1 Printed Circuit Boards

1.1 PCB Version 0.9

The first development prototype of the AXIOM Remote printed circuit board (V0.9) has been designed and routed, ordered, received and populated. This first version is not meant to be perfect (for testing we just used a simple 6x6mm Alps push-button type - not the more expensive ones with better haptic feedback) but should provide a good foundation for developers to focus on ensuring that the menus work and how to create an intuitive and pleasant user experience when operating an AXIOM camera.

PCB Source files: [1]

1.2 Next PCB Version

Considerations/Ideas for the next version:

  • Do we really need a second rotary knob? For menu navigation and the changing of parameters so far we saw no use for it designing the UI.
  • Add flash memory for storing of images? So far we have not exceeded the PIC32MZs internal storage memory but if we want to make the internal help system more extensive with lots of added illustrations/images it might be required to add more flash storage.
  • Remove left side rocker switches? So far we have not found any function for them. They are prone to being switched accidentally as they stand out from the device quite far. Having buttons/switches on the left side of the remote prevents it from being attached to the camera/rig on that side though.
  • Remove top side pushbuttons? So far we have not found a real application for them. In line with good user interface design / user experience these buttons need labels so the user clearly sees what is going to happen when he presses them. This is difficult as the label would not be visible from the front of the device.
  • Reduce number of RGB LEDs to two (for status LEDs: State and Operation)? So far we have not discovered any real world benefit to having RGB LEDs to illuminate pushbuttons. Changing the button illumination color to indicate something happening while pushing it makes little sense as while pushing it the users finger is covering the button making it impossible for the user to see it.
  • Having one white LED per pushbutton could make sense that as it could indicate which buttons are currently active (requires buttons to show significant transparent surface so the light can shine through)
  • add 4 more holes to PCB somewhere close to eachs PCBs corners so the enclosure back can be screwed together with the enclosure front.
  • rounded corners for PCB so it fits into enclosure better, 5mm radius
  • to save space some cutouts on the PCB would be handy for adding thread mount points to the enclosure in the middle of each side
  • shall we add additional PCB screw holes near the push buttons to add additional stability and prevent the PCB from being bent by force being applied to push buttons.

2 Electronic Components

  • Core Processor: A PIC32MZ was chosen over using a http://www.minidevs.com/product/CORE-A20.html and hand soldering it to our own PCB. Two additional smaller PIC16 are used for handling push button, rotary encoder and LED IO.
  • 3D accelerometer to measure device orientation (optional)
  • AXIOM Remote is currently powered externally via 5V DC supply (internal batteries might be considered for the future: 4x AA battery tray?)
  • currently the firmware is programmed with a PICkit2 directly into the PIC32MZ flash memory - in the future this may be done over USB - having a separate microSD card containing the devices firmware is currently not planned.
  • The AXIOM Remote has no requirement for internal RTC (plus button cell battery) - instead timecode is synced with/by a connected AXIOM Beta.

Buttons/Rotary Encoders/Connectors:

ALPS SRBE210200 rotary + push switch



SMT type rotary encoders:

http://www.alps.com/prod/info/E/HTML/Encoder/Incremental/EC05E/EC05E_list.html http://www.alps.com/prod/info/E/HTML/Encoder/Incremental/EC10E/EC10E_list.html

Beta connectivity through Hirose HR10A-7P-4S (a bit expensive but massive)

or alternatively 4 pin 2.5 or 3.5mm audio cables:


plus metal receptor on Beta and Remote:


RS232C as Beta <-> Remote protocol4

Toogle Switches APEM ZL series

3 Enclosure

The plan is to design a two part assembly of aluminium CNC milled front/back that are screwed together.

Ongoing OnShape CAD design: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/f41e9dcb61a8767f69b714af/w/009161441d6a06c023fb1540/e/982232b9f340d1f56d459ba2

CAD Todos:

  • design silicone rubber (or alternatively solid plastic single button) pads for buttons
  • design extension module mount (right side) and electronics connectors
  • design connector position
  • test TFT in direct sunlight, consider options for shading screen on remote somehow.
  • Herbert suggested instead of screwing the PCB it could be clamped between front/back, he will share photos of this concept in action.