Astak IP-700 Surveillance Camera – Teardown

Hello! The MOLE is the all-in-one network camera for security and all your social network communities. A simple 3-step setup gets this Wi-Fi camera up and running so that you can automatically send video clips to YouTube, even if you’re not there. Sophisticated built-in motion detection controls what you record, and will notify you via Twitter or email if the Mole catches something.
You can remotely control the pan & tilt angles, and monitor or record video from anywhere in the world.

I was thrilled to break its parts down to see what this camera could see. For starters, an SD card came with !!

(unfortunately no footage on it)

This is the outer shelling of the camera as well as the body

Materials Used

  • Plastic: Many surveillance camera housings are made of durable plastic materials that are weather-resistant and lightweight.
  • Cables: Cables used in the camera may contain copper conductors for data and power transmission, surrounded by insulation materials.
  • Electronic Components: The internal components of the camera, such as the printed circuit board (PCB), image sensor, and other electronic parts, are typically made of various electronic materials, including semiconductors and conductive materials.
  • Rubber Seals : To make them weather-proof and moisture proof
  • Mounting Hardware: Mounting brackets and screws may be made of metal or sturdy plastic, (injection moulding)
  • Glass or Acrylic: The camera lens cover was made of glass or acrylic to protect the lens
  • Plastic or Rubber Grommets: These are used to seal cable entry points and prevent water ingress.

Manufacturing Techniques Used

  • Injection Molding
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Soldering and PCB Assembly
  • Lens Installation
  • Infrared (IR) LED Integration
  • Software/Firmware Installation

Tools used

  • Micro Screwdrivers
  • Regular Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Chisel

Interesting Design elements

  • I was surprised to see not too many screws on the inside and multiple locking mechanisms to ensure there was no way water or dust could enter the camera. The build was super sturdy and pulling the two (Base & Camera) apart was definitely an issue.
  • The second thing that blew me away was the amount of tech and chips and dips in a product so small.
  • And the third is definitely have to be the Motorized Mechanisms (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) within the camera. Would love to learn a lot more!

Here’s a teardown video

Dromo Copter Teardown

Watch the moment I realized the Dromo Copter still (kind of) worked! I replaced the batteries in the remote control and charged the drone in hopes it might still work before I took it apart. Glad I did!

Teardown Instructions

  • Tools Needed: mini precision screwdriver, nimble fingers
  • Part 1: Remote Control
    1. Unscrew the lid covering the batteries and remove
    2. Unscrew the remaining two screws embedded on the left and right sides
    3. Pull apart the top and bottom of the external case to reveal the control circuit
    4. Pop out the 2 toggles and 3 button caps
    5. Layout the pieces
  • Part 2: Drone
    1. Pull off the kickstand featuring the product QR code
    2. Pop off the 4 plastic propellers
    3. Remove 4 screws and pull apart top and bottom of plastic casing
    4. Extract the
    5. Layout the pieces

Materials / Components / Product Information

  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Fiberglass
  • Dimensions 7.5cm x 7.5cm x 3cm
  • Flight time: 6/7min
  • Battery : lithium polymer 3.7V 120mAh
  • Technology: quadcopter
  • Working frequency: 2.4Ghz with anti-interference circuit
  • Gyroscope: 6 axis
  • Control: 2.4Ghz radio control 2 x AAA

Interesting Design Elements

  1. The circuit board in the drone matches the shape of the drone with holes on each of the 4 ends to hold the tiny motors in place. It catches your eye when you’re used to seeing a rectangular PCB.
  2. This is more a grievance than interest – the screws were so tiny it was almost impossible to reach them and open the drone! I’m sure the rationale behind that decision is 1) so that the screws don’t distract from the overall design and 2) user’s are not encouraged to take apart the product.

📷💥Nicon D3 Teardown

📄 The introduction of Nicon D3 camera

the reason that why I chose the camera is because I really into taking photographs by using film camera as well as SLR camera. different from the silver salt reaction, SLR camera utilized the CCD(Charge-coupled device) and the CMOS to record light informations so that we can take pictures much more easily and spread the photos more easily. So i’d like to figure out how those electronic componds are arranged in the camera body to achieve those powerful founctions.

