Site Technology: Scanners, computers & software.

Preparing each document
for publication on AmericanRadioHistory.Com
is a process involving 
a lengthy series of steps.
using the most
advanced hardware
and software available.
  • Computer hardware
  • Scanning to JPG files
  • Processing bit
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Conversion to compressed PDF for the Internet
  • User Contributions of publications
  • How to send your own scans
Equipment

We have three computers doing processing, book scanning and sheet scanning, plus three independant NAS storage devices..


The most advanced computer is the site design and scan processing unit using an Asus Zenith II Extreme Motherboard with a Ryzen Threadripper 3960x processor, 128 gb of G.Skill DDR4 3600 memory, a Gigabyte 5700 XT video Card, Aorus water cooling, Corsair AX 1600i  power supply, an Aorus 2gb PCIE Gen 4 m.2 SSD boot drive, a 3.8 tb RAID array of 4 x Gigabyte 1gb SSDs and 5 x Barracuda 10 tb internal backup drives and a trio of Synology NAS systems with over 50tb of storage.
. Monitors are Dell UP 3017 IPS displays running in 2560 x 1600 mode. The case is a bequiet! Dark Base 900 full tower.
 

Separate Bookeye library scanner computer and the Panasonic sheet feed scanner commuter are both using Asus motherboards with i7 6900 CPUs and 64 gb of DDR4 memory using Samsung SATA SSD primary drives and 6tb data storage drives.
 

We use customized WASD Mechanical keyboards and Corsair M65 mouses on all units.


A trio of Synology NAS units, two with 5 x 8tb WD drives and one with 5 x 12tb drives, maintain backups of the original scans and all site material. Additional hard drive backups are maintained offline in separate secure locations.
 

Clicking on most items will bring up that product's description page.


Click on any image for link to a full description. 

  • Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme Xtreme
    Motherboardd

    128 gb of G.Skill DDR4 3600 Memory

    Aorus Liquid Cooler 280


    Corsair 1600 Watt Power Supply
     
    Gigabyte Aorus Gen 4 SSD
     
    Gigabyte 5700 XT Video Card

    be quiet! DarkBase 900 case

    Ryzen 3960x 24 core CPU

    Synology NAS with 5 x 8tb drives


    Synology NAS #2 with 5 x 12tb drives
Scanning Decisions

The first step in putting a document on the site is scanning. Depending on the publication, a sheet fed scanner may be employed,. For non-destructive scanning the camera based  library scanner or a large format flatbed can be used.
 
kodak i3200 scanner
Kodak i3250
Document Scanner
Bookeye 5 V3
Open Book Scanner
Kodak 11x17 Flatbed for large documents.
Sheet-Fed Scanner

When we scan documents that do not have to be returned "intact" to their owner, the preferred method employs a sheet-feed high resolution scanner. We use the Kodak i3250 which can do a 1000 page document in less than 15 minutes. The resultant scans are the best of all the possible alternatives. The downside is that publications have to be separated into single pages.

The scanner is "duplex" meaning it takes a picture of both sides of a document in a single pass: it accommodates pages up to 12" by as long as 150".. . .

Tethered Flatbed Scanner

The sheet scnner is attached to a flatbed which runs automatically when no document is on the sheet feeder. This allows for mixed sheet fed documents and fragile pages or thin items to be scanned with the same settings.
 
 

Scanning Adjustments

The scanner features considerable flexibility in document handling and scanning. here is a view of one of the setup menus that allows customization by document type, size and resolution.

Adjustments to contrast, brightness and document type can be made. The scanner is "smart" and reads graphics differently from text to get crisp letters and sharper pictures.

It also does hole removal, de- skewing, blank page removal and has ultrasonic detection when more than one page at a time is fed to the LED scanning array.
 
Binding Removal

Preparing publications for sheet feeding. The spine or binding must be removed using an industrial paper cutter.

Note: when items are on loan, this procedure is not used. See the Bookeye scanner below for the non-destructive process used in such cases.
Loaned Documents:
Non-destructive scans.

Documents which can not be stripped at the binding for single page scanning can be scanned with no damage, wear or stress using the Bookeye 5 V3 Overhead Book Scanner..

It takes a digital photograph of two pages at a time and adjusts for curvature and shape distortion.
Click for additional data.
 
Software Enhancement

Proprietary specialized software is used to enhance the scans. Here is another view of the book scanner showing the screen which allows for a range of adjustments to the final scan.

We buy our scanners from

They are knowledgable, fair and nice people!
 

Flatbed Scanner

Big projects of very large or very delicate documents are scanned on a  DS 5000 12" x 19" flatbed scanner from Epson. While this is the slowest method by far, with a 100 page document taking upwards of a half-hour, it is the best way to capture brittle old publications or oversized documents. Click picture for Epson website specifications and pricing.

 
Flatbed Software

With the flatbed scanner, we employ the Professional version of VueScan, the absolute best scanner software for both the average consumer and the professional. It's available at a reasonable price in two versions at
http://www.hamrick.com/

The consumer version is only $39.95 and is much better than anything that comesbundled with lower-cost scanners.
 
BookDrive Editor

Whether a page is scanned on the sheet fed Panasonic, the Bookeye or one of several flatbed scanners, the JPG originals are processed in BookDriveEditor.
Here things like contrast, brightness and color gamut can be adjusted. Background removal is possible, as is de-skewing, resizing and sharpening. It's possible to take poor and discolored originals and make them very legible and useful with this application.
 
Foxit PDF Compressor Pro 8.0

Once documents have been optimized in BookDrive Editor, they are processed in Foxit PDFCompressor Professional (Formerly CVision PDF Compressor) , where huge jpg files are converted to manageable PDFs for Internet viewing.

At the same time, the documents are processed for Optical Character Recognition so that they can be searched.


Click the graphic to see the PDF Compressor home page.
Indexing for Search

Publications that are part of large collections, like Broadcasting Magazine, are globally indexed so that the entire collection can be searched.

We use Zoom Search Engine from Australia's PassMark. It creates highly configurable search databases that are callable via css functions. 

Click the graphic and you can visit the Zoom Search website. 
 
Search Thumbnails

One of the features of Zoom Search engine is the ability to add a thumbnail for each "find" in a search. This helps determine if the search result is what the user is looking for. 

We use several programs to split all the PDFs into single-page files and then to create a small thumbnail image of each... currently 4.5 million of them.
   
Why do all this?
This site is a contribution to the radio industry by its webmaster. It serves a practical purpose of demonstrating my commitment to my profession and my consulting clients naturally appreciate that. A side benefit is in being able to give something back after 60 years in a sometimes frightening but always exciting field of endeavor.
Contributions

We welcome site user contributions.
If you wish to simply give items, email us! If you wish to loan documents which are to be returned, we can provide shipping via UPS or USPS both ways.
 If you have scanned documents yourself or want to do so, contact us for our preferred file  formatting information and access to our DropBox account.