5m USB Waterproof Endoscope Borescope Inspection Camera
|Average Customer Review: ( 51 customer reviews )
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18 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Great on Mac & Linux - Found More Specs Dec 05, 2012
I'm so happy with this "endoscope" I'm taking the time to pass on some things I found helpful. First off, it worked immediately when I plugged it into my MacBook and launched the "PhotoBooth" app. Didn't work for me in iMovie, ImageCapture, or iPhoto. Surprisingly good image quality. Haven't tried the "RsCap1.10" PC app on the included mini CD, but other free apps you can get online are probably better anyway.
Allow at least 3" length for the camera head in planning your use, like inside plumbing or whatever you're looking at.
The sheet that calls itself the "users manual" is actually just a product sheet with a couple of sentences on how to use the RsCap1.10 PC app that you probably don't want anyway. Additional specs I found on the product sheet that I didn't see in the specs here:
Auto exposure control
24 bit color
f2.8 [not that it matters]
Focal distance 6cm-infinite
I/O interface USB 2.0/1.1
Temperature up to 80C
The dial on the side of the USB plug is fine for adjusting the brightness level of the 4 LEDs on the scope tip, if you move it slowly enough for the camera circuits to adapt to the light level. Same thing with moving the scope: go slowly or pause occasionally so it can adapt to changing light conditions. Focus is good from about 1" to 6" and soft but passable for longer distances.
The only downside I found using the scope with PhotoBooth on two different MacBooks and a Mac Mini (MacOS 10.5 & 10.6) is that the image is inverted (Left=Right), which makes navigating more interesting. Easy enough to invert images after they're captured though.
I tried the great free "VLC" app on my EeePC1000 netbook running Mint Linux and couldn't figure out how to get it displaying the scope's image. For a PC, I'd suggest searching for free apps designed for USB webcams. So for my Linux EeePC I installed and launched the free "Cheese" app, and it worked immediately when the scope was plugged in. Big upsides: Display in Cheese isn't inverted as with PhotoBooth on the Macs, so navigation is much easier; Netbook is smaller and more portable for using the scope. Downside: image quality isn't quite as good, though still fine for typical uses of the scope. I mean, it's not like we're doing Vogue photojournalism here.
Since many Android phones have USB, it's probably only a matter of time before someone reports getting this scope to work with a phone or tablet. Won't -that- be cool?!
I put a felt pen mark at the top of the camera tip to make it easier to orient the camera before inserting it into the plumbing. I'm also experimenting with sticking tiny post-it pieces on the lens as an indicator so it appears at the top edge on the computer screen to help with navigating the plumbing.
I found that the plastic lens tip makes the image hazy when the light dial is turned up in a black environment. So best image is achieved by keeping light level as low as possible. Sure glad it's adjustable! The light adjusting dial on the USB plug doesn't allow you to completely turn off the LEDs, but there's no haze from them at the lower settings. The lens would be easy to scratch, and it looks slightly concave so just replacing it with clear glass would probably change the focal distance but also reduce scratch risk and improve clarity. My plan is just to prevent scratching as long as possible. I'm also going to put clear postal tape around the cylindrical metal camera tip and leave it sticking out a little past the lens rim to help protect it.
Other reviews have talked about the fact that because the USB cable is fairly flexible you'll need to use it with a wire snake, garden hose, or some other method of pushing it more than a few inches into plumbing, duct work, etc. I have a 3' "snake" with grabber at the end I'm going to tape the scope to and experiment with retrieving a ring from the plumbing trap in a shower.
Overall, I'm very impressed with how well this scope works on my Mac & Linux computers. It's simple to use and the quality for this price is the best I've found after lots of searching and reading reviews. Really pretty amazing to have a better image on this $25 scope than my mechanic has on the one he paid thousands for. Delivery took only a couple of days, so kudos to Amazon too.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Works on Linux Jul 23, 2012
By Daniel Menes
Based on the product description, I was expecting to have to boot into Windows to use this product. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I plugged it into my Linux box (Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit) and was able to use it without installing any special software or drivers. It works fine with the VLC video client that I use for watching DVDs.
Video quality is mediocre, but more than adequate for looking inside walls while running wires.
13 of 14 found the following review helpful:
Good bang for the buck Jun 30, 2012
By Scott R. Moose
Bought to peek into 10 foot skunk burrow under porch but too flimsy to steer past a couple feet before it starts to coil up on itself. I then threaded it into a 6 foot length of garden hose and then fed that down the long tunnel and then fed another foot or two past end of hose. Next problem is very short depth of field so I couldn't see back wall of burrow. Still, for the price, the scope is great and can serve well in some other situations. No problems loading software with Windows Vista.
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Doesn't work well for a colonoscopy Jan 11, 2013
By Paul Manning
2. Did I mention it's Cheap?
3. Easy to "install".
1. Not sure the point of the 5 meters of cable. Good luck using it past 3 feet. Unless you're going down a well that has no curves then you'll probably get stuck and coil up.
2. Good luck trying to rotate the camera as well when you are in the place you want to be in.
3. Camera quality is you get what you pay for.
It's okay. Don't expect to view too far into winding areas or places where gravity can't help you feed the line.
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Works okay, decent for the money. Aug 20, 2012
By Michael Dombrowski
I was replaced rotted wiring in my house by tying a string to the old wiring, pulling it out, then using the string to pull romex(NM) through. I was pulling a particularly dicey section of wiring out when the string got caught on a sharp metal box edge and cut, leaving me with no way to easily run a replacement cable. I tried my usual tricks and came to the conclusion that I would either need to be able to visualise where the previous hole was, or purchase expensive new long flexible bits to drill a new hole in a known location. A quick search turned this up and two days later I had it in my hands.
It worked without issue when plugged into my linux machine. I taped the head to a long piece of coat hanger to be able to steer it in the walls and found the hole I needed. However, the quality was so poor that I could not really see what I needed to do. The problem was that the plastic lens cap causes a lot of distortion and, more importantly, glare, so that the image was very dark and almost unusable. I was able to cut this cap off without issue, and the quality immediately improved to a usable state. It is no longer waterproof, but is usable in walls so I think it was a fair trade. If I need waterproof ability, I'll rig something else up.
Other thoughts: the LEDs are barely bright enough, but usable. The cable is thicker and stiffer than I would like. The head is larger than you would think, and could pose a problem to get into some truly small spaces.
But in all, this worked well and helped me fixed my house wiring. Decent value for the money and a nice addition to the toolbox.
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