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  • Inspection Camera

    I've notice the prices of this type of inspection camera seem to be dropping, and I wonder how useful others who have used them have found them? There have been times when I've been working on machines I've wanted to look down in to a casting (invariably because I've dropped something in there!!) and a little mirror just didn't cut it. I thought they would be super handy for other purposes outside machining too. I recently had a brief look at 2, the more expensive had a much smaller head at the end of the snake, and I can clearly understand how that would be better. Any other things to look for?

    Pete

    Oops, sorry, here's a link to the type of device I am talking about http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QC8700

  • #2
    I didn't notice a diameter in the specifications in the link, but this
    dimension can be a consideration when evaluating borescopes for use
    through small access holes or around tight bend radii.

    Another related consideration is whether the fibreoptic cable is 'obedient'
    (able to be fixed in a desired position) or 'non-obedient' (flexible only).
    Non-obedient cables can be smaller in diameter.

    I have a ProVision PV636 by SLI Lighting with a 6.0mm (0.23") dia x 914mm
    (36.0") fibreoptic cable. Unlike the camera instrument in your link, the ProVision
    simply conducts and magnifies an image with fibreoptic cable and magnifying
    lens. An internal lamp provides light that is conducted down the cable. If
    one shops, these can be found for about $130 US.

    The PV636 borescope comes in a sturdy molded plastic case that is about
    40" x 3" x 5" - this can be a consideration where shipping is involved.
    Several optional accesssories such as mirrors are available.

    SLI also offers a PV618 with a 0.23" x 18" non-obedient cable and at least
    two models with what they refer to as standard diameter cable.

    There used to be an SLI ProVision website with information about the models
    and accessories, however I am not able to find it at the moment. Amazon
    can serve as a surrogate in the mean time.

    .

    Comment


    • #3
      I have one that you plug into a laptop to display the picture. Of course that makes it a pain in the arse to use but it is considerably cheaper and if it's a "just in case I need it" then it might make more sense on a tight budget.

      Phil

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      • #4
        camera

        Kids bought me a Ridgid "See Snake" for Christmas a couple years ago. If you can live with a 1/2 in dia and about 18'' length, it works quite well. Color as well. Comes with a right angle mirror and a magnet hopefully for retrieving the magnetic thingy you dropped wherever. Bob Fisher.

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        • #5
          I have always wanted a bore scope but they are so pricey. I saw the other day HF has some on sale for like $50ish. I am sure the camera head is bigger then most and the video quality isn't perfect but if I knew the camera head would fit down a spark plug hole I think I might have gotten it. It was a self contained unit with a 3" screen and all.
          Andy

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          • #6
            I have this one, works well, holds up to shop use.

            http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

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            • #7
              I have a non-video Fiber-optic snake, 6 feet long. Works great - never mind the usual "look in walls, beneath floors etc", I've even used it to look inside a machine to see how it comes apart, and to see the source of some weird noise (carefully...).


              I good video system would be nice, but I sleep at night knowing mine will still be working in 20 years

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by philbur
                I have one that you plug into a laptop to display the picture. Of course that makes it a pain in the arse to use but it is considerably cheaper and if it's a "just in case I need it" then it might make more sense on a tight budget.

                Phil
                Do you have any more information on these Phil, I haven't seen them before?

                For those who own these types of cameras or borescopes, what's your general impression on how useful they are? Are they one of those tools that is "nice to have" but a bit of a novelty, or something that you wonder how you got by without it? There have been a few instances where I wish I had one, but I eventually got by without it, so I'm curious as to their actual usefulness.

                Pete

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                • #9
                  Here is a link to the ProVision website I mentioned earlier.

                  Originally posted by PeteF
                  For those who own these types of cameras or borescopes, what's your
                  general impression on how useful they are? Are they one of those tools that
                  is "nice to have" but a bit of a novelty, or something that you wonder how you
                  got by without it? There have been a few instances where I wish I had one,
                  but I eventually got by without it, so I'm curious as to their actual usefulness.
                  I bought mine to verify that a stepper motor for a damper door in an
                  automotive HVAC system was sweeping through its full range of motion.
                  Access to the motor would have meant extensive disassembly of the
                  dashboard on a complicated euro import, otherwise. I used it on a couple of
                  subsequent occasions and since then it has sat in its case waiting for the
                  next job.

