Author Topic: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.  (Read 25174 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2015, 09:47:45 am »
That Russian tube site also has some scintillation detectors
http://www.sovtube.com/33-scintillators-
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Offline zze110

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2015, 07:23:42 pm »
For those wondering what an X-Ray machine is used for in the electronics production industry, PACE manufacture the XR3000 inspection system. I was surprised to see that it uses only a 50kV tube to do its work. Lead is a significant attenuator of X-Ray yet a 50kV tube is obviously enough to see inside BGA solder balls.
I used to perform maintenance on a Yxlon Y.Cheetah($800K machine) and it could barely produce photos as clear as what you've posted.  Most systems seem to use a flat panel detector now where-as ours used a photo intensifier tube.  I had to run the machine at 80kV to match the quality of the images on page 1 (could go as high as 160kV if needed). So, that quality for only $57k is remarkable.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2015, 07:45:33 pm »
I am very pleased with the images that my Faxitron MX-20 produces. The images of the ethernet PCB that I provided on page 1 are actually quite poor quality as there are a lot of compression artifacts. The MX-20 can also save in RAW format or TIFF and those provide far better image quality. The images are 4Megaixels and very crisp, even before employing any of the provided image processing algorithms.

I was lucky to find my unit and the supply seems to have dried up at the moment. There may be more disposed of after the end of financial year equipment refresh (April in UK).
There is one Faxitron MX-20 for sale on ebay at the movement and it is being sold by my friend. The sad news is that it has no PC or camera interface card. Without the interface card, the camera cannot be operated on this circa 2004  model.

Aurora
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2015, 09:53:44 pm »
I am very pleased with the images that my Faxitron MX-20 produces. The images of the ethernet PCB that I provided on page 1 are actually quite poor quality as there are a lot of compression artifacts. The MX-20 can also save in RAW format or TIFF and those provide far better image quality. The images are 4Megaixels and very crisp, even before employing any of the provided image processing algorithms.

I was lucky to find my unit and the supply seems to have dried up at the moment. There may be more disposed of after the end of financial year equipment refresh (April in UK).
There is one Faxitron MX-20 for sale on ebay at the movement and it is being sold by my friend. The sad news is that it has no PC or camera interface card. Without the interface card, the camera cannot be operated on this circa 2004  model.

Aurora
This would be an interesting exercise in reverse engineering though... I've looked at data for a few flat-panel detectors, and their interfaces have been relatively straightforward, usually one or two parellel buses over LVDS.
Someone has already made a lot of progress on this :
http://photonics.engr.uga.edu/xray_imager/index.html

And you could always use it with film.
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Offline Fraser

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2015, 10:54:30 pm »
The camera connector has 4 coaxial elements in it like in the attached image. It is unlike teh later high density D type used on my unit.

Auction is here for anyone interested:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Faxitron-X-Ray-Specimen-Radiography-System-Model-MX-20-/151630915830?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item234de828f6

It is fitted with a DC-2 camera which has a 50mm x 50mm imager array.

This would make a very safe X-Ray experimentation cabinet as you suggest Mike. Alternative camera or film technology could be used.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 11:02:00 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2015, 11:01:01 pm »
The camera connector has 3 coaxial elements in it like in the attached image. It is unlike teh later high density D type used on my unit.

Auction is here for anyone interested:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Faxitron-X-Ray-Specimen-Radiography-System-Model-MX-20-/151630915830?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item234de828f6

It is fitted with a DC-2 camera which has a 50mm x 50mm imager array.

This would make a very safe X-Ray experimentation cabinet as you suggest Mike. Alternative camera or film technology could be used.

Aurora
The D9 is presumably serial for the x-ray control - I wonder if maybe the coax connections are analogue out for an external ADC.
Either that or maybe something like SDI digital video. Perhaps even VGA+sync?

