Borescope Advice

Half Fast

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Half Fast
It doesn't appear that that one has a turn able head. Not sure that it would work to inspect a cylinder.
 
Mike Busch recently covered this topic. While his take on "inexpensive" is much more than your $50 range, his tips look useful no matter what kind of borescope you use:
 
No, I think the correct term is articulating head. They have knob that allows you to rotate the head. With this one it would be very hard to point it in the correct direction
 
I've had an articulating one and my latest one isn't articulating, but has two cameras, one on the side. Frankly, the one with two cameras works better IMO.
 
I ended up buying this one since I needed it for more than just the plane.
It has a 90deg camera on it also, which isn't quite as good as the articulating ones, but it does allow for sideview which can do fairly well seeing the valves.
Takes pretty good pics. The sideview cameras has better up close focus.
Easy phone app, but I also use a windows laptop.
 
Step up a little in $ and it gets you into a Teslong, which seems to be pretty good. All of ours at work are either Olympus or XL-GO's, but they are magnitudes above that cost level.
 
If you want a "cheap" one get a dental camera and sand down the edges so that it can fit thru the spark plug hole. That's what we were doing before the $300 articulating ones were available.
 
This one falls in the affordable category.

 
I use the ablescope all the time. Articulating for the valves especially the exhaust valve makes it fast. I use my iphone with a wifi adapter and an app I downloaded onto the iphone. So I turn on the ablescope, use my phone to connect to the wifi box, the open the app to view the picture. Dave is the guy to learn from. https://www.youtube.com/@AirDavePasqualeAviation
 
After going through two Vividia Ablescopes, I got a Teslong. Incredibly better.
 
Lance, the Teslong does look interesting. Self contained unit, no external wifi box or iphone. How is the picutre quality? A problem I have with the vividia is not seeing true colours and quality of picture is dependant on the application I use on my iphone.
 
I have an earlier version of the articulating Vividia. It has been mechanically soild, but the images wash out easily, color isn’t the best, and could use more definition and contrast. I think some of it has to do with how it was assembled because I’ve seen pics from others that are amazing. I think the edges of the light impinge on the lens. It works well enough.
 
To be clear none of these are borescopes, they are just cheap Chinese mini-cameras, usually 640x480 resolution. Secondly, if you have a valve problem a compression test is going to reveal it long before you'll see anything with one of these scopes. They have their uses and I actually have three of them plus a modified dental camera. The Vividia Ablescope is the best one with the 180 deg articulating head but I think they are closer to the $400 range or at least were when I bought mine. They are more useful for looking inside wings and stuff like that.
 
I thought it was established that you could have perfectly fine compression but valves that are showing distress visually.
 
I thought it was established that you could have perfectly fine compression but valves that are showing distress visually.
Some OWTs just can't be killed. :D
 
I’m down in FL for a few days escaping the Atlanta cold (33 kts tailwind flying down here). When I’m back I’ll post my valve pix using the Vividia and the Teslong. The Teslong is vastly superior. Two Vividi’s have failed me and the picture quality is bad. I’m glad I sprung for the Teslong.
 
I’m down in FL for a few days escaping the Atlanta cold (33 kts tailwind flying down here). When I’m back I’ll post my valve pix using the Vividia and the Teslong. The Teslong is vastly superior. Two Vividi’s have failed me and the picture quality is bad. I’m glad I sprung for the Teslong.
Can you easily get the Teslong into the space between the valve and the seat to get a pic of the stem?

The rigid vividi seems to maybe make that easier?

We are trying to decide which to go with.
 
I heard of some using denatured alcohol to "clean" the lens of the Vividi.....I tried it and it does work. Not sure how many times I'll get before it's done....but it clears it up after some use.
 
Be aware that the most popular Vividia model (the VA-400) has two different versions with the same model number. The old version was VGA (640x480) and the new version is full HD (1024x768). They both go for about $250 new. I sold my old one for $150 and got the new one. Makes a significant difference.

While I know a lot of people use it at every annual, I find the best use is to investigate when the compression test shows a problem. When you have a leaky exhaust valve, for example, it really helps to give you an idea of how far gone it might be. If the valve looks okay, I might run it a bit and retest, or lap it in place. If there is an obvious hot spot, then it probably needs to come off. No way to know unless you look.

C.
 
I just got a "cheaper" scope off amazon a few days ago. It appears to be capable of getting good images of the engine and I'm thinking the next oil change will be in a week or two at which point I'll scope the engine. I'll post pictures on here so you can see what a $100-ish camera will do. I've borrowed the Vividea from a friend in the past and can already tell there will be a difference in how to manipulate the camera but I think it should still be doable with the cheaper camera. If you don't see anything from me in the next couple weeks please feel free to message me a reminder to post my thoughts on the non vividia camera.
 
FWIW, I bought this one for a different purpose: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q86XGN2

It has either 3 different cameras at the end or one that switches internally, not sure. One straight ahead and two on the side, 180 degrees apart. The reason for the different side cameras is different focus distances. I bought it to peek into different spaces doing home repair/remodel, and for that it's very handy. I like it, but my caution is that really close up it may not show things in focus...so I don't know how well it would work inside a cylinder. If you want to see inside a wall by going into an existing hole or making a little one, it's really great. Similarly if you want to look from an angle you can't get your head, like behind a parallel wall or between joists or other obstructions. For homeowner stuff I'd rather have the short cable than long. The long is kind of a PITA.
 
The one labeled 123023-1 is from my Teslong. The other is from my Vividia 400. I think the color is much truer on the Teslong and the clarity better.
 

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FYI: one of the issues with the lower end digital camera/borescopes is the color palette accuracy as shown in the pics above. This variance has led to an increasing removal of cylinders due to "false positives" of the valve color. Something to keep in mind when using this price range of equipment.
 
The one labeled 123023-1 is from my Teslong. The other is from my Vividia 400. I think the color is much truer on the Teslong and the clarity better.
Which Teslong model did you get?
 
My first thought....who is removing cylinders based on valve color? That hasta be someone who knows nothing about how an exhaust valve burns. I'd argue that you could do the evaluation with a black and white image. ;)
 
Yes, the sample VA-400 image above is 640x480. That is the old version. Not what is currently sold. The new version is 1280x720.

The Teslong may be better for all I know, just trying to keep the comparison apples to apples...
 
who is removing cylinders based on valve color?
Owners who insist on their removal after performing their own valve checks with cheap borescopes and using “official” references that define results by color and/or food. Haven't you heard, it's the "gold standard" on valve health.:rolleyes:

1706306957235.png
 
Savvy Aviation has a video regarding the Borescope inspection.
 
Just wait until you see a notch in the valve, like someone took a teeny slice of the pizza
 
Owners who insist on their removal after performing their own valve checks with cheap borescopes and using “official” references that define results by color and/or food. Haven't you heard, it's the "gold standard" on valve health.:rolleyes:

View attachment 124763
Hey....I know a pizza when I see one....even in black and white.

I'd rather like the concentric circles of an old oak tree.....nice round "even" circle ;)
;)
 
At my speed level I'd be using it to see if the funny noise coming from the lawnmower is a giant hole in the side of the cylinder. THAT level of inspection I'm qualified to do.
 
These folks divining all sorts of valve and cylinder woes with cheap digital cameras reminds me of Percival Lowell discovering all those canals on Mars with his telescope at the end of the 19th century.
 
I replaced a rotocoil and lapped a valve based on this image in the borescope

1706414531889.png

Today I learned I wasted $20 and am a schmuck of the third water. :p
 
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