Oversized davidlandin Model

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RFaraday
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Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby RFaraday » 03 Feb 2014, 13:56

Hey Guys,

We’re with a historical society in northeastern Pennsylvania and we asked a local machine shop to build a book scanner for us based on the davidlandin model, but on a larger scale. We will be digitally preserving large volumes and ledgers containing historical government records and eventually archived newspapers, hence the need for the larger size. The build is going great. It's now time for us to make a decision on cameras, hardware for camera attachment to the frame and lighting. I've tried attaching photos of the build, but was unsuccessful. If anyone can post them below in this thread please let me know and I'll email them to you.

Cameras: We've looked at the matrix and read the most recent comments about refurbished Canon A810, A2200, A2400IS, etc. One question we have is, can any or all of these be controlled by remote control?

Camera Attachment: The frame used for the scanner is tubular aluminum with a 1-1/16" OD. Any suggestions on what to use for attaching the cameras to the frame?

Lighting: We haven't started investigating lighting yet, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to ask these questions,
Ron, Mike, Bob, Amy, Julio, Jim & many others
Greater Pittston Historical Society

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jck57
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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby jck57 » 03 Feb 2014, 16:27

RFaraday wrote:
Camera Attachment: The frame used for the scanner is tubular aluminum with a 1-1/16" OD. Any suggestions on what to use for attaching the cameras to the frame?


You could use a #2 Minerallac pipe clamp. Add a 1/4-20 bolt, nut, and wingnut to the clamp for attaching the camera. These cheap pipe hangers are used by electricians and plumbers.

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RFaraday
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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby RFaraday » 03 Feb 2014, 19:04

Those clamps look too easy (and cheap) to be true! Thanks! We'll have to check them out.

Ron

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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby RFaraday » 04 Feb 2014, 10:06

Here are some photos of our scanner under construction...

First, a picture of davidlandin's plastic tube original, inspiration for our project:

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Then some pictures of our scanner:

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mhhelle
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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby mhhelle » 06 Feb 2014, 09:53

Cameras: We've looked at the matrix and read the most recent comments about refurbished Canon A810, A2200, A2400IS, etc. One question we have is, can any or all of these be controlled by remote control?


I'm just in the process of building mine too. I'll chip in what I have gathered so far, but I'm by no means an expert.

I went with the refurbished A810. You can use STICK to put CHDK on your A810. Once you do that then your camera can be programmed using a CHDK script to do whatever you want. It's a little tricky to get it set up for the first time but once you do you're good to go. I also bought AC adaptors (ACK 800). And for the A810 you also have to buy a DC adapter (DC Coupler DR-DC10) that looks like 2 batteries and fits into the battery door.

There are a few different ways that people are triggering it from what I gathered. The first is to use a timer or motion-capture feature script. The timer just takes a picture every X seconds where you set X to be about how long you think it will take you to turn a page. The motion-capture takes a picture once it has decided there is no more movement. There is a hybrid somewhere on these forums of a timer + motion detection script that waits at least X seconds before taking a picture then takes it once there is no movement. I don't have the links off-hand but I think there are some of them here: http://diybookscanner.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=484 I used the hybrid timer + motioncapture one that someone on there wrote and it worked fine for me on a small test scan. You just copy the script someone wrote to your SD card and run it with CHDK on your camera.

The other way from what I gather is to use the USB port and CHDK to trigger. From what I understand if you send some voltage through a USB cable to the camera then CHDK can be programmed to recognize that and use it as a trigger to do whatever you want (like take a picture). I believe the simple remote script comes with CHDK install or you can search for it. There's a guy in the Netherlands named Frans Van De Camp that will make you a custom USB cable hooked up to a laser pointer for about $25. It has two USB ends (one for each camera) and the other end is hooked up to a laser pointer body which has been rewired to just send some voltage to the USB when you press what used to be the laser pointer button. I just got mine in the mail this week but haven't had a chance to try it yet. It looks professional and I think will work well. I believe his website is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fvdk3d/ and you can just email him and send money to his paypal account to order one.

