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 camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Everything camera related. Includes triggers, batteries, power supplies, flatbeds and sheet-feeding scanners, too.
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Joined: 18 Jun 2009, 11:59

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by tsttm » 10 Aug 2009, 17:01

i love how your scanner flips over & becomes a table!

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Joined: 06 Jun 2009, 23:57

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by spamsickle » 02 Dec 2009, 14:30

Despite my ingenuity in making my scanner a multi-tasker, it ultimately proved too big and -- well, my wife used the "U" word, which for me would be "useful" but for her was "ugly" -- and was exiled to the balcony along with my weight bench. I thought I'd take the opportunity of showing off how well Daniel's new switch integrated into my old design to show what the setup looks like now.

First, the new switch:
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What's interesting is how well the switch fit on the existing design. The width of the circuit board and the length of the screws were just perfect to let the nuts grip the picture frame I'd used for my platen. I'd almost think Dan went out and measured one -- it doesn't even wriggle, just fits snug as you please.

And, since it's now outdoors, it needs protection from the elements, so I've repurposed an old playhouse my kids have outgrown -- just like Daniel's switch, it fits like that's what it was MADE for:
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Lights -- I'm now using industrial halogens, which came with a UV filter and a grill. They're hung off what I think is an old couch frame I retrieved from the side of the road, and which I sawed up to build the scanner itself (note the missing slats):
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An establishing shot:
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Last edited by spamsickle on 02 Dec 2009, 14:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: 06 Jun 2009, 23:57

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by spamsickle » 02 Dec 2009, 14:36

Apparently there's a 5-image limit on posts, but I'm not through bragging yet!

Here's a couple more shots of the whole thing:
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The square white bucket with a lid is what I sit on when I'm scanning, and what I store the lights and the camera holders in when I'm not. It had cat litter in it when I bought it...

Cameras and cords go in the Canon box when not in use, and all of that stuff comes inside.

The scanner which stays outside needs weatherproofing even here in Southern California, and here it is:
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I won't show you what it looks like when it's all lit up at night and I'm scanning under the stars, but trust me, it's sublime.

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

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by daniel_reetz » 03 Dec 2009, 10:22

You know, after seeing these pictures, I had a good, hearty laugh that lasted most of the afternoon. This is SO awesome. First of all, your scanner is now an OUTDOOR scanner, that's great. And the plastic house, so deadpan hilarious... but absolutely useful. And then the little box that I lasered worked perfectly. Sweeeeeeet! A total confluence of awesomeness. Killer! Thanks for posting these pictures.

I will see what I can do about this 5 image limit. That's not enough. EDIT: limit is now ten.


Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by DDavid » 29 Dec 2009, 18:07

I really like your cradle both the cameras attached idea and
the "floating" idea. I had considered both and decided against
it but I'm now reconsidering. Wasn't sure if the floating part would
work but seemed like it would.
Any chance of a picture in the raised position or did I miss one?
Thanks for posting.

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Joined: 31 Mar 2012, 13:16
Number of books owned: 500
Country: sometimes USA

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by booknut » 20 May 2012, 18:53

I finished my first build based on the standard scanner. One change I made was to make the platen from a wooden frame so that the glass wasn't under stress.
I'm using tripods for the cameras - which are heavy DSLR's (Pentax K10d) - but ever since building it I've been wanting to mount them to the platen. My main concern that has kept me from doing this is fear that the repeated motion of the platen hitting the book will damage the cameras over time. (I wouldn't be quite as worried if they were cheaply replaceable.)
So, my question for you is if you've noticed any wear/alignment issues with your cameras. This post is a couple years old, so I'm hoping that you've had a chance to put it through its paces.
My second question is if they lose their position over the course of scanning or if your camera clamps hold them solid.
I'd love to incorporate this into my build!

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Joined: 06 Jun 2009, 23:57

Re: My camera-on-glass-platen counterweighted G2

Post by spamsickle » 22 May 2012, 13:12

I have actually gone through a couple of scanners since this one -- currently, I still use a portable "table-top" scanner, primarily for magazines and other material which has material of interest extending into the middle margins, and a more traditional "V-cradle" scanner with no platen at all for the majority of my scanning.

My reason for abandoning this scanner was not because of wear and tear on the camera -- honestly, I think they probably get more banging and stress if you toss them in a camera bag and take them on vacation -- but because this specific design has a "floating" platen which led to inconsistency in platen placement, which led to a inconsistency from one image to the next. When previewing a batch of images quickly, the pages seemed to "jitter" a bit from one frame to the next. This wouldn't matter if you ran them through Scan Tailor afterward, since Scan Tailor selects and thus normalizes the "important" content, but in my never-ending quest for doing the least work possible, I've kind of drifted away from using Scan Tailor too, and tend to just read my original photos now.

If you wanted to implement a "cameras-on-platen" design, and are concerned about vibration, you might add a bit of rubber sheet between the camera and the platen. Actually, though, I don't think there's any valid reason to put the cameras on the platen. My reason for doing so at the time was to insure that the camera was always the same distance from the page it was shooting. My previous scanner had been much like what I'm using now -- a couple of cameras on tripods, shooting a book on a fixed cradle. With THAT setup, the page will be nearer or further from the camera depending on whether one is shooting the beginning or the end of the book. Daniel's "sliding cradle" with a fixed platen that "centers" the book for each shot really addresses that problem as well as (or better than) cameras on the platen. If you're concerned about the up-and-down motion of the platen transmitting vibration to the camera, it might be possible to isolate them (like still having the cameras on tripods which aren't attached to the rest of the scanner), but I doubt that it's necessary to do so.

If you DO have a valid reason for going with camera-on-platen that hasn't occurred to me, keeping the platen fixed as it is in the "standard" design should prevent the "jitter" problem which I was having then (and which wouldn't even bother me now). If the platen is attached to a central column, and just goes up and down, the only potential for jitter would be if the book you're scanning shifts.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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