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View Poll Results: How much is this scanner worth to you? (USD)
$600 or less 50 27.78%
$800 30 16.67%
$1000 38 21.11%
$1500 30 16.67%
$2000 21 11.67%
$3000 or more 11 6.11%
Voters: 180. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-26-2017   #241
quejai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
Take a look at the Kickstarter from Lab-Box: after just 3 days they're approaching $400,000! (just $3000 short on Feb 26).

Think how enormously popular a well-produced and reasonably-priced scanner would be! There's a massive thirst out there for products that so far haven't been well-covered for this new generation of film-users. Lab-Box proves that if you pitch it right, people are there to back you!

Please consider going into mass-production with this product - I seriously think that (pitched correctly) this could be massive.
This is a response from Caleb:

I'm a fan of the rondinax tank design, I own around 10 of them - I found my first in a box of darkroom equipment I picked up at an op-shop for $20 since then the collection has been growing. From a design standpoint they incredibly ingenious and I admire that greatly. I have been following this labbox project for a while now since its early days, and I have to say I'm not that fond of it unfortunately. I may be biased because of my love for the original however I also have been quietly working on a very, very similar system for the past 3 years myself. Something that irks me quite a lot with the labbox is that they have not even acknowledged the use of or even inspiration from a now 90 year old design. This is more of a respect thing which I have discussed with quejai before - looking at the kick-starter and prototype , they have used original rondinax parts including the film clip, slicer and handle bracket (and probably more). I suppose this is fine for a prototype but it just makes me question their next step in regards to design and manufacture.

Anyhow sorry for getting off track, back to the scanner. As you can imagine, the scanner is a much, much more complex project all together from the amount of parts to construction and testing. For this reason, while we are still considering kick-starter we would like to start slow and steady rather and then use it as a kick-forward in a sense when the time comes. It is very easy for a project to crash and burn as you all have seen many times. We want this scanner to be successful and stick around for a while to come yet.

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Old 02-26-2017   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quejai View Post
This is a response from Caleb:





Anyhow sorry for getting off track, back to the scanner. As you can imagine, the scanner is a much, much more complex project all together from the amount of parts to construction and testing. For this reason, while we are still considering kick-starter we would like to start slow and steady rather and then use it as a kick-forward in a sense when the time comes. It is very easy for a project to crash and burn as you all have seen many times. We want this scanner to be successful and stick around for a while to come yet.



Cheers
Well, the Lab Box is interesting. Maybe somewhere down the line I'll get one, or just a Paterson, dark bag and a bunch of film. Upon seeing it I thought "a Rondinax 2.0", but I see they didn't include a "inspired by agfa design, bla bla" line. Patents are expired and so they may just reissue as new, but yes, no credit to the design team. It's as if the designers didn't exist.

Fully agree. The LS would be perhaps adequate once the prototyping and small batches have consolidated.
It does bring another scale, possibly overwhelming. Production itself should be en masse (compared to the small batch system). Just as you put, when the time comes. This is not a carboard camera (Jollylook) nor a plastic tank so the headaches would be quite larger as well.


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Old 02-26-2017   #243
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It wasn't my intention to sideline the discussion into the pros and cons of the Lab-Box: for many people new to film photography (like me) the history of a project like that is less significant than the sheer fact of being able to buy a new unit, with everything hopefully guaranteed to keep working for the foreseeable future, and a current manufacturer of spare parts and possibly new accessories (such as the promised temperature controllers).

I think a small run of scanners is appealing to those who themselves have the capability to fix anything that may go wrong with them.