🔧 The processes of assembly:

1 Remove all the screws that I can find

2 Use the heating gun to melt the rubber on the camera body.

3 Remove the screws under the rubbers.

4 Divide the camera into several parts.

5 Tear down the motherboard.

Here is the assembly process video 🔽

⚙️ The main components of the camera:

✍️ my thoughts:

1 Nikon uses a lot of screws to connect different parts rather than using glue which makes the camera easy to take apart and easy to be repaired.

2 The body of the camera is made of magnesium which makes it as solid as a brick, all the parts are designed to use screws attach to it.

3 Robust surfaces, soft rubber on the grips, oversized buttons, locked controls, and environmental seals add up to a purposeful camera that has been designed with the requirements of the professional photographer in any situation.

Fujifilm Instax 210 Instant Camera Black Teardown

What I teardown is the Fujifilm Instax 210 Instant Camera Black.

———————————From JIAQI GU———————————

INSTAX 210 Camera – With its rounded shape, easy-to-hold side grip, and fingertip controllable composite control panel, the instax 210 offers vivid, high-quality prints almost instantly. Its automatically-adjusting flash, high-resolution retracting lens and big clear viewfinder add up to unsurpassed performance.


Finally we get all the parts, most of which are made of plastic, supplemented by glass and metal. Manufacturing is mainly achieved by injection molding and molds.

[MB8998-3] Chips: 8-bit Proprietary Microcontroller

The MB89980 series is a line of the general-purpose, single-chip microcontrollers. In addition to a compact instruction set, the microcontrollers contain a variety of peripheral functions such as an LCD controller/driver, an A/D converter, timers, remote control transmission output, buzzer output, PWM timers, and external interrupts.

[s93c46A] Chips: Description CMOS SERIAL E2PROM

[LB1836] Chips: Motor Driver IC



  1. I really like the motor drive gear part. When I tore down it, I couldn’t help but feel the human intelligence, it was like a precision mechanical watch, very amazing. I think the designers use different gears to adjust the speed of the film rotation and control the roller to send the photo out, with just one motor and chip to achieve the whole work together.
  2. The other part is the telescopic part of the lens, which is realized by the semi-fixed rotation of the parts, which is very interesting. [At about 36 seconds]

Samsung Galaxy S4 Teardown

Disassembly Process

Below is a photography of all the parts spread out under the order of assembly:

List of materials and techniques used for each component:

  1. Back panel (plastic) – injection molding
  2. Mid-frame (plastic) – injection molding
  3. Lithium battery (lithium)
  4. Screws (metal)
  5. Mid-frame connector panel (plastic) – injection molding
  6. Rear facing camera (metal&glass&copper)
  7. SIM micro-sd board (metal&copper)
  8. Volume button (plastic)
  9. Earpiece Speaker (metal&glass&copper)
  10. Motherboard (metal&copper)
  11. Vibrator (metal&copper)
  12. Front facing camera (metal&glass&copper)
  13. Top front shell (plastic)
  14. Back front shell (plastic)
  15. Insulating tape (resin&plastic&fiber)
  16. Home-key press (plastic)
  17. Home button (metal&copper)
  18. Circuitboard (metal) – necessary software/operating system
  19. Screen monitor (glass)
  20. Screen monitor protector (metal)
  21. Front screen frame (plastic)

Information of Chips:

  1. K4P2E304EQ-AGC2: Microprocessor
  2. KLM8G1WEMB-B031: Memory card
  3. 20794MA: Gravity Sensing
  4. WCD9306: Audio IC
  5. PM8226: Power IC
  6. WCN3660a: Wifi IC
  7. Q16DWUUIG: Flash Memory

Tools Used:

  1. Cross-screwdriver
  2. Tweezers

It’s not hard for me to unscrew using a proper screwdriver, however, getting rid of the mid-frame is quite difficult for me without destroying the structure underneath. I had to slip my tweezer under the mid-frame and carefully separate it from the adhesives, and repeat the process all around under I could easily remove the frame.

