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

My Experience Building Dan Reetz's DIY Scanner

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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DanE
Posts: 30
Joined: 17 Oct 2013, 03:09
Number of books owned: 0
Country: US

My Experience Building Dan Reetz's DIY Scanner

Post by DanE » 23 Dec 2013, 03:36

I've just finished assembling the DIY Book Scanner and thought that my experience might interest others.

While I was waiting for the kit, I gave a lot of thought to the selection of cameras and considered a number of point-and-shoot models. There were some pretty attractive prices available in the lead up to the holiday shopping season but I eventually settled on DSLRs for three reasons:

1 - I already had a Canon 7D and I could get a T3i that has the same sensor size and megapixel count for about the same price as a pair of decent point-and-shoot cameras.

2 - I really wanted some kind of electrical or computer controlled remote to fire both cameras simultaneously. There are software hacks available for many models but using them seemed a bit problematical and uncertain. The DSLRs, on the other hand, both have an electrical connection for a remote control.

3 - I was able to get a refurb lens with a 1 year Canon warranty that is identical to the one supplied with the T3i for less than $100.

When I began assembling the kit there I modified some of the assembly techniques.

- I put lock washers under all the nuts on the frame of the base unit and nylock nuts on the bolts going through the pivot points of the elevating mechanism.

- I was concerned about driving screws into the edge grain; I thought it might result in splitting the laminations of the plywood. As it turns out, it does sometimes, even with properly sized pilot holes. For the connections between the front and sides of the base I used 7x50 mm confirmat screws. These are a special screw designed for assembling euro-style cabinets where the screws need to hold firmly enough in the edge of particle board pieces to achieve a sound structure and without splitting. They require the use of a special 3-step pilot drill. I would have used 5x40 mm confirmats in a number of places but I didn't have any and was in a hurry. I should have waited a week for the order to arrive.

- I ran into a bit of a problem assembling the movable book supports. The slots were not quite long enough to accommodate the tabs but after a little trimming everything fit fine.

- When attaching the handle bracket to the front of the lever assembly, I splitting the edge-grain of the plywood even with pilot holes. I substituted barrel nuts and RTA screws for the drywall screws. This distributes the forces differently and the presence of the minor split is no longer an issue.

- When it came to the attachment points between the base, the glass stage and the illumination stage, instead of using drywall screws, I installed 10x24 threaded inserts and used cap screws with a washer to connect the components. This makes it easy to disassemble the parts for transport.

- I found an inexpensive piece of 1/16 " neoprene with pressure sensitive adhesive. I put pieces of this on each of the camera support brackets and cut some narrow strips that I laid into the channels where the glass is installed.

- The electrical contact for remote control on the 7D and the T3i are different. On Amazon, I located a remote button that is intended to be used with either style connector so it has a Y-cable with one end for each connector type. I plugged the 7D connector in directly and for the T3i, which uses a 2.5 mm stereo plug, I used a 6' audio extension cable to connect the remote to the camera. Pushing the button fires both cameras.

After getting the whole thing assembled I scanned a book I decided that a few more modifications were needed.

First, because I'm using DSLRs, I need to occasionally look in the viewfinders but when I tried to do so, I discovered that the illuminations stage was in the way so I made a narrower piece to hold the lamp and attached the legs that were supplied to it. I made these connections with barrel nuts and RTA screws which will allow me to easily change from the original setup to the narrow one.

Second, given the cameras that I have and the size of the books I am copying, I found that the cameras, when attached to the mounting bar, were to high to allow be to zoom in and fill the frame with the page because zooming cut off the bottom of the image. I concluded that the position of the axis of the lenses needed to be adjustable so I replaced the fixed camera mounting plate with an adjustable one.

Third, I am powering both cameras with battery eliminators which means I don't have to remove the cameras to change or charge batteries.

The attached pdf has photos of these modifications and a bit more discussion about some of them.

I should mention that I am using Steve's Book Scan Wizard to process the images. Both it and the scanner are working out nicely. It was definitely worth the effort.

Thanks to Dan and Steve for all their effort and help.
Attachments
DIY Scanner Mods.pdf
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DanE
Posts: 30
Joined: 17 Oct 2013, 03:09
Number of books owned: 0
Country: US

Re: My Experience Building Dan Reetz's DIY Scanner

Post by DanE » 05 Jan 2014, 17:25

Two photos of the completed scanner
[attachment=0]IMG_0241.JPG[/attachment]

[attachment=1]IMG_0240.JPG[/attachment]
Attachments
IMG_0241.JPG
IMG_0240.JPG

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daniel_reetz
Posts: 2797
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States
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Re: My Experience Building Dan Reetz's DIY Scanner

Post by daniel_reetz » 12 Jan 2014, 13:54

Really great build and I think your changes are quite interesting as well. It seems that a lot of our more "professional" users are modifying the camera mounts extensively. That is an area I'm focusing on in some upcoming design changes.

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