Author Topic: Horribly Designed USB Borescope Inspection Camera Coocheer  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline Bushougoma

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Horribly Designed USB Borescope Inspection Camera Coocheer
« on: September 07, 2017, 09:34:09 pm »
I recently purchased a "Coocheer branded" USB borescope inspection camera from Amazon it looks to be a standard Chinese design that someone reboxed and slapped their name on.

As of this posting it's "currently unavailable" on Amazon and for good reason I hope it stays that way. If you see any cameras of the same design don't buy it.

It's a standard no frills unit with a ring of LEDs around the lens to light up dark areas in the cameras view there's a potentiometer to adjust the LED brightness and a push button switch to signal the software to capture an image. This is all contained on the USB A connector in a plastic housing.

So I plug it in and it works for awhile but all of a sudden the LEDs flicker and go out and the camera stream stops.

Removing and reinserting the USB connector doesn't do anything. I check the USB port with another device and it's fine.

Then I notice the end of the cables insulation is exposed so no strain relief already not inspiring confidence  :(.

So I decide to open the USB connector case hoping it's not ultrasonically welded luckily it wasn't just 4 pins in each corner holding the case together nothing more than a friction fit.

The substitute for a proper strain relief was a glob of hot snot. To top it off the wires were soldered to SMD pads didn't even bother to use through hole pads for added strength.

Then I flip the PCB over and have a good laugh.

The board looks to be hand soldered.

  • They didn't bother soldering the mechanical support tabs for the USB connector.

  • They didn't bother soldering the mechanical support tabs for the potentiometer.

  • They left a nice piece of solder stuck to the solder mask to break free and bridge the numerous unpopulated footprints on the PCB.

So what happened is clear the SMD pins were bearing the brunt of the force when I (unknowingly  :P) plugged the connector into the USB port. This camera has a rather long cable which tugs on the long connector which added to the strain those traces then (understandably) gave way and tore.

I originally thought someone just forgot to solder the USB connector but what are the odds of them not soldering the pot too? Was this actually intentional? Did they actually think that horribly fitting case would provide enough mechanical support for the connector?

In any case even if it was soldered properly you still have a lot of leverage on those solder points due to the huge amount of overhang.

So if you're in the market for one of these check out the newer design with the fully molded USB connector.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 10:27:40 pm by Bushougoma »

Offline W8LV

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Re: Horribly Designed USB Borescope Inspection Camera Coocheer
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 12:36:28 pm »
Thanks for warning people! This is the kind of post that doesn't get acknowledged enough, but it should : It's a good turn to steer people away from junk.
I have a Harbor Freight Snake Camera. It works fairly well. Might be worth a try for you.
Thanks Again, and All the Best!



W8LV Circleville Ohio USA

Best Regards from W8LV in Pickaway County, Ohio, USA

Offline BurningTantalum

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Re: Horribly Designed USB Borescope Inspection Camera Coocheer
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 08:25:53 am »
I have EXACTLY the same tool. It suffered EXACTLY the same issues, but I also had a failure at the camera end. To fix this I had to push the contents out of the case after prising out the lens. The wires had been stripped to such a ridiculous length before soldering to the PCB pads that they had eventually shorted.
Then I had to cut a glass lens out of a microscope slide cover with a diamond Dremel disk and epoxy it in. I now have a working probe, with an external PCB-mount trim pot hanging out of the USB case on wires. It also now has a slight lighting 'bloom' on the edge of the image, probably due to a bit too much epoxy at one point.
To be fair I have used it dozens of times to inspect engine bores on dead outboards, chainsaws, string trimmers etc as well as inside tight equipment.
We EEs are nothing if not a tenacious bunch!

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