Design Elements:

There are two components that I’m interested in, one is the back panel of this phone. Unlike other designs from that period where battery is generally not accessible, this panel makes the battery accessible with no tools required. Another fact that attracts my attention, is the leather covered design of this panel, which provides an unique pleasing to the eye while distinguishing it with other cellphones on the market.

Besides the back panel, I was also fascinated by the meticulous motherboard with several tiny little chips connected. The chips are way smaller than my imagination, some of them are even too small for me to recognize as a chip. I struggled for a while to identify the correct numbers/letters printed on the chip. However, it is exactly those tiny chips that enables the design of a thinner and lighter cellphone today.

Teardown: Nintendo Entertainment System

For our first project I decided to teardown a Nintendo Entertainment System, which I found at the Lower East Side Ecology Center Reuse Store in Gowanus, what a great place!


Aside from dropping off a bag full of old cables and some broken speakers; I had the privilege of walking around with one of the workers there, Carlos Cabrera. He showed me around the prop isles and some back isles where there were some things that he thought could be interesting to teardown. It was a hard choice, but I decided to go for a Nintendo, since it was the first video game I played with as a child. This one was damaged by a spill. Fun fact: the store has a functional one in the front that visitors may test out, I got to play Mario Bros for a couple of minutes   =)


The teardown was fairly easy, I used 2 small screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. Clic on the pictures below to see the full progression with some explanations along the way.

One thing that I noticed while tearing down the Nintendo is what caused the unit to break. A liquid of some sort must have spilled on the unit, and seeped through the top vents into important parts of the circuit board. The gravity of the damage could have easily been avoided if the vents would have been designed on the sides or back of the unit. While researching, I also came across people who complained that the way the games hooked into the machine,  it is delicate and prone to problems. Not only did dust interfere with the video game (most of us can remember having to blow on the game before inserting it!), but if any of the prongs were bent out of shape, the whole part had to be changed. In the last picture of my slide progression you can see it, it is the black plastic part right above the circuit board.

The experience of tearing down an electronic was pretty fun, researching the parts also yielded some interesting insights about this product, I am still in awe with the complexity of the circuit and I am looking forward to learning more about circuits and programing with Arduino. Thank you!


Gameboy Color TEARDOWN!

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The Gameboy Color in Teal!

The only tool and technique you will need to open this is a small flathead screwdriver and, well… screw driving skills.  There is some finagling with the external screws, but you can get it!  It’s pretty simple and compact in there!

On that note:  Two interesting things!  One, It’s super compact with lots of hard soldering on the inside.  I point this out because I think it’s a huge factor in what makes it feel like a simple object on the outside, molded to closely contain everything inside.  The other is what you will later see int he buttons.  They’re just silicone rubber and molded plastic!  I was hoping to find some button I could appropriate, but instead, just little nubbins!  But I suppose this was done to save on damageable parts and space, making the contact points directly in the fiberglass board.  Anyway, read on!  It’s kinda neat how simple it appears on a large scale, but how complicated it is on the board.

My guess is the casing you see is injection molded.  Flip it over and look at the back.

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You’ll have to remove these ridiculous tri-wing screws with a tiny flathead if you can’t get a tri-wing driver in a timely manner.  That’s what I did.  You have to jimmy them around until they slowly turn with the weak torque you can provide.  (P.S.  My gameboy was missing it’s battery case.  I used aluminum tape for years…  AA batteries.)

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Pop the case off!

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Then this plate from the back side that holds the game steady in the access point with four phillips head screws.  Plate appears to be stainless.  All the screws look like galvanized steel.  Three on the interior may be brass.  But it is unclear

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Now look at the fiberglass circuit board.

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It’s held into place by three phillips screws.  These are the ones that may be brass.  Pull those out and you can pull out the board and flip it!  Note: At the top of the board is the connection point for the game cartridge.

