I found that the one cheap webcam that I was using had some problems with reliability so I bought another cheap one. The funny part was when I was at the store, the conversation went like this:
Store guy: "Um would you like the replacement warranty for $3.00?"
Me: "Oh goodness no - I'm voiding any and all warranties when I get home with this device. Possibly some provincial laws, a sacrifice to Ba'al, and certainly any number of other statutes will be broken as soon as I get this device out of the packaging."
Store guy: "Um cool - but we'll still replace it..."
Me: "Um no thanks."
Store guy: "What are you doing with it?"
Me: "I'm building a machine-vision device to assist with looking for police cars that are actively in pursuit of a vehicle or has pulled someone over."
Store guy: "So you're really not interested in the warranty are you?"
I got it home, gutted it, freed the USB cable from the camera and reattached it through a more convenient hole. I then attached it to the harness and took it out for a spin. Now I know what I'm working with when it comes to images.
Morning (with a lot of sunlight):