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This page details how to setup the AXC-BM3DF G2, including how to rig it to your camera, different ways to power the AXC-BM3DF G2, interfacing with the Nucleus Nano Motor, connecting to the built in web applications and performing lens calibration.
Do not power AXC-BM3DF G2 with power source greater than 5 volts. Do not power AXC-BM3DF G2 through both the Micro-USB Port and the USB-C port on the 3D focus (only choose 1 method).
AXONCINE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED BY IMPROPER USAGE.
- AXC-BM3DF G2
- DJI 3D Focus Module ( not included. )
- Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor ( not included. )
- 1x USB-C to USB-C Cable ( not included. )
- 1x 2.5mm TRRS Cable ( included. )
- Various hardware for rigging/mounting to your camera. ( not included. )
Included in the bag:
When you receive your order you will find these item's in the bag:
- AXC-BM3DF G2
- 2.5mm TRRS Cable ( length specified at time of purchase. )
- 1/4"-20 Bolt
- Setup Instruction Card
The AXC-BM3DF G2 is a compact wireless control module that act's as the brain of the entire system. It interfaces with both the DJI 3D Focus Module and the Tilta Nucleus Nano and communicates with them in realtime to obtain distance information and control lens focus through the motor.
- USB-C Port ( for 3D Focus Module Only! )
- 2.5mm TRRS Port ( for Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor Only! )
- Micro-USB Port ( For power Only! )
- Power LED Indicator ( RED )
- Status LED Indicator ( RGB )
- Reset Button ( BLACK )
- Action Button ( GREEN )
- 1/4" Mounting Hole
Preface - LiDAR / Time of Flight Sensor:
For the best results using this system it is important to understand how the 3D Focus Module is working at a fundamental level.
DJI 3D Focus Module at it's core is a distance measurement device. It does this by emitting infrared light and recording the time it takes for that emitted light to bounce off an object and return back to the sensor.
Think of it as a flashlight that you aim towards a subject, some of that light will bounce off that subject which the sensor will compute as a distance value.
3D Focus Module has a field of view ( FOV ) of ~15° which the sensor operates within, anything outside of this FOV will not be measured. The 3D Focus Module also operates within a specific distance range that is between ~30cm to 10m.
Please refer to the DJI 3D Focus Module documentation for more specific information regarding it's operating parameters. DJI_RONIN_3D_Focus_System_User_Guide.pdf (djicdn.com)
To start, the user must decide on a location for the 3D Focus Module. It is recommended that it be mounted on the camera/cage, center with the lens mount and in line with the focal plane. It is also recommended that the 3D Focus Module not be placed too far away from the optical path; which means the 3D Focus Module should not be too high above or below the camera, as it will affect the area the 3D Focus Module is measuring and it will not be aligned with the center of the camera frame as the user would expect.
User should also consider adding a very small degree of tilt to the 3D Focus Module, such that it be better aimed at the projected center of frame. This is not necessary and most instances where the 3D Focus Module is mounted parallel to the optical path will suffice; at the cost of less focus accuracy when dealing with subjects at a very close distance.
The AXC-BM3DF G2 can be mounted via 1/4"-20 bolt wherever convenient for the user.
Users have two options for power:
A: for this option, the DJI 3D Focus Module & the AXC-BM3DF G2 is powered through secondary USB-C port on the side of the DJI 3D Focus Module. NOTE: for this option it is important to use a power source / power cable that does not transmit any auxiliary data on it's port as it will interfere with the data connection between the AXC-BM3DF G2 and the 3D Focus Module.
B: for this option, the Micro-USB port of the AXC-BM3DF G2 is used to power both itself and the 3D Focus Module.
CHOOSE ONLY 1 OF THESE METHODS. A or B DO NOT CHOOSE BOTH AS IT CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE CONNECTED DEVICES.
Interfacing with the Motor:
The AXC-BM3DF G2 connects to the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor using the included 2.5mm TRRS Cable. This cable is strictly for data communication and does not provide any power between the AXC-BM3DF G2 or the motor.
User must choose their own method of powering the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor. If possible it is recommended to use a power supply for the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor that can provide greater than 5V as this will increase the torque of the motor and overall improve the responsiveness for larger/stiffer lenses.
Upon first powering the AXC-BM3DF G2, there should display two LED indicators. The power indicator LED will be solid red to indicate that the device is receiving power. The status indicator LED is a multi-color RGB LED that is used to display the various states and conditions of the devices.
STATUS LED STATES:
- SOLID LED ( GREEN, TEAL, YELLOW, MAGENTA, BLUE )
- This indicates normal operation where the color will dictate which lens profile is chosen. The Focus Assist Application is turned OFF.
- BREATHING LED ( GREEN, TEAL, YELLOW, MAGENTA, BLUE )
- This indicates normal operation where the color will dictate which lens profile is chosen. The Focus Assist Application is turned ON.
- BREATHING WHITE LED
- This indicates the device is in setup mode. The built-in web application can be accessed via the WiFi network.
- FAST BLINKING RED LED ( LIDAR CONNECTION WARNING )
- This indicates the device cannot communicate with the 3D Focus Module. Please check the cable / connection. This can be disabled in the configuration page of the setup application.
- SLOW BLINKING RED LED ( MOTOR CONNECITON WARNING )
- This indicates the device cannot communicate with the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor. Please check the cable / connection. This can be disabled in the configuration page of the setup application.
Connecting to the WiFi Network:
The AXC-BM3DF G2 features a built in WiFi network which is used for configuration and extended functionality. Users can access the built-in web application(s) via a smartphone, laptop or even a desktop.
