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#45386 - 08/30/07 06:48 AM video system for DIY
Marthajoy Offline
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Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
I have been playing with an idea I had to take care of the problem of image in a mirror being backwards and making it difficult to perform electrolysis on ones self because everything is backwards.
Well, I believe my system is going to work. For those interested, my system uses two cheap color cameras. I made two holders out of blocks of wood that holds a camera and a mirror about 1" square, which is mounted 45 degrees to the lens. So in operation the two camera's are facing each other and the two mirror aim the video at the area you want to work on. I adjusted the lens focusing for about 6 inches. On the camera's I bought the lens could screw in or out. This adjusts the focus point. I then take the two blocks and mount them to another support which has a section of those adjustable tracks like used in a shop. I put in two bolts and into the track and through a hole in each block so that the cameras can be adjusted to point at the same point and to b separated by about the same distance as our eyes.
I have a video mixer, and so I just feed both videos into my mixer and wipe to center so that I see both images, but one could use two video screens or even 3d video goggles if they have them. Feed left camera to be viewed by the left eye, and the right camera for the right eye. Now you have 3d video image. I mount my entire system on something with a gooseneck, so that I can possition it where I want it, and I get good images of where I need to work, even on the sides of my neck. With 3D you keep your depth perception which you really do need in performing electrolysis.
Anyway, this is the system that I have been working on. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
Professionally, I obviously believe it is best to have electrolysis done by a professional. But I also understand that not everyone can afford to hire someone to get it done. This just may help someone, who is short of funds, to maybe have a shot at taking care of their excessive hair problems.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#45390 - 08/30/07 01:17 PM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
James W. Walker VII Offline

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Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 8050
Loc: Buffalo NY, & Traveling the US...
There is (or was) a company with a product called "Video Eye" that is similar to what you have done here. Of course, I think it is a little overpriced, but, it is a small run product, with very specialized applications.
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#45408 - 08/30/07 05:52 PM Re: video system for DIY [Re: James W. Walker VII]
Marthajoy Offline
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Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
James,
I just did a search on "Video Eye" and what I have done is different. They take a single video source and feed the signal to both eyes. I admit the goggles do look cool though. When I was at Electrolysis school, I tried for some time to use some Loupes to see if I wanted to buy them. The Loupes that I was given to try, I believe were defective. What I found was that one eye focused at one distance and the other eye focused about 4 inches farther than the shorter distanced one. While trying to use the Loupes, it was very difficult to get good insertions as without both lenses focusing on the same area, depth perception is gone. After I graduated from school, I purchased another company's loupes that could work with my glasses, and found that I did not need my glasses after all, as these loupes do not have the problem that the loupes had at school. They work great. That is why I now feel the loupes given to me to try out at school were defective, and not just myself.
Most 3D goggles use schemes to combine two signals and then separate the two signals back again, thus the red/blue or polarized glasses needing to be worn. By feeding both signals as separate signals, the external means to separate the signals to the eye are not required.
When turning the video camera on oneself, the image is reversed, and identical to what one sees in a mirror, so by having the camera use a mirror it brings the reversed image back the way our brain wants it to be.
You are very correct, in that it has very limited applications and would not be worth persueing production, but for someone really intent on trying to perform electrolysis on themselves, I believe this device would be helpful. One can see the probe as it comes into view and the correct angle for insertion. It does take a bit of time to get things set up however. It most certain has limited applications. The project has been fun for myself to play with however. It was kind of a challange to myself to see what could be done.
_________________________
Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#46310 - 10/07/07 09:23 AM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
layla Offline
Contributor

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Shanghai, China
Hi Martha,
Do you have any links to places to buy the parts you used in this project? I'm living in Shanghai, China, and I'd love to try it during the months I have before I can come back and see James, and then most likely again after I return to Shanghai.
Thanks!
Layla

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#46320 - 10/07/07 09:27 PM Re: video system for DIY [Re: layla]
Marthajoy Offline
HairTell Pro
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
What I purchased to use for the camera's were some very small color camera's used for survelance. What I purchased here was in a drug store. The camera is only about 1 inch by 1 inch and has a lens that is screwed in and out to focus. But in reality, one could probably use any video camera but it needs to be able to focus very close. The larger it is, the more it will tend to get in the way when trying to insert probes. The trick is to place a mirror 45 degress in front of the lens in order to reverse the left-right image reversal that you get when pointing a camera at yourself. Similar to the reversal effect you get when looking into a mirror. What I did was to mount my little camera onto a block of wood and then mount the mirror also to the block. So that the mirror and camera always track each other.
Let me know if you having any other questions.
The video here in the states is what is known as NTSC. Most other countries use what is known as PAL. So if your country is using anything other than NTSC you will need to purchase a camera that works with your video system.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#46328 - 10/08/07 04:34 AM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
layla Offline
Contributor

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Shanghai, China
Well, I'm in China, where it would be PAL, but these days everything has NTSC, PAL and Autodetect.

