The Shoestring Astronomy Store

Modified Webcam Interface Products

We will be closed from Jan 27 through Feb 12, 2018. During this time we will be unable to ship orders, and will have limited access to internet to answer emails, or provide technical support. We will process orders as quickly as we can, in the order received, when we return.

Shoestring Astronomy has always been an "evening and weekend" enterprise because of the demands of my full-time employment. My day job responsibilities require frequent travel. I will do my best to fill orders and respond to emails in a timely manner, but please realize that there may be times when I cannot respond as quickly as I would like to.

Thanks for your patience, and your patronage. Doug Anderson

The adaptation of webcams for astronomical imaging has allowed many amateurs to take exceptional photographs of the moon and planets. These webcams can be further modified to increase the maximum exposure time, and to improve their performance, allowing them to be used to image deep space objects, or to make them more sensitive for autoguiding usage. Modifications were developed and documented by Steve Chambers, amongst others. These modifications require computer control of added signal lines. Until now, this control was normally done via the PC's parallel or serial port.

Parallel and serial ports are limited and overworked. On most laptop PCs sold lately, these ports are not even offered, or are an expensive option. USB however allows for far more possibilities. The LXUSB webcam interface adapter plugs directly into a USB port on your computer or a USB hub attached to your computer. Using an RJ-12 cable, the adapter connects to your modified webcam. The RJ-12 format was chosen because so many pins on a parallel or serial connector are unused. Thus, you will need to rewire the connector to your webcam to use this product. To support your rewiring, two accessories are sold below, the LXKIT1 which gives you a pendant cable hanging from your webcam, and the LXJACK if you have some unused space on a printed circuit board to add this RJ-12 jack. More information on revising your webcam to include an RJ-12 jack can be found here.

If you use a SAC7 imager, then using the LXUSB is very simple. Just add the LXCNV-SAC7 to converter the RJ-12 jack that is already on your camera to a pinout that is compatible with the LXUSB. NOTE: The LXUSB is NOT compatible with SAC8 cameras.

This interface uses optocouplers to electrically isolate the computer from the webcam, eliminating a possible source of electrical interference. This interface adapter requires no external power source since it receives its power via the USB cable. More information can be found by clicking here to view the User Manual.


You will need third-party software that supports these products as part of your imaging system. The matrix below shows the software packages we are aware of. If you know of others, please email us and let us know. Shoestring Astronomy is continuously working with software vendors to add support for our products. If your favorite software is not compatible, ask them to add us!
Supports LXUSB





MaxIm DL




wxAstroCapture (Windows and Linux)



We can't stress enough the importance of using a properly wired cable. If you choose to make or buy your own from another source, please be sure it is built per the description shown in this document.

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lxusb.jpg (63 kbytes)

USB Modified Webcam Interface


LXUSB User Manual

Click here to view/download. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

  Absolutely Free  

Install LXUSBCheck

Click here to install the free software you can use to verify your LXUSB.

  Absolutely Free  
gpext.jpg (67 kbytes)

Long Exposure Port Converter for SAC7

lxkit1.jpg (71 kbytes)

Modified Webcam Conversion Kit

lxjack.jpg (91 kbytes)

Modified Webcam RJ-12 Jack

gpfc_7.jpg (142 kbytes)
RJ-12 Flat Cable, 7 feet
gpfc_14.jpg (119 kbytes)
RJ-12 Flat Cable, 14 feet
gpfc_14.jpg (119 kbytes)

RJ-12 Flat Cable, 25 feet

(Actual cable not shown)

gpcc_5.jpg (139 kbytes)
RJ-12 Coiled Cord, 5 feet when extended

(Color may vary)

gpcc_7.jpg (139 kbytes)

RJ-12 Coiled Cord, 7 feet when extended

(Actual cable not shown, color may vary)

gpcc_10.jpg (139 kbytes)

RJ-12 Coiled Cord, 10 feet when extended

(Actual cable not shown, color may vary)

Discontinued Discontinued
gpcpl.jpg (95 kbytes)

RJ-12 Cable Coupler

If the cables above are not long enough, use this to join two together.