Could be worth asking the seller to unscrew that mounting plate to see if there is a make/model on the sensor.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 11:31:04 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline Fraser

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2015, 11:50:34 am »
@Mike,

I don't think the seller has the spare time to delve deeper into the unit. I may be able to assist him with further investigation but the value of the unit will not increase unless I sort out a computer interface for him that works with imaging software. It will likely take more time than its worth. There may well be a hobbyist out there in ebay land who wants to spend the time on it though.

The D9 is serial control of the X-Ray Generator and is driven from teh computers serial port. The Software that I have will run the 2004 year MX-20  and DC-2 camera but you need the original camera interface card to match the drivers.

The camera is a Bioptics unit running the usual diode arrays. (as fitted to my unit). It is the output interface from the camera that differs. Those imaging arrays cost a small fortune and are worth the GBP650 alone. I was tempted to experiment with the unit but now that I am retired I have to be more sensible with funds  :(

As to the function of the 4 coaxial connections. I have no idea. It is a monochrome imaging array though so RGB would seem unlikely but I really have no idea without delving into the base of the unit.

I will advise when other Faxitron's become available...... there will be others.

Aurora
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2015, 12:08:39 pm »
@Mike,

I don't think the seller has the spare time to delve deeper into the unit. I may be able to assist him with further investigation but the value of the unit will not increase unless I sort out a computer interface for him that works with imaging software. It will likely take more time than its worth. There may well be a hobbyist out there in ebay land who wants to spend the time on it though.
That's what I was getting at - would be an interesting project  - If I didn't already have my unit (or it was a larger sensor) I'd certainly give it a go.
ID'ing the sensor could provide significant info as to feasibility and could help it sell - probably worth 5 mins to undo a few screws!

Quote
The D9 is serial control of the X-Ray Generator and is driven from teh computers serial port. The Software that I have will run the 2004 year MX-20  and DC-2 camera but you need the original camera interface card to match the drivers.

I'm sure the serial protocol is simple, but you don't even need that as you can operate the x-ray form the front panel.
Quote
The camera is a Bioptics unit running the usual diode arrays. (as fitted to my unit).
Do you know that or are you assuming? Seems Bioptics merged with Faxitron at some point, though my unit has a Hamamatsu sensor
Quote

As to the function of the 4 coaxial connections. I have no idea. It is a monochrome imaging array though so RGB would seem unlikely but I really have no idea without delving into the base of the unit.
Won't be RGB but could  be multiple parallel streams, or clock + 2 data+sync
Quote
I will advise when other Faxitron's become available...... there will be others.
Keeping my fingers crossed for one with a 4" sensor and no PC for some reverse-engineering ;)
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Offline Fraser

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2015, 01:07:27 pm »
@Mike,

For camera types see my posting in your teardown thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/faxitron-mx-20-x-ray-system-teardown/msg585779/#msg585779

Camera types confirmed with Faxitron service agent in USA.

Bioptics were the original supplier of cameras to then MX-20, then Hamamatsu (interim supplier when Bioptics made their own cabinets), followed by Bioptics again  :)

I will let you know if I hear of a 4" x 4" Faxitron. Mine is serving me very well. The 4" x 4" array has met all my electronic imaging needs, but I still envy your USB connectivity and better software with auto exposure mode and full control of the MX-20 chassis. I will not be upgrading however as they are not exactly cheap and my images are great  already.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 01:10:19 pm by Aurora »
 

Offline chefkoch84

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2015, 02:48:39 pm »
Hello all you X-Ray and generic nerds.

I am a silent follower of the forum and Mikes and Daves video blog since ages.
Thanks for all the knowhow and entertainment first of all!!!

I was wondering if it would be useful to adopt one of those planar x-ray machines to act as a topographic scanner. (XCT)
I got in contact with cone-beam xct reconstruction during my master-thesis and figured that it is surprisingly easy.

E.g. it would be possible to rotate a (rigid) object in the FOV of a planar scanner for instance by a stepper motor and use the projection images to reconstruct a x-ray volume.

I can recommend this open source software:
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~nrezvani/OSCaR.html
Its not super fast.. but very easy to understand and adopt.

I am a bit jealous on people to can afford the space to have their own x-ray device :-)... so probably will not happen for me in the near future.