But a larger manufacturing venture, with spare parts, guarantees and maintenance plans long into the future would probably appeal to a very much broader range of new film users. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-28-2017   #244
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Really looking forward to it. I was planning on printing a set of images for our new dining room, and will be holding back until I get the new scanner!
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Old 03-12-2017   #245
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@mani re. market readiness: It will be interesting to see how it goes. I think we'll work something out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
But a larger manufacturing venture, with spare parts, guarantees and maintenance plans long into the future would probably appeal to a very much broader range of new film users. Just my opinion.
In terms of appeal, I agree. In terms of short term repairs, I agree. But in terms of long-term repairability, in my view, it all comes down to concise, well-written documentation and having either standardised parts or easily re-manufacturable parts. Check this out. These three pages will enable any competent electronics technician to get this 1939 radio working again. http://www.nostalgiaair.org/pagesbym...9/M0013279.pdf
We might need a few more than three pages for the scanner, but that's the general idea. That radio can still be confidently repaired, regardless of whatever happened to Philco.

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Originally Posted by Jockos View Post
Really looking forward to it. I was planning on printing a set of images for our new dining room, and will be holding back until I get the new scanner!
Thanks, so are we. So no pressure on us to get it right, hah!

Caleb and I are each working on some film holders, and I've just built a mockup sort of thing for my holder design. Videos below show the general idea, put the film in a timing belt sandwich and take it along a conveyor belt sort of thing, maintaining curvature(you always want the film in a mathematically representable shape, either flat on a wet mount or in a curve like this, as is used on drum scanners. Too hard to represent the variable curves of film left unconstrained in a general way, meaning spatial distortion is guaranteed)(also like corrugated steel, keeping it bent along one axis will stop bending along another axis, so we end up with a system where we control all the bending rather than having some freedom for the film to do unpredictable stuff). The conveyor module is designed such that the upper and lower part of the sandwich have a return path, so the belt becomes a continuous loop, but I ran out of time to connect that up.

Importantly, what I am doing in the video should never be done for an actual scan, as the holder will block the middle of the film. If film is being loaded end-first like this, then two conveyors would be used on the edges of the film to avoid blocking the content of the film. I'm using 5mm belt, but I've found suppliers of 3mm-wide timing belt and I'll probably go for that ultimately, to reduce the size of the blocked region. That's the downside of this approach, there will be some area of film blocked by the holder. The way around this is to put the film through twice, at slightly different positions. Don't worry, I've worked out easy workflows to make this very doable. Also, I'm generally thinking that with another 3 or 4 of these conveyors film will be able to be loaded sideways, and I'm thinking that that will be the more common way to load film.
The power to advance the film comes from a motor which couples to one of the rollers (it's spent a month in the postal system now, still hasn't arrived), and to save space and cost the bolts you see in the video will probably be replaced with little rivets.
Haven't tried this particular holder idea on thicker stuff like 4x5 yet, that would probably need some less radical curvature.

TLDR: mockup of film holder shows that idea works. Hard to explain. Final version will have more conveyors, allow film to be loaded side-first, will also have a motor-powered continuous loop of conveyor belt and might be thinner than the version you see below. Film falls off in video due to not having any way to line it up easily (yet), natural instability of using a single roller, and because the timing belt I was using was too short.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOJEyi7Xdbo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWYqzxn486M

Also rederived all the dimensions of the scanner (with a few little changes), so have some nice concise engineering drawings of all the relations. Rebuilt the illuminator carriage too, that's going well. Bumped into this electronics engineer student at uni doing his PhD on switching circuits and asked about how to do the LED strobing backlight, he said our current approach (mosfets) is what he would do. Caleb's work on the case is going well, has a couple of neat design aspects that I'll keep quiet for now. We're spending more time focusing on practical issues of suppliers and manufacturing plans.

Getting there.
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Old 03-26-2017   #246
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Hi,

If you succeed, i'm a potential buyer from Europe.
Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2017   #247
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Hmmm, I watched the video of the film transport.

Why not just use a large diameter drum that would rotate above the camera? That's how Imacon / Hasselblad does it. I could even contain the light source.
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Old 03-31-2017   #248
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Hmmm, I watched the video of the film transport.

