Endosnake borescope

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Endosnake
The Endosnake is an affordible endoscope/borescope that works with a smartphone or computer. The camera has mini LEDs to illuminate what’s in front of it.

This report covers:

  • A job worth doing…
  • First use
  • Videos not necessary
  • Resolution
  • Summary

For years I have wanted a borescope so I could look inside my barrels. Twenty years ago they were priced in the thousands and out of my reach. Ten years ago they dropped into the hundreds and were still pricy. But they were not optimized for airguns. They were mostly sized for .22 barrels, as though AR-15 owners were the target market. Again, I had no interest.

Then about two months ago I started getting emails about a product called the Endosnake. It was selling for $50 and I needed a wifi kit to connect it to my iPhone. I got the one that’s 2 meters long. The camera is 3.9mm in diameter and when I asked the Endosnake people whether it would fit into a .177 caliber airgun bore they said they didn’t know. Well, I know now and it does!

A job worth doing…

… is worth doing poorly. A pastor of mine used to say that. In other words, get on with it. Don’t wait until it’s perfect! In the interest of sharing the Endosnake with you today that’s just what I have done. I have two videos that are both silent. They will show you what I have seen so far and perhaps give you some ideas of how this tool might be used.

First use

I will call the first video the first time I used the Endosnake, but the truth is, it took me many tries and three days of playing with it to get what I’m about to show you. Hopefully I will get better with practice

A reader remarked that he would like to see the inside of the Slavia 618 barrel. So I photographed it for you. I also photographed my keyboard before putting the camera inside the bore. The film resolution is low so the image isn’t sharp, but it does show all the detail. Of course if you have never looked through a borescope the 360-degree image may be difficult to resolve the first time you see it.

The second video is looking through the barrel of a .177 caliber Crosman Mark II pistol. It’s a BB pistol, yet you will clearly see some shallow rifling. I go from the muzzle to the breech and out into the loading trough, and then back through the barrel again. In the breech as we come back I pause and you can see two dark spots in the circle of light. They are the gas transfer ports in the breech. Let’s look.

Videos not necessary

When the Endosnake is turned on you don’t need to record what’s happening. You can see it on your smart phone as the camera moves. Only record it if you want to. You can also take still photos if you prefer.

Resolution

The software shows a wide range of possible image resolutions but every time I tried to change it the software said it failed. So I left it where it was, which was very low res. Maybe when I learn the software more I will discover how to change it.

The Endosnake works with Windows 10, Android phones, Macs and iPhones. There are several photo softwares that it can work with. But the support for the product is poor, in my opinion. The “manual” is almost non-existent and you have to do a lot of searching around their website to figure things out — or at least I did.

Besides the 3.9mm Viper outfit I bought there are also cameras for 5.5mm, 7mm 8mm and 14mm. And they offer package deals with multiple cameras.

I plan to use this in future articles as well as around the house. Ever wonder what’s stuck in the garbage disposer? What other uses can you think of?

Summary

I have used borescopes for the past 50 years — starting with those big one for the 105mm cannon on the M61A1 tank. This Endoscope is quite remarkable, especially considering the low cost.

63 thoughts on “Endosnake borescope


  1. B.B.,

    I assume the Slavia barrel that you scoped is the one that you have fired for accuracy. Can you kindly take a peep of the other barrel only if you have not cleaned or shot it yet. I would like to see if rust had any chance to form.

    Siraniko


  2. Because of covid 19, many doctors are doing virtual visits via smart phone, iPad or laptop, let me guess, my next colonoscopy will be by a virtual visit.

    I knew they were marketing 5mm cameras, but hadn’t seen the 3.5mm, that is a game changer.
    Can you change the focal length or focus point of the lens?
    So it focuses closer to the camera lens, so you can see more detail.
    Does it have a right angle adapter like some models?

    Uses?
    Disposal as you said,
    What’s clogging the bathroom sink drain?
    Your wife dropped her ring where? (That’s how you justify it to your spouse guys!)
    Looking inside your tanks or pressure tube for corrosion.
    What’s the breach seal o ring look like on your Marauder? (How many of us here by show of hands has fired the gun with the bolt open and had the o ring disappear into parts unknown?)

    What’s the inside of your engine cylinders look like?

    You will find many uses you never knew you needed..

    Ian..


  3. B.B.

    Open wide and say ahh, lol.
    What do you see? I don’t see anything obvious to explain the poor accuracy of the Slavia 618.

    Second video unviewable.

