3Com HomeConnect Digital / ViCam USB Driver for Linux

Update October 8, 2002: Having trouble running getting your Homeconnect to work under? at long last we have made a patch file available to update your kernel! It will require a kernel recompile.

Update October 8, 2002: Discontinued no more! The ViCam has been resurrected! Thanks to inside out networks the camera is back in production!. Kudos to ionetworks for seeing the value in this little camera! Still among the best on the market!

3Com HomeConnect The 3Com HomeConnect (3CO3C886) is a high quality, award winning, and sadly discontinued USB camera. The camera is supplied with Windows and Macintosh drivers but, regrettably, none for Linux. Vista Imaging, the camera's creators (makers of the original ViCam), feel that their market position would be threatened if they released the information necessary for creating an open source driver for into the public.

Thus we have embarked in an effort to discover this top secret information without their assistance. Which isn't to say we are not still hoping that vista will change its policy and release some of the key information we have yet to decode! If you are a vista imaging principal or executive and would like to see a high quality driver for Linux, please consider releasing this information!

Reports have been leaking in that there is a new manufacturer for these cameras. Although we do not have word that anyone is making these cameras (we know who acquired the rights from 3com, but that's it), here are a few places selling them:

Progress report

Look carefully, there's a hummingbird feeding in the lower right Our dedicated development team has worked diligently (and legally!) to reverse engineer the usb request and response packets and save this camera from a fate of obsolescence. At this time that task is nearly complete!

A command line tool is available for those looking for a high quality webcam solution.

If you would like to help out with this project, please visit our sourceforge site and join in!

You'd think I could have struck a better pose!

Why is this webcam the best webcam ever?

When I decided to get a webcam, I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that there simply was not a better webcam than this available. I've been a serious amateur photographer for years and had high demands even of a simple camera for hobby uses. I did this research in early 2001 and now even though the product has been discontinued, I still believe it to be the best there is, here's why:

  1. Standard camera sized mounting threads. You can take the base this camera comes with off and put it on any standard tripod.
  2. Image quality. Quality CCD chips cost hundreds of dollars all by themselves. You don't expect a <$200 webcam to provide much in the way of image quality, but this guy consistently wowed reviewers.
  3. Low light performance. This camera gives reasonable images for subjects with less than 1 lux of illumination falling on them. You could take pictures with this thing by candlelight. Most webcams require you to have a light shining directly on your face for videoconferencing. Not this one!
  4. Fast shutter speed. If bright light is in large supply where you're shooting, this camera has shutter speeds well below 1/1000sec. Freeze the action!
  5. Interchangeable lenses. This was the one thing that sold me on this camera. As a photographer, I know one lens will never do. With the optional lens pack for this camera, 3 extra lenses are available. The lens packs had space for a fourth lens, but it was apparently never manufactured. This is a very important feature that allows you to select wide angle, normal or telephoto applications.
  6. USB Connector on the camera. Nearly all webcams have their USB cable soldered right to their motherboard. They have to plug in to a computer or USB hub. The HomeConnect comes with a standard USB device connector so any USB cable will do. It's easy to move this camera from one computer to another.


Hosting for this project is generously provided by

Joe Burks, wavicle@users.sourceforge.net, 16 Mar 2002