Why not just use a large diameter drum that would rotate above the camera? That's how Imacon / Hasselblad does it. I could even contain the light source.
+1 to this suggestion, which was also my thought when I saw the rather painful-looking progress of the film through the 'snake' transport.
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Old 03-31-2017   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandiahegyrol View Post
Hi,

If you succeed, i'm a potential buyer from Europe.
Good luck.
Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lime View Post
Hmmm, I watched the video of the film transport.

Why not just use a large diameter drum that would rotate above the camera? That's how Imacon / Hasselblad does it. I could even contain the light source.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
+1 to this suggestion, which was also my thought when I saw the rather painful-looking progress of the film through the 'snake' transport.
We had considered a drum, but didn't pursue it for a couple of reasons, one being that it would be too expensive to find/get some made accurately enough. Honestly yeah it could be done, but I'm not sure what would be gained. The snake holder (I like the name) really is hard to explain without a video of it working in its final form, which I'm working on, but hopefully then you'll see why it's our preferred approach at the moment. Remember that the scanner is designed to be able to change holders easily, ie for a flat wet-mount holder, and a flat version of this snake holder for slides and large format. Perhaps we'll end up with a snake holder with fewer, shallower bends as a general purpose middle ground for all film...
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Old 03-31-2017   #250
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IMO I'd be afraid of scratching hell out my negatives pulling them through such severe curves captured like that. I've got some older negs that are probably too brittle to do that too as well.

I haven't read the entire thread, just watched the videos, so maybe I am missing something. I'd rather have the film held static and move the scanner below it.
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Old 03-31-2017   #251
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Hi there,

We would just like to elaborate further on the drum idea here. Firstly, thanks for the input, it is interesting because we have this considered in-depth before but have determined that it offered little benefit compared to the design complexities it requires. With our current design we would have to reposition the camera and light simply to fit the drum along with other major structural and operational changes to get it working. We would have to opt for a completely different light source and somehow integrate in the drum which the whole assembly would then have to be completely removable to actually mount the film. Another thing to note is you would still have to wet-mount to avoid Newton Rings (then you need a dedicated mounting station) - at this point wet mounting a flat glass sheet is much simpler and easier achieving exactly the same result using our plate holder.

Aside from the extra work and skill required from the user for a drum based solution, we need to think about certain design and fabrication intricacies including sourcing the drums, precision machining them (even slotted drums for dry mounting), driving them, concentricity and a whole lot of physics etc. It is possible but at certain costs which we really don't believe will translate to much benefit for users. This is unlike PMT scanners that actually require this complex type of set up to work. As quejai has mentioned, it is hard to understand why we have chosen this design without seeing it in the wider context of the scanner, I think we will work towards a better video that illustrates all this. With all this said, we are still considering pursuing this idea perhaps as an optional modification of sorts afterwards.

Again, thank you for the input it is much appreciated - keep it coming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzyOne View Post
IMO I'd be afraid of scratching hell out my negatives pulling them through such severe curves captured like that. I've got some older negs that are probably too brittle to do that too as well.

I haven't read the entire thread, just watched the videos, so maybe I am missing something. I'd rather have the film held static and move the scanner below it.
Hi, for front loading of film only the rebates or outer edges of the film will be in contact with the mechanism. Let us remind you this is just a simple proof of concept video, we are continuously working on the design and testing it and it may very well be completely different from what you see now. We will of course test it on all film types we can, different base thicknesses and conditions. This is also just one of the several film holders we are producing for the scanner - older or more troublesome film would be better suited to our wet-mount holder or flat transport type holder.

Thank you for the feedback.
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Old 03-31-2017   #252
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Best would be avoid complicated drum and wow/flutter effect, you can bent film as cine scanner do and immerse in tank or use very soft light. Question remains how to sample then does linear 8-12K module exist for the task?
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Old 05-20-2017   #253
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Any updates?
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Old 05-20-2017   #254
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Any updates?
For sure. It feels slow on our side too, and I'd love to be able to do this full time but that's not going to happen.

