NOOB Question - Repurposing old pet camera board

Thread Starter

Michael Smyth

Joined Sep 10, 2019
Hi there!

Sorry this is a noob question so let me preface with what I have, and what my goal is:

I have an old electronic pet camera which is no longer needed so I removed the casing, this is the camera in question:

And some pictures:

I don't have much experience with electronics, I'm a programmer by profession so my experience with electronics is mainly Raspberry Pi based, using inputs such as buttons to make software respond such as alerting me via a motion sensor signal input, so my experience with repurposing hardware is non-existant.

My goal is to hopefully reprogram the board so that it can save the camera output as a video to a micro SD card via the built in reader, and also using one of these RF transmitter and receiver bundles to transmit the camera signal to a display, either a smartphone or monitor.

So I guess my first question, is it possible to re-program a board such as this and tack on a transmitter? Or would it be better for me to take the components (camera, sd card reader) off the board and make a new circuit?

I did some research on the main chip and found it's data sheet here but I can't make much sense of this with my limited knowledge:

The end goal is to hopefully repurpose these components along with a new RF transmitter & receiver bundle to make a DIY FPV camera which I'll attach to my toy drone.

If anybody could point me in the right directions of whether it's possible to repurpose the board or if it would be better for me to take off the components and set up a new circuit or if this whole idea is unachievable and I should just purchase an FPV camera that would be great :).

This is an example of what I'm hoping to replicate with the components I have available:

Thanks for reading!


Joined Oct 29, 2013
The first thing to do is get rid of that battery and get a new one, that thing is dangerously puffy.

The next step is to identify the processor used on the board, and/or the camera used on the board. Then you'll know what you're working with. The big chip you linked above is just memory. The business part is under that black blob. Unfortunately there's no chip package under there, so you're not going to gain anything by peeling off the blob (but you will likely wreck the chip). You need to know what's under there before you know what is possible with it. So the next best thing is try to research the camera. You might have to disassemble it in hopes of finding some numbers. From there you can determine if the camera itself can be re-used.

Thread Starter

Michael Smyth

Joined Sep 10, 2019
Thanks for the advice! I'll take the battery off and dispose of it.

The camera from what I can see is a JH 13A18 V2.0 - but I'm not able to find anything online regarding this camera.

So it sounds like my only hope of repurposing is just the camera? How about the micro SD card reader, are these fairly standardized in terms of input/output pins?


Joined Jul 29, 2018
I understand the point that you would like to take something not used any more and make it do something else.
My thoughts though are your already going to have to buy a transmitter to get it to work the way you want "plus" re-wire, program etc....
When the last ebay link in your post was only $12 dollars or so (don't know what are they "euros" exchange rate).
Just buy that !
No programming or time wasted trying to get something to work ! Just attach and enjoy.
Now don't let me talk you outta it but, I'm of the K.I.S.S minded people....."Keep it simple stupid"

Edit: wasn't calling you stupid it's just a saying
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Thread Starter

Michael Smyth

Joined Sep 10, 2019
Yeah, that's all this is about, would be a shame to throw away a perfectly working camera to buy a new one.

I understand what you mean though, if it's not feasible to reuse the camera & SD card reader then I'll end up buying the one I linked and disposing of this board.

Also I understood the K.I.S.S reference :) it's something that get's passed around a lot in the programming industry