REVIEW – I have a lot of hobbies. Unfortunately for me, most of my hobbies require expensive equipment that constantly need maintenance. As a result, I’ve learned to make a lot of my own repairs and over the years I’ve acquired a good amount of specialty tools. Every year or so though I come across a repair situation where I really need to get my eyes on an area that’s either completely inaccessible or would require hours of work to access. I’ve never had a tool for this, until now. The DEPSTECH DS430 Dual-Lens Industrial Endoscope allows me to see and make repairs in areas I’ve never been able to access before. I’m constantly finding new uses for this device and at $129.99, even with some minor design annoyances, the DS430 is well worth the price for all of the functionality it adds to my toolkit.
What is it?
The DEPSTECH DS430 Dual-Lens Industrial Endoscope is technically a borescope. An endoscope is what doctors use to look inside the body, a borescope is a device with a camera on the end of a long flexible tube. But, DEPSTECH refers to the DS430 as an “Industrial” Endoscope, so I’ll play along. Just to put it out there though, NEVER insert a device like this into your or anyone else’s body. The DS430 consists of a main control unit with a 4.3 inch screen that connects to a 16.5 foot semi-rigid cable that has a dual-lens camera with LEDs at the end. This semi-rigid camera cable is great for snaking into car engines, heating ducts, plumbing, crawl spaces, or anywhere else you need to see but can’t access. The DS430 also excels at providing a close-up view during computer repair, electronics work, or gunsmithing.
One of the great things about the DS430 is that it comes with a hard plastic carrying case. All the components fit snugly into the custom cut foam for protection during transport or on the job site.
What’s in the box?
- DESPTECH DS430 Main Unit
- 16.5ft Semi-rigid Camera Cable
- USB Charging Cable
- 32 GB Micro SD Card
- Accessories: Hook Attachment, Magnet Attachment, Reset Pin
- User Manual
- Power: 3000mAh Rechargeable Battery
- Camera Waterproof Rating: IP67
- Memory: 32 GB Micro SD Card
- Main Unit:
- Screen: 4.3 in IPS FHD
- Lights: 4 LEDs
- Front Camera:
- Focal Range: 3-10 cm / 1.2-3.9 in
- Viewing Angle: 178°
- Resolution: 1080p
- Lights: 6 LEDs
- Side Camera:
- Focal Range: 2-6 cm / 0.8-2.4 in
- Viewing Angle: 178°
- Resolution: 1080p
- Lights: 1 LED
Design and features
The DEPSTECH DS430 is really well designed with some small caveats. The buttons on the main unit are large, clearly labeled, and easy to use with gloves on.
The Photo/Record button is colored bright orange so that it stands out.
The camera cable connects to the top of the main unit via a standard 5 pin DIN connector.
Next to the camera connection is a four LED flashlight and next to that is the button to turn the flashlight on.
The flashlight is one of my biggest problems with the DS430. The flashlight button is incredibly sensitive and located in a spot where your hand naturally rests when using the unit. I never came across a situation where I needed the flashlight, yet I constantly found myself accidentally turning it on. It’s not even bright enough to be of any use and I worry that it will activate and stay on, possibly draining the battery.
The back of the main unit has a slightly textured surface that, along with the battery protrusion, helps you maintain a grip on the unit.
On the bottom of the main unit, a small flap opens to reveal the Micro USB charging port, SD Card slot, and reset button.
The 16.5 ft Camera Cable has internal iron wire supports which help it maintain rigidity but still allow it to bend into difficult to reach spots.
The dual-lens 1080p camera lives on the end of the cable. Both the front and side camera have a waterproof rating of IP67 which means it can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour. This rating is especially helpful when using the DS430 for plumbing applications.
There are 6 LEDs on the front camera and one on the side camera. The brightness of the LEDs can be adjusted from the main unit.
The camera lights are invaluable when using the DS430 since most of the areas you’ll be using it in have little in the way of natural light. Along with the lights, having two cameras is great for navigating in tight areas, providing you an alternate view.