Kept building the snake holder, but it turned out to be a bit too fiddly the way I was going with it. Gaps were fractions of a mm in places where it should have been at least 2 or 3. I've worked out how to get around that by a slight redesign (6mm support rods instead of 8mm, thicker and more sturdy lane supports). I've also worked out how to make it a single-load holder, instead of having to load it twice like I was going on about earlier.

On Thursday I felt like spending the night on the scanner instead of uni work, so I whipped up a prototype PCB for all the electronics. Still need to wire it up properly, but once the electronics is done it'l be much easier to play with the moving parts. So much thinking has been involved with the electronics, it's like every hour in the workshop is backed up by 20 hours of thinking.

Built a test circuit for the LED strobing system. I can get strobe durations down to the microseconds, although I haven't really been pushing it yet. Strobe duration is important to minimise in order to keep the sensor moving at a quick rate, and yet eliminate motion blur on the scale of microns in order to avoid smearing - my tests indicate we should be able to achieve this easily.

Found a great local supplier of acrylic for the panels, also made some assembly jigs that make it much easier to throw the chassis together accurately. Was going to cut a new set of panels on Thursday but it got too late, might do a few tomorrow.

Also worked out a super easy, inexpensive way to implement aperture control for microscope objectives, which tend to have aperture diaphragms in the light source and so not in the objectives themselves, since as we're not using kohler illumination we can't put our aperture in the light source and so need some other way to implement it.

Here's one side of the prototype PCB, and the PCB installed with the other side visible. It'l probably be all on one PCB eventually, not with those extra boards plugged in. The red wire is a little test of the wire wrapping technique I'll be using for wiring up the board.



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Old 05-20-2017   #255
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This is amazing. I've been following the progress for some time now. I just got totally screwed over by Plustek Europe when they sadly told me (after four months of service!) that my brand new 2000$ OpticFilm 120 scanner is "unrepairable" - that means they aren't currently able to produce 100% working sensors without yellow color banding & IR channel issues. This is something that only few people know and it is something that I'm currently looking into with the help of local distributors.

Your project does have an insane commercial potential and many of us would pay 1500$-2000$ for it. This is something I'm definitely 100% supporting. Do you have a current basic road-map (as far as development/producing/selling) for this project? This can take years and years without other people support/funding. I bet many of us would love to help out!

Thank you! Keep up the great work. This is gonna be big.
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Old 05-31-2017   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quejai View Post
Kept building the snake holder, but it turned out to be a bit too fiddly the way I was going with it. Gaps were fractions of a mm in places where it should have been at least 2 or 3. I've worked out how to get around that by a slight redesign (6mm support rods instead of 8mm, thicker and more sturdy lane supports). I've also worked out how to make it a single-load holder, instead of having to load it twice like I was going on about earlier.
Sounds great, it'll be interesting to see it in action, especially with the larger formats! You were planning to make it able to scan whole 35mm rolls as well right?



Quote:
Originally Posted by quejai View Post
Built a test circuit for the LED strobing system. I can get strobe durations down to the microseconds, although I haven't really been pushing it yet. Strobe duration is important to minimise in order to keep the sensor moving at a quick rate, and yet eliminate motion blur on the scale of microns in order to avoid smearing - my tests indicate we should be able to achieve this easily.
How many exposures per second are we talking about? Are you doing any post processing in the scanner or are you sending everything to the computer? I'm assuming you're using USB2, is it enough for all that raw data?

Great job so far by the way!
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Old 05-31-2017   #257
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Is it possible use affordable premium ccd camera like Kodak KAI-8050 with GigaE interface? Best monochrome version with tripple flashes+HDR.
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Old 05-31-2017   #258
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How many exposures per second are we talking about? Are you doing any post processing in the scanner or are you sending everything to the computer? I'm assuming you're using USB2, is it enough for all that raw data?