If somebody is interested I would be happy to take a shot and try to reconstruct a volume of a row of X-ray projections.

Greetings
Max
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2015, 08:23:37 pm »
Yes - CT scanning is something on the list of things to try when I get round to it.
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Offline wilheldp

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #61 on: June 19, 2015, 01:57:18 am »
I've been trying to find a second hand, *operational*, cabinet x-ray machine for a reasonable price for several months now with no luck.  There have been several Faxitron's on eBay, but almost none of them come with the computer which is absolutely essential to getting an image from the digital sensor.  I came across both an operational Faxitron and an operational Kubtec, but both of them were going for over $10,000USD. 

I came across this Chinese job this evening... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-X-Ray-Inspection-System-For-PCB-BGA-Electronic-Desktop-Testing-10Kg-/131434686944?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e9a1e29e0

I cannot find anything outside of eBay with that part number (AJ-1600), and there don't seem to be any reviews.  Has anybody come across any reviews or user-generated x-rays from this unit?  $6,000 isn't too shabby if this thing generates decent images.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #62 on: June 19, 2015, 06:46:33 am »
The "internal structure" pic shows one of the cheapo portable dental units, which have been banned by the UK authorities due to inadequate shielding, though inside a box it's probably less of an issue.
However I doubt it's a microfocus tube, so achievable resolution is probably less than the sensor resolution might suggest, and probably also not capable of geometric magnification to the extent that the faxitrons can do. May also not produce as good an image for devices that can't be held very flat & close to the sensor.


I believe x-ray gear is more regulated in the US than her in the UK, which may explain the lower availability.

If you find a unit without a PC going cheap, all may not be lost of you can find the make/model of the sensor, as some will use standard PC cards (or USB if you're lucky).

 
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Offline wilheldp

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #63 on: June 19, 2015, 12:25:46 pm »
I did some more reading on that listing and asked the seller what the sensor size was.  The specs seem contradictory.  The sensor size is only 3.6cm by 2.7 cm, with 1600x1200 active pixels.  That translates into a ludicrous ~2000 pixels per square mm.  But the image resolution is just listed at ">12 lp/mm".  Whatever...I'm not really interested in a $6000 machine that can only X-ray stuff 1.5 x 1 inches.

Do tell about the Faxitron image sensors.  I've only seen units with that beast of a connector (looks like D-sub with 5 pins and 4 coax).  I've been hesitant to even look at units without the computer because I thought they only came with the proprietary interface.  Is there something in the model number label that denotes it has a standard or USB-capable sensor?  I've seen the cabinets going for sub-$1000 all over the place.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #64 on: June 19, 2015, 12:36:02 pm »
I did some more reading on that listing and asked the seller what the sensor size was.  The specs seem contradictory.  The sensor size is only 3.6cm by 2.7 cm, with 1600x1200 active pixels.  That translates into a ludicrous ~2000 pixels per square mm.  But the image resolution is just listed at ">12 lp/mm".  Whatever...I'm not really interested in a $6000 machine that can only X-ray stuff 1.5 x 1 inches.

Do tell about the Faxitron image sensors.  I've only seen units with that beast of a connector (looks like D-sub with 5 pins and 4 coax).  I've been hesitant to even look at units without the computer because I thought they only came with the proprietary interface.  Is there something in the model number label that denotes it has a standard or USB-capable sensor?  I've seen the cabinets going for sub-$1000 all over the place.
lp/mm means lines per mm resolution. This is probably a combination of x-ray source and detector, and probably also the scintillator

The problem is IDing the actual sensor. Some cabinet manufacturers will use bought-in sensors, and not necessarily the same one over the product lifetime.
My Faxitron uses a Hamamatsu USB sensor, for which there is some documentation and software available from Hamamatsu.

I've seen some sensors that use a standard card from someone like National Instruments.

This guy has been doping some reverse engineering of a different sensor in a faxitron cabinet

http://photonics.engr.uga.edu/xray_imager/index.html

If you ever come across a unit with a 4" sensor going cheap, let me know..!

