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CCTV Pipe Inspection System Development at Scanprobe

Posted on: January 8th, 2014

Part 1 – The evolution of Scanprobe Techniques and the early CCTV Pipe Inspection System development


Videoboard Ltd was formed in 1975 because its founder and Managing Director Mike Barry could not find a firm capable of supplying a pipeline CCTV inspection system at a realistic price. Neither could he locate a company prepared to deliver and service the equipment when and where it was needed at very short notice.

At this time, Barry was running a company geared to offering to the contracting industry and to local authorities, and it was a request from the surveyor’s department of one of London’s major boroughs for Barry’s company to carry out a “television” inspection of a length of drainage piping located under a block of council flats that led to the formation of Videoboard.

It was clear in a very short space of time that a gap in the market had been found. Although not trained in electronics, it did not take Barry long to find the main reason why no suitably priced systems were available. Those manufacturers who were in the market had developed CCTV systems which were in the technological sense complicated hybrids. While there was no doubt that the equipment performed the desired function satisfactorily while it was in working condition, it was entirely a different story when the equipment became unserviceable, either through mishandling or perhaps just generally hard work.

Mike Barry, Founder of Videoboard CCTV Inspection Systems

Mike Barry, Founder of Videoboard Ltd

Then troubles really started – almost every system included in its circuitry some form of so-called “technical innovation” developed by the marketers of the system. In other words, not content with offering a relatively straight piece of equipment, each small company offering a CCTV pipeline inspection system had included a number of modifications to the TV camera unit, which in all probability was either of Japanese or German origin, or more likely, was a unit made by a little known UK company.

The final result was the same – when the system non-functioned it was impossible to get anyone to carry out the necessary repair work, because there were just no nationwide service facilities to cope with a complicated “one-off” modification developed by some small unknown manufacturer in a remote part of the UK.

This gave Mike Barry the key to the market because he realised that no one who bought this type of system was going to be too pleased if he couldn’t get the system repaired in a hurry. CCTV pipe inspection units have a very hard existence and there is every chance that a system is going to get damaged not once, but a score of times, during its working life. He was determined therefore to develop a unit that was simple to operate, simple to maintain, and one that used standardised components from world famous manufacturers with established reputations for reliability. Even more important he decided at the time, to use no piece of equipment unless he was satisfied that its manufacturer had a high density network of service agents covering the UK and Europe, the two areas from which they received most calls for the equipment.

In the early stages of system development, Videoboard worked closely with a Wallington, Surrey based firm of electronic designers and after considerable development work, the decision was taken to centre the Videoboard system around ITC equipment. Not only had ITC equipment built up an unbeatable reputation for reliability but, as important in Barry’s view, it had a thoroughly proven worldwide network of service agents. “Time is money and an unserviceable CCTV pipe inspection system that is out of action for only a few hours can cost a company or a water board or a firm of consulting engineers or whoever it is a great deal of money. Invariably the CCTV system is needed for emergency inspections and if the system malfunctions then the problems are exacerbated, for if the called for inspection is delayed or interrupted there is every reason to suppose that the fault being investigated will worsen progressively, a situation which in turn can lead to all sorts of complications.”

A great deal of actual engineering work that was necessary during the development of the Videoboard system was carried out by Barry’s associated company, who specialised in prototype engineering. Mike Barry later went on to form Scanprobe Techniques Ltd in the early 1980s which to this day specializes in CCTV pipe inspection systems based on the same principles developed at Videoboard.


Part 2 will examine the technical specification of the early Videoboard system.

Scanprobe Series 6 CCTV Pipe Inspection System

Posted on: December 11th, 2013

The Series 6 CCTV Pipe Inspection System is a high performance drain camera system suitable for pipe sizes over 50mm up to 300mm in diameter.CCTV Pipe inspection system

This Series 6 CCTV Pipe Inspection System consists of a detachable 50mm diameter auto self-levelling colour camera – with a ring of long life, high intensity white LED lighting; a range of centring skids and a robust coiler frame – with 50m of 11mm semi-rigid push rod. This connects to a Scanprobe Compact Control Box – a rugged military specification unit that has an integrated 10.5″ flat screen monitor and touch pad controls and records directly on to portable memory USB drive, or an optional hard drive. The Series 6 CCTV Pipe Inspection System comes complete with on-screen meterage, probewriter 16-page text generator will operate at 110v or 240v AC – with auto switching – and also 24v DC with integrated rechargeable batteries for use where no mains power is available.


Camera Size 50mm
Suitable for pipes 50mm – 300mm
Reel length 50meters
Rod type 11mm pushrod
Monitor type 10.5″ Integrated Flat Screen
Voltage 110v to 240v AC, or 24v DC rechargeable batteries
Lighting High intensity LED
Recorder Portable memory USB drive or Optional Hard Drive


This drain camera is also available for hire and is WinCan v8 compatible.






Scanprobe Techniques Limited | Registered in England No. 02682996
Registered office: 99-105 Stanstead Road, London SE23 1HH

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