Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Seebach's build blog

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
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mseebach
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Seebach's build blog

Post by mseebach » 06 Mar 2012, 11:49


Hope you don't mind that I'm going to use this thread as my personal blog and that I'll be putting entries in this color so they stand out.

I want to scan a lot of books fast, I don't have much income and while I've built stuff before I don't have a lot of carpentry skills. Therefore my primary book scanner goals are:
  • Efficient
    Inexpensive
    Ease to build

It would be nice if it were easily disassembled for better storage (poor people live in tiny houses) and have parts that will make later upgrading easy, so those are my secondary goals. So far all I've got are two Canon PowerShot A590 IS cameras. The biggest problems I'm having is the lack of organization (understandable for a project that's still in the design and testing phase) and my lack of reading focus, a large part of why I want to build a scanner in the first place. Watching YouTube videos has helped a lot. I understand that a book scanner has a light stand (that needs to be fairly high up to prevent glare), camera mounts, a platen (to flatten the pages) and a cradle to hold the book. Of course there are still a lot of things that puzzle me, like what type and size of glass should I use?

I thought of trying “My $20 book scanner” http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... ?f=1&t=242 but Ikea no longer has those frames. Maybe Home Depot would have some wood that had a routered(?) edge like a picture frame, then I could use a miter box/saw and cut the pieces to the right size.

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mseebach
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by mseebach » 07 Mar 2012, 20:56

There isn't much I can do with this build at the moment, but since I have both cameras I could install SDM on them. There's a Java program called ACID that will examine a JPEG picture from your camera and tell you the firmware version. So I run it on both cameras and it tells me I need the files for version 1.0.1b. I try and I try and I try and I'm completely unable to install SDM on the first camera. Just as a fluke I insert the memory card into the second camera and... it works! Something weird is going on here. I find a file called "Drake Ravensmith's DIY New Standard Instrucional2.doc" and on page 162 it says:

On my camera I had to have the camera set to playback mode and I had to press 'set' and then 'display' at the same time. As you can see in this pic the firmware is 1.01b but my screen actually says GM101.b.


Let's see what happens when I try this. Second camera says "Firmware Ver. 1.0.1.0" but the first camera says "Firmware Ver. 1.0.0.0". ACID was wrong! I've got two cameras with different firmware. I download 1.85-148-a590-100e-57.zip, follow the instructions and now I have a nice red 1.85 on one camera and a blue 1.85 on the other.

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mseebach
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by mseebach » 08 Mar 2012, 16:11



Lighting...
So many questions about lighting. A GE Reveal 75 halogen bulb in an incandescent clamp light costs close to $20 each and give just a little under 1000 lumens each. A 10 watt LED flood light costs close to $20 each and gives off 800 to 900 lumens each. How about those halogen work lights? Turns out there's one that's between $40 and $50 AND... it's got two lights joined together and pointed at a 160 degree angle. The Designers Edge wide angle lights come in a 500w and 1000w version and look like this...
Image
Image
http://www.designersedge.com/UI/Product ... =1&ccid=14
What could be better for aiming at a book angled in a cradle right? Well they use a lot of power but there's also the issue of the amount of light they produce. According to the official website the 500 watt version outputs 8,000 lumens and the 1000 watt version outputs 16,000 lumens. That's four and eight times as much light as needed respectively. These aren't work lights they're the freakin' Bat signal! So if you're willing to register with the Federal Aviation Administration as a navigational hazard, wear a welder's mask and don't mind setting your neighborhood on fire from the light intensity these would work really well.

Now what I need to do is research the color of light that's closest to neutral white. That is what I want right, a neutral white? Since the color of most bulbs are measured in degrees Kelvin I'll have to use that as a starting point. Hopefully Wikipedia will have an easy answer for me.