Great job so far by the way!
The more the better! I'll let quejai tune in on the rest of your questions. It will be a USB 3.0 connection with pp on front-end ATM.

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Is it possible use affordable premium ccd camera like Kodak KAI-8050 with GigaE interface? Best monochrome version with tripple flashes+HDR.
Jack, the sensor format is larger than the standard we have designed for. There would be vignetting and other aberrations without necessary adjustment to the optics.

That said, as its open source and modular design so I'm sure it can be done. We have designed the scanner around using off-the-shelf machine vision cameras to ensure future support and upgradability. There are a few machine vision cams that use this sensor, notably the PixeLink PL-H968BXG (if that was the one you were referring to). The cam we have gone with is USB 3.0 based however you raise an important point of having support for various common MV interfaces such as firewire and future standards eg CoaxExpress. Thanks for this, we shall look into this further.

Also some updates on my end I have just secured a CNC router of my own after a very long wait. This should mean some much faster progress with alt holder, case designs and more……hopefully!

Caleb
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Old 07-06-2017   #259
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Got any juicy updates for us?
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Old 07-06-2017   #260
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Got any juicy updates for us?
The juicy updates will be on tap for the next month, as uni's off for a bit. Looks like I'll have more time for this next sem even when uni is on too.

Todays updates are fairly dry though, but not for long.

In regards to your earlier questions, the sensors we're using send the data straight to the users computer, and our sensors support usb 3. The sensor is the timing bottleneck (ie we're using the max framerates of the sensor - framerate of scanner still needs to be recalculated) , so if your computer can support usb 3 you'll get faster results than if it just does usb 2. No image data is processed on the scanner itself.
And yep, it will be able to do full rolls also for sure.

Over the past few weeks we've:
  • done a fair bit of research into available camera modules
  • worked out a super efficient way to implement the slide holder
  • consulted with some on RFF about our colour processing algorithms
  • secured access to storage space for bulk parts storage and kit packing/assembling

And over the past few days:
  • significantly updated the cad and the parts list
  • greatly simplified and improved the focusing system
  • fixed two things in the design that each could have produced jams and issues down the track
  • ordered a bunch of parts to build a second chassis (why not?)

And over the next few weeks we plan to:
  • finish wiring up the electronics
  • get manual control of the mechanics with an xbox controller for testing (actually quite close to finishing this one)
  • work on internal planning, design reviews, financial and businessy stuff, etc
  • make proper timelines and projections
  • the mechanics of the holders (this is the hard part)
  • more sample scans
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Old 07-06-2017   #261
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Quejai, this sounds just great. Thanks for the update.
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Old 07-06-2017   #262
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That's a pretty juicy update by my standards! Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2017   #263
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Exciting stuff! I'm loving seeing this project progress.
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Old 07-30-2017   #264
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Well i do refresh this topic few times a day Any news guys?
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Old 08-03-2017   #265
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Well i do refresh this topic few times a day Any news guys?
Heh good to be keen

Alright so basically caleb and I are each partway though assembling our own scanners. I'm waiting on some stuff to arrive, basically our suppliers missed the boat (literally) so it's taking longer than anticipated to arrive.

When it gets here, I'm going to move mainly into the scanner-computer connection, motor control and image processing; and Caleb is in the process of a thorough optical and mechanical design review.

Still aiming to do stuff mentioned the other week, but we found and fixed several more issues in the intervening time, which slowed us down a bit.

Check these out, I'm trying matte acrylic panels. Looks and wears better than gloss.



Also, this is the sort of stuff I'm messing around with in my image processing work. lots of fun.








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Old 08-04-2017   #266
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Gosh, this is so unbelievably exciting!!

I feel like the tech side is going to put everyone else in the shame. This project is going to be a major turnaround for the film photography community. I especially can't wait for the film holder design to be finished - I wish someone could finally do it right even for bigger formats without having to wet-mount. (excluding the Flexthighs..)