    -Y


  4. BB,

    An interesting product,.. especially for $50. What does a wifi kit cost? Total invested thus far?

    I am looking forwards to you using it more. Hopefully you will be able to fine tune for better picture quality. The focal point (what is clear) looks to be quite a ways from the camera.

    Chris



      • RR,

        Of course. I figured that was a “given” as most everyone has one,…. except me,… well,..until fairly recently. It does more than what I need it for. I really need to use it more for other stuff. There is that “learning curve” like anything else and if I learn something once and never use it for another year,… I have long forgot about how to do it (for the most part).

        My patience level for learning new techy stuff has it’s limits. Still,… no excuse for not learning more with it. I did download the (200+ page) “manual”,.. so I always have that to fall back on. I miss paper manuals.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          It is not a given. I do not own one of those things. I use my flip phone as a phone. That’s it. We do not even have text service. Don’t want it.

          Just because you can, does not mean you should.


          • RR,
            Same here…my old flip phone sits on my bathroom counter, shut off. Sometimes if I am going with a friend to install captioning phones, I will take it with me. Otherwise, I don’t use it. I have a Verizon plan that was grand-fathered from way back when the service was Alltel. I have to make a $5 purchase at least every two months in order to carry my unused minutes forward. $5 gives me 33 minutes (.15/min) and I have like 500 minutes banked. LOL Works for me. 😉
            Geo


            • Geo,

              Normally it is for my wife to get in touch with me when she wants. When I am with her out on the town, it gets left in the vehicle. No interruptions from that thing.

              Lately, since I have been working from home because of the plague, I have given the number to a few select co-workers. Otherwise they can contact me through email.


            • Geo,

              That is funny coming from a computer guru. Fully embrace tech. on one end and shun it at the other end. 😉 Overall though,… I am with you.

              Chris


          • RR,

            Same here. I see my family and friends in a nearly constant state of upset over some aspect of smart phone operations. I like my flipper. Almost never get mad at it…
            Hang in there!

            Walt


            • Walt,

              Fer sur! I have a laptop for work. I have two laptops for home. My wife and I each have a Kindle. Why in the world do I need another computer in my pocket?


          • Geo,

            I was on Mom and Dad’s family plan to save money (not sure that was the case). At any rate, they are not going to last forever and a guy at work was switching and told me about the deal he was getting. For the same plan $ (less), and 100 for the phone (200 off),… I now have a cheaper plan (not by much) and a phone that can do all sorts of things. I have used the camera and navigation and those are 2 things that would need to be bought otherwise.

            Overall, I agree with you. My phone is only on when home and off at night. Off while driving and in stores (I take it in the store so as if the car ever got broken into,.. they would not get that). I would say off at work,… but not so much these days.

            It was just “happenstance” that I ended up getting one.

            Chris



              • GF1,

                “mods for your brain”,.. ehh? Oh boy,…. I am in deep doo-doo. 🙁

                🙂 Chris

                Yes,… they can be very beneficial. I have siblings that use them to the fullest.

                As I mentioned last holiday’s (X-mas?),… a lot of people also had their nose in them more often than not. Me,… mine was still in the car. I have my limits.


                • Chris
                  Remember your only old when that next birthday doesn’t come.

                  Learn to use your smart phone my friend. One day you will be glad you did.

                  And its like anything else. Over indulgence is self initiated.

                  Learn to use the power. 😉


                  • GF1,

                    “Remember your only old when that next birthday doesn’t come.”,….. Ok?,…. most people would call that something else.

                    “Grass Hoppa” shall try and use the power,……….. 😉 Soon,…. I shall be a smart phone black belt and shortly then after,….. Rule The World!!!! Or not. Me thinks not.

                    Chris


                    • Chris
                      Oh but grasshopper.

                      You will rule your world once you learn again something new. 🙂


            • Chris,
              Well, let’s see. I already have two digital cameras…and I know where I’m going, so no need for the GPS. Guess I’ll just keep plugging along with my old flipper. 😉
              Funny thing is, people using smart phones are always asking me how to do this, or that. Even though I don’t like using them, I can usually figure out where things are and how to make them do what they want. It just gives me a headache looking at the little tiny screen. I need MORE POWER, and a much larger screen to do actual work. My wife sits and plays with her smartphone all the time…while I read the blog on my nice big 23″ screen on my desktop computer. Have a good one.
              Geo


              • Geo,

                In fact,… I think? my comment was meant for RR,…. but somehow put you in there (comments are separated too far to tell). At any rate,… you and I are on the same page. I like simple and hassle free and smart phones are pretty far from that,.. as best I can tell.