                  The borescope story that still stands out most for me is the case where
                  the glass body of an eyedropper inadvertently fell into one of the combustion
                  chambers of a 5.7L small block. Using a borescope with small diameter
                  F/O cable and some homespun ingenuity, the owner was successfully able
                  to retrieve the glass body intact.

                  My view is that if you live where you can get items delivered overnight,
                  don't buy one, just make note of who makes them and where they can
                  be purchased.

                  OTOH, if there is a possibility that your line of work or hobby interests
                  might call for a borescope for use in an emergency and you can't rely
                  on next day delivery, then some borescopes are inexpensive enough these
                  days to allow pretty much anyone to consider adding one to their tool crib.

                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by philbur
                    I have one that you plug into a laptop to display the picture. Of course that makes it a pain in the arse to use but it is considerably cheaper and if it's a "just in case I need it" then it might make more sense on a tight budget.

                    Phil
                    Phil, if its a pain in the arse i guarantee you are using it the wrong way!
                    mark

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                    • #11
                      I bought a Rigid See Snake last year, through Amazon. The model I bought has a camera head that is 3/8 inch in diameter. Rigid had more than one similar model, so order carefully if you want the smaller 3/8 inch head diameter. I've been quite pleased with the device. The only limitation is that it only focuses on objects less than about a foot away, so it's not for wide angle distance viewing. Up close, however, I can read a newspaper easily, and the camera head does project its own light beam. The flexible 18 inch neck works just right , and stays where you set it . It took some practice to use the device effectively, since the images can at first be confusing. The neck length can be doubled with an accessory extension with no loss of image quality.

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                      • #12
                        I have one of the fiber optic units. Adding a brighter bulb made it even more usable.

                        I've used it to see what was blocking my cables when fishing the wall. I've peeked into the inside of the knee on my mill to examine the lead-screw for the Y axis. I've been able to look at the back of the dashboard of my car to figure out why I could get not the connector loose.

                        Some day I will use it to open a safe. I'm just waiting for the opportunity.

                        Dan
                        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                        • #13
                          I've got a ridgid seesnake 2; it's got something like a 10mm head plus i also got a 6 foot extension. Got it from the US about 8 or so months ago and paid about £250 in total,

                          Best money i've spent in a LONG time.

                          Used it to find a leak in the house plumbing; found a small oil leak on the car (right at the back of the engine with about 437,000 bits of wire and other crap in the way!), used it to pull some cables in a ceiling void, find a rattle on my house heat-exchanger unit, the list goes on...

                          For me it was one of those tools that once you have it you keep finding jobs where it's useful. Not indispensible by any means but just makes a job so much easier and faster.

                          If you've got the cash - i'd say buy one!!!

                          Cheers
                          Batt..

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                          • #14
                            Cheers guys, sounds like something for my shopping list then. I'd seen them around, and traditional borescopes are used extensively at work, but I hadn't seriously considered buying one until a chance look at one in a store where I could really imagine how it could be useful. The traditional borescopes have quite a slim head, so I presume that a "fat head" would be quite a limiting quality

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PeteF
                              Do you have any more information on these Phil, I haven't seen them before?

                              For those who own these types of cameras or borescopes, what's your general impression on how useful they are? Are they one of those tools that is "nice to have" but a bit of a novelty, or something that you wonder how you got by without it? There have been a few instances where I wish I had one, but I eventually got by without it, so I'm curious as to their actual usefulness.

                              Pete
                              I picked up one of these in Munich Last year and I must say it's like golf I hate it I hate ...aah found the screw I love it.
                              http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/product/1...archDetail=005
                              I got it at a Conrad store www.conrad.de but I'm sure you should be able to get it in the states.
                              The quality is not great but it has saved me about 17 hours of stripping a machine to find a Box cutter blade some ID10T dropped in there.
                              It's also nice for being in to places at once (for watching behind a machine while working in front)
                              For the price you can't do better.
                              If you are using violence and it does not work, You are not using enough or it is upside down.
                              You can always just EDM it...

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