Do you guys have any news on the distribution / selling side of things? Things might start moving really quickly once we, the early adopters, start putting the word out. If you manage to get the scanner into the $1300-$1500 price range when the initial early roll-out starts happening (it's gonna get you customers!) and then move the price point a bit (into the $1600-$1800 range) when the manufacturing / software developments get all caught up and polished. Many projects get successfully going using this exact formula and I feel like this really could work for you guys too. Don't forget about worldwide distribution option from the getgo - even if the customer pays $$$ for the UPS international shipping.

Oh man.. exciting times...!
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Old 08-04-2017   #267
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I need to start paying more attention to this thread...
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Old 08-06-2017   #268
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Thanks for your reply!
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Old 08-13-2017   #269
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Hi, great work, many thanks!!!

Your PCB looks much like a controller board with stepper drivers attached, so the following board might be of interest:

http://pthat.com/

I like the concept of DDS chips generating pulse trains. It's possible to use a small mcu to command the PTHAT or directly DDS chips such as the AD9850. It's also possible to let the DDS chip generate pulses for your LEDs.
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Old 08-13-2017   #270
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I don’t know how I missed this thread all this time, but I am SUPER excited to have discovered it. Greatly looking forward to seeing the final result!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #271
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What's up guys? Got a new ETA yet?
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Old 2 Days Ago   #272
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Well I'm pretty confident that we really are nearing completion on all fronts.

However we've decided, until we get the prototype fully functional, to adopt a policy of 'show, don't tell' regarding further updates.

So regarding ETA - I've got a plan in mind that I personally am very happy with, but I'll give a proper answer (and a more detailed general update) around the 29th with some pics and vids to back my claims up.

Regarding film holders, remember that universal snake holder idea from several posts back? Here's a demo of the fundamental idea of the latest version - note that this doesn't look anything like the real holder, it is just a successful test of the geometry. The 'bumps' are being replaced with rollers. This test unit works with 35mm, 120 and 4x5.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyzz...ature=youtu.be

In the meantime, say hello to my desk; and some intermediate results of Caleb's hardware design review. I personally can't see the chassis changing much beyond than this.





Pardon the zipties and obtrusive wiring for now. It feels like you could break into a tank with this thing.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quejai View Post
Regarding film holders, remember that universal snake holder idea from several posts back? Here's a demo of the fundamental idea of the latest version - note that this doesn't look anything like the real holder, it is just a successful test of the geometry. The 'bumps' are being replaced with rollers. This test unit works with 35mm, 120 and 4x5.
Don't tell me you dropped the 5x7 support?

It's looking really good though; almost over engineered!

Are you going to use rubberized rollers for the snake? If so, how often do you recon they'll need be replaced? Consider making this operation simple, HP laser MFPs often have easy access for replacing rubber rolles for example.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #274
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hah! What I meant was that the new approach works with thicker (sheet film) and thinner (120 and smaller) film without having to have a diffferent holder. 5x7 is very safely accomodated.

Yes there will be rubber rollers. I spent a while thinking about how to make them easily replacable the other day, I'm trying out a few ideas at the moment. I don't think they'll ever wear out, so replacing/removing them would only ever be needed when adjusting the holder between different formats of film. The holder is made of several adjacent lanes through which film travels; each lane needs to be adjusted to the width of the film in use, and a range of lane widths / film types can be used at any time.

jpk - we decided a while ago to use a FPGA in order to deal with all the pulses and synchronising that would be necessary, but I'll keep your suggestion in mind if we do change our approach in the future. Intereating link
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Old 1 Day Ago   #275
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Great, you had me worried there! Recently sold off all my 4x5 gear do go with 5x7 only!

I don't think the problem is wearing out as much as drying up. Of course, it might be less of a problem for rolling film, compared to rolling pourous paper fibres!
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