What do I have to know about my computer to use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner?
The basic scanning operations of the Flip-Pal are completed quickly and without use of a computer and you do not need to be an accomplished computer user. But you do need a basic understanding of how to use your computer’s operating system, and how to access the SD memory card when you put it into your PC or Mac. You also need to know how to navigate and view the files and folders on the card as well as your computer’s hard drive.
The User’s Guide, our How-To videos and these Frequently Asked Questions describe much of what you’ll need to know.
Does the Flip-Pal mobile scanner work with Apple computers?
Absolutely. Mac users can use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner to scan photos, then transfer the resulting JPEG images to their computers just as they would with a digital camera. You will find a Mac-specific help section in that section of Frequently Asked Questions.
How do I keep dust from entering the optical chamber?
The Flip-Pal scanner is a sensitive optical device. Here are some precautions to take to ensure dust and particles do not enter the optical chamber. If those lodge on the sensor (the bar that moves while scanning) they will cause lines in the image.
- Replace the silver lid when you are done with the flip-and-scan technique. There are three slots in the base that dust can enter when the lid is removed.
- Wipe off the surface before placing the scanner on it with the “flip-and-scan” technique – flipped over and the lid and the lid removed.
- As an extra precaution when using the “flip-and-scan” technique, consider putting pieces of tape over the three slots that the lid fits into.
- Clean the batteries before installing them.
- Store the scanner in a carry case.
- Make sure there aren’t any particles attached to the SD card before installing it in the slot.
- Use the Flip-Pal Cleaning Cloth for covering the 3D object. Not only does this give great contrast to the object (coin, jewelry, medals) but it is a lint-free high-density microfiber cloth.
- Use and store in dust-free environments.
How should I maintain my Flip-Pal mobile scanner?
The Flip-Pal mobile scanner has been built to high standards and will withstand the normal wear and tear that a mobile device may be subjected to. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure that your Flip-Pal mobile scanner is always working at peak performance:
- Keep the glass scanning surface free of smudges, dust or other debris.
- Clean using a mild cleaner applied to a soft cloth.
- Do not spray or pour liquids on the scanner or scanning surface.
- Avoid physical shock.
- Avoid electrostatic shock (ESD).
- Use or store in dust-free environments.
- Avoid exposing to temperature extremes, such as in direct sunlight or inside a closed car.
- When not in use for long periods of time, remove the batteries to avoid corrosion on the terminals.
- More detail on some of these items can be found on the Specs tab of the Support menu.
When I shut my Flip-Pal off and then turned it back on, the Flip-Pal does not show the date and time like it did when I replaced the batteries. It goes directly to the Flip-Pal logo. How do I know the scanner has the correct date and time?
The date and time needs to be entered only after replacing the batteries. That information is used for the creation date of the scanned files. To confirm it is set correctly, browse to folder DCIM/100_SCAN on the SD card and look at the scanned file’s date and time stamp.
Can I stitch scans made from a device other than my Flip-Pal mobile scanner?
Our EasyStitch software is designed to stitch images of the type and size produced only from the Flip-Pal scanner, and it will do so properly in most cases. We cannot provide technical support for stitching images from other sources, such as those from a digital camera or a different scanner, nor do we warrant that it will work correctly using scans from any other device. That being said, a few essential tips are:
- images must be either 300 or 600 dpi
- all images must have equivalent dimensions (the horizontal and vertical pixels)
- disable any auto cropping that your scanner might do
- 1/4″ overlap
People have tried using a large flatbed scanner to reduce the number of scans and presumably save time. Experience, though, has shown that the time expended trying to get it to work exceeds the time spent using the Flip-Pal. You can scan 4-5 per minutes, so even 24×36″ portrait will take just 4-5 minutes. Hours have been spent using a conventional flatbed. And, just can imagine how cumbersome it is to drag a conventional flatbed with USB and power cord over the large object.
Is stitching performed by the scanner, or by the computer with the SD card connected?
The software is on the SD card, and the actual stitching is done after you plug the card into your computer; the computer assists. It is also possible to copy the Flip-Pal Toolbox software to your hard drive and use it there without the SD card.
Do you offer updates for the software that comes pre-installed on the SD card?
Yes. News of updates will be posted on this web site and can be downloaded through the Support menu. Registered customers will be notified via the email they provided.
Will the Flip-Pal mobile scanner scan negatives or slides?
The Flip-Pal is not designed to scan negatives or slides, which would require a separate light source in the lid, increasing costs and complexity. A dedicated film scanner is by far the best solution for film, but models that produce quality results tend to be fairly expensive.
Local photo processing outlets often have good scanners for this purpose, and there many online companies that can do a great job at a remarkably competitive cost.
Is there a display screen that shows the scans as they’re being done?
Yes. The display screen is the 1.7-inch color LCD. It shows the image as the the scan bar is moving. You can also watch the scan being performed by using the patented flip-and-scan technology: remove the lid, place the scanner on the original and watch the scan in progress through the see-through window.
What is the expected life span of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner?
We designed the Flip-Pal with a minimum lifespan of 10,000 scans. In testing, each unit in our sample went to 100,000 scans (or 10 times our specification) with no failures or reduction in function.
Where should I apply the window protector sheet?
Window protector sheets are not required, but are available to provide additional protection for the plastic viewing window on the bottom of the scanner. Please apply ONLY to the bottom viewing window, NOT to the top glass under the removable lid. Packets of replacement window protector sheets are available from our Shop page.
How can I get replacement manuals?
You can download all Flip-Pal documentation in PDF format through the Support menu. The User’s Guide and Quick Start Guide are usually updated along with new versions of our software. Request a free printed copy of the Users Guide (20 pages) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.