary problem, which is that the microphone in the VX3000 is defective.

I have had one of these units since a bit before Christmas '06. Based on my success with the unit at that time, I gave one to my brother for Christmas so we could do IM. Since then my VX3000 has started acting up, and so has his. Not at first, but after a few weeks or months of use.

After lots of troubleshooting, trying to route cables differently, moving the unit away from the monitors, etc. we accidentally discovered that if we knock on the VX3000 it seems to jar something inside, and the hum goes away or is reduced significantly. To me this indicates that there is a problem with the wiring or circuit board in the unit. Possibly an intermittent or loose connection.

By now both our VX3000's are beyond the return-to-store warranty period, and would have to be returned directly to Microsoft for repair or replacement. We have not taken that step yet.

You might want to try what I tried to 'fix' the loose connection. Flick your fingertip against the front or side of the unit while you are in an IM session, and watch the microphone display to see if the 'output' indicated goes down. When the hum is present the MSN Messenger microphone meter will be quite high. The meter should show something only when you are actually speaking.

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KDOV
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Thanks Phong - I'll bet that you are right. I've also found that even with the background noise the microphone seems to work intermittedly. We need someone, electronicqally proficient, to take the thing apart and troubleshoot. Quess that wouldn't be Microsoft.

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romis
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I have the same thing with 2 lifecams vx3000 and vx6000 :(((. the vx3000 started buzzing after about 4-5 months while the 6000 was bad almost right from box. I'm gonna play with the interference idea tomorrow.

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romis
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OK, I opened the 6000, and started to play with the mic. Couldnt see much so I opened the lifecam software, went into the page with the audio meter (audio settings or smth like that) and observed how it reacts when i played with the mic... after few "pokes" i noticed the bar went down (ie the buzz was gone).. so i gently put the mic back into its place and closed it... so far its working. We'll see the other one soon.

So i guess its the wiring hmm ?

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dawg
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I have a similar problem with the vx6000 mic--is the answer really to shake it until it works?

I'm using the vx6000 microsoft lifecam with WLMessenger and xp pro;

I get picture and sound from the person I'm calling, and they (sometimes)
get my picture--but sound comes through as just noise.

When I go to Messenger/Adjust Audio Video, it recognizes my speakers, but
when I go to next screen to adjust microphone level, the slider refuses to
stay put--you put it up and it sliiiiides down. Cannot get VU meter
(green/yellow/red bars) to respond. I'm guessing this is where the audio
connection problem is coming from , but don't have a clue as to how to fix
it.

For one bizarre moment, after I checked the "use headphones box" in the
speakers page(even tho I don't use headphones), the slider stuck and the vu
bars worked, but after those few seconds, I could never get it to repeat.

Help would be much appreciated.

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Frank_NL
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Hai,
My VX-3000 has also troubles with the sound. I opened it and made contact with the metal part of the micophone (earthing) and then the noise reduced. Maybe that helps? Should the usb-port have a connection with the PC's frame or something like that?
If I take the webcam in my hand the noise becomes stronger, witch indicates for me also a lack of earthing...
Frank

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Frank_NL
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Hello, I took the VX-3000 completely apart en the reconnetced it to my computer. Suddenly the noise disappeared and then I assmbled the VX-3000 again. Don't ask me what is was but it worked.

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olea
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I got my VX-6000 webcam about 3 days ago. Everything was working fine til now where there is that persistent and obnoxious buzzing which is heard in plain audio recording and video chatting. I tried removing it from my laptop and speakers, but the buzzing was still present.

As I try to re-calibrate the audio and video settings in the software, I notice that the audio adjustment volume already senses noise that sky rockets to the yellow segment of the gauge without me saying anything.

I can understand if there is a wiring problem, but now I'm guessing the only thing I can do is to send it in for repair... what a hassle.

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GoneResistance
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I just fixed my microphone problem. I tried everything; moving the mic around, turning off speakers, unplugging lights, different programs to record audio..

I took the LifeCam VX-3000 apart. Inside, there are two wires, a red and black wire running to the microphone. There is also a little metal brace clasped onto the outside of the microphone with a little black wire attached to it. When I took the little metal brace off the mic, the buzz disappeared. I think those metal rings touching the mic were the source of the buzz. I cut off that little brace and it works just like it did when I bought it.

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vitalmaj
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Hi, I also solved the problem, I took apart the webcam and tried first bypass ground, but it was useless. Later I remove the mic from its place and tried different locations from the electronic board, it was useless. Last I tried to move the small magnetic ring towards the mic, it was also useless, but when I moved that small magnetic ring closer to the camera board the noise was gone. As a summary, you don't need the cut smt. inside the camera. Only problem is that small magnetic ring that needs to be moved closer to the camera board (small electronic board that includes lens, chips, diots etc.)
Tip for taking apart your camera: first remove your camera's stand with using screws that hidden under the small raunded black rubber peaces. After remove that one screw from back side of the camera, than remove front part of the camera from both sides of the live call button's using your nails towards the front side.

Attachments vx-3000.jpg 121.23KB vx-3000_explanations.JPG 90.68KB
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koaladan
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Hi, I also solved the problem, I took apart the webcam and tried first bypass ground, but it was useless. Later I remove the mic from its place and tried different locations from the electronic board, it was useless. Last I tried to move the small magnetic ring towards the mic, it was also useless, but when I moved that small magnetic ring closer to the camera board the noise was gone. As a summary, you don't need the cut smt. inside the camera. Only problem is that small magnetic ring that needs to be moved closer to the camera board (small electronic board that includes lens, chips, diots etc.)
Tip for taking apart your camera: first remove your camera's stand with using screws that hidden under the small raunded black rubber peaces. After remove that one screw from back side of the camera, than remove front part of the camera from both sides of the live call button's using your nails towards the front side.

I've got a rubbish VX-6000 with the same loud noise happening. I opened it up but there's no magnet. The mic wires are very short. When I pop the mic out of it's seating area and give it a pling with my finger, the seems to go away. it sometimes returns and i have to pling it again.
I removed the metal brace off the mic but that had little, if any effect.
When i put the camera back together, the loud interference noise always eventually returns. What a piece of junk!
Unfortunately i bought the camera in the US, but i live in the UK. Who wants to pay UK rip-off prices? Anyway, my return options are very limited.
Advice to anyone thinking of buying a Microsoft Lifecam: DO NOT BUY.

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koaladan
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Here's a photo of the inside of my Microsoft RubbishCam VX-6000. Note the microphone wires are short, have no magnet, and are attached to the camera board at a different location. The VX-3000 fix does not work for the VX-6000.

Attachments Microsoft_RubbishCam_VX-6000.jpg 44.17KB
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tkOrigin
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I have same problem with VX-6000
my return-to-store time is over so i have option of sending it to microsoft, but i live in remote part of Canada, and would take a lot of time.

anybody get the fix for vx-6000?

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