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Gerard
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by Gerard » 08 Mar 2012, 17:38

my 240W (two 120W) halogen produce a lot of heat, 1000W direct spotted on a book could maybe damage the book or your eyes

the light color is not the only point, you need have to look at the spectrum,

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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by vitorio » 08 Mar 2012, 23:01

What I got out of reading the lighting threads was that you want something closest to natural daylight, minus the UV. That means something like a GE Reveal incandescent (what I'm currently using) or another "daylight" or "full spectrum" incandescent, or an LED bulb that is the same spectrum.

Fluorescent and halogen lamps give off lots more UV, apparently, and halogens are a lot hotter, which could damage the book pages or burn you. For really old books (like what I'm scanning), you definitely don't want the extra UV.

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Heelgrasper
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by Heelgrasper » 08 Mar 2012, 23:50

Those halogen work lights usually comes with a warning to keep them at least 3 feet from the illuminated object. It's way overkill and the light type isn't that good for book scanning as pointed out on several occassions around here.

When it comes to light temperature I wouldn't care much since you can always adjusts the white balance on the cam. CRI would seem to be much more important (depending on what you're scanning) and something it's a bit harder to get info on sometimes.
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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
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daniel_reetz
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by daniel_reetz » 09 Mar 2012, 01:52

Vitorio has it right. The Reveal halogens he is using are the best bang for the buck. The shop lights you linked are a fire hazard and light unevenly.

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mseebach
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by mseebach » 13 Mar 2012, 07:50


Great posts gentlemen, thank you. I know how much knowledge and experience you all have and give your comments the most serious consideration. Anywho, I'm probably doing a lot of wheel reinventing but here's what I've been busy with.

I'm guessing the cheapest solution is to use any bulb that doesn't cause serious problems and if color accuracy is important get a calibrated color card (http://www.qpcard.com/) then later, hand adjust the colors to correct the white balance. After all, I'm not working with colors that can't be adjusted like an artist doing a painting. But I wanted to see if there was a more automatic way. I ended up spending (wasting?) way too much time reading about the color of light bulbs. If you don't need to find out more about said subject, feel free to skip the rest of this post.

I found Color Management for Digital Photographers for Dummies. On page 22 it says:

The term used to define white balance is called color temperature. In simple terms, average daylight has a color temperature of around 5,000 degrees Kelvin. The term has to do with the color of light from very hot objects like the sun. That’s why 5000K is a kind of standard for neutral white.


Next page:

The best possible lighting for viewing should be daylight balanced, which requires lights in the 5000K to 6000K color temperature range.


...and...

The color quality of light is rated as the CRI (color rendering index) in percentage values. A CRI of 100 percent is a perfect match to natural daylight, although the best lamps available are rated around CRI 98 percent — a very close match to natural daylight. A standard, cool-white, fluorescent lamp has extremely poor color quality and is rated at about CRI 60 percent. Full-spectrum lights fit in standard fluorescent fixtures and are also available in the new Spiralux form that fits in a standard light bulb fixture. By checking this rating when you shop for light bulbs, you’ll have a better idea what bulbs can help create an environment that’s as close as possible to natural daylight.


[...]

Prices for these lamps are usually about three times or more higher than prices for inexpensive, cool-white lamps. The good news is that they last for years, and some are very reasonably priced. Don’s studio uses standard, 96-inch fluorescent fixtures that are fitted with Sylvania Sun Stick lamps that are rated at 5000K and a CRI of 92. Cost is about $8 per tube. You can find Sun Stick lamps at your local home improvement store. The homemade viewing booth, shown in Figure 2-1, uses a pair of 48-inch Triten 50 full-spectrum tubes. Color temperature is 5000K, with an awesome CRI of 98 percent. Cost per tube is $6. To purchase the Triten 50 full-spectrum tubes, visit http://www.1000bulbs.com. This vendor also stocks Spiralux full-spectrum lamps. Just look for Full Spectrum links on the vendor Web site.


