The AXIOM Beta hardware and software development is iterative. It's a rather smooth transition and a largely parallel process. Also there will be several stages of hardware where new revisions replace older ones. Same goes with new software/firmware. If you receive one of the earlier batches of the Beta, it will be different from what the last backers will receive. Stay tuned for further updates and follow our newsposts.
First AXIOM Beta receivers should be people that are OK with getting their hands dirty. We will in detail explain what the current stage Betas will be and what they can/cannot do once they are ready to be ordered. Everyone can decide how long to wait and how long to “mature” the Beta. If someone with an early Beta wants to upgrade certain hardware components replacements it will always be at-cost for voucher holders.
April ETA for first Beta batch will unfortunately not hold. As already explained in our last team talk we gathered up a few delays here and there, plus we made some hardware design changes as result of discussions and feedback we received from the community after crowdfunding. These changes make the Beta more modular and more powerful but also means we had to redesign most of the Beta hardware.
Several improvements to the hardware design and PCB stack are finished.
OLD: 1x low speed shield, 1x high speed shield
NEW: 2x medium speed shields (200Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s), 2x high speed modules (6 x 950Mbit/s each plus 500MBit/s GPIO = 6.2Gbit/s), Modules can be either 2x single height or 1x double height module -> double data rate 12.4 Gbit/s total)
OSHPark.com is a PCB pooling service that allows open hardware projects to share and manufacture their designs for very affordable prices as many small boards are distributed on a larger panel, price of the panel is then divided by used PCB area. Everybody can order our boards and order own modifications there.
A concerned user sent us a question about health & safety risks:
"I really enjoyed your team talk but am concerned about health and safety. Many of the early adopters/designers it seems, are statistically more likely to sport hipster beards and/or ponytails which in view of the open access fan on top of the Beta prototype could pose a very real risk of hair fouling and possibly camera malfunction not to mention personal injury. Have you considered this? Would you be liable for injuries sustained as a result of fan hair incidents?"
In the new Beta hardware we use a PIC32 micro-controller on one of the shields to control everything GPIO and power-wise in the Beta. This PIC32 will be able to power down the sensor and FPGA allowing for an extremely low power standby (power consumption below a single LED). So in summary when recording long term time lapse with the AXIOM Beta the micro-controller can at regular (programmed) intervals wake the camera up, snap a picture and put it back to sleep.
Oscilloscope, FLIR One and Tormach CNC Mill arrived
We purchased a smashing new oscilloscope for hardware debugging/testing. We also got a infrared heat sensing FLIR One camera that can visualize heat dissipation and measure temperatures contact-less which is very handy for evaluating and benchmarking the cooling concepts in the AXIOM Beta enclosure. Our Tormach CNC mill arrived after a long journey around the globe. We share how the mill was unloaded, unpacked and deployed - basement style.
We bought a small second hand camera from a competitor to document the project. Only problem is that it has a few dead pixels. Every image sensor has a few dead pixels. Totally normal. All cameras simply compensate this by replacing the dead pixels with neighboring values from sensor input. We contacted tech support of the company to learn how to add this new dead pixel to the already established list of pixels to be compensated. Support recommends to buy new camera... This will NEVER happen with any AXIOM camera!
We got another grant! Small one, though. It will cover doing research and development of open publication formats of Beta 3D drawings and models as well as creating a layout/design framework for a Beta manual/target audience agnostic quick start guide, etc. (print/digital).
A Vienna based local work group dealing with AXIOM camera ergonomics and concept has been meeting several times already. In the last meeting we evaluated the feedback of several tactile switches and button arrays, discussed several metal surface coating options or PU foam for camera packaging materials among other things.
Read up on current progress:
Ergonomics Group Wiki page