Golf Course Management

OCT 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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32 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.18 A borescope lets you see in tight, tiny places. For less than $25, it can save oodles of labor time. e tiny camera, with lights, is on the end of a cable and sends full-color still or video images to computers, smartphone or tablets. While not perfect, the two inexpensive borescopes we tried were worth the modest cost and make it worth considering a more sophisticated (and costlier) unit. If searching Amazon, eBay or other websites (or stores), you may also find the device called endo - scope, borecam or snake camera. Look for a borescope rated at 1080p resolution for more clarity than our older 720p units. Our first borescope was a $10 unit with a 5 mm (about 0.2-inch) lens mounted on a 2-meter (78-inch) flexible cable with a clever dual USB plug that fits the port on a computer or smartphone. e second, a $20 unit, has an 8 mm ( 5 ⁄ 16 -inch) lens on a 1-meter (39-inch) semirigid cable with a mini-USB plug that fits into a small Wi-Fi transmitter. Either one plugs directly into our Samsung J320 phone. e phone's battery powers the borescope. e Wi-Fi borescope's wireless images can be seen and recorded with the proper software on Windows, Android or Apple devices. Both borescopes work well to find dropped items and components, like sensors or elec - tronic controls that are often hidden in engine compartments or behind dashboards. Each came with a somewhat useful small hook and a small magnet that mount on the borescope's 1.5-inch solid camera/light end. Each also came with a "periscope" mirror that aims at 90 degrees to the lens. Inserted with the mirror into the sparkplug hole of a hard-starting leaf blower, each borescope pro - vided a fuzzy-but-discernible view of scuffed and scratched cylinder walls that led to scrap - ping the machine. at's a big saving over doing diagnostics or a teardown. But the mirrors were low-quality and gave distorted images, and the borescope cameras' fixed lenses only have decent "focal length" between about 3 to 20 inches. To see inside a blower or chainsaw cylinder that's under 2 inches across, you need something like the Teslong Short Focus Endoscope ($220-plus). To view and record the images, we tried several "apps" (software) for the Samsung phone. Our favorite was MScopesPro by Zyepro (under $5 for the no-ad version). is worked well when the borescopes were plugged directly into the phone. For the wireless system, WIFI VIEW 2.0.4 by Shen - zhen wxl Technology (free, with no ads) did the trick. Images stored on an Android phone can be transferred to a PC/Windows computer for viewing on a larger screen. First, click on the My Computer desktop icon to show the computer's drives. Using the charging cable, connect the phone to the computer's USB port. Hit F5 on the keyboard, and your phone should appear among the computer's drives. If Vision in hidden places (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt not, you need a USB cable that carries data as well as charging current. e images will be in the Movies or Pic - tures folder on the phone. Use the Search functions, or "drill down" to find the folders. On my system, the path is House PC\Scott - cel\Phone\Pictures\MScopesPro. Copy (or drag) the images to a folder on your desktop, and you're all set. You can also plug a borescope directly into a PC (with Windows 7, 8.1 or 10). Bring up Device Manager (in Control Panel or Set - tings). Plug in the USB Borescope, and it should be listed under Camera or Imaging Device. Click on that and install drivers. en go to the programs and open the Cam - era program. e images have rather small file sizes that pixilate when enlarged but are good enough to see what's otherwise hidden. Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. Left: An inexpensive borescope camera with light (lower right) takes an image of the dual-USB plug that connects it to a Samsung Android phone running the MScopesPro application. That app has simple icon buttons to record images at different resolu - tions. Photos by Scott Nesbitt Above: This borescope fitted with periscope mirror connects to a wireless transmitter that shows up as the ZCF signal when mating with an Apple, Windows or Android phone, computer or other device. Images from an inexpensive borescope of damaged walls inside a leaf blower's tiny cylin- der weren't in sharp focus. However, they still proved useful in diagnosing the blower's issues without the need for a costly teardown or diagnostics.

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