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Old 02-21-2016, 05:33 PM
Kevin Horton's Avatar
Kevin Horton Kevin Horton is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,365
Default Vividia VA-400 Borescope Review

I scoured the web, looking for borescopes a couple of weeks ago, and stumbled across two threads on VAF with great pictures from the ViVidia VA-400 (specs), sold by Oasis Scientific.

Dimensions - shaft length: 17 inch
shaft dia: 8.5 mm (11/32 inch)
USB cable length: 5 ft

It is a USB borescope that your computer sees as a web cam. If you are running OS X, you just plug it in, and use the built in Photo Booth app to get real time views and to grab a picture. If you are running Windows, you run an app that comes on a CD with the borescope. The Oasis Scientific web site suggests a few other apps for OS X and Windows. The borescope also comes with an adapter to connect to an Android phone or tablet, and they recommend several apps from the Google Play Store.

The angle of the camera can be controlled through 180? by pushing on the plunger on the handle, and it locks in position as soon as you release the pressure on the plunger. You press a spring loaded release to allow the camera to move back towards the fully extended position.

The built-in light was bright enough for the task of looking inside cylinders, which is the only real test I've done yet. The camera is is in focus when the target is between 1 - 4 inches from the end of scope (the fixed focus is advertised as 4 cm to 40 cm, but that doesn't match what I see with my example). It is not high resolution, at 640x480 px, but it is quite adequate.

The handle:

Press the plunger to change the angle of the head. Press the round disk at the base of the plunger to unlock the head, and let it move back towards straight.

Shots from inside my cylinders:

Kevin Horton
RV-8 (Sold)
Moses Lake, WA, USA
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:38 AM
arffguy arffguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 421
Default Thanks

Thanks Kevin.

I have one on order. Thanks for the direct link and the sample photos.

Have a great day!
Mike F
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:08 AM
Sam Staton Sam Staton is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Green Cove Springs, FL
Posts: 261
Default I bought one too

After I saw it mentioned before on VAF, I bought one. It seems to work very well for my purposes. It seems to be every bit as good (for the non-professional user at least) as ones costing much more. YMMV, of course.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:01 AM
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maniago maniago is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Bowie MD
Posts: 890

With a newer windows laptop (Win8.1 and screenside camera equipped), I just plugged my 400 in and switched cameras and it ran fine, no app required.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:53 AM
guccidude1 guccidude1 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 556
Default Vividia VA-400 Borescope Review

Kevin: A word of caution on the vividia scope. I bought one several months back and as you say, pretty good results. The one major problem I have encountered with it is as soon as the word got out I had one, everyone wants to borrow it. Somewhere on the Stead airport is a vividia borescope and HP laptop. I hope it comes home one of these days. Dan from Reno
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:02 AM
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Jesse Jesse is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: X35 - Ocala, FL
Posts: 3,711

I have been holding off for way too long. I wanted one with the articulating head that would tie to my iPad. Well, I finally took the plunge and bought the 400 that comes packaged with a 7" tablet to view it. I have another one here that ties to my iPad, but no articulating head, which makes it pretty interesting trying to see the valves.
Jesse Saint
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:01 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195

Great review and pics, Kevin. Thanks much.
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:13 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
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Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,971
Default rigid shaft?

I haven't looked at borescopes at all, so forgive the ignorance of my question,

I always thought the shaft itself would be flexible so you could curve it into corners, etc. From the photos, it looks like the shaft is a rigid stainless steel tube and only the camera on the end can be aimed. Are there other brands/models of borescope that have a flexible shaft?
Steve Smith
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:06 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,754

I had the same concern and asked the same question awhile back. Their are many others with a flexible shaft, but this thing works well, is reasonably priced, and doesn't require any 45 degree mirror attachment to look at right angles to the probe - a big plus.

I plugged it into my dinosaur Windows XP laptop USB port, let it find the new hardware, then clicked on the USB port from "My computer" and immediately had a live image and picture taking capability without any software installation. Rotate the prop until the piston is near BDC to get the best viewing of the valves and cylinder walls. Maybe it was just my inexperience, but I found it easier to find the valves from the lower spark plug holes.

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Old 02-22-2016, 02:56 PM
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donaziza donaziza is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 839

This looks pretty interesting to me, but I'm no mechanic. Could one of you guys educate me a bit? I always thought one looked thru a borescope with the naked eye, but I guess here, you're plugging it in to your ipad or laptop, and then looking at the inside of your cylinder there?? Have I got it right? Not being a mechanic, I might not know exactly what I'm looking for inside a cylinder, but hey, no harm in just peeking every now and then. I might learn something.
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