Borescopes (or boroscopes) are optical inspection tools which consist of a hollow tube with an eyepiece and a lens at opposite ends.   Basic Information   While borescopes are produced in many forms, all devices include a hollow tube, a light source, an eyepiece (which typically contains a means for magnification), and some form of relaying an image from the end of the scope to the eyepiece (often optical lenses or a video camera). They are primarily used for visual inspection...
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Q & A on Borescopes

We asked our users for their input on Borescopes. Here are the results of 355 users familiar with Borescopes.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing borescope design?
52 answers
Answers:
Micro video sensors with high resolution and the rapid development of the whole imaging technologies, compact and powerful devices for information and images in particular processing, the development of micro-drives, microelectronic tiny devices.
~Volchenkov A, Design Engineer, Mogilev, Belarus
CMOS is one of the newest technologies being used in the mfg of flexible videoscopes. This new technology allows the manufacturer to design and build a low cost video solution.
~Greg B, Product/Sales Manager, Westfield, MA
One of the leading items in my field is for a borescope to have the ability to take pictures; also with the pictures have a way to measure any damage that the image is displaying.
~Daryl S, Technical Support, Tucson, AZ
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative borescopes?
39 answers
Answers:
Too large an area as I have only had experience with I.T. Concepts and Wolfe. Purchasing new unit from Video Innovations due to size and portability.
~William S, Owner (Equipment Repair Business), Jacksonville, FL
Actually the most innovative instrument available on the international market it is the RF System VJ series.
~Sillvio S, Marketing/Sales, Turin, italy
I have some experience with Olympus and GE and Ridged I would say that none are cutting edge by any means.
~Clayton S, Technical Support, Goodrich, TX
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used a borescope for?
86 answers
Answers:

When we drill open safes, we need to see the internal workings to open the combo without doing a lot of damage, thus saving us a lot of repair to only fix one hole. Also to find wiring & pipes in walls when we are installing safes in walls. We also use borescopes to work in tight confined spaces and inside combustion chambers in our race car engines to check for signs of detonation in the piston tops or combustion chambers and to inspect for cracks in cylinder walls for coolant leakage.

~Duke D, Locksmith, Safe Technician and part time drag racer, Mc Cordsville, IN

Our video borescopes are used in many applications where a person needs to inspect or find something in an area where they can't physically fit. We have both small and large diameter video products. They cover a wide range of applications and industries where they are used:  aerospace, metals & casting, oil & gas, power generation, transportation and security. Personally, I used them to find leaking plumbing in between floors and behind walls.

~Engineering, Process/Production, Skaneateles Falls, NY

Inspecting weeping tile for blockages, and chimneys for finding out the cause for filling the building full of smoke. Inside stone walls to inspect the condition of mortar. In joist spaces for blocking when installing sprinkler systems into existing buildings.

~Kym T, Building Conservation Specialist, Selkirk, ND
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that a borescope has been used for.
29 answers
Answers:

I have used these for looking and seeing invisible joints for leaks under the bonnet or under the car. Snakes under the furniture in tropical countries. Viewing visible defects in Test Instruments PCBs in situ, without opening the Chassis.

~Jagdish C, Engineer, Chandigarh, India
Reading the code on an automotive door lock without removing the panel. Reading the combination on padlocks without violating the lock case. Opening a friend's chastity belt.
~Derek O, Responsible when things go wrong!, Yarmouth, MA
We have used a borescope to verify physical connectivity of electronics in traditionally impossible to reach areas saving us time and money.
~Mario D, Research & Development, Buford, GA
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of a borescope?
23 answers
Answers:
Generally people chose wrong dia of probe and try to use in the application thinking it is a matter of 1mm or 2mm but here in RVI 1mm keep matter. So the people damage the probe . The common mistake I have seen is people trying to pull out the probe while it is in angulation mode and it results in a big damage that costs them almost 70 to 80% of the equipment cost. Sometimes inspectors insert probe into engines while the temp is more the 80 deg or in the running condition. That costs them almost 70 to 80% of the equipment cost.
~Sanjeev K, Manager Technical Support, Delhi, India
The image bundle if not properly cleaned gets fungal growth on the tip which obstructs good view. Mishandling of optical fiber coherent bundle results in black spots due to fiber break and is irreparable.
~Jagdish C, Engineer, Chandigarh, India
- The flexible tape broke because of not proper hande of the borescope during the investigation. - The cable of the light source broke because of not proper handle of the borescope during storing.
~Tibor P, Maintenance Manager, Kazincbarcika, Hungary
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
53 answers
Answers:

Full featured portable Videoscopes of weight about 1/2 KG with screen size of at least 4", measurement system, interchangeable videoprobes, probes. The main thing I want to see is a videoscope with 3D view of image for accurate measurement & ability to see deep inside the object like tomography system.

~Sanjeev K, Manager Technical Support, Delhi, India

Digital image/video storage. Simple easy to use measurement, bright clear optics, LED or laser illumination, flexible, yet very durable insertion tube, able to work in a high temp environment, and a very small portable platform.

~Greg B, Product/Sales Manager, Westfield, MA
Within the budget of individual service repair techs, have both UV and adjustable brightness of a high contrast light source, video recording capability, articulating camera, some type of optical or video zoom, screen separate from scope handle and controls.
~Steve H, Marketing/Sales, Louisburg, KS
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of a borescope?
33 answers
Answers:

If inspecting pipes you need cleaning rags to wipe it off before putting it away. So some kind of cleaning kit should accompany the unit on each job. Spare O rings for connections. Additional source of light is good to have. It is a good idea to know what the interior of what you are looking in should look like. Markings on the cable to determine the length that the unit is down the drain is a good idea.

~Kym T, Building Conservation Specialist, Selkirk, ND

The Borescope should be suitable for your application - consult manufacturer. Accessories specific to your applications should be purchased . The borescopes are sensitive and fragile and store these in the boxes and carrying cases provided. Do not use acid or corrosive substances to clean tip - only Isopropyl Alcohol. No Acetone, petrol or chloroform etc...

~Jagdish C, Engineer, Chandigarh, India

Currently, price is the driving force due to the pressure on budgets. Do remember that price alone as criteria might not give you the instrument and result you need. There is big risk you might pay more at a later point in time or even miss important details, creating much higher costs.

~Marketing/Sales, Albstadt, Germany
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using borescopes?
40 answers
Answers:

Spend the money up front. The money you are trying to save up front will be lost in short order from the frustration you will experience trying to get by with inferior equipment and it will cost you in down time not finding problems that truly are present just not obvious. Shop around and make sure that the scope's functionality isn’t just something they write about but is incorporated in to the product you are purchasing.

~Clayton S, Technical Support, Goodrich, TX

For users - please use with care as these are fiber optical instruments, your mishandling can lead to a big repair cost.  If handled properly, these instruments have almost indefinite life.  For buyer - first of all they have to be clear about the application where the Borescope, Fiberscope or Videoscope is to be used.  This helps us in selecting the right product for the application.

~Sanjeev K, Manager Technical Support, Delhi, India

Research the correct one for your application, and think of other potential uses that it could be used for. For example, one fitted with a screen allows you to easily view the item being inspected, no need to keep one eye pressed to the scope which can sometimes be very awkward.  A screen also allows others to view the item which is invaluable for training.

~Trevor P, Technical Support, Australia
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