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

Scanner in a Briefcase

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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bpod10
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Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by bpod10 » 03 Jan 2020, 09:17

I’m building a portable scanner that will fit into a briefcase.

I’ve made other attempts at building scanners — basic cardboard box scanners, ones using PVC, and one from foam board. The problems I’ve had with each are size, durability and (related) speed (low durability = slow scan times because the rig needs handled so gently). I need something I can travel with, and that doesn’t take up a small closet’s worth of space when assembled.

Requirements:
- easy to set up and take down
- sturdy when assembled
- when not assembled, fits into a space that’s roughly 17.5 x 12.75 x 3
- does not require external modification to the briefcase (for that James Bond / Don Draper feel)
- has two cameras with integrated touch screen / electronics / triggers to obtain reasonable scanning speeds

I’ve never seen anything like this built, despite having done lots of research to get to this point.

Anyone else seen or attempted anything similar? Any great portable builds of any kind come to mind?

Interested to hear any thoughts. Meantime, I’ll post pictures as I go.

TS Zarathustra
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by TS Zarathustra » 04 Jan 2020, 12:36

Interesting idea. I'll be watching this.
If you can open the books 180 degrees, you could use one phone-camera, tower type, that "flips out" from the lid, and one flat piece of glass (platen), hinged at the back, to capture two pages at the same time. Under the glass, in the bottom of the briefcase, you could have soft foam to keep them pressed against the glass. To get reflection free, evenly lit, pictures, you could have LED strips, that are mounted to the sides of the bottom half of the briefcase, and flip to the side when you're using the scanner, and some sort of black cloth tent that is above the camera.

bpod10
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by bpod10 » 04 Jan 2020, 21:00

Those are some great ideas, TS. I hadn’t considered mounting the camera (or cameras—I’m trying to do a 2-camera build) off of something that flips out from the lid. Also hadn’t considered using foam as a way to keep a book pressed against the platen. I have some rigid craft foam that might make a great cradle.

I found the exact type briefcase I was thinking of today at a thrift store. Set me back $1.50. :) Only downside is that it’s two inches smaller (both length and width) than I’d designed yesterday night. So back to the drawing board, but with new ideas to consider.

Specific internal dimensions are 15.75l x 11.75w x 2.25d, all inches. The lid adds an extra inch of depth to play with for the camera mounting apparatus, if I go with the flip-out idea.

I’m also considering is installing metal 90-degree angle bar along the front and back edges inside the briefcase. Positioning the bar so that the upright edge is not flush with the edge of the briefcase will create a useful “u” channel to position the other parts in. And pre-drilled holes in the metal will give flexibility to expand the cradle to accommodate thicker books.

Nothing really to see yet, but I’ll get some pictures together in the next day or two.

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Mohib
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by Mohib » 05 Jan 2020, 14:27

bpod10 wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 09:17
Requirements:
- easy to set up and take down
- sturdy when assembled
- when not assembled, fits into a space that’s roughly 17.5 x 12.75 x 3
- does not require external modification to the briefcase (for that James Bond / Don Draper feel)
- has two cameras with integrated touch screen / electronics / triggers to obtain reasonable scanning speeds

I’ve never seen anything like this built, despite having done lots of research to get to this point.

Anyone else seen or attempted anything similar? Any great portable builds of any kind come to mind?
Been there, done that (almost)! :D

Here's my solution (and video):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401&start=40#p20596

Current incarnation, set up for use:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401&start=40#p20577

Earlier version dismantled for transport:
download/file.php?id=5424&mode=view

Browse through the entire thread here for lots of info, build details, experiments, lighting tests, focus tests, etc:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401

As for your requirements:

- easy to set up and take down
>>> Yes. 2 bolts + 2 large thumb nuts
>>>
>>> See here: download/file.php?id=5446
>>> And here: download/file.php?id=5415&mode=view

- sturdy when assembled
>>> Yes. My requirement also. Fed up with flimsy stuff.

- when not assembled, fits into a space that’s roughly 17.5 x 12.75 x 3
>>> Yes: 17-24 x 13 x 3 (long size depends on how much you want to disassemble and reassemble).
>>> You could make it much shorter if you make the split the main post into 2 parts (like I do for the lighting extension for camera support). See here: download/file.php?id=5427&mode=view

- does not require external modification to the briefcase (for that James Bond / Don Draper feel)
>>> Check.

- has two cameras with integrated touch screen / electronics / triggers to obtain reasonable scanning speeds
>>> One camera with "integrated touch screen/electronics" (aka smart phone or point and shoot screen on camera back).
>>> Various remote triggers options (I've used blue-tooth with smartphones and mechanical with small cameras that don't have electronic shutter release options) See latest version of mechanical style here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401&sid=5f9ec12e8 ... &start=100
>>> Can go at 900-1500 pages per min (see video) which is almost as fast as many 2 camera scanners and faster than some. Speed depends on skill, type of trigger and size of book.

