A borescope is very handy and people use it to inspect all types of small areas; this can include areas such as piston heads in a car engine or an outboard motor. Some of the more popular uses for these devices are in the visual inspections of airplane engines, gas and steam turbines, diesel engines, and automotive or truck engines. They also are used in criminal forensics, building inspections, and in gunsmithing. The borescope is very useful in gunsmithing because a gunsmith can use it to inspect the interior bore of a firearm to ensure that it’s free of any defects.
One particular type of borescope, called an endoscope, is used specifically to look inside the human body without the need of invasive surgery. While the endoscope is still somewhat invasive, it often doesn’t require any anesthesia for use and is easily maneuvered within the human body (for example, endoscopes are often used when inspecting the colon for polyps and hemorrhoids).
The Tracer TP-9350 COBRA Multi-Purpose Borescope UV with White LEDs is perfect for leak checking and inspecting your A/C, fuel and EVAP systems, radiators, A/C evaporators, internal engine compartments and transmission parts.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Borescope
- The type of tube that is used (rigid or flexible)
- Video capability
- Accessories that come with the borescope itself (mirrors, tubes, probes, USB interfaces, cables)
- Ability to add aftermarket accessories
- Pixelation (the higher the number, the more accurate the view)
- Corded vs. cordless borescopes
Choose Your Tube Type
The decision between rigid and flexible tubes is based on what you plan to use the borescope for. The rigid tubes are used mostly in gunsmithing and when needing to look inside straight compartments such as a fuel injector, automotive exhaust manifold or automotive cylinder. The flexible tubes can be inserted in very small areas and worked around corners or obstructions in ways that the rigid tube cannot.
This borescope comes with a flexible, multi-directional obedient tube that offers exceptional maneuverability in any small space.
Some borescopes have video capabilities which allow you to have a permanent record of the inspection and the results of the inspection. This is particularly helpful when the borescope is being used for commercial applications such as home inspections or airplane engine inspections. Having a video record of the inspection can prevent or reduce disputes over the quality of these types of inspections. A video record can also be useful simply for double-checking the results of the inspection.
This model borescope model comes with a super-advanced fiber optic imaging bundle that provides excellent resolution with an infinite focal point.
Borescope Accessories (Buying and Attaching Them)
Accessories for borescopes include probes, cables, wireless USB receivers and other USB interfaces, mirrors, magnets, and cameras. Your need for any or all of these accessories depends on what you plan on using your borescope for. If you are buying the borescope and then adding aftermarket accessories, be sure that your borescope will be compatible with most if not all of the aftermarket accessories that are available in the marketplace today.
Accessories available with this particular package include a clip on mirror, fluorescence-enhancing glasses, and a durable plastic carrying case. Other accessories such as probes, cables, and USB interfaces can be purchased separately.
Pixelation is the quality of the pictures produced by the video camera. A minimum quantity of 10,000 pixels for smaller borescopes (with a preferred quantity of 15,000 to 22,000 pixels for the larger versions) will provide a clearer, more readable picture. The ability to control the light at the end of the tube being inserted will also increase the quality of the pictures.
While this version of a borescope doesn’t include a video camera, it is possible to buy a camera for use with the Spectronics Tracer TP-3950 Cobra Borescope.
Corded vs Cordless
A corded borescope is limited by the length of its electrical cord, and this also affects the flexibility in movement of the borescope. Depending on what the borescope is being used for, a portable battery-operated borescope may be more useful particularly in tight spaces or those that have undependable power sources.
Amazon’s Spectronics Borescope is a portable, battery powered version. It is powered by 4 “AA” batteries which are not included.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
The list price for Spectronics Corp/Tracer TP-3950 COBRA Multi-Purpose Borescope is $459.19, but you shouldn’t pay more than $300.00 for this borescope. The cheapest I’ve seen it is on Amazon where it consistently sells for around $129.45.
- Flexible Tube
- Clip-on Mirror
- Fluorescence-enhancing glasses
- Durable plastic carrying case
Does it Include a Warranty?
The Spectronics Tracer TP-3950 Cobra Borescope has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Please consult the distributor, JB Tool Sales, for any information regarding the warranty, shipping, or returns.
What Others Are Saying
This borescope has received very good reviews from most consumers. From 2 reviews on Amazon, this product has been given a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Here are some of the comments to date:
- “Unbeatable price”
- “Fast delivery”
- “The best gift ever”
- “Tool is great for small or obscure spaces”
- “Very helpful in automotive applications such as examining pistons”
I found no complaints on this product, other than the fact that the small view area might initially take some getting used to.
Where Can You Buy the Spectronics Tracer TP-3950 Cobra Borescope?
You can buy this Spectronics Tracer TP-3950 Cobra Borescope from Amazon. There are some special offers available with this borescope:
- If you have an Amazon store card, this item is eligible for 6-month special financing.
- If you have an Amazon.com Rewards Visa card, you will get $30.00 off automatically when you order this item.
Shipping is $8.78 and at this time the borescope can only be shipped within the US (APO/FPO addresses are included; be sure to check with the manufacturer regarding support and warranty issues if you are having the item shipped to an APO/FPO address).
Where Can You Read More Reviews for the Spectronics Tracer TP-3950 Cobra Borescope?
The best place to find reviews from people who’ve actually purchased and use the product is Amazon.com. Click here to read more about this great product.