USB camera for powder check

Buerste wrote:


Have you looked at a USB Microscope?
<http://www.google.com/search?q=usb+microscope&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
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<http://www.google.com/search?q=usb+microscope&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
I got one, it won't focus any farther than about 2". I need at least 4"-6". I DO like the scope but It won't do it. Too bad, it has two levels of LED lighting in a ring config.
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Buerste wrote:

Different models have different focal length, but the sellers rarely post the full specs.
<http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId565514 has NTSC output for $19.98. It is a spherical design, and runs on AA batteries in a separate box. It's a toy, but could have some use around a shop or production floor.
The only problem I can see is that they recommend that the user be eight, or older. I suppose you could lie... ;-)
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How about adding a lens in front to stretch the focus a bit? Not sure what sort would be required, but it wouldn't have to be perfect.
I know with new cases & a flashlight, there's quite a bit of reflection that is very distinct from a case with powder. A lot may depend on how well you clean your cases. That's why watching the powder fall through a clear drop tube sounds better to me. It also gets the camera in a more favorable orientation.
Doug White
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On 5/17/2010 3:37 AM, Buerste wrote:

Why wouldn't you just use a sensor on the piston (light gate, whatever) and not advance to the next step unless the piston has cycled down to the proper level? What is the advantage of video and image processing?
Kevin Gallimore
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That's what a powder check die does, I just don't have a spare station.
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Tom, I thought I'd hold back a while then present my simple solution. I just weigh every completed cartridge on accept inspection. Set your scale to 0 on an average bullet and go. A gross mischarge is quick to spot. I do every bullet for wieght and primer seating. check about every fifth with a case guage. Maybe I'm an anal engineer, but zero defects make it seem worth while.
Karl
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My bullet weight varies more than the 2.7 grain charge and my cases are mixed headstamps and they vary. My powder charge is about the volume of a pea. I'm on the right side of the press and the powder dump is on the far left. I CAN observe the case after the powder dump but I have to move awkwardly to do so. Thus the camera to take a peek in the case and put the image on a screen that's behind the press on the right. Too bad, I have a few comparator scales at work with settable +/- tolerance for weighing wire. I don't want to give up my "Factory Crimp Die". I still want that 8-station press!
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Good points. Obviously your problem is shooting those itty bitty pea shooter loads. Get yourself a BMG.
Now you have reached an age that you don't need to wait to get what you want. Order that eight station unit today. Spend your kids inheritance.
Karl
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If I only had a convenient place to shoot rifles! I would love to get into bench rest... I sold my 240 Gibbs, It was a pain to fire-form cases and build rounds. But, it could dot an "i" at 1,000 yards on a calm day! In 15 years, it only saw about 100 rounds and I only made 25 cases. I still have a couple of .223 Mini-14s but they are for sale. I think a .50 BMG could become an obsession that would break the bank! I imaging dumping powder with a measuring cup. I can shoot .38s for $0.03 each and not have to chase brass.
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Buerste wrote:

