Introduction: Recycled Scanner Hack!

Picture of Recycled Scanner Hack!
I found my old serial port, flatbed scanner and decided to do something useful with it. I have seen other scanner Instructables, like this one from jpitz31 and this one from trebuchet03 but nothing like what I had in mind. This is easy to make and versatile. Watch the Test Results in the video.

Step 1: What You Need...

Picture of What You Need...

1. A flatbed scanner. I used an HP 3200C. You can find them all day long at garage sales...
2. 1/2" clear vinyl tubing
3. 2 Project Enclosures (Radio Shack Model: 270-1801)
4. Switch

Step 2: Disassemble the Scanner

Picture of Disassemble the Scanner

This scanner only had 2 screws and the top came right off. Save it if you want the glass out of it. Remove the carriage assembly off the steel rod. I saved the rod for another day.

Step 3: Remove the Lamp and the Inverter

Picture of Remove the Lamp and the Inverter

Remove the Inverter by unplugging the (2) connectors and carefully remove the lamp. Save the AC Adapter, you may need this one.

Step 4: Prep the Housings...

Picture of Prep the Housings...

I drilled 2 - 1/2" holes in the ends of the boxes, one small hole in one box for the ac adapter wires and a hole for the switch. I mounted the Inverter in the main box with hot glue. I also used a 6volt - 500Ma adapter instead of the original. (Some bench testing may be necessary to determine the exact voltage required to fully light, yet not blow the fluorescent lamp.) Run the wires from the ac adapter into the smaller hole in the box. Install the switch. Solder the negative ac adapter wire to one end of the switch and solder the other end of the switch to the black wire coming from the inverter. Solder the red wire from the Inverter to the positive side of the ac adapter. You should add some heat tubing and tie a not in the wires from the ac adapter to keep it from pull stress.

Step 5: Build the Lamp Housing...

Picture of Build the Lamp Housing...

Cut the 1/2" tubing to the size of the lamp. After threading the lamp connector into the box, plug it in to the Inverter. Slide the tubing over the lamp and about an inch into each of the two boxes and secure with hot glue...Now plug it in and test it out! I used velcro to secure it wherever I want to use it. Hope you enjoyed this Instructable.


pdub77 (author)2008-08-13

i just took apart my scanner and i found this. can anyone tell me what it is? tell me the truth. it's a flux capacitor, isn't it?!?! ; ) (the black and silver thing on the circuit board, not the whole circuit.)

njmalhq (author)pdub772017-01-25

A flummoxed capacitor.

sensoryhouse (author)pdub772010-10-09

It's the CCD stupid(s)

Image for n00bs

Yonatan24 (author)sensoryhouse2015-12-13

Thanks, I was wondering what that was

pdub77 (author)sensoryhouse2010-10-09

You totally missed the point. But thanks for being condescending. . .

bleachworthy (author)pdub772008-09-30

Don't believe the lies they tell you about it being a scanner, it IS a flux capacitor, now hot-glue it to the back window of a Dalorian and GO GO GO!!!!

awang8 (author)bleachworthy2009-03-07

I think you're being sarcastic but if you're not, well it ISN'T a flux capacitator. It's the actual scanning thingy. The lamp is just to light up the page so the thingy can "see" the page.

svrobots (author)awang82010-09-26

I agree it is the camera that scans the page

pdub77 (author)svrobots2010-09-26

I still prefer the term 'thingy,' but thanks, scrobots.

pdub77 (author)awang82009-03-07

i don't want to be rude, awang8, but yes, we were employing a it of playful jocularity. everyone knows that flux capacitors are found in printers!!

mman1506 (author)pdub772009-03-23

awang8 is wrong its a flux capacitor

awang8 (author)mman15062009-03-26

Why would a flux capacitor be found in printers? It needs like... 1.21 Gigawatts of power. Well, what scans the page if that's a flux capacitor?

mman1506 (author)awang82009-03-26

the bar adsorbs power from the earth and stores it powering the axon tube to adsorb the electrons of the ink,its simple really

pdub77 (author)mman15062009-03-26

good call mman1506. you really know your scanners!

mman1506 (author)pdub772009-03-27

ive been studying the for a whole 3 days now

this is heavy (lol)

tomtortoise (author)pdub772010-09-06

glue it in your car and if a cop pulls you over for speeding say you had to reach 88 MPH

sora (author)pdub772010-03-20

i do believe it is a ccd charge-coupled device

Argon27 (author)pdub772010-02-07

 It's actually a surface mount flux capacitor for your more discrete time travel needs. :D

Plasmana (author)pdub772008-09-03

I have one of those in my scanner too, I think It is the actual scanner...

