This instructables show how to use a mobile phone to scan the photo in your old album.

Your mobile phone have a mega pixels camera with auto focus. It is a very good photo scanner, you just need a light source and some aids to make the mobile parallel to the photo.

Step 1: Preparation

White corrugated plastic sheets (or called PP carton board)

White LED strip (around 1 meter)

<p>Did you use an Exacto knife for your cuts or just scissors?</p>
I am using ruler and cutter.
I wish there were a video showing how this was made
<p>great instructable, I will be making this soon</p>
Hey thanks for responding so fast, I went ahead and built the box and I taped the light strip on the outside as you suggest; I decided about 2&quot; (inches) from the bottom, if this doesn't work I can move the lights up a little. (I did not notch the outside of the box for the lights, I just taped them onto the outside wall). I will probably test it tomorrow, wish me luck.
<p>Please note that an English Dictionary can help you; This Photo Scan project is excellent, but your words are sometimes NOT correct. Hold = restrain, to have a grasp on; (hu&oacute;c&aacute;ng or dic&eacute;ngc&aacute;ng),,Hole = an opening into or through something; (d&aacute;li&aacute;ng haof&eacute;i); I know my Chinese is TERRIBLE but I will keep trying</p>
<p>Thanks for point it out. Actually, I want someone help me proof read before post it. Since I always failed in language class while at school. I am using English just because I want more maker can read it. Please keep telling me if you still find any mistake in the future. Thanks.</p>
<p>Hello (author), (1) I would like to be able to pronounce your name in Pingying; (2) I was studying the drawing you made before I start and I realize I need help (simple), the light strip did you place it on the bottom side of the top piece (so it shines downward towards the pictures) or on the sides of the inside of the box, your help will be greatly appreciated</p>
The LED strip surround outside the &quot;light box&quot;. The light passthrough the &quot;white wall&quot; can make it well distributed.
<p>Ni-Hao Wo pengyou: I finally received the &quot;LED white light set (after waiting for almost 1 month) 5V 50/50; I also found the same white board you used at Home Depot Store, (white foam core board is no good), the foam does not let the correct amount of light rays penetrate through into the box; I will keep posted (informed) of my progress and the final product, I'm working so I only have time on the weekends; It should work, your instructions were good enough; talk to you soon!</p>
We are thankful for your sharing your ideas. One thing that is helpful if you use Word, is Grammarly. Once downloaded, it sits on the toolbar where you can easily reach it to not only correct but explain as well .
I apologize if I sounded too strong; I am not perfect and that's why I use MS Word Spell checker, It can help you with your grammar and spelling (its also a dictionary and will give you choices to choose. Please note that you did an Outstanding and Marvelous piece of work; you thought it out, built it, tested the unit, then you put it down in &quot;Black &amp; White&quot; (an American clich&eacute;), that sets you apart form the rest and puts you at the head of the class (another clich&eacute;). &quot;author&quot; DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE YOUR SELF, you will get better, I BELIEVE IN YOU!
you are welcome, everyone point out my mistake is my friend.
<p>A polite reply and response, <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/%E9%99%B3%E4%BA%AE" rel="nofollow">陳亮</a> and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/cafemiguel" rel="nofollow">cafemiguel</a>! English is the only language I know, but if I can help, let me know. I'm researching where to buy materials in my area now.</p>
<p>Ni Hao Ni Hao <a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/陳亮" rel="nofollow">陳亮</a>, I just want to say that &quot;&quot;YES your mistakes are your friend&quot;&quot; , look at all the comments, good and not so good that your project generated; It's just amazing, AND you have made friends with people you haven't met. </p>
@cafemiguel : The author probably does know the difference between Hold and Hole. It's just a typing error as D and E are close on the keyboard.
<p>it was hand written, not typed. Cafemiguel was good to assist.</p>
<p>I think we all understood, cafemiguel. Let's not get picky about a great idea.</p>
<p>I thought of making this in cardboard... so much cheaper... to light it up, you could use your camera's flash or just use a flashlight...</p>
<p>At Home Depot they have 4'x8' sheets if this corrugated plastic for just $12.</p><p>The whole point of this project is that this light source is outside the box and the white plastic diffuses the light evenly inside the box. With a flashlight you will get uneven light or even glare, and with the camera's flash you will get a closeup snapshot of the bikini atoll during the nuclear test.</p>