May not be what you want or have in mind, but perhaps will give you some ideas.

For comparison here were my original design criteria:
Mohib wrote:
06 Apr 2014, 22:33
1) I wanted a totally knock down scanner, portable enough to carry on a bus so I could take it anywhere, clamp it on the end of any small table and go to work.

2) I wanted to be able to do paperbacks just as fast (or nearly as fast) as hardbacks, with as good quality and without damaging the spine by forcing the books open wide. I also wanted to handle sizes up to newspapers. The design can handle books up to A4 under the platen or, without the platen up to tabloid/A3 but at those sizes the original needs to be an unfolded photocopy so it's flat.

3) I wanted to be able to scan a fairly high speeds but didn't need ultra high speed that you get from a two camera set-up. Also two cameras would increase construction complexity and make a portable design harder.

4) It had to be built with an absolute minimal amount of handiwork with only whatever bits and pieces I could find at local hardware stores and just a few basic tools (files, power+hand drill, saw, vice). Also it had to be very solid with no finicky parts that need constant attention, adjusting and fiddling during operation.

5) It had to work with small, compact cameras without using electronic triggers and without using a computer so I use Daniel Reetz' bike break lever trigger (that idea was inspired thinking by Reetz).

bpod10
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by bpod10 » 06 Jan 2020, 08:58

That’s a fascinating and smart design. I have to admit, I hadn’t thought of applying it to this project — but will definitely give it some thought now.

I noticed the thread has some discussion on post-processing output from a single-camera setup, which answers a lot of my questions about how that would work.

Thank you for bringing it up!

One quick and minor question. Have you ever been asked to recommend a substitution for the cross dowel nut? For some reason, big box stores in the US (including our local IKEA) don’t seem to have anything longer than 10mm. Worst case, if I need some, I could always order from one of the sites mentioned in the build thread.

dpc
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by dpc » 06 Jan 2020, 12:46

Can go at 900-1500 pages per min (see video) which is almost as fast as many 2 camera scanners and faster than some. Speed depends on skill, type of trigger and size of book.
LOL. You're off by a factor of 60.

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Mohib
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by Mohib » 06 Jan 2020, 14:40

dpc wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 12:46
LOL. You're off by a factor of 60.
Sigh. One can dream. LOL
bpod10 wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 08:58
That’s a fascinating and smart design.
Thanks
bpod10 wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 08:58
I noticed the thread has some discussion on post-processing output from a single-camera setup, which answers a lot of my questions about how that would work.
I created some software that's posted in the thread (along with full instructions) that makes short work of getting the images ready for ScanTailor. Keep scrolling through the thread to find the latest version as it went through several upgrades

Since my objective was to OCR books of text, and not graphic image fidelity, the image scaling the software does is not so critical and doesn't affect OCR or text quality. But if you're scanning for picture quality, of course it will reduce it a little.
bpod10 wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 08:58
One quick and minor question. Have you ever been asked to recommend a substitution for the cross dowel nut? For some reason, big box stores in the US (including our local IKEA) don’t seem to have anything longer than 10mm. Worst case, if I need some, I could always order from one of the sites mentioned in the build thread.
No I've not been asked for an alternative and I can't think of a substitution that would work so simply. However, GenioDiabolico built the scanner and said he's brought a bunch back from the UK for others who may need them.
GenioDiabolico wrote:
29 Sep 2018, 14:53
FYI - when I go to London in a few weeks I'm going to come back with this envelope and will mail out a pair of these things in the USA to anyone that asks (while supplies last.)
See here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401&hilit=cross+d ... =90#p21515

His build (and contact info) are here:
http://evilgeniuschronicles.org/2018/09 ... okscanner/

BTW you could make the whole scanner smaller if you're going to scan smaller books and with a smaller platen and handle the main post can be made shorter too. I posted a graphic showing the platen with a smaller handle although the picture showed the original large platen with the smaller handle in a different position on the platen so it looks just like it make the same radius as the larger handle, but if you did it right (i.e. smaller handle, smaller platen, and put attached the handle on the innermost holes) it would be much smaller. See here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401&hilit=cross+d ... =90#p21517

Of course you could save all the effort and get this nice scanner that was posted here recently:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/shin ... ul-scanner#/

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by daniel_reetz » 07 Jan 2020, 14:28

The Soviets had an interesting briefcase machine called the Yolka.

https://www.cryptomuseum.com/covert/cam ... /index.htm

bpod10
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Re: Scanner in a Briefcase

Post by bpod10 » 07 Jan 2020, 22:22

:o Wow!

And as it turns out, there’s several on eBay, of which this is one:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2493983350

I’m tempted to buy it... but only about as tempted as I am to pick up a CZUR. Can’t explain why, but there’s as much attraction in having one as in building one. :)

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