Wow! How does that cost break down? Curious. Bob
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Must be using OLD primers, they're 3 1/2 cents apiece on sale now. And that's from somebody that's not gouging! Yeah, I've still got a few(and always fewer) boxes of 1K that say $7.95 on them, that was then, this is now.
For the other poster, new .38/.357 brass runs $25-$40/100, depending on who's doing the gouging and when it's available. Light charges will extend case life, it's not impossible to get 20 reloads or more out of a case that way. 7000 grains per pound of powder, 2-3 grains per charge for Bullseye or similar for target loads, runs $22-$30/lb, again, depending on where it's bought. Cheapest store-bought bullets are around $15/100 for lead, run right around 20-25 cents@ for jacketed. If you don't value your time and can get access to free lead, you can cast bullets for essentially the cost of the electricity or propane. With a 4-up gang mold, or better yet, a pair, 300-400 good bullets an hour by hand are quite possible, assuming a big enough pot and using a big ladle. The limiting factor is the cooling time of the mold. Some of the fancier casting machines come with forced fan cooling to up the rate. Larger bullets take longer to freeze, can't do too many 12 gauge balls or slugs per hour.
Stan
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Must be using OLD primers, they're 3 1/2 cents apiece on sale now. And that's from somebody that's not gouging! Yeah, I've still got a few(and always fewer) boxes of 1K that say $7.95 on them, that was then, this is now.
For the other poster, new .38/.357 brass runs $25-$40/100, depending on who's doing the gouging and when it's available. Light charges will extend case life, it's not impossible to get 20 reloads or more out of a case that way. 7000 grains per pound of powder, 2-3 grains per charge for Bullseye or similar for target loads, runs $22-$30/lb, again, depending on where it's bought. Cheapest store-bought bullets are around $15/100 for lead, run right around 20-25 cents@ for jacketed. If you don't value your time and can get access to free lead, you can cast bullets for essentially the cost of the electricity or propane. With a 4-up gang mold, or better yet, a pair, 300-400 good bullets an hour by hand are quite possible, assuming a big enough pot and using a big ladle. The limiting factor is the cooling time of the mold. Some of the fancier casting machines come with forced fan cooling to up the rate. Larger bullets take longer to freeze, can't do too many 12 gauge balls or slugs per hour.
Stan *******************************************************
I cast from a bottom-pour 20# Lee pot. I use Lee 6 cavety molds and can cast 24 to 36 bullets/minute easily. The Al cools so fast there is no cooling time, in fact they need to be hot. The last batch of Wolf primers were $23/k, a bit cheaper than they are now at $28/k at Widener's. I bought 16 pounds of 700x powder for $80 or so, I forget exactly. I can crank-out 500 rounds/hr at a very leasurly pace, not counting set-up time. I have yet to buy used brass for more than 4 cents each and as little as 2.5 cents each.
On the other hand, I'm not including shipping, electricity, media, equipment or time.
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I used to work for a machine vision system integrator and did some projects for Olin for their military cartridges. One project was for the 30mm or 35mm (don't remember) cartridges for the A-10 tank killer and another project was for 25mm cartridges.
You would either need some machine vision software and then a camera that would be compatible or a stand alone machine vision system. I worked with Allen Bradley, DVT, and Omron vision systems, you might be able to get an eBay bargain. If I were going to use one at home I'd prefer the DVT, plug it into your ethernet to configure it and the processor, on some models, is in the camera.
A good lighting for seeing inside a cartridge might be a beam splitter type of device that reflects a light from a partially silvered mirror, the camera looks through the mirror and the light is directly in line (by using a 45 Degree mirror) with the camera lens. That setup would let you align the camera to see the primer through the cartridge neck and also shine the light in line with the lens, through the neck and to the primer. For the 25mm cartridges the opening was big enough to use a ring light made of LED's.
RogerN
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I've found several of the sorts of video components on eBay in the past couple of years, and they were fairly inexpensive.
If the sellers even know what to call/name the items, they might use terms like illuminator, or some similar term. If the seller doesn't realize what the items were used for, they might use some weird descriptions.
Another term they might use is C-mount, referring to the specific camera mounting arrangement on many of the industrial machine vision setups.
Software will be a more difficult quest, IMO.. a program from a cheap surveillance camera setup probably won't work well for a machine vision application.. I suspect that there would be a lot of false alarms, but maybe not.
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Quality magazine has an insert on USB etc cameras.
One source - Sams / Costco / Walmart - cameras for security - but they might not focus close...
The other I'd think on the lower cost is one for a telescope. Those focus close.
Martin
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On 5/17/2010 2:37 AM, Buerste wrote:

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    [ ... ]

         A question occurs -- why must it be a USB camera? That would then require a computer to display it.
    I would use a stand-alone camera which puts out standard video, and couple it to the monitor which is otherwise connected to the nearby CNC lathe.
    And -- such a camera normally does not have an auto-focus. You just pre-focus it at the right distance and you are in business. (You may want to make a spacer ring to allow it to focus close enough.

    O.K. That would use the computer -- and require some rather fancy image processing and image-recognition software, too. :-)

    Understood.
    How about a level sensor in the power measure to lock up the press when the level in the hopper falls below a preset level? Normally, you are not going to get improper dump of powder until the supply gets too low to maintain pressure in the hopper.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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| Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564

I'm not worried about the hopper running out. The charge is so small that the hopper is still three quarters full when I'm WAY tired of reloading. It's the odd happenstance that I don't get a dump or the cycle was out of the norm. I've only had one squib in 5,000 rounds...one too many!
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I've had one. Really sucks when it is a revolver. Nothing like beating a squib back into a case that might have powder in it so you can open the crane. For my heavy barrel security six target model, a bic pen body worked fine to protect the rifling.
I have a progressive press but it is such a switched on pay attention thing that I'd rather use a turret press or a Lee hand loader and take my time.
Snapping a digicam photo of the cases in the loading block with powder in them for review after loading, sounds like a nice addition to my loading process.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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Buerste wrote:

[snip]
I wonder how accurate such a s/w solution could be. The surface of the charge is variable in texture, so a simple comparison to a standard image might give you too many false alarms when the charge is OK. There are more sophisticated algorithms tat will work, but tuning them is non trivial.
Here's what I'd do: Aim a laser diode into the top of the cartridge at a slight angle off vertical. Make the angle adjustable so that the beam intersects the surface of a correct charge at the centerline of the cartridge. If the level is too high or too low, the red dot will appear off center. Arrange a small mirror to make looking into the top of the cartridge easier when seated in front of the loader. Judge the charge level by eye with this device (much better s/w than anything but really expensive apps).
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