 
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Offline wilheldp

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #65 on: June 19, 2015, 01:10:40 pm »
The problem is IDing the actual sensor. Some cabinet manufacturers will use bought-in sensors, and not necessarily the same one over the product lifetime.
My Faxitron uses a Hamamatsu USB sensor, for which there is some documentation and software available from Hamamatsu.

I've seen some sensors that use a standard card from someone like National Instruments.

This guy has been doping some reverse engineering of a different sensor in a faxitron cabinet

http://photonics.engr.uga.edu/xray_imager/index.html

If you ever come across a unit with a 4" sensor going cheap, let me know..!
 

I actually just read that guy's whole article.  Sadly, it ends with a "to be continued..."  I was really hoping it would end with "and you can buy my sensor board for $xx dollars." 

Unfortunately, the only Faxitrons I have come across have had that proprietary connector poking out the back.  If somebody could reverse-engineer the sensor and connector and make a PCI interface card for it, they could make a fortune on the second-hand Faxitron market.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #66 on: June 19, 2015, 01:27:30 pm »
The problem is IDing the actual sensor. Some cabinet manufacturers will use bought-in sensors, and not necessarily the same one over the product lifetime.
My Faxitron uses a Hamamatsu USB sensor, for which there is some documentation and software available from Hamamatsu.

I've seen some sensors that use a standard card from someone like National Instruments.

This guy has been doping some reverse engineering of a different sensor in a faxitron cabinet

http://photonics.engr.uga.edu/xray_imager/index.html

If you ever come across a unit with a 4" sensor going cheap, let me know..!
 

I actually just read that guy's whole article.  Sadly, it ends with a "to be continued..."  I was really hoping it would end with "and you can buy my sensor board for $xx dollars." 

Unfortunately, the only Faxitrons I have come across have had that proprietary connector poking out the back.  If somebody could reverse-engineer the sensor and connector and make a PCI interface card for it, they could make a fortune on the second-hand Faxitron market.
Let me know if you come across one for under $500 (just the sensor) - I'd be willing to have a crack at it.
 
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Offline wilheldp

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #67 on: June 19, 2015, 02:54:23 pm »
Wish I'd known that a while ago.  I had an eBay seller offer me one for $400 a while back (he had it listed for $800, no computer, cables, or manuals).  I'm sure shipping to the UK would have been more than the cost of the machine, though.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2015, 03:11:31 pm »
Wish I'd known that a while ago.  I had an eBay seller offer me one for $400 a while back (he had it listed for $800, no computer, cables, or manuals).  I'm sure shipping to the UK would have been more than the cost of the machine, though.
Yes but as long as they would be prepared to remove the sensor and just ship that, it wouldn't be a problem
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Offline wilheldp

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #69 on: June 19, 2015, 10:57:14 pm »
Touche...I'll keep my eye open and PM you if I find anything.  I'll buy it, remove the sensor and ship it to you.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: X-Ray machines - Technology and use in Hobby Electronics.
« Reply #70 on: September 05, 2015, 03:16:16 pm »
Resurrecting an old thread but I just used the MX-20 to identify the contents of an inductive probe used with the POLAR Toneohm series of short tracers. This is a typical practical use of X-Ray imaging for the hobbyist and reverse engineering practitioner. The probe costs £40 and is just a tube, coax cable and SMD bobbin inductor at the tip ! With the X-Ray images it is possible to see that no other components are present in the barrel of the probe. the inductor measures 9.6 Ohms and its inductance will be measured with an LCR meter in the knowledge that it is an inductor on the end of a piece of coaxial cable.

For the images and discussion of the Toneohm shorts tracer see here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/toneohm-850a-short-finder-by-polar-instruments-a-look-under-the-hood/msg747124/#msg747124

The X-Ray images are not that good as this was all done as a favour in a hurry to assist a fellow forum member. Quick and dirty best describes the images  ;D

Aurora
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 03:19:49 pm by Aurora »
 


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