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

Book Liberator beta

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.
vitorio
Posts: 138
Joined: 30 Oct 2010, 23:56
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Contact:

Book Liberator beta

Post by vitorio » 19 Oct 2014, 21:13

Question Copyright has finally(!) launched their beta for their cube-shaped Book Liberator unit. Just ordered one.

Wood, fixed camera-platen distance, no lighting, you lift the whole unit out of the cradle to turn the page. Looks heavy and tiring. http://bookliberator.com

I predict glare issues.

I'll be trying it out with two 41MP Nokia 1020 camera phones.

dtic
Posts: 462
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 18:03

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by dtic » 20 Oct 2014, 04:13

I gotta say it looks like an arm or shoulder injury waiting to happen. I wouldn't want to try lifting a wooden frame with two cameras and platen glass with one arm in that angle 200 times in a row. Screenshot from their page:
blb.png
blb.png (124.43 KiB) Viewed 5912 times

duerig
Posts: 376
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by duerig » 20 Oct 2014, 10:35

I'm very interested in seeing how both the Liberator frame and the Lumia cameras perform. Please send along some sample scans and also pictures of your Liberator and lighting setup. If I get the money at some point, I want to get a couple of those camera-phones myself.

User avatar
daniel_reetz
Posts: 2779
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States
Contact:

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by daniel_reetz » 20 Oct 2014, 13:16

I'm glad to see the Liberator launching.

Our collective experience agrees 100% with the points raised here.
  • Lifting that frame several hundred times will be hard on the body. The acrylic alone will be 1lb 9oz.
  • The cameras and the wood-colored frame will appear in the scans (perhaps they can be processed out).
  • The whole thing is dependent on overhead room lighting, which is not uniform, and those same lights will appear in the glass. The operator can cast a shadow on the pages.
  • Likewise, side-lighting from a window or non-diffuse source will cast shadows from the arms.
  • The cameras are supported on a single threaded rod, which means that they're mounted on a pivot and can rotate about that axis.
  • The book pages will "move" in the camera images (we know this can be rectified)
A few years ago I built a similar machine and I decided not to go further with it because of these issues, especially lighting/glare/camera reflections.

It looks like Question Copyright's mission is really leading the Book Liberator charge:
We've always known that whenever people feel the effects of copyright restrictions directly, in their own lives, they inevitably start questioning those restrictions. The goal of the BookLiberator project is to enable people to encounter those restrictions more often, in more situations, so they'll ask the same questions we ask here at Question Copyright.
That is a little different than the aim that I have with this project - I want to enable people to digitize books, not to enable them to feel the restrictions of copyright. I think their mission is SUPER IMPORTANT, so I am glad to see their design getting launched, especially after it was put on hold for years due to the terrible Ion Booksaver. I feel strongly that the "competition" is good, particularly in the Open Source world (where it can really become cooperation, particularly in software and documentation space). Good luck, Question Copyright!

vitorio
Posts: 138
Joined: 30 Oct 2010, 23:56
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by vitorio » 22 Oct 2014, 20:17

Ironically, the second Nokia 1020 and the Book Liberator arrived before the Amazon order with the smartphone tripod adapters. I'm not sure I'll have time to assemble it this weekend, but it ships in a 20"×14"×6" box (the tracking notice says 10.2lbs), and the interior box is 15"×12.5"×4". The acrylic and wood are all saran-wrapped together in that bundle.
bookliberatorunbox01.jpeg
bookliberatorunbox01.jpeg (52.72 KiB) Viewed 5829 times
bookliberatorunbox02.jpeg
bookliberatorunbox02.jpeg (90.93 KiB) Viewed 5829 times

victoriaaustralia
Posts: 54
Joined: 07 Nov 2011, 16:22
E-book readers owned: newton
Number of books owned: 2
Country: Australia
Location: Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by victoriaaustralia » 03 Nov 2014, 00:19

My bookscanner is based on their design (initially named Bookripper(Bkrpr))
http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... oria#p5382

Yes it is a bit cumbersome and lighting is a difficulty however the design is very simple, quick to make and robust. I am only scanning 6-8 books a year so it is not worth my time to build a whole new scanner currently.
Freeware Windows workflow: 40Mb 400pg OCR'd A4 book pdfs
http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =19&t=2835

vitorio
Posts: 138
Joined: 30 Oct 2010, 23:56
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by vitorio » 04 Nov 2014, 04:21

