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

Newbie Questions

Don't know where to start, or stuck on a certain problem? Drop by and tell us about it. Feel like helping others? Start here.
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Desidichado
Posts: 5
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 01:50
E-book readers owned: Sony e-reader
Number of books owned: 5000
Country: USA

Newbie Questions

Post by Desidichado » 14 May 2015, 00:03

Hello All,

I have been following DIY Book Scanner for the past few years, and have been saving my pennies for an Archivist. However, upon learning of them recently, I was inspired by David Lindin's and geaplanet's PVC DIY scanner builds, and have embarked on my own build. While I have the structural components pretty much in hand, I have been encountering issues with the technical aspect of my build.

Background: I am primarily a Windows 7 user, am somewhat versed in the Mac realm, and have ALMOST no experience with Linux.

Firstly, I am wondering when is the best time to catch some more experienced scanners on IRC, as I have a few questions regarding the use of Spreads/SpreadPi.

Current status of my build: I have been able to get spreads loaded on my RPi, and CHDK on my twin Canon A2200s successfully. I have been able to browse to the IP displayed on my camera, and was also able to configure spreads by using my HDTV as a monitor for my RPi, with the help of a USB keyboard. What I have not been successful with is actually capturing any images, yet. I am confused as to the directory where captures are stored, and the syntax for the directory path in spreads (does it exclusively function in terms of Linux, or will it accept a Windows path directing scans to a hard drive on my Windows 7 desktop)? I attempted to enter a path to such a directory on my W7 desktop twice, but both times I tried, immediately following the change, Spreads loaded, but sat at the login prompt. The good news is that while troubleshooting this, I was able to get my camera shutters to trigger successfully via both keyboard and USB foot pedal, so I feel extremely confident that my CHDK install is working as designed.

Alternatively, I have been wondering about whether or not it is possible to send scans to a USB thumb drive (I have a few new 64GB drives laying around) plugged directly into the RPi, and once ready, I can simply pull the thumb drive and transfer the images to my desktop for post processing. If this is possible, what would that look like, and what changes would I need to make to accomplish it successfully?

I would also like to add that this project has convinced me to take a spare PC I have laying around and reimage it as an Ubuntu box, but that will take time while learning the new OS. I would like to puzzle this issue out ASAP, so that I can begin archiving my very large library while I learn the ropes.

Thoughts, comments, or constructive criticism is not only welcome, but encouraged. Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

Best Regards,

Desdichado

duerig
Posts: 368
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by duerig » 14 May 2015, 12:23

If you are using the Spreads web interface, you should be able to both download to your controlling PC and copy to a USB drive. It will save the files locally to its default directory while it works, then when you are finished it generates a giant zip file of all of them for you. You shouldn't have to worry about the directory where the files are stored inside of Spreads. Just leave that as the default and download or copy to USB via the web interface after you have finished with a book.

I would also add that if you want to get going quickly on just your Windows PC and you are having difficulty with Spreads, there is a great capture-only program that lets you plug the cameras directly into your computer to take the photos:

http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =20&t=3082

Best of luck!

-D

Desidichado
Posts: 5
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 01:50
E-book readers owned: Sony e-reader
Number of books owned: 5000
Country: USA

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by Desidichado » 14 May 2015, 15:26

Duerig,

Thank you for helpful reply. I missed the functionality of using the default directory and the subsequent zip file in my first reading of the Spreads documentation. However, upon re-reading, I found it.

Also, thank you for pointing me to the TwoCamControl thread; I had not seen it before. It is of great interest to me as I am very familiar with and somewhat conversant in AHK (though nowhere near dtic's level). AHK is probably the single greatest Windows freeware utility ever created in my opinion.

I'm going to continue to try to get my RPi working though, as I am already invested in the hardware and will take another crack at Spreads this evening. However, it's nice to know that I have a backup method in case I continue to experience difficulties.

Best Regards,

Desdichado

Desidichado
Posts: 5
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 01:50
E-book readers owned: Sony e-reader
Number of books owned: 5000
Country: USA

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by Desidichado » 14 May 2015, 22:11

So, success!!! Okay, well, partial success.

I was able to, using my new enlightenment (thanks to duerig), reimage my RPi, configure it, and take successful captures using both the foot pedal and keyboard capture via the web interface. I was also able to successfully download them as a zip file. I did this on my lunch hour, and as I work from home, it took all of my determination and willpower to not tinker with it anymore until after I finished working for the day, and powered everything down.

However, this evening, when I powered everything back up, I was able to successfully access the web interface on my first try, but while I was in the midst of creating a new workflow, it appears the RPi was somehow reset, and I lost my connection into the web interface. When I plugged my HDTV into the RPi via HDMI, The RPi was sitting at the spreads $ prompt. I have power cycled the entire rig three times, and it will not go beyond the spreads $ prompt without entry of the user name/password. I was able to manually start a capture session using the "spread capture ~/home" command at the spread $ prompt after I entered the user name/password, but am still unable to access the web interface or get spreads to automatically start up.

Thank you all for your assistance in advance.

Desdichado

Desidichado
Posts: 5
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 01:50
E-book readers owned: Sony e-reader
Number of books owned: 5000
Country: USA

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by Desidichado » 15 May 2015, 19:24

I have been researching my issue, and I have found many reported issues online related to both not shutting down a RPi before powering down and powering down a RPi abruptly causing data corruption to the SD card inserted in a RPi. I have my RPi plugged into a power strip and have been using the switch on the power strip to power down my rig. Could this be a potential reason that I am able to access the Spreads web interface the first time I run my rig from a fresh image of Spreads, but not once on a subsequent power up of the same image?

What do others do to power down/power up their rigs?

Thank You,

Desdichado

duerig
Posts: 368
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Newbie Questions

Post by duerig » 16 May 2015, 07:03

This is a possibility. There is a power button on the web interface that cleanly shuts down the Pi.

In the longer term, there are ways to make abrupt shutdown less risky and I have been doing some research on this in order to propose a solution to Johannes. But we are not there yet.

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