<p> I think this is a great idea. Saves the trouble of downloading scanner firmware, software etc. and is easily portable. Some people wrote that this is cheaper than a scanner but I have to disagree. This is a great idea but does cost time and money. If it takes you 2 hours to build those 2 hours could have been involved in creating money by work. You need to calculate in the cost of the LED's the used power cable, the white-boards etc. LED strips from the stores run about $20 and add up the cost of the white board and you are close to $30. A cheap scanner runs about $39 or less if you find one at a goodwill etc. For those of us who have to document work completed and scan documents regularly while on the road this is a great tool because it saves space is easily portable and easy to use. The LED's can be powered by a 12V DC Jack. etc. Creating similar boxes to scan receipts, invoices etc would be awesome because of the portability. Thanks for sharing. </p>
I've seen those same white boards at the dollar tree and led strips for about $10 or less on eBay. Thus for like $12 one could make this project...totally cheaper than a scanner.
Also if you knew anything about technology, which it's painfully obvious you don't, you would know that even the cheap phones these days have so many megapixels that the resolution on big screens are amazing.
Hi, Vousie. I agree scanner could have better scan quality in most condition. This light box just help people saving $40 if they don't have scanner in hand and just want to scan a few old photo.
Thx! Light and portable are the main design principles. Because I need go to 2 families home to scan their old photos. Actually, I am using a 5V LED strip eith USB plug, so that I can turn it on by a power bank.
You are a genius for making this instructable. Thankyou.
<p>some times someone may be working with old photos that are glued into older books that you cannot take apart without risking losing or ruining the photos or the books. for that, this idea is great. well, using a good DSLR with pro lenses would be better but most folks don't have a good DSLR but most do have a decent Smart phone with a pretty good camera on it.</p>
A scanner is actually slower,cannot scan pix well without removing them from the album,reflect high gloss finishes.<br>A few years ago,When i tried to scan my moms 30+ year old 10x12 magnetic cling albums,with some 60+year old pix,some of the photos could not be removed without destroying them,the ones I could remove had to be put back in the albums.<br><br>I resorted to a similar method,with a little diy jig for page alignment,I used a 10x13 picture frame glass to hold the pages down flat.<br>The illumination had to be adjusted to eliminate glare.Cropped the individual photos from the page.I then batch processed most of the correction.<br>They actually came out pretty good with just a 7mp camera,at the time.<br>7 full albums.<br>Major project but.....so much nicer to view a slide show on a 60&quot;led tv.
<p>Yeah that's what I think. but I love your idea of placing the glass over the page to hold it flat... also im thinking that putting the book or page up on something like an easel may make it easier to photograph because theres no light coming from over head and no shadow from the camera / phone. </p>
<p>Scanners are more common than cell phones? </p>
What world do you live in. Everyone .... literally everyone owns a cell phone. I think I might know only two people with a scanner.
<p>A scanner isn't really cheaper - the actual scanner is free in this case. Nobody would buy a phone to scan pictures. The box is a fantastic design that could be made out of a lot of different translucent materials - something that is on hand. The LED strip lights are not expensive - they can be used for a ton of things besides dedicated to this one project. </p><p>In a roundabout way, this is virtually free. </p>
<p>but you still have to buy a cell phone and find one with a camera, and thoes ones are hundreds of $, mean while if you look hard enough you can find a scanner pinter combo on the side of the road some one threw out because the printer ran out of ink. happens all the time. and if not you can pick one up at good will for like 10$</p>
<p>This whole argument has nothing to do with this instructable and is best shared privately. After all, who really cares? We all have opinions about things. Let it be.</p>
<p>Not everyone would carry a scanner with them so as to have it when it is needed. Not all scanning is done from home. But the process isn't scanning in it's true sense, it just taking a picture. Much faster. I can scan or take a picture before your scanner comes on and initializes. </p>
I found this dumpster diving a month ago, works 100% and fits right in your pocket.<br>and old scanners took a while, newer, easy to find ones have leds and don't need warm up time.
Not everyone is rich enough to afford a scanner thus they aren't as common as you may think. I don't know anyone with a scanner. On the other hand, majority of people own a cell phone.
<p>Scanners that don't work on newer Windows will usually work on Linux. </p>
I am very interested in the LED strip being attached to a USB cord. How was that done? And what what LED, 3030, etc., 12v ? What USB leas are used?

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