                You have a “good one” too,……….. Chris



  5. Off topic

    Gunfun1, Shootski & Decksniper,

    Thanks for the remarks yesterday. The Photo is no fake, Lee Miller was a quite a famous photographer going with the combat troops in these days. She was in the frontlines at the siege of st. Malo in August 1944.
    Interesting is why there are horizontal splits in the visor as the visor can only move upwards in order to leave room for the film camera’s of these days. I was not able find another photograph of this helmet showing in more details what is behind the splits.

    Regards,

    August


    • August,

      When you mentioned splits I had to look again. They do not look like such to me. They appear to be painted on, possibly as a “joke”. They look like the view slits in the visor of an old timey knight’s helmet.


    • August,

      I figured that maybe there was some window screen type material behind the slots. Can see through,.. but still offered some flying debris/dirt protection. I guess that just plain slots would also offer some protection too. Better than nothing at all.

      Chris

      Edit: Looking again,.. if you look at the light and shadowing,… it looks like tape has been added. Just tape on top,.. nothing else.



    • August
      Maybe Kevlar was around back in ww2.

      Just the general public didn’t know about it till the 60’s.

      You know how the government gets to be sly and keep things secret till the right time. “That’s convenient for them”.


  6. BB,

    Well, I guess it could be used for a self colonoscopy, but I have to admit the idea is sort of unappealing to me.

    If I was a gunsmith or airgunsmith, I would like to have one. Otherwise (shrug)…

    The issue of poor software (that is app for you young whipper snappers) support could cause a serious problem. You complain of no manual, but the truth is most of the electronic “toys” they put out today do not have manuals either. None came with my Kindle. My Caldwell “app” does not have instructions that I can find. You are supposed to spend hours and hours of your time trying to accomplish something with it until you stumble upon how it is done and then try to remember how you did it in the first place.

    A Job Worth Doing… – last sentence – …you some ideas of how this might tool (tool might) be used.



  7. As 45Bravo pointed out, if you could just adjust the focus to a shorter distance (closer), the details of the barrel and rifling could be studied. As it is, it’s useless. Surely there a focus adjustment somewhere.



  8. I watched a Scotty Kilmmer video where he used a small bore scope to diagnose a leaking AC evaporator. I ran the scope in through the dash vents and was able to see that the evaporator was in fact leaking freon. He also used a tool called a “sniffer” to investigate the leak. A bore scope can be very handy in doing automotive repair.


  9. Manuals? We don’t need no stinkin’ manuals! Actually, we do, or at least I do. Here is a good source for manuals, though not airgun related. This could be useful for anyone with other interesting hobbies.

    germanmanuals.com



  10. BB,

    Thanks for this!

    Was looking at getting one of those a few months ago but they were not available in Canada at the time. Will check again.

    I want to try different pellet lubes so being able to monitor the barrel fouling would be good.

    Figure that a bore scope would be worth having around just to check if a barrel needed cleaning – no point in cleaning a barrel that doesn’t need it. The savings of time and effort would cover the $50 pretty quick.

    Hank


  11. Bore scopesare nice.

    If they are good.

    We use them at work. And have used them building car engines in numerous ways.

    Again if they are good. They have to be clear and sharp are they are worth nothing.


  12. I’mB.B. and Readership,

    As was mentioned by 45 Bravo (Ooops Mildot52) this teslong.com is the price point competition and it looks like they are ahead of the game. I have one on order.

    This is what i wish i could convince myself to get: https://www.lenoxinst.com/

    As far as other things to do with them…what is behind that wallboard? Very small hole (easily patched) and oh dang! that plumber…electrician put that there!!!!

    shootski


    • Shootski,

      Good. Maybe you can figure out the focus bit. I was not too impressed,…. but if you say that ” it looks like they are ahead of the game. “,……. I will take your word for it. $50 for a micro camera is ahead of,… something.

      Chris


  13. Off topic warning:

    Any window AC experts out there? I have a 8000 BTU window unit. Put it on med fan/cool setting and left for a few hours. I come back and the indoor condenser is “frosting” over. The outside “radiator” blows hot air (removing heat),…. but,…. the front of the house gets pounded by sun until about 1 PM.

    Question: Could it be that the outdoor radiator is getting heated up so much by direct sun,… that it can (not) exchange the heat/keep up,… that it is supposed to be doing?

    I shut it off, put a fan on it and within 10 minutes,.. it was thawed out and ran fine all the rest of today. By that time,.. the direct sun was off the condenser.