Okay, so, first things first, I experienced both of the "known issues" described on their site. First one:
The rubber strips that help the base grip the table surface aren't glued strongly enough to the underside of the base. We found this in testing and have already talked to our manufacturer about it; 1.0 will not have this problem.
It's not just that the strips aren't glued strongly enough, it's that the adhesive, I dunno, melted? Got gooey and ran out all over the place? I dunno. There's gunk everywhere. There are rubber strips glued or double-faced taped to some pieces of wood, and the adhesive didn't hold, and now there's gunk on some of the sides and other pieces and the paper covering the acrylic. Yuck. All of the strips eventually fell off and I had to re-stick them on (I used permanent double-faced tape because it was handy, I expect I'll have to revisit that).
bl01.jpg
bl01.jpg (90.05 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Also, despite the big sticker inside the box, there are no instructions. There's this "making" page which kinda does a show-and-tell of the parts, but there aren't assembly directions. "Our Beta kits are easy to assemble with just a Philips-head screwdriver and some common sense" is all the wiki says. Pfft.

I started assembling the camera/platen cube first. There are twenty 2" screws, ten 1" screws, and ten 3/4" screws. This is the outside of the cube in its final diamond orientation, large holes go on the outside for the heads of the screws to sit in.
bl02.jpg
bl02.jpg (46.94 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
At the top goes the wooden bar with the rounded sides, that's the handle. The left and right corners are the bars with the camera post slots.
bl03.jpg
bl03.jpg (83.73 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
All the holes are pre-drilled, so I hand-screwed the 2" screws in to start them, and then did them the rest of the way with a power screwdriver. 2" screws all around.
bl04.jpg
bl04.jpg (56.87 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
bl05.jpg
bl05.jpg (63.79 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Then the cradle, or base, which is weird. The cradle is in two parts, left and right, with the cradle half and two vertical supports, but then one half has a single tongue, and the other half has two to make a groove. Here's one of their photos:
bl06.jpg
bl06.jpg (71.73 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
The supports go rubber side down, to keep it from sliding on the table. The tongues are all different: the single tongue has screw holes on both sides. The other two only have them on one side.

Screw the single tongue into the vertical supports with 1" screws. The vertical supports have the wide hole for the screw head on the outside.
bl07.jpg
bl07.jpg (49.25 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Screw the individual tongues for the groove with 1" screws also. The vertical supports will have the wide hole for the screw head on the inside.
bl08.jpg
bl08.jpg (72.22 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Attach the cradle, wide hole out (where the book will be), slanted cut down against the tongue, to each pair of vertical supports, using the rest of your 2" screws.
bl09.jpg
bl09.jpg (56.95 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
bl10.jpg
bl10.jpg (55.51 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
The acrylic sheets have a beveled edge; that's where they meet at the bottom of the camera cube.
bl11.jpg
bl11.jpg (70.14 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Use the 3/4" screws and the clamps to put the acrylic on.
bl12.jpg
bl12.jpg (77.51 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Then be prepared for the second "known issue:"
We also encountered an issue with the width of one plexiglass pane: it was a tiny bit wider than cube face, which caused a slight curvature of the pane. We're not sure how widespread this problem is, because most of the units are already boxed and sealed and we can't check every one of them. However, the solution we used was pretty simple: pad one of the side clamps with a small scrap of cardboard.
Both of my acrylic sheets were too wide for the cube, and putting cardboard shims in there is super annoying.
bl13.jpg
bl13.jpg (93.32 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
bl14.jpg
bl14.jpg (59.34 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
Finally, I set the cameras up. Again, these are Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1. They have a 41MP sensor, the native ability to shoot RAW, and a 4:3 38MP mode which can see the full cradle.

Both of these are used phones from eBay, with cracked screens. A cracked screen doesn't matter, nor does a bad IMEI (someone didn't pay off AT&T). As long as the camera and digitizer (touchscreen) are intact, the cameras are usable over wifi or USB, with no SIM card or cellular subscription necessary. A screen protector will keep the cracked screen from coming apart.