This guy sounds legit and says (http://stereopsis.com/fullspectrum/):

CRI attracts quite a bit of criticism. Most notably, it gives too high a rating when one color is out of whack but the rest of the colors are fine. Also, it uses a small number of swatches to do its rating, so manufacturers can "cheat" and have inaccurate colors that sneak between the swatches. See the new CQS proposal site for ideas about how to fix all this.

Despite the cricisms, CRI works pretty well: a CRI=98 source is really good, and while you might occasionally like the way a CRI=86 source looks better than a CRI=90 source, you can usually trust that a higher CRI gives better portrayal of color.

Also, the scale is really "distance from 100" so it can be helpful to think, "CRI=96 is twice as good as CRI=92, not 4% better."

The better CFLs you can buy today at a hardware store have CRI=85, and specialized CFLs can achieve CRI=91. If it's not marked, it's probably 80 or lower.


This message thread was filled with useful(?) information http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/photon-mana ... -95-a.html which include a link to how to use a $10 defraction grating to get a spectragram. http://forum.portraitartist.com/showthread.php?p=36921

Let's be honest here, I'm mostly after text, not pictures. Yes, it would be nice to have easily and properly, color adjusted pictures and I am going for some level of preservation, but like I said in my first post, cost is an issue.

The florescent bulbs they talk about in the book are really accurate, but they're not going to be practical for book scanning when they're three or four feet long and there's no mention of UV. Some people are really anti-Reveal bulb. This guy says, "Neodymium glass has a 'wild' spectrum full of peaks and valleys", the CRI is around 70 and talks about a few other problems too. (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=22418166) GE SHOWBIZ Cinema Fluorescent Biax have a CRI of 95 for 3200k and 96 for 5500K but I shudder when I think how much those cost (not that it matters, I can't find them online and have no idea what kind of lamp they go in). Westcott Spiderlite bulbs (http://www.adorama.com/WESLT27S.html) are popular with one blogger but they cost $25 each, still no mention of UV. Vita-Lite Spiralux (http://www.naturallighting.com/cart/store.php) are $17 and seem to be just as good (http://www.naturallighting.com/cart/sto ... how_detail) Top Bulb has little halogen lights in the 98 CRI range if you don't mind that they're 4700k (http://www.topbulb.com/find/cri.asp). 1000 Bulbs gets mentioned in the "Dummies" book so I'll include a link (http://www.1000bulbs.com/category/full- ... -lighting/). Another potentially good solution is BlueMax lamps (http://www.bluemaxlighting.com/bluemax_lamps_31_ctg.htm) that are 96 CRI at 5900k. The problem with BlueMax is you have to by a whole lamp and the lowest price is $100.

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mseebach
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Re: Seebach's build blog

Post by mseebach » 17 Mar 2012, 00:51


Well I spent $42 and got a pair of lamps and bulbs so I suppose it's time to discuss camera triggering.

My original plan was to get a powered USB port, cut the power cord, put a switch inline with the cord and use it to trigger the cameras. So there is this...
Image
which comes with a power cord so should work. But I'm reluctant to cut into it if that can be avoided. As I was shopping I noticed something else, a dual USB wall charger.
Image
It's much cheaper than the hub and smaller too. Then I remembered my grandfather had a power cord that had a... I don't know... I guess you'd call it a pass through plug? You'd plug the cord into the wall then plug plug something else into the plug that you just plugged into the wall. The plug had something like an extension cord but instead of a plug at the other end it had a switch. I think the idea is instead of getting down and crawling around on the floor to plug in a Christmas tree you plug the tree lights into that switch and then you can easily turn the lights on and off. It looked something like this...
Image
although the one my grandfather had was brown with a round plug instead of a square one. Replacing the rocker switch with a momentary switch should give me just what I need.

All of this brings up questions. What type of momentary switch should I get? How many amps and volts does it need to be rated for? What's the best way to wire it into the cord? Will an unmodified USB charger work with unmodified USB cables?

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