The DS430 comes with two attachments for the camera cable along with a reset pin for the main unit.
The magnet and hook attachments screw on to the end of the camera once you remove the cap that is already in place.
The attachments would probably work really well to retrieve items dropped into areas you wouldn’t normally be able to reach.
I do worry that the thin metal of the attachments would bend pretty easily when trying to retrieve any items of significant weight though.
The hook attachment, in particular, felt very flimsy.
The other major problem with the attachments is that they block the front camera. This makes it doubly difficult to maneuver the cable.
One great thing about the DEPSTECH DS430 is that there’s very little setup.
The main unit will display “No signal” until the camera cable is connected properly.
To connect the camera cable, carefully thread the camera cable connector on to the main unit.
Be sure to hand tighten the cable until the red dot on the connector is covered. A few times while using the DS430 I inadvertently unscrewed the cable while wrangling it into position.
Prior to first use, access the DS430 settings with the menu button on the main unit. From here you can format the included 32 GB SD card, pick the camera resolution, and set the correct time.
During the review period, I put the DS430 through a few different scenarios. The first test was to explore the depths of my bathroom sink.
Aside from how gross my drain is, I also discovered that wielding the rigid camera cable was not going to be easy. It’s very difficult to get the correct view and as flexible as the cable is, it can’t bend around the curve of a sink drain. The photo and video from the DS430, as seen here, are usable, but once the camera goes underwater, the LED light blows out the picture.
You can tell from the video exactly when the camera goes underwater and when it’s in a clear section of the drain. I was definitely able to see if there were any blockages and I think on longer pipes the DS430 would be more useful.
The next time I used the DS430 was to get a good look at the interior of one of my guitars. I’ve been worried that the bridge seems unstable and also I’ve been experiencing some issues with the internal pickups.
The photos during this job were really high quality, I think mostly because there was more space for the camera LEDs to illuminate. I was able to see some splintering on the bridge from pretty close up.
I was also able to move the camera around enough to get a great view of the internal electronics. The 178° field of view made it really easy to see what was going on inside the instrument.
After solving the guitar issues, the most effective use of the DS430 was when I had to install a new foregrip on one of my paintball guns.
I was working in a really narrow space with tiny screws and nuts that are notoriously difficult to manage.
In this case, the DS430 provided me with a perfect view of what was going on so I could adjust accordingly. You can see from the video that I was finally able to position the screw and nut in the right spot before locking it down. The photos are also a little blown out because of the LEDs, but what I needed to see was illuminated perfectly.
After tightening the final screw I was then able to inspect all of the mounts to make sure they were secure.
The last test for the DS430 was to inspect some rusted nuts I’ve never been able to get to inside the engine bay of my 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.
After several tries, using both the front and side lenses, I was able to get a good view of one of the nuts in question. The ability to switch between lenses is great and it’s easy to activate by holding down the image rotate button on the main unit. Rotating the image can also help get the right orientation when you’re working under a car.
Being able to see where I normally can’t as well as have photos and video to review afterward made constantly having to turn the flashlight off and wrangling 16 feet of cable worth it. I may not use the DS430 every day, but knowing that I can when I need to is a big comfort.
What I like
- Well-built, sturdy construction
- Easy to use out of the box
- Carrying case is a great addition
What needs to be improved
- Flashlight switch constantly triggered unintentionally
- Camera cable can be difficult to maneuver
- Hook and magnet attachments block camera field of vision
- The rechargeable battery is not removable
The DEPSTECH DS430 Dual-Lens Industrial Endoscope is a tool I’ve always needed. It may not be perfect; the cable can be unwieldy and doesn’t always fit around the corners you need it to, the flashlight turns on too easily, and the internal battery isn’t replaceable. But, the device does what it was intended to and does it well. For the reasonable price of $129.99, it’s great having a tool like this with its own screen, ability to record photos and video, and of such durable quality.