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

Review of my book scanner - what I like and what I don't lik

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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Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 00:52

Review of my book scanner - what I like and what I don't lik

Post by Aaron » 21 Jun 2009, 13:22

I have had my book scanner (built to spec as on http://www.instructables.com) for a few weeks now and I have some suggestions for any one else planning on making their own book scanner.

Things I don't like:

1. Switching between cameras to see if things still look okay. I think that if I were to build another book scanner, or if I were to modify the one I currently have I would set it up with two displays that were always on. Old TV's are easy to come by (I found one with the appropriate ports at a University auction for $5) so I think this would greatly improve things. The main problem with having only one display is that sometimes both cameras don't fire and the easiest way to tell that one hasn't fired is that the display for that camera will remain black until a picture has been captures. With two displays you could continuously monitor the situation with both cameras.

2. A miter box that doesn't slide very easily across the base. Something that would greatly improve the scanning process would be to mount the miter box that holds the platen on a set of drawer sliders with ball bearings.

3. A single hinged platen. One problem I notice I have quite often when scanning a book is that the platen (the page flattener) doesn't always line up with the spine of the book. One way to potentially get around this problem would be to put the platen on a hinge with some kind of ball and socket type of joint that allows for more degrees of freedom in motion. Ideally, I think there would be two ball and socket joints in series.

4. Battery operated everything. I realize that you can't always get a reliable voltage output from a wall socket, but changing batteries all the time is tedious, expensive and bad for the environment. I ultimately ended up paying $30 for nickle-metal hydride rechargeables, but setting things up to work through a wall socket would make things much nicer.

5. The size. I'm not sure what can be done about this, but the damn thing is pretty big. I can imagine a folding design where everything just opens up into a scanner but neatly folds away when you're done. I'll have to think about this one a little more though. What would be really cool would be if the scanner could be compacted down into a briefcase or small piece of luggage that you could take with you to the library.

6. The lights make me feel hot after a while. I realize that the cameras have a really nice function for inverting the tungsten wavelength emmission spectrum, but LED's or smaller Mag-light style bulbs would greatly reduce my sweat production. Also, the software whitens the pages anyway so why do I need to whiten before hand?

Things I do like:

1. I absolutely love the photo capture button on my scanner. Going with that old flash light for a button skeleton makes pushing the button an absolute pleasure. Sometimes I push the button even when I'm not scanning just because it is so satisfying to push.

2. The speed really is unprecedented. I've used flat-bed scanners all my life and none of them can compare to this home made scanner.

3. The TV. The previous version of the scanner used a small LCD screen. Although it adds to the size I really like using a TV to view the images. You can see absolutely everything in crystal clarity and this makes it easier to adjust things to get the best quality images out of the scanner.

4. The cameras. The Cannon Powershot A590 is a great little camera. Both of my cameras have been absolutely solid and I have had no problems with them whatsoever. For the price (about $60/camera) I think you will be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck.

5. The price. I still can't believe how cheap this baby is compared to comparable industrial models. The next thing up turns the pages for you, but will run you around $3,000.00! I'll gladly turn my own pages for a $2,700.00 savings.

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