    Does any of that make any sense? It is a new unit as of last year. Shade the exit side for just such situations?

    Chris



      • Shootski,

        “KOOL” is good. Just curious. I clean the outside and internals in Fall and keep the internal screen clean. I do not think any restriction is the issue. Link saved,…. just thought I would give a quick shout out here first. It has been getting a good workout for the last couple of weeks with no issues. Today was real hot and the humidity seems well above what it has been,.. even in the AM.

        Thanks,… Chris



      • TT,

        By my thinking,… something that is hot,…with a fan blowing over it,.. that is supposed to be removing heat,… (with direct sun beating down on it),… can not be an ideal situation. Yes,… I do lean towards more air flow over less air flow. Humidity is 40-45 inside. I like the temp. around -70 F if I can keep it there. Lower limit is set at 65 F currently. I have done low or med. fan (at night),.. while on cool,… this year and so far no issues.

        I may do a bit of a sun shade for the outside if it happens again in the AM when the direct sun is an issue.

        Chris


    • Chris,
      I would suggest that you adjust the AC thermostat a little higher. I’ve seen this happen on central AC units if one sets the thermostat too low…especially when the outside temps and humidity is very high. It’s been in the low to mid 90s here for the past ten days. I usually set our thermostat at about 74º, but when the temp outside gets up to 90º+, I will set the AC up to 75º or more to keep the difference around 15º. The freon being low can cause this also, but you say it’s only a year old so that should not be the cause.
      Here is an interesting fact, a central AC unit will be more efficient and actually use less energy than a window unit if trying to cool a large area. Stay cool! 😉
      Geo


      • Geo,

        It is a small-ish ranch house with electric base board heat (so no central air system). Yesterday was the hottest here so far (89), with high humidity, in my rural location. No problem yesterday with the AC, but I did keep it on high/cool all day from the start. I did keep it on all last night on high/cool and the outside is 74 now and the inside made it down to 68,.. with no issues. The inside high yesterday peaked at 74 and back to 71F by 9PM. Normally,… I can keep the inside around 68F easily. But yes,… I am asking quite a bit of that 8000 BTU unit. Just keeping the humidity down helps a lot. I can get that to around 40-45%. 45% now. 36% in Summer might be the lowest I ever see.

        I have a pretty open floor plan, with 2 bedrooms and the bath being the only actual rooms. The one bedroom I don’t use (storage) and keep the door open just a few inches to promote at least a little air exchange.

        I did do something yesterday that I have been wanting to do for awhile. I put some 1″ R5 sheet foam in some of the unused windows. That should limit the heat/cool exchange in Winter and Summer as the typical double pane window is an R3. That should pay off well in the Winter. Shades do not really work as the heat (in Summer) is still IN the house, they just slow down transfer into the room. (All sheets easily remove at will, as they are all a light press fit). With 4 sheets at $21 each, I should be able to easily recover the cost this Winter. We shall see. Just me here,… so nobody gripes.

        In the Winter,… I can open the shades on 4 windows in the main part of the house that face East and can easily raise the house temp. 10F+ within 1 hour with direct sun. Of course,… not desirable in the Summer. There you go,… that is the “detailed” explanation.

        Take care,…. Chris


  14. 3.9mm for that low a price? I’m getting one! I have a cheap video “borescope” – it’s not really small enough to be used on a barrel but I’ve found it very useful for various mechanical tasks. It is too big to properly do one job that I need to do every year which is inspecting the insides of the wing spars of my ASW-15B glider. This one looks like it will be much easier to snake into the inspection ports to take a look. Up until now the mechanic I’ve worked with for all the annual inspections has been using the shop’s (extremely expensive) professional scope for this. They bought it mostly in order to do inspections of PT-6 turbine engines. It will be nice to have a second option when their scope is in use on one of those jobs and speed up and simplify my annual inspection.


  15. BB, that’s a good thing to review on a hot day. It is just too hot to be outside this week. I was glad to see you mention shooting at an indoor range the other day.

    I have wanted an endoscope for a couple of years but I have been waiting for one small enough to fit into a .177 barrel. I would love one small enough to fit into a transfer port on a springer to see what the piston seal looks like. I think an endoscope will be on my shopping list.

    Another use I have is that I have a lot of ear troubles. I could do a little self diagnosis or send video to the Doctor and maybe save on appointments. Speaking or ear problems, the ear doctor ran an endoscope up through my nose all the way to the backside of my ear drum. Weird sensation.

    Interesting Blog!
    Thanks,
    David Enoch


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