1 Overview

Access to an AXIOM Beta test camera inside a controlled dark-box can be performed 24/7.

Remote Dark Box.jpg

The set-up is configured as follows:


2 Connecting to ZBox

The Zbox is a small PC at the AXIOM office that can be accessed remotely by developers and GSoC students to work on AXIOM Beta hardware at the office. There are a few peripheral devices as well.

Hostname: remote.apertus.org
Port: <you-know-the-port>

Access is granted to <username> via SSH key only.

3 Anel NET-PwrCtrl Power Switch

The Anel NET-PwrCtrl Power Switch provides power sockets which can be controlled remotely through a web interface. This allows turning on/off the AXIOM Betas in case they hang due to a software error, etc. or to control lights that illuminate the test chart the AXIOM Beta is filming.

  • Switches for devices connected to the Anel NET-PwrCtrl Power Switch.
  • Switches for devices connected to the Anel NET-PwrCtrl Power Switch.

Note: Please switch any lighting off after you are done.

3.1 Access

Tunnel the following ports through SSH:

Local 9051 to netctrl1:80
Local 9052 to netctrl2:80

Example: ssh -p <remote_port> <user>@remote.apertus.org -L <local_port>:netctrl2:80


Once the SSH Tunnel has been established you can go to localhost:9051 and localhost:9052 in your browser and should be able to access the ANEL WebGUI.

3.2 Sockets


Socket 1: AXIOM Beta (with image sensor)
Socket 2: Zbox
Socket 3: Darkbox Spot (lamp)


Socket 1: Partial Beta (without sensor)
Socket 2: Flourescent Tube Light
Socket 3: DMX LED Strip Controller

Credentials are not listed here but can be provided on request.

4 AXIOM Beta (with image sensor)

SSH: ssh operator@beta_a

Copy files from camera to ZBOX: scp <user@host>:<remote path> <local path> -> scp operator@beta_a:/opt/test_snap.jpg ./

5 Webcam

There is a small webcam installed that films the inside of the dark box remote setup. This webcam is connected to the ZBox and with the Linux software “motion” streams live snapshots to the ZBox localhost:8081. If you want to view the webcam you need to create an SSH tunnel.

Address: localhost:8081

Example: ssh -p <remote_port> <user>@remote.apertus.org -L <local_port>:localhost:8081


6 DMX Light Control

The ZBox has a 5-channel DMX controller with white LED strips attached, running at 30KHz PWM.

Each channel can be set from 8 (lowest visible value) to 255 (maximum brightness). Values lower than 8 will turn off the LEDs.

Make sure the olad service is running:

service olad start

Lowest dim level:

Lowest dim level is 8.

ola_set_dmx -u 0 -d 8,8,8,8,8

Full on:

ola_set_dmx -u 0 -d 255,255,255,255,255

Full off:

ola_set_dmx -u 0 -d 0,0,0,0,0


Channels are represented by each dim level setting number after ola_set_dmx -u 0 -d

  • Channel 0: Short LED strip with diffuser.
  • Channel 1: Currently empty.
  • Channel 2: Back light with diffuser.
  • Channel 3: Long LED Strip plus LED frame.
  • Channel 4: Currently empty


  Device 10: DMXking.com - ultraDMX Micro, Serial #: 84003036, firmware 1.44
  port 0, IN, priority 100
  port 0, OUT, patched to universe 0

If the output port is not "patched" (whatever that means), run:

ola_patch --patch --device 10 --port 0 --universe 0

7 Temperature Sensors

in the directiory:


there is a script:


that reports the temperature in the remote dark box at the top and at the bottom of the box (there is 24/7 air ventilation in the box):

usb-0000:00:14.0-3      28.12 °C
usb-0000:00:14.0-5.4.2  27.75 °C

8 HDMI Capture

The "capture" PC receives the HDMI signal from the AXIOM Beta through a black magic decklink 4k mini recorder PCIe card.


The following commandline tools are available:


more in:


8.1 Preview (X11 forwarding)

By connecting to the capture PC by using -X or -Y parameter for SSH, it's possible to see the live video stream by using following command:

 gst-launch-1.0 decklinkvideosrc mode=10 connection=hdmi video-format=4 ! autovideoconvert ! xvimagesink