Author Topic: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017  (Read 726 times)

Artur D'Assumpção

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Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« on: January 25, 2017, 12:17:10 AM »
Hi guys,

First of all I am sorry for the deep silence in the last months. Just wanted to let you guys know that we had to do a break in the project development in the last months due to personal and professional reasons. Fortunately we got the team back together and are back on track since the beginning of the year doing our amazing work. I can now say the project is moving again at a steady pace with everyone committed and motivated.


Current Status:

Last year we tested our Beta 2 version of the I/O card for VCA consoles. At the time we were having some noise issues that were worrying us particularly because we were testing an entirely new hardware architecture for the card (a better one). After careful analysis of the data and the test circumstances we suspected the problem wasn't with the card but rather with the test conditions at that particular time (lots of problems were happening with the tested console and studio computer, and room heating issues). For this reason, we started this year by redoing the tests and I can report everything worked flawlessly surpassing our expectations, confirming the problem was indeed with the test conditions at that particular day. We were happy to find that we were able to get super steady signals, high precision  inputs/ouputs (12 bits) and everything else working like we have planned originally (fader LED controls, cut automation, status switches, loopback relays, etc.).

We are going to release some videos soon of the prototype working, we are in the process of scheduling a new demonstration session for the purpose of making these videos. More news soon...


Next Steps:

We are now already working on the SMD version. This will allow us to reduce card size, reduce costs (up to 2/3 reduction expected), reduce complexity and improve even further the quality of the results.

Facing the number of components we ended up with the through-hole version, at this point we are seriously considering dropping the through-hole option all the way. We believe the amount of cost reduction itself is enough reason for everyone here to prefer the SMD version.


As a final note. Please take in consideration that this is a community project, we are working super committed in the project but in our free time. Sometimes it's just unfeasible to set deadlines, we just manage as we go. One thing is certain, the project will see the light of the day sooner or later. We are also committed to be the best project around, faithful to its base goals and to the SSL culture. Finally we are committed to bring everyone this computer at a fair price-point (prices circulating for other projects are insane...).

Please be free to ask your questions.

Cya soon!

Cheers,

Artur
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 08:00:24 PM by Artur D'Assumpção »



RoyMixer

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 12:19:05 AM »
So Great to hear!!  Great work!

Roy

Artur D'Assumpção

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 02:28:59 PM »
Hi guys,

Just to share a photo of Steve's setup doing a proof-of-concept of an ARM MCU (with a dev board) which we intend to use in our new SMD pcb for VCA I/O card beta 3 version.

What you're seeing is Steve re-using a cannibalized Ultimation Beta 1 card we did back in 2015 to test the previous Sample & Hold circuits we used in that particular architecture. It's always nice too see older versions coming to good use.

We are now planning to get back to using S&H since the tests we did confirm that the new MCU power and quality of SMD electronics (better capacitors and better PSU) will allow us to achieve similar results comparable with using just Digital-to-Analog converters (VCA beta 1 and beta 2 versions). This will allow us to get back to a much simpler architecture and overall cheaper hardware.   

Things are looking good! More updates soon...

Cheers,

Artur
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 05:08:43 PM by Artur D'Assumpção »

Showcase

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 10:00:01 PM »
Cool stuff, keep it going

Dan Korneff

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 06:35:37 PM »
What can I help with?

perfectsnd

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 04:28:58 AM »
Any updates on the project?

Artur D'Assumpção

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 09:05:32 PM »
Hi guys,

Yes we are hard working (as much as free time allows) on the new VCA beta 3 card (and hopefully final). This one is all SMD and with some important structural changes compared with beta 2 which will reduce much the final cost and card size, taking advantage now of the SMD component availability and pricing:

Quick summary of the main changes:

  • card fully redesigned for SMD - take advantage of SMD component availability, reduced costs, reduced size
  • new ARM MCU - more powerful, more peripherals, cheaper and more pins
  • much lower on-board component density - we use lots of provided MCU on-chip provided peripherals
  • we got back using S&H architecture - high sampling write now allows for much better S&H operation, overcoming challenges of S&H we had earlier with Ultimation card beta 1, reducing overall costs versus DAC approach of VCA beta 2
  • Improved powersupply - still using single pole supply

It takes time, but we expect to have beta 3 ready for review/manufacturing proof of concept in a couple of weeks.

Here's a temporary screen shot of the card (ignore the back connector, which is in reality an IDC connector like previous cards)

Will keep you posted,

Cheers,

Artur

seedubs

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 08:11:10 PM »
 You guys rock! I was just about to consider the other system replacement and come to find out its half the money down and then a 2 month wait for them to build the system . I would much rather wait for this solution.

marcmozart

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 04:20:14 PM »
Awesome work - let me and Nick know if you need any testing on VCA...

Cheers,
Marc
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 04:27:44 PM by marcmozart »
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sintech

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 05:51:35 PM »
Amazing work Guys, this is the way forward for this community :-)

Artur D'Assumpção

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Re: Project Status Update - 24-01-2017
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2017, 08:25:32 PM »
HI guys,

Thanks for all the support. We'll try to keep you updated as much as we can. These things take time, particularly if you're doing it on free time.

I am sure we'll be able to build something good for everyone and for that we definitely count with your support and contribution.

Cheers,

Artur