Scanning Technology: the scanners and software

Preparing each document
for publication on AmericanRadioHistory.Com
is a process involving 
a series of steps.
using the most
advanced hardware
and software available.

How you can contribute
publications or your own scans.
  • Scanning to JPG files
  • Processing bitmaps for clarity
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Conversion to compressed PDF for the Internet
  • User Contributions of publications
  • Sending your own scans
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 Sheet Scanner Atiz Book Scan Epson  Flatbed
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-Alaris 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 18". We have two of these to insure no scanning down time. .

Click on the pictures of the scanner for a full description in a PDF brochure..

Tethered Flatbed Scanner

The i3250 is attached to a Kodak-Alaris A3 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 Kodak-Alarus 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 Atiz Bookscan below for the 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 Atiz  BookScan device which holds the publication on a platen open at about a 120° angle under balanced LED lighting and takes digital photos using a pair of Canon EOS 80D cameras. Pages must be turned by hand, so it might take 3 hours to do a 1000 page book.

Click the image to see the Atiz BookScan Mark 2 Lite  PDF Brochure..
Software Enhancement

At each step, specialized software applications are used to enhance the scans. Here is a veiw of BookScan Capture, which uses the Bookscan device to photograph "pairs" of pages from books and magazines. Focus, shutter speed and aperture can be set for the best capture. We use two Canon T3i cameras in our BookScan device. 

Flatbed Scanner

Big probjects 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.


The site uses two computers for scanning (one for the Atiz and one for the Kodak scanners) and another for processing and web design. All use Asus motherboards with i9 X299 chipset processors and SSD drives.

Our principal processing computer uses an Asus Rampage II Extreme Motherboard with 64gb RAM and an i9 7280 CPU, Asus Ryujin liquid cooling, an Asus Nvidia 1070 video card and an Asus 1200 watt power supply, all overclocked.

We also have 32tb of  backup storage in two Synology NAS devices.
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

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 Kodak, the BookScan Mini or one of several flatbed scanners, the JPG originals are processed in BookDriveEditor.
Here things like contrast,b rightness 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.
PDF Compressor Pro

Once documents have been optimized in BookDrive Editor, they are processed in CVision PDFCompressor Professional, where huge jpg files are converted to managable 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 clients seem to appreciate that. But it is also pay-back for over 55 years in a sometimes frightening but always exciting field of endeavor.

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.