We just got a Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera for our two year old, and our kid loves it, but it’s extremely loud. Some kids might enjoy the bizarre noises that emanate from its tinny speaker, but most parents probably won’t. It would have been nice if Fisher-Price allowed parents to turn off the speaker or at least turn the volume down, but it appears there is no way to do this. So, we’ll have to silence it ourselves. Before you begin, note that this will definitely void your warranty and will permanently mute / disable the speaker. (Though technically with minimal soldering skills you could re-enable the speaker if you really wanted to). Here’s how to do it:
First, gather together the following tools:
- A triangle head screwdriver. This won’t be easy to find offline. I added a link to the set I purchased. If you get this set, use the largest (orange) driver of the set. A regular flathead screwdriver of just the right size might work, but it will be a challenge…
- Some scissors
- A butter knife
If you have already installed batteries, take them out of the camera before you begin.
The first step is probably the hardest. Using the butter knife, remove the 4 screw covers from the back of the camera. Push the tip of the butter knife deep into the crack between the screw cover and the soft plastic of the case, attempting to catch the lip of the screw cover where it meets the hard plastic of the case. I wouldn’t worry too much about damaging the soft plastic of the case — it’s pretty resilient. Exerting firm pressure, slowly work the screw cover out of its hole:
Next, using your triangular head screwdriver, unscrew and remove the four screws holding the back of the case onto the camera:
Detach the camera back from its front by gently prying the camera apart with your hands. The shutter button will probably pop out — try not to lose it! You’ll see later that there are four wires holding the two sides together — don’t be too vigorous in prying the camera apart because you could damage these wires if you really yank on them after getting the sides apart.
Now you can see the fairly simple inner workings of the camera. As mentioned previously, there should be four wires connecting the sides. The 2 blue ones go from the main circuit board to the annoying speaker, and the red and black ones go to the batteries. In the picture below, the blue ones have already been snipped, disabling the speaker!
Next step: Using your scissors, cut the blue wires. This will completely silence the speaker. You could cover the ends of the wires with something like electrical tape after cutting them if you’re worried about them touching something on the circuit board, but that seemed like too much work for a cheap toy camera and an unlikely problem. If you want to get really fancy and are into electronics, you could probably snip one blue wire and solder in a potentiometer to dial down the noise incrementally, but that seemed like way too much work for me.
Next, put the camera back together and screw in the 4 screws. Other than simply lining up the front and back, you’ll need to re-insert the shutter button. Line up one of the grooves on the shutter button with the outcropping on the camera frame, like in the following picture:
Now you’re done! You could put back the screw covers, but I didn’t bother because they’re probably choking hazards. If your kid is apt enough to find the triangle head screwdriver and unscrew the four screws, she’s entitled to mess with the innards of the camera as much as she wants to!
Enjoy your quiet camera.