DIY Book Scanner/scan

Books don't scan well on flatbed scanners unless you destroy the book and feed the separate pages into the scanner.

However you can partially open a book then photograph the pages and this is what this type of scanner is about. The book is placed on a V shaped cradle opened, two sheets of glass joined in a V are placed over the pages to hold them flat then two cameras one aimed at each page take a photograph.

If you have money Atiz produces a very nice commercial scanner of this type so head to their web site and take a look at the videos to see it in action.

There is a kit that has been developed from the forum. However there is no reason why you shouldn't build your own design. Look through the videos to see why certain things were done in a certain way. Specifically paperbacks work best on an inverted V using the weight of the book to keep it flat on the glass.

The requirements are basically a camera that has a reasonably good lens, 5 megapixel sensor isn't really good enough but 16 megapixel sensor works nicely. We want manual control and to minimise problems when pressing the button remote control would be nice. There are a number of good SLR cameras on the market that meet these requirements. However point and shoot cameras are much cheaper and with SDM and CHDK some Canon cameras such as the A810 can also meet the requirements. The CHDK site has a list of the latest cameras that will run CHDK. To find the firmware version number it is recommended that you use ACID which is a Java application available on the CHDK web site that extracts this information from an image taken by the camera. When you transfer the photo to the PC to analyse the firmware version take the SDHC card and copy it directly to the PC. Windows transfer edits the metadata in the .jpg slightly which can stop ACID from detecting the firmware version number. The EOScard method appears to work for installing CHDK on a A810.

The remote control is done through the USB port, Ricoh CA-1 is an example of a commercial one. Please read the forum for more documentation and things to be aware of.

"I think the easiest way to do it is to use a powered usb hub. You just need to add a switch to the hub. Use momentary switch like productId=2062508 from Radio Shack

Cut one of the two wires of the cord that goes between the wall wart and the hub, and attach the button in between. (Depending on how long the cord is you might have to add some wire to extend the button to where you want.

Then plug usb cables from the cameras to the hub, and when you press the button, it will turn on the hub which will fire the cameras. Even before you get the button installed, you can experiment with it by just using the hub and plugging in the power to the hub for a second to trigger the cameras."