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BEC 08-29-2017 02:57 PM

Scanner settings suggestions? - Centuri Power Tower markings
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As part of my gathering of old GSE a few months ago I managed to score an Estes Big Foot launcher and a Centuri Power Tower pad - both never assembled.

I have the Big Foot now up and running (with an LED continuity lamp so it's Q2G2 safe) and have turned my attention to the Power Tower.

For those who wonder what that is - it's the plastic parts which are the same as the first generation tall Estes Porta-Pad (molded in black plastic rather than the red, yellow or orange of the Estes units of the same design), but with a Centuri angled blast deflector held to the launch rod with a couple of triangular push-nuts, as well as a spring-style standoff similar to the Odd'l Rockets Raise.

It also has some extensive graphics to be applied to the plastic parts - and these are the driver for this post. They are black printed on silver peel-n-stick markings and I'm having a devil of a time figuring out how to get a semi-decent scan of them before I actually attempt to attach them to the pad itself.

Does anyone out there have any magic set of scanner settings that might work on such a tough subject?

Attached is a .pdf of the best I've been able to get so far, to give an idea of what this is (but at 300 dpi so I could upload it).

mwtoelle 08-29-2017 04:08 PM

Tom Prestia at Tango Papa Decals might know. I sent him a Maxi Force decal sheet to scan about eighteen years ago that is printed on reflective material. I think that you may need to use a scanner that has a back light in the lid (normally used to scan slides). Note that I have not tried that trick myself. Sandman may also know how to do that as well.

yousah 08-29-2017 09:33 PM

I'm not sure if your PDF was downsampled in order to upload it, but it certainly looks less than 300dpi.

You could either choose RGB or CMYK and scan at 300dpi (or ppi if that's the unit your scanner uses).

What other options does your scanner menu give you?

I use a scanner almost every day. I can understand if the silver part of the sticker is causing some problems, but there appears to be a bigger issue than that. Is there perhaps some sort of "auto" exposure setting that is getting confused by the reflective silver part of the sticker?

BEC 08-30-2017 12:21 AM

I did have to save it smaller to be able to upload it. I am using Hamrick's VueScan software which has a zillion options.

This was done as grey scale - I can certainly try color settings as well.

The whole intent here really is to just have a copy for posterity and that can be shared, perhaps here on Ye Olde Rocket Shoppe, before I actually USE these stickers on the unit.

I will, of course, also scan the instructions - but they will be easy to do.

yousah 08-30-2017 01:24 AM

You might try bypassing that software and using your scanner's native interface. It's likely to be simpler.

I noticed that the VueScan software has lots of settings that just represent post-scanning operations that may be giving you bad scans.

Even if you just need a black and white scan, start with color which gives you more editing options in graphics programs. It can then be converted to black and white as the final step.

Some black and white scanner options will scan in bitmap mode which will typically give you very bad results. That's my best guess as to what might be happening.

BEC 08-30-2017 03:39 AM

Good thoughts. Thanks. I had thought of black/white mainly because if anyone ever wanted to reproduce these markings, a good clear scan of the black which could be printed on silver stock would probably be the most useful.

I will experiment some in the next couple of days. I don't need to actually use the Power Tower until our club launch on September 9th. I have a few days to figure it out before I need to try to apply them.

Faithwalker 08-30-2017 04:01 AM

Centuri Power Tower markings
When you scan the Centuri Power Tower markings, could you also place a ruler next to them in order to help provide proper scale please? Thanks for posting!

Kind regards,

aka: Faithwalker
NAR #46879

BEC 08-30-2017 07:59 PM

Thanks for the reminder about that.

Faithwalker 08-30-2017 08:14 PM

Centuri Power Tower markings
One suggestion, if you continue to have trouble getting good scans, could you simply make some high resolution photos of the stick-on decal sheet along with the measuring scale, and post them on here?

Also, if you don't mind and are able, could you please post some photos of the hardware such as the triangular push-nuts, as well as the spring-style standoff similar to the Odd'l Rockets Raise, in addition to posting a scan of the Centuri Power Tower instructions?

Jeff Jenkins
aka: Faithwalker
NAR #46879

BEC 08-30-2017 08:38 PM

Yes, I could do that. I was actually thinking in terms of trying to set up a nice orthogonal view with a camera to take pictures of the stickers. Pictures of the little hardware bits that are different from the first version Estes Porta Pad (which has the same plastics just in different colors) are also possible. Fortunately I haven't actually assembled any of that yet. I suppose pictures and dimensions of the blast deflector (though I suspect it is the same one as used on the Powr-Pad) could also be done.

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