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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

RV Endoscopy - Say What?!? - See Into Places You Normally Can't!

    My RV is small, very small. Very often I have to make repairs in places I cannot see and touch at the same time. This is often a problem in ANY size RV (and other repairs too!) Sometimes, in order to figure out what to fix, you have to see inside somewhere that is impossible with your own eyes. I found a really inexpensive solution that is available now, is way cool and is multitasking. The USB Endoscope.This one was an online Auction site find. Yes, it's from China so expect a few weeks for it to arrive, but well worth the wait! Build quality is excellent! Read on for details!

What the heck is an Endoscope, you may ask? It's a camera and light on the end of a long flexible tube that can be inserted into places you can't get your eyes. Most often used in the medical field (yes, I know what you're thinking!) but recently has come into use as a mechanics tool. They are available in MANY lengths from a few inches all the way up to several hundred feet. The longest ones are used for sewer and pipe repair. The ones I found go up to 20 meters (about 60 feet) I purchased the 7 meter one (about 21 feet.)

Camera Display On My Android Tablet/Dock
It simply plugs into your computers USB port. It will also work with several variations of the Android operating system provided you have a full size USB port on your device. Once installed the USB port supplies power to the camera and 6 tiny white LED lamps at one end of the tube. You can adjust the brightness of the LEDs from a small knurled knob/disk on the side of the USB plug. While the resolution of the camera isn't great (640x480 VGA)  It is more than sufficient to see what's wrong in a place you otherwise could not access. Well not without major dis-assembly of your RV! A picture is worth a thousand words. Once you can see what's wrong you can easily figure out how to fix it.

Having a dimmable set of LEDs at one end is really helpful in controlling how the picture looks. You can get a very detailed view inside the smallest places. By adjusting the brightness, it will make the objects much clearer. And wow, does this thing get BRIGHT! So bright it was hard to look at directly. Of course, you can turn it off as well, but I have no idea when you wouldn't want/need a light while using it. It requires no batteries at all since it gets its power from the USB port. Most Windows computers will NOT require a special driver, but Android will require an APP (Search for "USB Camera" on the PLAY Store)

The only thing I'd love to be able to do is "steer" the camera head...there are MUCH more expensive Endoscopes that allow for this, but on a budget, this one works fine. You could always bend a wire coat hanger to direct it inside a small space. Not a perfect solution, But at only $10.33 with free shipping for the 7M version, how could you go wrong! The limit to this camera's usefulness is your imagination. Just remember, don't use it for evil!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

[Editor: Here's a link to USB endoscopes at Amazon.com.]


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