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22 Sep 2017, 13:19 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 18:58 
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Joined: 10/27/10
Posts: 7603
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Location: Cambridge, MA (KBED)
Aircraft: 1976 Baron 58P
I bought this dental cam this summer:
http://dx.com/p/usb-50x-1-4-cmos-4mp-pr ... tion-50975

and just got around to trying it today to look at the valves on a new-to-me A36TN.

Quick summary:
It works great, and is more than adequate for the job.

Longer version:
It plugged into my Mac over USB. The Mac Photo Booth app recognized it readily, and clicking the red button takes the picture.
Pull all the top plugs, turn the prop until the piston is out of the way and the exhaust valve is closed. Put the camera in and snap the pic. You get a live video feed, so you can watch the exhaust valve open and close (provided the piston isn't in the top 30% of travel) and can readily frame up the picture.
Don't smack the camera with the piston. The camera is plastic and would probably break before hurting anything, but don't be dumb.

Below are the pics from today's trial. I did #6 first, and I got better at it on the other 5 cylinders and didn't bother to go re-take #6. All compressions were good. Lowest was 68; all leakage seemed to be ring leakage.

The camera fits in the spark plug hole as it comes, but it's snug I'm going to gently file or sand down the corners a bit to make it drag less on the threads, but it definitely went in right out of the box.

Hope this helps. (BTW, dx.com seems legitimate to me; I've ordered from them 3x and never had a problem with fraud, but my first order with them raised my "fraud yellow alert" spidey-sense.)


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Last edited on 31 Dec 2013, 19:51, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $45 Chinese dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 19:21 
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Joined: 05/22/09
Posts: 5470
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Aircraft: 1977 A36
Sweet looking valves :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: $45 Chinese dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 19:30 
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Location: San Carlos, CA - KSQL
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Looks like very good pics for $45. I'm curious if you feel there was enough control over direction and angle? Would you need/want a mirror attachment?

As for the cylinders, might keep an eye on Cyl #4, a slight gap forming there around the mating surface. No asymmetric discoloration though, so it's probably still making good contact and sealing OK.

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 Post subject: Re: $45 Chinese dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 19:38 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (KBED)
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#4 was the second one I did, and I wasn't moving the prop enough to close the valve. Any valve that hung that far open in operation would burn in a single flight... :)

I honestly didn't want for anything. It was taking me about one minute per cylinder to take the pics once I got going. For this purpose, I think it's just about perfect. I didn't take any videos of the valves, but photo booth has video capability, and I took some videos of little doodads on my desk and you certainly could get a video of your valve opening/closing as you turned the prop.

In terms of being able to "look around", I could look at the intake valve, the lower spark plug, the exhaust by the simply rotating and pushing in/out the camera. I couldn't see the piston face, so if you want that, you're out of luck.


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 20:30 
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Location: Jacksonville, FL (KCRG)
Aircraft: 1994 Bonanza F33A
Any mod needed to get through the spark plug hole?


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 20:35 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (KBED)
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Username Protected wrote:
Any mod needed to get through the spark plug hole?

Negative. It went straight in, but it was very snug. When I get a chance, I'm going to take 5-10 thousandths off each of the corners with a fine file and/or sandpaper (depending on what I find works best).

But the pics above were from an unmodified camera straight out of the box. It now has a few scratches on the corners from dragging on the spark plug hole threads. (The aluminum is far harder than the plastic, but I don't want even plastic shavings left around.)


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 20:45 
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Joined: 07/18/10
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Company: Jeppesen
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Aircraft: 1956 Bonanza G35
Just ordered mine. How can you go wrong, great pictures and by uploading them here, you have the wisdom of the masters to offer guidance. Can't wait to see E225 valves at 1500 hrs. It's going to either add confidence or motivate me to look deeper.

Thanks for the review and pictures, sold me for sure.

Happy New Year,
Mark


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 20:54 
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I have never used a camera like this but I think I'll buy this one, especially if it will work out of the box on an Apple.

Can you explain how much directional control you have? Can you take a pic of the top of the piston? How about the cylinder wall?

Thanks.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 21:04 
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Username Protected wrote:
Can you explain how much directional control you have? Can you take a pic of the top of the piston? How about the cylinder wall?

The directional control is zero in tilt. You can only insert and remove the camera and rotate the camera around the axis of the spark plug hole, so you can "pan" around and see the intake, the exhaust, the other spark plug, but you can't see the piston top. You probably could see some of the cylinder wall; I bought it to see the exhaust valves, and it's nearly perfect for that.


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013, 23:08 
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Location: Southold, NY (KFOK)
Aircraft: 1977 Bonanza A36
Good post Jim.

I read on another thread that someone bought a $1000 borescope. While some of these endoscopes are good the cheap dental cameras are good at one thing, photos and videos of the valve face. This is the camera you need to be ahead of valve problems and ahead of mechanics that want to pull cylinders. :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2014, 01:19 
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Location: Roanoke, TX (52F)
Aircraft: 1991 Bonanza F33A
Tried to order this three times tonight - two different browsers. Failed all three times with Page Not Found 404 error.

:pullhair:

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If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane. - Jimmy Buffett


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2014, 01:47 
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Username Protected wrote:
Tried to order this three times tonight - two different browsers. Failed all three times with Page Not Found 404 error.

:pullhair:
Yeah, I'm having that problem right now too.

EDIT: Yup, I also got through after another try. BT probably flooded their site. Mine will most likely ship in 2015. :D


Last edited on 01 Jan 2014, 02:16, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2014, 01:54 
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Joined: 07/17/08
Posts: 12307
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Company: N/A - Yeah!
Location: Roanoke, TX (52F)
Aircraft: 1991 Bonanza F33A
Username Protected wrote:
Tried to order this three times tonight - two different browsers. Failed all three times with Page Not Found 404 error.

:pullhair:
Yeah, I'm having that problem right now too.

I guess BT crashed their server.

Edit: Just tried again - from an iPad this time. It worked
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-> Don
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane. - Jimmy Buffett


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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2014, 02:12 
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Location: St Louis, MO
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Sweet pictures

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 Post subject: Re: $45 borescope-USB dental cam PIREP - two thumbs up!
PostPosted: 01 Jan 2014, 09:53 
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Username Protected wrote:
Tried to order this three times tonight - two different browsers. Failed all three times with Page Not Found 404 error.

:pullhair:

it worked for me.....I just had to order another. This will be the third or forth, but whose counting? :D :thumbup:

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