You can actually use logitech et al. usb cameras and do the mirroring in software on the computer. I'm not sure how well the default consumer drivers are set up for having two cameras connected to the computer at once though. I was more curious about where you found these stereo goggles? I'd like to get a set of USB stereo goggles ideally, and then write some software which takes the inputs from the twin-USB cams and pipes them into the stereo goggles with the mirroring happening in software.

Then I could also write some image processing filters that I could run to help with spotting the hairs. Maybe color them in a neon color to make them stand out. Or maybe just color one at a time in such a color, so that you can focus on going for a certain hair a little bit easier. \:\)

Layla

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#46344 - 10/09/07 07:54 AM Re: video system for DIY [Re: layla]
Marthajoy Offline
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Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
I do not actually have goggles. Goggles would be very nice. For my use, I am just using a tv set. But I do have a Videonics video Mixer that I can use to split screen two different video signals.
Ideally, two small video displays - one for each eye. I have considered purchasing to little 1.5 to 2 inch monitors to use, but it has not been a high priority. The googles that I have seen marketed, take one video source and feed two little monitors. What is really needed is to see if it would be possible to split the wiring to allow two separate feeds. But if the units only have one decoder and just feed the video info to monitors, than it would not be easily accomplished.
You help in this regards, would be very helpful.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#46353 - 10/09/07 05:46 PM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
Marthajoy Offline
HairTell Pro
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
Wow, I was really tired last night when I wrote my last post.
My thoughts on using a computer for a monitor. I am not certain that a computer can mirror image in real time. All the programs that I have seen have made a recording and then allowed mirror imaging to be done post recording. It that can be done, that would be great.
As far as two video inputs at the same time to a computer. My guess is that it might take having two separate USB cards. That way the programs could keep the two video sources separate. You probably know about that more than I do. You are more into the programming end of things than I am. I used to do some Basic programming and some old Assembly language programming, but that has been a long time ago.
I do have one video input unit that uses USB. You have gotten my interest up now, as to whether I could purchase a second unit and just have two smaller windows on the LCD screen. The question as you say, is how does each program know which video source to use. If that can be worked out, it would be great.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#47400 - 11/17/07 01:11 AM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
Marthajoy Offline
HairTell Pro
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
Well, I finally found what I wanted to use to try my video setup for DIY electrolysis. I just recieved the monitors that I ordered. Two XO Vision GX2258x LCD monitors. They are 5.8 inches and designed for use on headrests in cars. The camera's are little about 1 inch square with a little screw adjustment lens for focusing. I may move the focus a little bit farther away, but it is usable at the distance I now have set up. Actually what I see in the monitor has more magnification than my Loupes that I use with my clients. That is why I may back it away a little bit to allow more depth of field, and a little more working room, but there is enough as it is. When the probe and forceps come into view, you can see on the monitor exactly as you would if you were working on a client, only it is yourself. Sides of the face, no problem at all. I think this is really going to work well for me. I have a few pesky hairs around my ears etc that are just impossible with a mirror. Anyway, I will post more a bit later. I have a client coming in shortly.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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#47405 - 11/17/07 04:59 PM Re: video system for DIY [Re: Marthajoy]
Marthajoy Offline
HairTell Pro
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 237
Loc: WASHINGTON
Something else that I want to add. I found the monitor has a function which mirrors the image of the signal. So now it seems all my effort to use a mirror may not have been needed at all. I guess I will have to check that out as well. From what I am seeing so far, maybe just one of the little camera's and a monitor like this that has the capability to mirror image is all that one needs. From what I can tell, the illumination requirements are very low, and for many areas just room light is enough, even with flouresence lighting, which is really poor lighting for video as the frequency spectrum of the light is very narrow. Maybe just a couple of bright LED's would help if something is needed, certainly nothing as bright as a flashlight as that would be way too much. More experimentation to come it looks like, but so far I do like this setup. Just wish I had found these monitors sooner.
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Martha Montgomery, CCE
Puget Sound Electrology

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