Code improvements

Earlier in 2021 we finally solved some major software stability issues. The C++ code that runs on the Nanopi Neo Air inside the cartridge was crashing relatively often during shooting. Causing loss of captured images.

After long research we found out that this was caused by an imagefile write (the captured image) and an image file read (an image file to monitor the captured result in real time).

By changing the setup of the system, making the Nanopi run its code from fixed eMMC memory (on board the Nanopi) and writing the RAW files to its separate microSD card. The monitor files are read off of the eMMC memory while the RAW files are written to the MicroSD. This avoiding memory acces issues and subsequent code crashes due to segmentation fault.

we now feel confident to continue developing the Digital Super8 Cartridge with software that is reliable enough for the user.

Note: the Digital S8 Cartridge runs on C++ code, while it also has its own WiFi accesspoint and webserver on board. This allows users to run our HTML5 app on their iPhone or smartphone to have full cartridge control and monitoring functionality.

NanoPi Neo Air in Digital Super 8 Cartridge

We managed to port our Digital Super 8 code to the NanoPi Neo Air. Using Qt and Qt Creator for platform independent development this wasn’t such a big task, fortunately. Also we managed to get the NanoPi Neo Air to boot up, set up a Wifi access point (SSID: DigitalSuper8 :-)), and to start VNCserver which allows a user to view the desktop of the NanoPi in a smartphone or IPhone. Also the Digital Super 8 control and monitor application is started and can then be viewed via WiFi on the smartphone.
That’s actually quite cool!
Having the NanoPi Neo Air act as a WiFi accesspoint, while running the Armbian OS on it was the most complex task and we had to re-write some scripts to nail it.
Now we are waiting for the new 3D printed cartridge to arrive. It is designed and printed by Dutch 3D print company http://www.partsondemand.eu. The new cart will allow build in of NanoPi, sensor and trigger synch circuit board, LiPo battery (1200 mAh), and charger/booster circuit. The device will have status LED, microUSB charger port, USB port for copying captured images to USB stick, microSD port for option to exchange microSD with updated image.
The device boots from and runs on 32GB eMMC, which enables the fastest RAW image writing and performance.