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Before you remove the board, detach the LCD screen. There are little black switches to pop out on either side of that red tape. Then just pull out the tab.

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Board removed:

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This reveals the active side of the speaker that plays MIDI tones in the bottom right hand of the board, and the underside of the buttons on the face of the gameboy. FullSizeRender 10

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Also removable is the cover of the power button and the infrared sensor cover.

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Power Switch

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Infrared on right, power indicator in red LED at top.

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Power switch and LED covers both present on the side of the object (left to right).

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The black dots on the back of the buttons appear to be magnets or something conductive to make contact with these components in the white portion of the board.

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Here too is the volume knob.

You can remove the LCD screen with a black foam padding on the back by prying it lightly with anything flat and sturdy with rounded edges (so as not to damage the thin steel casing).  I used a really old flathead screwdriver that wasn’t sharp at all.

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The LCD Screen.  That’s the last part to remove!

Other parts on the board include a lot of hard soldered stuff.

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This includes an optical inverter (right), the CPU (center), regulated power supply module (top left), SHARP chip of some identifiable kind based on number (center left), and an integrated circuit (bottom right).

And here it is all exploded and knolled!

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Thanks for looking!


Teardown—LG Cosmos VN250—Julia

I took apart an old cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard. It was surprisingly simple—only held together by a 14 little screws and glue. Here’s the process:

I used only these three tools (and my fingernails):

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Prying device


The back of the phone came off easily, and each subsequent layer just had a couple of screws and some adhesive to get through. As far as I could tell, everything in this phone was metal or plastic.

  1. Take off the back of the phone.
  2. Remove battery.
  3. Unscrew screws in the back.
  4. Remove the plastic covers for charging connection, micro-usb, headphones on the sides and bottom.
  5. Pry off the plate which holds this plastic to the QWERTY keyboard and reveal the logic board.
  6. Take off the buttons on the sides (volume, power).
  7. The metal piece covering the middle of the logic board can be removed to reveal the Qualcom QSC6055 processor. More on the logic board below…
  8. Unscrew two more screws to reveal the QWERTY keypad and plastic piece underneath.
  9. The LCD/Numeric Keypad Cable threads through a hole in the black plastic beneath the logic board. Unscrew two more screws and pry off this black plastic.
  10. Underneath that black plastic are the data connections to the screen and the front keypad. Carefully peel off the tape that holds the connections down and unplug them. The screen will lift out. The keypad is behind the data board.





Now, more on the logic board:


Here’s what I learned about all that a circuit board contains:

The circuit board holding microchips and processors inside a cell phone serves as the brains of the outfit. A digital signal processor, or DSP, converts an analog signal — your voice — to digital for transmission through the provider’s network. The DSP also converts a received digital signal to analog and moves the analog to the phone’s speaker and your ear. Radio frequency transmitters and receivers handle the signal as it moves to and from the phone. A microprocessor on the circuit board controls the phone’s various other functions, such as the keyboard and display. The phone’s operating system works from a memory chip, and the power management system keeps the device operating under battery power. A baseband chip serves as the phone’s antenna, grabbing and emitting digital signals when the phone is in use.

Here are all the parts I could identify:

  • Qualcomm CPU QSC6055
  • Micro SD slot
  • 1.2 Megapixel camera
  • Speaker
  • Audio jack
  • 3.7V Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery
  • LCD screen
  • QWERTY and regular keypad
  • ZIF connectors
  • Glued down cable ribbons

I couldn’t identify all the parts, but I did marvel at how simple the complex circuitry appeared.

I think the ribbon cable connectors are so elegant. It keeps everything very organized and clean (and flat), but the connections are very strong. I like the contradiction of these paper thin connectors and the power that is supplied through them. I’m always surprised by how sturdy and functional the connections are, especially on ZIF connectors.

Back of the screen with plastic covered connector tape

I am also intrigued by the pressure sensors that are beneath all of the buttons. They are so sturdy, and the keyboard itself can withstand a lot of damage before the sensors beneath are affected.

The layers of the QWERTY keyboard: slider, cover, letters, sensors