I think it's great you are doing historical documents, great idea for the oversized book scanner! I'm also a historian. I scanned about 6,000 pages of old high school yearbooks manually using a flatbed scanner and manual cropping/renaming, etc. I am building my bookscanner to finish up the yearbooks and then move on to some local history books, land plat books, old phone books, etc. I'm trying to gather data for our town's 150th anniversary in 2020.

dtic
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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby dtic » 08 Feb 2014, 09:09

Wow - the biggest DIY scanner ever? :)

You can also control the cameras from a connected PC

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davidlandin
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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby davidlandin » 08 Feb 2014, 21:23

I was delighted to see your giant size scanner, and I have a few suggestions and hints and questions as a result. I feel flattered that you could scale up my humble efforts. Thank you. :D

Cameras
First of all, with regard to finding suitable cameras with IR remote capabilities, here is an excellent link

http://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=mainmenu&utm_medium=text&ref=mainmenu

About half way down the page is a toggle "Show/Hide adanced search features". At the end of this list you can check a box to filter in just the remote control cameras.

Incidentally I just did a comparison with my small Pentax Option VS 20 comaring it with a Canon 550D, and the results were almost identical. You might get a better quality lens on a more expensive camera, and that might give slightly clearer images, which would be important on large sized book or document scanning.

Platen
Have you had any problems with joining the two halves of the platen? I ask this because your platen is going to be heavier than mine, and there might be consequent extra stresses. If you have had problems, how did you fix it?

Lighting
With regard to lighting, I have a lamp (its a coiled daylight fluoerescent lamp that is mounted above and in the same alignment as the gutter of the platen. It gives very good light and in that position there are no reflections.

Talking about reflections, I think you will need to completely spray all the framework and anything else that has a slight gleam with matt black spray paint - maybe two coats. It is really important to avoid any parts reflecting into the camera lens, as this produces an inferior image.

New Modification
Ive recently modified the camera supports and they are now mounted on left and right camera support arms as you can see on this picture.

Image


The numerical strips on these arms show the distance from the platen and can be used in focussing. The strips are simply cheap sewing tape measures glued on. It also makes the whole thing look a little more "technical", "scientific" and "engineered" :lol:

You will see that the support arms are glued into Ts, but the Ts can rotate around the bar they are on. I had to drill out the crossbar of the Ts to slide them on to the bar. There is quite a lot of natural friction to stop the support arms from freely rotating, but I have made a modification, so the arms can be firmly fixed in position. I cut a slot in the opposite sides of the T. (Just so you can see better, I put a bit of whie paper in the T to show the position of the slots).

Image


Image

A bolt goes through the slots in the T and through the bar it is on. These slots allow a limited range of rotation. When the cameras are all set up, tighten the bolt in position using a wing nut. This stops the camera support arm from rotating when scanning.

Remote Controllers
I'm currently doing a lot of research into finding a reliable IR remote controller. I've got several brands, and have also been trying to use a universal TV remote controller - some people have tried this successfully, but as yet I have not been able to get that to work.

All for now and WELL DONE!

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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby GPHS2 » 12 Feb 2014, 18:48

Update on our progress. Hi, I am Mike,I am working on this project for the historical society with Ron. We ran into a slight snag right now as the guy in charge of making the scanner had to undergo surgery, so we are at a temporary halt with construction.

However, we ordered a bike mount to try just to see how that will work because it gives us a good deal of adjustment for the camera if needed. If there is too much play we will try the pipe type hangers to mount the cameras. JCK57, I like the idea of using those but not sure how they will work if we need to make other adjustments for the camera to have the correct angle. Will see how the bike mount works out and if not will try the pipe hangers.

David, we are thrilled to be able to TRY to replicate your design. (:-) Our platen was bent and not glued. The guys who are making it had the ability to bend it in the center which will eliminate any stress that might have happened if it were glued. I like the new addition you made to your system, you are right,it does give it a more techy look!!!

