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Hack it Back View-Master

Scanning and sharing old view-master reels with the world.

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With this scanner, we can digitize a View-Master reel, create a video, and post it on YouTube for others to enjoy without the use of VR headsets, or having to look through an old viewer.

View-master has been around for a while, starting in 1939. Over the years, these slides have past through the eyes of many people. Many people still have a few in their attic, while some other like myself collect them. With the advancements in streaming video, View-Master reels have become a thing of the past. Few people have the time or patience to enjoy these reels anymore.

In the past, a lot of the viewer were electronic. They had lighted backgrounds, audio, and even projectors. 

That is why we are going to hack the View-Master back!

With this scanner, we can digitize a View-Master reel, create a video, and post it on YouTube for others to enjoy without the use of VR headsets, or having to look through an old viewer.

The most significant advancements I've made over the year with this project is different backlight, different spotlight, better software layout, and higher resolution cameras. Pretty much everything has been updated except the rotating base.

Here is the YouTube video of the original build.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 58.29 kB - 07/24/2022 at 03:07

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 65.80 kB - 07/24/2022 at 03:07

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 76.45 kB - 07/24/2022 at 03:07

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 49.30 kB - 07/24/2022 at 03:07

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 142.95 kB - 07/24/2022 at 03:07

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View all 13 files

  • 1 × Arduino Nano The controller
  • 2 × 8MP Camera with fixed lens scanner eyes
  • 1 × Jewel multicolor LED module backlight
  • 1 × Digital Switch power spotlight
  • 1 × Stepper Motor rotate the platform

View all 9 components

  • Rev 5

    W. Jason Altice07/24/2022 at 03:16 0 comments

    Rev 5 we added 2x8MP cameras, changed the spot light, updated the camera mounts, and greatly improved the scanning software. 

  • Rev 4

    W. Jason Altice07/24/2022 at 03:13 0 comments

    Based on user feedback, I added a focus picture that fades in and out when the slide is changing. This allows freestyle viewers (eyes only, no VR box) to not loose focus. I also transition the slides every 10 seconds instead of 7. Results are good so far. 

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Print out parts

    There are several parts that need to be printed. Small screws are also required. All of the parts to print are in the Github link in this project. The platform, pictured below, is ok to use with the JEWEL LED and the ring LED. 

  • 2
    Install Stepper Motor

    Install the stepper motor and attach it with two screws. You will also have to install the stepper motor driver. This can be mounted in the opposite corner. 

  • 3
    Add the Magnets to the reel ring and mount

    This reel ring will help hold the reel flat. I used a dab of super glue to hold them in place. Be sure they are all positioned in the same orientation so that they will be attracted to the reel mount. Easiest way is to insert all the magnets into the ring, then attach magnets to the underside of the ring. Use this to press the magnets into the reel mount. 

View all 11 instructions

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