Flatbed scanner with hackable interface?

Does anyone know which/if any flatbed scanners have a hackable interface, or hackable hardware? Do the SCSI scanners bring the actual data and CCD control pins out to the SCSI connector by any chance?

I'm annoyed at the state of photographic film scanning. Film scanners are all way too slow and way too expensive. I want to make a continuous-roll scanner, but I need a preferably color linear CCD. I can't find a source for linear CCDs, except in scanners, but most scanners require proprietary drivers to operate.

What are you wanting to scan?

At what color depth?

In what resolution?

What do you plan to do with this data on the arduino?

Photographic film

As high as possible

As high as possible

Good question. Obviously the image data will have to go to the computer; the arduino will be controlling the film transport mechanism. I don't know how to achieve a precise sync between arduino and computer; it may not be necessary. I know very little about how linear CCDs work and how they are implemented in things like flatbed scanner. I might get away with actually using the scanner but to make a continuous-motion film scanner I need to be able to hack the scanner itself at a minimum, ideally be able to rob the linear CCD and reuse it. Does anyone know what the immediate circuitry looks like?

Most scanners manufactured today use what is called a CIS assembly ( contact image sensor ).

Most times a lamp or LED is used to illuminate the documnet and then the CIS assembly is moved accross the document at a speed depending on the resolution desired. Most of these are serial in nature but some high speed / high resolution scanners are parallel.

Some scanners are twain compliant sending the information while others rely on software from the host PC to render the image.

Controlling the motors should not be too bad. They are mostly fine steppers. controlling the CIS part of it I am not sure of. I have looked at data sheets from a couple mounted in copiers just out of curiosity but never really examined what they do or how they do it via software.

Most micro fische type scanners I have seen work in a simular fashion. They place a bright led/lamp behind the fishe and replect it off a white plate for scanning via the CIS/CCD unit. Most of these I have seen are CCD based for micro fische. I do not work on "Film" scanners but I assume they work in a simular fashion to the two I mentioned.

Hope this helps.

There is actually good datasheets on bare linear CCDs at Kodak:


I don't know how much they cost and implementing a bare CCD sounds like quite a project.

several videos on youtube about people using the drive sections and parts of them.

If your talking 1200x1200 dpi at 24bit resolution I am not sure the poor little chip could keep up at 16Mhz but it looks like a fun little project if you have a couple old scanners laying around and some free time. I see them all the time at garage sales, recycle centers and thrift stores.

The worst that could happen is it does not work?