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Borescope Videos of Random Everyday Objects

 

Borescope picture of the inside of an engine cylinder showing deposits on the tops of the piston

Welcome to iScopeStuff, a site featuring borescope videos of the insides of random everyday objects.

This site's purposes are to demonstrate some of the practical uses of borescopes, to serve as a consumer resource by showing actual examples of particular borescopes' video capabilities, and to have some fun in the process.

The videos themselves are a mix of actual borescope inspections that were performed for practical reasons, videos taken specifically for this site to demonstrate some aspect of a borescope's capabilities, and borescope videos taken for my own amusement.

Because one of this site's purposes is to serve as a consumer guide to borescopes, every video's description also includes the make and model of the borescope used to take the video and, when available, a purchase link. This way you get to see an actual sample of the borescope's video output before buying it.

The videos are edited for time, annotated in some cases for explanatory purposes, and transcoded to Web-compatible file formats; but are otherwise un-retouched.

 

What is a Borescope?

A borescope (also called an industrial endoscope or an inspection camera) is a fiber optic or digital viewing device mounted on a rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible tube. It is designed to facilitate remote visual inspection, or RVI, of otherwise-inaccessible areas. Most borescopes also have digital cameras that can record pictures and videos of the inspections. The picture on the top of this page, for example, is of the inside of a lawnmower engine cylinder; and the video accompanying that picture can be found here.

Borescopes are used by mechanics of all kinds, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, home inspectors, animal-removal technicians (to find animals inside walls), quality assurance inspectors, and pretty much anyone else who needs to inspect the inside of something.

Borescopes can be purchased as self-contained borescopes with built-in screens, USB borescopes that attach to a computer or mobile device, and wireless borescopes that connect to a computer or mobile device using WiFi or Bluetooth. The self-contained ones with built-in monitors are more convenient for most people, but also are more expensive than those that lack monitors. Practically all borescopes have LED lights to illuminate the area being inspected.

Some borescopes have special features customized to the needs of particular occupations. Automotive borescopes, for example, are resistant to petroleum-based fluids like motor oil and gasoline, and have tips narrow enough to fit inside a spark plug hole or down an oil dipstick. Plumbing borescopes, on the other hand, are waterproof and have much longer tubes that can be snaked through pipes and drains.

Most self-contained borescopes also have the ability to save video and pictures taken with the borescope to removable media, usually by way of a built-in Micro SD card slot. This feature allows images and video files recorded with the borescope to be easily transferred to computers and other devices. USB and wireless borescopes, on the other hand, are limited to their host devices' recording capabilities.

When I actually use a borescope for practical purposes, it's usually to look inside some part of a car or power equipment like a lawn mower, generator, or snow blower. I plan to upload some of those videos to this site. But I'll also be scoping whatever else comes to mind, just for fun and to demonstrate the device's capabilities.

A borescope is the kind of tool that has so many uses that once you have one, you wonder how you ever got by without it. They make great gifts for shade tree mechanics, geeks, and gearheads. Once you have one, you'll be looking for things to scope.

 

Borescopes vs. Medical Endoscopes

All borescopes are technically endoscopes. The endoscopes that medical doctors use to peer inside people, however, are designed with special safety features, made of materials that make them safe for use in the human body, and approved for medical use by national regulatory bodies. Using an industrial endoscope or borescope to examine a human being or animal could result in serious injury or death (and probably some jail time).

In this site, I will use the terms borescope, inspection camera, or industrial endoscope to avoid confusion with the medical-grade devices that physicians use.

I should also mention that all the borescope videos of engine parts on this site were taken with the engines shut down and disabled so they couldn't accidentally start. Similarly, any videos of electrical equipment, should I ever upload any, will be made with the devices powered down and disconnected from their power sources.

 

About This Site's Borescope Videos

The initial batch of videos on this site were all taken with a DEPSTECH DS-450 Dual-Lens Industrial Endoscope because that's the scope I happen to be using right now. It's a self-contained, general purpose model with a 5-meter (16.5 foot) semi-rigid cable and a built-in 4.5-inch IPS Screen. It also has two cameras: one facing forward, and one sideways. That eliminates the need for mirror attachments for most inspections, and therefore also eliminates the possibility of the mirror attachment falling off inside the thing you're inspecting.

The videos are edited for time, captioned or annotated in some cases, and transcoded to Web-compatible formats (specifically, .MP4 and .WEBM); but are otherwise un-retouched so as to provide an honest and accurate representation of the quality of the images and videos the borescopes can produce.

I hope you enjoy the videos. If you have any comments on the videos or suggestions for new borescope videos, please click here to contact me.

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