ReCreate (author)Plasmana2009-02-25

darn i was planning to go to the past and correct all of my mistakes! And to get a computer from the future.

thepsymaster (author)pdub772008-09-07

That bit is the actual scanner part. If you look on the big black thing it was enclosed in, you'll see the mirrors converge on a lens right on top of this part.

pdub77 (author)thepsymaster2008-09-09

right on! thanks, man.

senj0h (author)2015-07-20

I wish, that at the very beinging, of this article, it said what the purpose of this article is.

Ampix0 (author)2010-12-29

Ok now I no longer have the power adapter (which is fine, for what im using this for it needs to be run off batteries anyway) So does anyone know what type of power I should be using here? Battery type?

I tried with 2 double A's and a VERY SMALL portion of the tube lit up.

shaheerarshad22 (author)Ampix02015-03-26

you could use a universal ac to dc adaptor

Zombie comments, but what the heck.
2 double A batteries only get you 2 or 3 volt in series. The lowest I have ever gotten ANY ccfl scanner lamp to work with is 7 volt, from a nearly dead 9 volt battery. So for AAs, try 6 in series. Should work, and run the lamp for... 30 hours or so.
A standard 9 volt usually lasts a few hours. A 12 volt sla, even a tired one out of an old ups, runs a LONG time.
Tapping the 12 volt rail of a computer psu works well too (yellow and black wire from the molex connector).
Avoid voltages much above 12 volt though as some of the little chips on the driver board heat up when given too little or too much voltage.

mammasboy (author)2013-03-25

is it possible at all to run the lamp without mains power?

etywoniak (author)mammasboy2014-01-30

Maybe it won't get enough current and glow dim, but if you have a big 12V battery around, try it.

stncilr (author)2011-02-26

I finally made one! Now im not too sure what to do with it... Check out more of my projects on flickr

A good name (author)2010-06-17

Kip you have such a badass soldering iron! I want it!

Plasmana (author)2008-07-24

Please, anybody, I really need help here!

I am having a problem here, the inverter has four wires! I don't know which one I should connect to the battery and I don't want to risk damaging the inverter, please help me!

Also, what is that black thing that looks like a "C"?

emuman4evr (author)Plasmana2008-07-28

I think, not sure but I think, the red wire is where you should solder the positive adapter wire, and the black wire all the way on the far left is where you should solder the negative. Someone wanna double check me on this?

Plasmana (author)emuman4evr2008-09-03

Okay, I used my multimeter to find out which lead goes where... The red wire is connected in series with a very high resistant resistor, and so as the brown wire... The orange and black wire appears to be connected to the circuit, I think those are the wires I am looking for! :) How many volts should I put on this thing? My scanner has no adapter, and it has no voltage ratings signs, so I am left to guess... :(

emuman4evr (author)Plasmana2008-09-03

Id say 12v for a cold cathode light.

ReCreate (author)emuman4evr2009-02-25

what about mine,its from the backlight of a laptop . It looks exactly the same,but i dont know if i should put in 12 volts or 5! becaus the fan of my laptop it 5 volts,the cd rom is 5 volts,floppy,hdd is 5v too so should i put in 5 volts?

emuman4evr (author)ReCreate2009-03-03

If its powered by a yellow cable its 12v, if its red its 5v.

ReCreate (author)emuman4evr2009-03-03 has like 5 wires they are: Red Black yellow WHITE brown and orange

emuman4evr (author)ReCreate2009-03-06

Try 5v first then 12v. Its probably 12v though.

ReCreate (author)emuman4evr2009-03-06

on what wires?

Derin (author)ReCreate2009-03-20

Try red and black first.

ReCreate (author)Derin2009-03-21

umm...that's what i tried first,no avail

Derin (author)ReCreate2009-03-21


ReCreate (author)Derin2009-03-21


emuman4evr (author)ReCreate2009-04-03

Yellow and Black and Yellow and white, try those, yellow being the positive. Just a guess though.

ReCreate (author)emuman4evr2009-05-21

I finally Found what the wires are.
The Inverter Can Run On 3 Wires
Orange = Ground
Brown = 4.98V
Black = 18.5V
I tested them with a multimeter,And Conclude with those results.
But I think it Draws To much current,My USB port is the only thing that gives me that perfect voltage,about 5V

b2gills (author)ReCreate2010-01-22

I have a couple of them that are exactly like that.

The two wires in the middle have nothing to do with the inverter.

Hook the black wire to ground, and the other outside wire to 12 volts.

I would remove the optical switch ( the black C ), and use it for some other project. I'm actually kind of surprised you managed to get it to work like that.

TheDeviant13 (author)Derin2009-05-15

red is five volts yellow is 12 volts

TheDeviant13 (author)ReCreate2009-05-15

so try yellow and black

TheDeviant13 (author)ReCreate2009-05-15

It SHOULD be like this if it is using common color coding and not what the company wanted to use
red= +5v
yellow= +12v
white= unknown
brown and orange= unknown

About This Instructable



Bio: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
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