Thank you everyone for the comments and suggestions. We will follow all the links and kick around all the ideas and put a lot of thought into each and every one. We are sure we will go through a number of changes along the way and will always look for ways to improve it. One of those ways will be to keep checking back here to see how everyone else is doing. We will also post here to let everyone know how our progress is going and any problems, changes, etc. we encounter.

We are looking into a manual triggering mechanism right now because then we can use any camera and not just ones with a remote control. Will see how that works out. That may change.

I have a Canon S2IS I used to be able to remote trigger for time lapse photos by hooking it up to my computer with the USB cable. However, I can't find the CD right now with the correct version of Zoombrowser on it. That is the program that came with my S2IS and it could control the time lapse settings, etc. The newer versions of Zoombrowser do not support remote triggering. So if anyone has a Canon Software CD Version 24 that has Zoombrowser on it, I would love to get a copy of it if possible. The new versions you can download from the Canon site don't offer that feature any more and I miss it. I might even be able to adapt it to trigger 2 cameras which would work out great for the scanner too.

I have seen CHDK but am not sure how easy it is to program the cameras to shoot in sync, etc.
I have also seen chdkptp but don't know anyone using it or heard much about it yet.

We may end up trying the guy in the Netherlands, for that price we can't go wrong. First, we will see how the manual triggers work out. Mhhelle, I will be waiting to see how the one you got works out.

Will keep you updated as we go along and thank you to all for your suggestions, comments, etc.

Mike and Ron

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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby RFaraday » 17 Feb 2014, 01:00

This is Ron this time. To add even more emphasis to what Mike had to say, thank you so much for all the help and support we've been receiving throughout this build. The help certainly cuts down the learning curve which translates into a lot less money wasted on mistakes. So thank you all once again.

I have a question for davidlandin regarding the new camera supports. Was the need for them brought about because of the cameras that you're using? In other words, were the cameras too close to the page to get the whole page in the frame? My question stems from our desire to not only use the scanner to process books, but also to scan over 65 years worth of archived newspapers from a local weekly. Since our model has larger proportions, the cameras will be naturally sitting further away from the page than on your scanner. But scanning larger items may negate that and push us also into needing recessed camera supports.

Thank You,
Ron

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Re: Oversized davidlandin Model

Postby davidlandin » 17 Feb 2014, 11:36

Hi Mike and Ron

First of all, the reason for adding the camera support rods was not because the camera was too close to the platen so the page wouldn't fit in the viewfinder. With the books I am doing, the camera is far enough away from the document to show the entire page.

I think the main reason I added them was so that the camera could be positioned perpendicularly above the intersection of the diagonals of the document. Before adding the camera support rods I looked at the possibility of extending the height of the camera by using screwed extenders that would screw into the base of the cameras. But I found it hard to get the parts, and would have ended up with a rigid extension, without the ability to adjust its position vis-a-vis the centre of the page.

If the cameras are not above the centre-point of the page then you get trapezoid images. These non-rectangular images can be corrected using software. And you will probably need to do trapezoid (usually called "keystone") correction anyway. But it is better to start your post-processing with an image that is as near as possible rectangular. I use some excellent freeware to correct keystone effects. It's called YASW.exe which you can get from
http://sourceforge.net/projects/yascanw/

It doesn't have a proper manual to go with it, but if you need help I can tell you how I got it to work. It is (despite the lack of information on how to use it) a very good program. After using YASW I follow up with Scan Tailor, which is also excellent and gives crisp black and white output.

Thinking about your newspaper sized documents it is going to be important for you to be able to swing the cameras round and over the centre of the pages.

I've been working on the Bike handelebar camera supports, and have bought three different types. Here are the three types I've tried (all bought on eBay)

Image

The one on the left "A" works best because it allows rotation in all three planes. It is also easier to position/remove from the bar, by using the lock-down twisting tightener on its side

Hope this helps

David


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