Technically, they're mounted upside down in one of these ChargerCity tripod adapters, with the lens right over the mounting hole, because the cube's camera slot is right in the middle, and is only an inch wide. The official Nokia 1020 camera grip with tripod mount has the hole way off on one side. For this scanner, I feel like you really want the lens right in the middle.

Noting Daniel's comment about rotation, I bought two tiny levels that I'll stick on the phones.

You get two threaded rods and six acrylic wingnuts. I set up the cameras like this:
bl15.jpg
bl15.jpg (91.2 KiB) Viewed 5634 times
At the end, I had two 1" screws and two 3/4" screws left over.

And that's it, right? That's all you wanted to know?

kfogel
Posts: 4
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 17:48
Number of books owned: 0
Country: USA

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by kfogel » 07 Nov 2014, 15:06

Hi, Vitorio. Thanks so much for the detailed photos and narrative! It's useful for others assembling BookLiberators, and it's useful feedback for us.

Have you scanned any books yet?

I posted a reply in the forums.bookliberator.org thread at http://forums.bookliberator.com/t/beta- ... -thread/36 . One question I asked there is: Can you say by appx how much the plexi panes were too wide? Knowing the range of the problem will help as we discuss this with our manufacturer.

kfogel
Posts: 4
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 17:48
Number of books owned: 0
Country: USA

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by kfogel » 07 Nov 2014, 15:12

@daniel_reetz:

Thanks for the supportive message! I actually haven't found lifting the cube to be a problem, even repeated hundreds of times, but that's definitely a YMMV kind of thing. Similarly with the lighting issues: good ambient light seems to do the trick. Probably BL gets some lighting artifacts, but they haven't been big problems in practice for us -- once good ambient lighting is in place, which of course is a room-wide issue and thus not always the most convenient thing to arrange.
daniel_reetz wrote: That is a little different than the aim that I have with this project - I want to enable people to digitize books, not to enable them to feel the restrictions of copyright. I think their mission is SUPER IMPORTANT, so I am glad to see their design getting launched, especially after it was put on hold for years due to the terrible Ion Booksaver. I feel strongly that the "competition" is good, particularly in the Open Source world (where it can really become cooperation, particularly in software and documentation space). Good luck, Question Copyright!
Well, we want people to be able to digitize books too -- that's also a goal. But I'm glad you support our overall mission!

vitorio
Posts: 138
Joined: 30 Oct 2010, 23:56
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Book Liberator beta

Post by vitorio » 07 Nov 2014, 19:13

Can you say by appx how much the plexi panes were too wide? Knowing the range of the problem will help as we discuss this with our manufacturer.
It's a little hard to say, because there's a bit of give because the wood doesn't screw together precisely, even with the pre-cut holes:
mis01.jpg
mis01.jpg (59.1 KiB) Viewed 5536 times
One of the pieces looks to be 2mm too wide:
mis02.jpg
mis02.jpg (50.63 KiB) Viewed 5536 times
The other looks to be 1mm too wide:
mis03.jpg
mis03.jpg (53.1 KiB) Viewed 5536 times
And here's what it looks like where they meet:
mis04.jpg
mis04.jpg (51.9 KiB) Viewed 5536 times
Does that help?

I haven't tried scanning a book yet. Maybe this weekend.

I've also already scratched the platen acrylic. A screw in the cradle didn't sink all the way in (even after backing it out and trying again), and after I set the fully-assembled cube into it, I pushed the entire unit by the cube, which scraped the acrylic across the slightly-jutting-out screw head.

Here's what the glare looks like here at home, near a ceiling fan with pendant lights(?), and not at an office or workshop with diffuse overhead lighting:
glare01.jpg
glare01.jpg (110.29 KiB) Viewed 5535 times
Not too bad, but as Daniel surmised, you can see the reflection of the facing wood supports. And then the other side where you can actually see the overhead light:
glare02.jpg
glare02.jpg (130.69 KiB) Viewed 5535 times
Regarding the cameras, the cradle is 11.5" wide, and maybe 10.5" of height is visible in these shots. The highres image (4:3, 38MP) has around 5000px across the cradle width, and 4700px for the cradle height, or ~434dpi wide, ~447dpi tall. I was kinda hoping it'd be more. I'll have to adjust the camera mounts to get the 16:9/34MP aspect to fit, maybe that will be different.

Post Reply