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Thread: Boroscope or Endoscope

  1. #1
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Boroscope or Endoscope

    I've been finding myself sunk in various instruments recently, looking at condition and checking structure. The mirror thing isn't cutting it, particularly on my Tenor Guitar. I'm thinking about a boroscope or endoscope--curious first of all which one y'all use, and what's the actual advantage (beyond advertising blather) of one or the other.

    Second: length of the camera cable. The ones I see are over 10 feet, which seems like overkill (which seems like it adds difficulty). Suggestions (either for a shorter cable or experience using a really long cable for a small instrument)?

    Third: recommendations on a device? I'm all Android.
    belbein

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Mine is an endoscope. Uses bluetooth to connect to a pad or phone; requires charging (permanent LI battery). It came with a 25' cable which of course is way too long, but it works fine as long as I keep the cable wound and bound. Plus if I ever need the length, I've got it. It was under $50US new (IIRC) about 7 years ago. I carry it with my repair and setup tools to festivals and it has been handy once or twice.

    I'd recommend carrying a soft rag to cushion the cable of whatever device you get, so you don't scratch up the sound holes of whatever instrument you're peering into -- cables tend to be very stiff, and especially, the finish around F-holes can get dinged up pretty easily.
    -- Don

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  4. #3
    Registered User crooksj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    I use this. Works well.

    DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope, IP67 Waterproof WiFi Borescope Inspection 2.0 Megapixels HD Snake Camera for Android and iOS Smartphone, iPhone, iPad, Samsung -Black(11.5FT)

    Now $31 on Amazon

  5. #4

    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Also, they come in very flexible and semi-rigid, the latter holding shape, and various depths of field. That is, some are designed for very close up work, which may be unsuitable for this purpose, and confusing to use. That spec may be hard to find. Mine also is Bluetooth to an ipad, which is better than, say, a scope with its own display. Somewhat water resistant too, which shouldn’t be an issue looking into most mandolins. Depstech also.

  6. #5
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Can I ask--are the images through these scopes live, or delayed? I've seen reviews that say that because it runs through the camera there is a delay that makes it hard to maneuver.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

  7. #6

    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Technically, an endoscope is a device for seeing inside the body, through an orifice, while a borescope is a device for inspecting narrow cavities such as the bore of a rifle. However, the two are often conflated by online sellers, so they're essentially the same thing for the purposes of looking inside a musical instrument. I haven't seen enough delay to be a problem with mine. There will inevitably be some delay, but the few milliseconds I've experienced don't bother me. They don't "run through" the camera, the camera is part of the device. They can go through a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, phone, or whatever is preferred and available. A long cable gives you enough slack to run to a display further away. Many can use wifi or bluetooth to connect to the computer/phone/whatever if you don't want to be tethered, but the cable will usually be the same length, you just connect it to a wireless device instead of directly to the computer/phone. I haven't seen any with short cables, but I haven't seen every one available. The length of the cable won't affect speed, and I just keep most of mine coiled up most of the time. I have no specific brand recommendations, most of what is offered on ebay or Amazon are identical, with perhaps a different brand name, but they come from the same factories.

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    Registered User resophonic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    I did some looking into bore/ endo scopes and ended up buying a Depstech WF025 scope. I liked several things over the other types/ models that I looked at. WiFi interface with Android or iPhone. Small, on/ off dimmable lighted camera head, 5.5mm diameter for tight places. The focal length was the tipping factor for me though on this model at 1.18" - 15.7". All other models I looked at had very short focal lengths. You can take still images or real time video to your phone, which is rather helpful.

    The Depstech WF025 has a stiff, bendable connection to the camera. You can pre bend it to get it aimed where you need it. It also has 1080 resolution and zoom. It came with 3 screw on accessories for the camera end; a right angle mirror, a hook and a magnet. It is rated for wet usage, I suspect the accessory ends are for retrieving lost items down a drain, I have not used them. The light in it is OK enough for most things, supplementing does help too. I did not consider bore scopes with inherent monitors. My phone already has that and it cuts the purchase price of a scope if does not have a monitor.

    When I was shopping, I looked at reviews. The main complaint seemed to be getting it interfaced with your device. I'm old and new to smartphones. I had no issues with the WiFi hook up in spite of my ineptness with technology. This scope seems to be a good enough fit for my needs and functions better than I expected for $50. No complaints here... I have no regrets from this purchase.
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    Ursus Mandolinus Fretbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Get one that has the ability to look sideways as well as straight ahead;
    Flicking the switch to change the viewing direction is much easier than trying to maneuver the single lens towards what you are trying to inspect.
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
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  11. #9
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boroscope or Endoscope

    Quote Originally Posted by Fretbear View Post
    the ability to look sideways as well as straight ahead;
    Flicking the switch to change the viewing direction is much easier .
    I haven't seen one that does that. Can you give me a brand?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I ended up buying a very cheap--like $19 one--because I had an urgent need ... and because the only way I know to know what I'm going to need in a tool is to use one. So I tend to buy very, very cheap tools (think Harbor Freight or God forbid, Temu) and in using them find out what features they don't have that I'll need. Anyway, this $19 scope saved me about $250. The pictures I took of a failed neck block on a production tenor guitar convinced the manufacturer that there was a construction defect. They've promised to replace it even out of warranty.

    Thank you cheap scope! And thank all of you for your thoughts.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

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