Our favorite tools have a new home on the wiki. Each week we’ll muse about one of them. Have your own tool review? We’ll post that too!
A cheap flatbed scanner is super useful in the shop. We use it to post design sketches, scan PCBs, and archive receipts.
You might remember that Free PCB Sunday used to look like the image on the left. This photo was taken in a light tent, but we could never get PCB shots without reflections of lights or the camera lens. This is probably the best of a dozen shots.
On the right is a scan of the same board. Clean, square, done in one take. This image is ready for a post, or open it in your favorite graphics program and draw notes for the next revision.
The only problem we’re run into is that the level of detail is high and the resulting JPGs can be huge. A despeckle filter helps a little.
This particular scanner is a Canon LiDE-100 that cost about $50. We chose it because it was the cheapest scanner within biking distance. It’s powered over USB, so there’s no adapter to worry about. It works fine, but any cheap scanner would do.
There’s more tools too.