Meet the beta testers (updated!)
I have said this all along, the project has turned up to be not exactly what I expected: that “community effect” that I had envisioned, but has turned out to be -in many senses- a much more gratifying personal journey that has led me to places I never thought I could reach.
I a few words: it’s been a blast.
For the moment costs are reasonable, and the fun is inmense. I run at my own pace (I have a regular job) and you know what? there might be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or not but that doesn’t worry me one bit, we will see, and yes, I hope to at least cover my expenses.
So in time, I felt that I needed to share with others, and I did: I have sent quite a few kits and cameras to all continents, from Taiwan and Japan, and of course to the US and europe. I expect nothing in return (certainly monetary) but otherwise. I am sincerely grateful when people share their experiences, their feedback or both on building the openSX70 or shooting with it, or simply share their pictures taken with an openSX70 camera. Thank you to all.
Even though most days at openSX70 central are bright, there are also darker days, when nothing seems to work, when things simply go wrong: it’s a journey. All I can say is that in the long run I stand committed to the project. I was watching a YouTube video yesterday about having a (non BS) mission statement for whatever you do. Mine would be to understand the SX70 and it’s engineering as much as possible, and sharing it (the understanding). That means of course in a sense trying to get an affordable product available to DIYers, but also building the most amazing SX70 bar none assembled by the best… but in time.
That is why I am very very happy with the team of beta testers that is joining the openSX70 project, I intend to consolidate and set them up, and then, hopefully, grow up from there.
I think the team is diverse and that is exactly by design and I mention them in no particular order:
Dave Walker is a electronics design engineer nowadays working as an R&D manager. He is from the UK. He is already finding faults with my design: I think he thinks that the light meter bit is all wrong. But the best part is that he knows how to fix it! Also, he likes the SFH2430 that I selected so not all is lost! Thank you David for your support and enthusiasm!
Then there’s Sébatien Hivart from France. He belongs to the exclusive club of people that not only love these cameras but also know how fix them. He has crucial understanding of the camera operation. Funny thing that happens to me is that many people assume that I fix cameras: I only wish! I sincerely hope to learn one day from one of the masters! In the meantime I can only say that I admire what Sebastien does and that I think he can supply a lot to the project. He also is a specialist in 3D design that might come in handy.
One thing that I have found in my journey is that photographers don’t want to mess with electronics or soldering irons, software upgrades and things like that. I totally understand specially in this new analog 2.0 era. And that is why Jens Vosage is my next beta tester, he fears no Arduinos nor soldering iron. He is a professional photographer in Hannover Germany. He can supply the professional photographers point of view, and that is really important.
Pieter and his brother Jan have already built their camera and modified the software. Great work good team.
And then we have Kendar from Rezivot in Taiwan, he does amazing work, please check his website.
And Jan de Paepe, he is a mechanical engineer that is working on projects for space, optics, robotics and injection moulding. He came up with the idea of the ultra-minimalistic dongle! This is his latest designs based on the origami You can download the origami 3D files.
And of course Marco from AnalogThings, and many more.
But if you are not chosen don’t despair! Due to my results, and possibly confirmed by Dave, the design of the lightmeter circuitry is not really working as I expect it to. So there’s probably going to a new iteration of the PCBs. You probably want one of those!
By the way, one of my crazy ideas is to try to use a different spring on the Solenoid 1 to make the shutter faster.
A mechanical engineer would be a nice addition to our beta-testers, but for the time being I am trying to locate a spring manufacturer that can make for me similar springs but that make the solenoid faster (I am assuming that the spring now is 20gr). It is totally a bet, since we don’t know if the solenoid will be able to pull a spring that is stronger… we will see.
The fun never ends!