AXIOM Team Talk

This is the second part of a recent round of AXIOM Team Talks we shot across the summer. The other two episodes can be watched at:

  • 14.1 - Moving Facilities, Updates and GSoC Projects.
  • 14.3 - Injection moulding, AXIOM Remote, Social Media and Metal Smelting.

Dual 6G SDI Plugin Module

First generation Dual 6G SDI Development prototype based on an off-the-shelf FPGA module

Previously, across Winter 2017 together with at 34C3 in Germany, we showcased a first generation AXIOM Photon-SDI development prototype - this was based on an off-the-shelf Xilinx Artix FPGA module.

The team got together in Vienna a week before Christmas 2017 for a hackathon. The aim was to focus on SDI related FPGA software development and to make preparations for 34C3 in Leipzig. As a result the next stage of bringing-up our own custom hardware (the second generation module) can be taken on. The design (utilizing an Artix-7 XC7A35T or XC7A50T FPGA) is finished and being reviewed in line with a first set of PCBs being produced for tests and software development. The module features two 6G SDI outputs, one 6G SDI input and one Genlock/Sync input.

The Photon SDI Hackathon Crew in the first captured SDI stream from the AXIOM Beta.

AXIOM Photon-SDI PCB board top layout.

AXIOM Photon-SDI PCB board bottom layout.

Center Solder On (CSO) Module

AXIOM Beta Mainboard with "empty" Center Solder On Area.

The AXIOM Beta Main Board has been designed with an area, positioned directly behind the image sensor, to accommodate a small, ’soldered on’ PCB (printed circuit board). The first CSO module prototype has been finished adding several new features with 10 DOF (degrees of freedom) sensors: acceleration (3D), orientation (3D), magnetic field (3D) and air pressure. Temperature can also be measured (primarily for the purposes of making internal compensations).

IMU Center Solder On Module, unpopulated PCB.

IMU Center Solder On Module, populated.

The chips in detail:

  • LSM6DS3H: Accelerometer ODR up to 6.66 kHz, Gyroscope ODR up to 3.33 kHz./li>
  • LIS3MDL: 3D Magnetometer ODR 20 Hz.
  • DPS310: Air pressure and temperature sensor, ±0.05 m relative accuracy, 24 bit results.


Hardware development has completed and practical tests can now begin. Software to capture and store the orientation data needs to be developed - the file format for this is still up for discussion as there seems to be no standard with regards to how to format camera motion/orientation data - especially not when there are hundreds of samples made available in just the time it takes to expose one, single image.

Power Board V2 Bring-Up

AXIOM Beta Power Board V2 PCB Top

AXIOM Beta Power Board V2 PCB Bottom

Manual trimmers on the first version of the Power Board became globally unavailable so a better alternative was required. We envisioned a new design where reference voltages could be tuned in software instead of by having to turn trimmers manually (these ‘trimmers’ can be seen on pictures of Power Board V1 on the project’s Wiki). The PCB for this new Power Board design (Version 2) has been produced, received, populated and now the software bring up is underway. The term “Bring Up” refers to the process where software is being written for all the different chips on the PCB so that they’re able to communicate with one another. Only when all these chips have been reached and made operational will we know if the whole board is fully functional. On the bright side - once this is done we are very close to starting production.

AXIOM Beta Compact Enclosure Progress

We have been doing a lot of 3D printing and prototyping to make sure all the enclosure parts fit together. In metal, and once done, any required changes become more difficult to implement and much more expensive and time consuming. For these reasons it makes sense to use 3D printing for as long as required. However, development of the Compact enclosure has reached the point where we’re ready to start ordering the first milled aluminium now. As we gradually assemble them for the first time you can expect photographs to publish through the usual channels.

The lens mount screws have been moved further apart to allow larger lens mounts to be attached in the future.

The image sensor holder metal part has been made much wider to accommodate potential larger sensors in the future.

The first CNC milled metal part of the AXIOM Beta CP enclosure to evaluate quality and surface finishes.

Up Next

This Team Talk was the second part of a series we shot in June (Part 1: AXIOM Team Talk Volume 14.1 - Moving Facilities, Updates and GSoC Projects). In the next episodes we’ll cover a new way we do DIY injection moulding (in our case we started with a custom heatsink made of a graphite based heat-conductive granulate). There is more AXIOM Beta video material to show and we’ll dive into the progress that’s been being made with the AXIOM Remote.

Further Links

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