Are videoscopes more useful than inspection cameras?
Videoscope (or sometimes called video borescope) is a special device for inspecting areas that are difficult to reach with an eyesight. It is composed of a little camera on the tip of a flexible cable, from which the image gets transferred from the camera to a display. The length of the cable might differ, but usually they are up to 15 meters or 49 feet long.
However, if you might need even longer cable to reach some extremely remote areas, there are even longer videoscopes like this one https://measuritec.com/products/extech-hdv-25cam-30g-25-mm-videoscope-camera-head-with-fiber-optic-probe which feature up to 30 meters long cable.
Likewise, the diameter of the cable is usually 10 millimetres, but might differ depending on the specific device.
For example, the following videoscope´s diameter is only 6 millimetres: https://measuritec.com/products/extech-hdv610-6mm-wireless-and-high-resolution-videoscope-with-1m-semi-rigid-probe and there are even tinier videoscopes, like this one https://measuritec.com/products/extech-hdv610-high-resolution-videoscope-with-flexible-probe which features the cable diameter of only 5 millimetres.
Videoscopes offer a brand-new perspective on inspecting machines. With this tiny tool, you can take a precise look at the guts of your machine and troubleshoot very easily. With videoscope, it is simple as never before to locate the malfunction or area of conflict. No need of dismantling the machine anymore.
The integral parts of each videoscope include articulation controls, lightning bundle, cable interface, and outputs to the display of other viewing device. The image quality of a videoscope is usually very good, in general it should be better than the image quality of fiberscopes.
Videoscopes might feature multiple additional functions, depending on the product. For example, some videoscopes might feature SD card or USB flash drive ports for external storage. To illustrate, this videoscope https://measuritec.com/products/flir-vs70-wired-multipurpose-videoscope-set features a 4GB SD memory card and can also be mounted on a tripod, similarly to this device https://measuritec.com/products/extech-hdv540-high-resolution-videoscope which not only features 4GB SD card and HD resolution camera, but is also waterproof.
Videoscopes are very handy devices for visual inspections of machines and any areas which are difficult to reach. The lightning bundle ensures that the area is always enlightened enough to see any important details.
Videoscopes are compact, portable devices. They are designed to be hand-carried anywhere you go. No special cases or large storage boxes are needed to carry your videoscope anywhere you need.
If you are looking for an unusually compact and portable videoscope, take a look at this mini videoscope https://measuritec.com/products/trotec-bo25-mini-videoskop.
Who might use a videoscope?
Videoscopes are often used in many professions like quality inspector, pipefitter, electrician, engineer, construction inspector, technicians, mechanics, etc. All these professions might make a good use of videoscope when performing the tasks that are a part of their responsibilities. However, videoscopes might also be very useful for example for basic house maintenance or reconstruction.
Integral parts of a videoscope
As mentioned before, every videoscope consists of the following parts:
- Articulation controls, which are used to position and point the camera at the tip of the cable – often, it is either control buttons of joystick
- Integrated camera, placed at the tip of the cable – with some devices, it is even possible to interchange the camera positioned at the tip of the cable and use various types of camera for various purposes
- Lightning bundle, which gives the source of light to the camera, so that even badly enlightened places can be recorded with every detail visible on the display output
- Cable interface, with the cable´s length varying according to the type of device
- Output LCD display or monitor to view the recorded pictures
The articulation controls are usually placed near the monitor so that it´s easy to control the device and watch the pictures of the inspected area.
Where you might need to use a videoscope?
There are multiple areas where the application of a videoscope might be required. For example, you might need to use a videoscope when inspecting gas or steam turbines, tubes, rotating equipment, aircraft, gearboxes or any other objects or areas that are out of reach without having to dismantle the machine.
What is the difference between videoscope and inspection camera?
Both videoscope and inspection camera are modern tools, used for similar purposes, and sometimes it might seem like there´s no difference between these two devices at all. However, there are multiple factors and features that differentiate videoscope from inspection camera. Let´s take a look at them:
- Inspection cameras are usually bigger than videoscopes, raging up to 20 millimetres in diameter, so it might not be possible to reach some places which might be reached with the tinier videoscope.
- The system of rotation and articulation of the camera is different. Videoscopes are operated with the articulation controls, which mechanically set the position of the tip of the scope, while inspection cameras work thanks to tilt motors and embed plan.
- Inspection cameras have their heads with the camera connected to the cable externally, so it is possible to move the camera from one device to another or change the length of the cable. The potential use of inspection camera is therefore higher, since videoscopes usually have a defined cable length which cannot be changed with the head built in permanently into the cable.
Also, videoscopes and inspection cameras differ in their lightning power, optics, and maintenance.
The lightning power of inspection cameras is usually higher, mostly thanks to the bigger diameter of the cable. In videoscope, the light is brought through the fibre optics to the tip since the sources is placed inside the control unit. Therefore, the power has to be limited.
Unlike videoscopes, inspection cameras can include variable focus systems, which will allow you to work at any distance from the object or area that you need to view.
However, there are also videoscopes like this one https://measuritec.com/products/hochauflosendes-diagnose-videoskop-ds703-fc-mit-fluke-connect?variant=39366276415682 which features adjustable lightning function and the zoom function from macro to micro to view any details you need to examine.
As far as the maintenance goes, in general it could be said that the maintenance of a videoscope is much more difficult and often more expensive than the maintenance of an inspection camera. The most important and difficult part to maintain in videoscope is the tip of the cable since all the important equipment is placed there. Inspection cameras, however, have all the sensitive and important integral parts protected by aluminium or stainless-steel shells, so the maintenance is much easier and less costly.
Are videoscopes more useful than inspection cameras?
To sum up, it is not possible to say which of these two devices would be more useful. Certainly, the choice of the tool will depend on the exact needs and circumstances of the situation. Above we have listed basic situations and machines, that vieoscope will be more useful to inspect. However, always consider all the specifications carefully – how far do you need to look with the device, how long do you need the cable to be? How big are the spaces, how big the diameter can be? Wil 20 mm diameter make it, or do you need to look at tinier devices with diameter of 10 mm or less? These factors will probably decide, which device you will choose in the end, so ask similar questions before purchasing.