TTS Tuff-Cam – “USB Device Not Recognized”

This is the TTS Tuff-Cam 2. It takes rubbish photos and is seriously overpriced, but many Nursery and Reception teachers have an aversion to giving 3-4 year olds a cheap Canon camera that they are normally perfectly capable of using, so insist on these “child-friendly” monstrosities instead.

TTS Tuff-Cam 2

Don’t buy one of these.

Against my better judgement, we bought one for our Nursery 6 months ago (and it will be the last one we ever buy). Occasionally, it goes on the blink and displays some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Camera won’t turn on at all.
  • Power LED appears to be stuck half-on.
  • Windows displays “USB Device Not Recognized” when camera is plugged in.
  • Other USB devices, such as the mouse, stop working completely a few seconds after the camera is plugged in, and start working again as soon as you unplug the camera (my personal favourite).

All of these have one simple cause: the camera is utter junk. Luckily, there is also a simple fix. Just stick a paperclip into this unmarked hole on the side for 5 seconds:

TTS Tuff-Cam reset

The camera will reset and probably start working again. At least, until the next full moon, or a butterfly flaps its wings near it, or something.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “TTS Tuff-Cam – “USB Device Not Recognized””

  1. Rikev says :

    Looks like a screwed up speed gun. Or “child friendly” power tool.

  2. Mr M says :

    If a child is old enough to make a video then it should be old enough to use the same devices that adults use. Within reason.

    I think people hope that by thrusting some kind of electronic device into the hands of a child that can barely talk, this will make it into a future movie maker.

    Sadly, life doesn’t work like that…

  3. Chris says :

    Aw the paper clip…Used to be in the good old days it was the only tool you needed to work on a Macintosh computer. I still keep one around just for the handful of dinosaurs we have left.

  4. Daniel Beardsmore says :

    I don’t think Clippit particularly enjoys being straightened out and poked inside tiny holes …

    All the more reason to do it =]

  5. Lewys says :

    The last time I went near our nursery, half the monsters were playing Angry Birds on an iPad that one of them had “borrowed” from mummy.

  6. sparkeh says :

    I think TTS have resorted to an ironic naming scheme for their products:

    *The Tuff Cam is neither tough nor does it function as a camera.
    *The Easi View is neither easy nor does it view anything.
    *The Log Box… actually logs stuff but after trying to install/use the software makes you box it up and send it back.

  7. Ben Peddell says :

    I also love how you need undo that flat screw and remove the back cover to insert a SD card, and that exposes the camera’s lower PCB and its “non-replaceable” battery.

    And how they’ve put a USB Female Type A (i.e. USB Host) socket on the bottom of the camera.

  8. Tom says :

    That’s a shame, because producing a reliable digital camera with almost no functionality north of “shutter button” that works as mass storage must be awful hard.

    AT, I believe it is your moral imperative to pop the covers (as sparkeh says, given that it’s tuff, this won’t be a challenge), and find out who is responsible for the muck chipset within :)

  9. ScottishTech says :

    Did they, by any chance, purchase this device after visiting an “Education roadshow” such as BETT?

    Having visited the Scottish version (SETT) a few times in the past, it looks and sounds exactly like the kind of crud that gets touted at these kinds of things to part unsuspecting teachers from their budgets.

    • Steven says :

      Lol @ those cameras… They really are such a bad item of equipment to have the misfortune to support.

      Our head of IT “bought” 4 using Tesco vouchers…. For secondary school age students! Needless to say they have never been out of their boxes!

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