The AXC-BM3DF G2 has a unique WiFi network name and password. The WiFi network name will follow a pattern as such: "AXC-BM3DFG2-****" ( where the last 4 alphanumeric characters are a unique identifier for the device. )
The WiFi password for each device is a combination of a static word "AXONCINE" + those last 4 alphanumeric characters. For example the password for the network that is listed below would be:
WiFi Network Name: "AXC-BM3DFG2-45FD"
WiFI Network Password: "AXONCINE45FD"
Focus Assist Application:
The Focus Assist Application can be enabled by holding down the action button for ~3 seconds. When the status indicator changes from being a solid color to a breathing color, the Focus Assist Application has been enabled.
The Focus Assist application is an integrated web application that can be accessed by connecting the AXC-BM3DF G2's built-in WiFi connection.
Once connected to the AXC-BM3DF G2's WiFi network, user should visit this url: 10.0.0.1 via a web browser of their choice.
It is recommended to add this page to the homescreen or bookmark for ease of access later on.
The Focus Assist Application's primary function is to display distance readings from the 3D Focus Module in real-time. Valid distance readings will be displayed in WHITE text, where distance readings that exceed the usable range of the sensor will be displayed in ORANGE and show "OOR" for "Out-of-Range".
DOUBLE-TAP the distance text to increase the size.
TAP the Settings in the bottom right hand corner to open the Settings drawer. Here you can adjust the distance units from "METRIC" to "IMPERIAL". You can change the update frequency of the distance readings from 1-30 fps and you can also enable/pause the readings entirely.
The Focus Aid is a visual focus assist function that turns the device's display into a color mapped depth of field indicator. A subject at the target distance will display the "IN-RANGE" Color and if the subject is out of the target range it will display either of the "OUT-OF-RANGE" Color's depending on whether the subject is too close ( near ) or too far. The color's will smoothly transition from to another.
Once enabled the entire viewport will change into the color indicator, to exit the Focus Aid you simply DOUBLE TAP anywhere on the screen.
The Setup Application is accessed through a button sequence, the user will press the RESET Button and immediately after press and hold the ACTION button until the STATUS LED Indicator show a BREATHING WHITE LED.
The Setup application is an integrated web application that can be accessed by connecting the AXC-BM3DF G2's built-in WiFi connection.
Once connected to the AXC-BM3DF G2's WiFi network, user should visit this url: 10.0.0.1 via a web browser of their choice.
The Setup Application is the center for configuring and AXC-BM3DF G2.
LENS PROFILE PAGE:
- Cycle between lens profiles using the arrows at the top.
- Change profile "Name", "Focal Length", "Aperture"
- Display the number of calibration points when using the Manual Calibration.
- Display the number of table records when using the Full Calibration.
- Reset the Lens Profile
- Display the Operating Mode: "Manual" or "Full"
- Display a Calibration Graph that shows the motor position vs. distance values.
- Press the "Calibrate" button to Open the Calibration tool.
- Import a Lens Profile.
- Export the current Lens Profile.
- Product model
- Device MAC Address
- Firmware Version currently installed
- WiFi Passkey
FIRMWARE UPDATE PAGE:
FACTORY RESET PAGE:
The configuration page lists number of configurable parameters that control how the AXC-BM3DF G2 works. These configurations are saved into the AXC-BM3DF G2's flash memory, meaning they will persist among power cycles / reboots.
The AXC-BM3DF G2 is able to perform autofocus through calibrations that are stored in what are called "Lens Profiles". The AXC-BM3DF G2 can store up to 5 Lens Profiles at a time, each is marked with a distinct color. ( GREEN, TEAL, YELLOW, MAGENTA, BLUE )
You can cycle between Lens Profiles in the normal operating mode by TRIPLE PRESSING the ACTION BUTTON on the AXC-BM3DF G2. You will see the Status Indictor LED change color to display which Lens Profile is currently active.
A Lens Profile consists of lens details such as:
- Focal Length ( mm )
These are NOT required for autofocus functionality, it is simply metadata used for organization.
Each Lens Profile has two types of calibration that can be used for the autofocus system, FULL Lens Calibration & MANUAL Lens Calibration. ( see below for more detailed guides on how to perform each calibration and when each should be used. )
Only 1 type of calibration can be enabled at a time for each Lens Profile.
Lens Profiles can be saved and exported off of the device for archival purposes or to share with other devices. These profiles come in the form of ".axcp" files.
Motor Calibration vs. Lens Calibration:
There are two kinds of calibration that need to be performed:
Motor Calibration: performed independent of the AXC-BM3DF G2. Depending on the type of lens being used with the system, there is an automatic calibration for lenses that have hardstops. For lenses that do not have hard stops a manual calibration will need to be performed in order map the lens` focus range. Motor Calibration needs to be performed each time you change a lens.
Lens Calibration: performed with the AXC-BM3DF G2. Is the process of mapping the motor position values to a corresponding distance measurement from the DJI 3D Focus Module. Lens Calibration can be performed once per lens and can be recalled at any time when switching Lens Profiles.
Full Lens Calibration:
Full lens calibration is a method that computes the focal distance of your lens based on a mapping of the motor's position in accordance with the witness marks of your lens. Our process will determine the optimal response curve for your lens and will be represented by a unique set of numerical values.
You will begin by calibrating the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor with the lens. If the lens has hardstops you can engage automatic calibration by pressing and holding the arrow button on the motor. If the lens does not have hardstops, you will need to do perform a manual calibration; one should consult Tilta's online guides for how to do this.
Once your Motor has been calibrated to the lens, you will need the Nucleus-Nano Wireless Hand Controller to move the motor into various positions in order to obtain the mapping required for this calibration. Use the controller to move the lens focus to the first witness mark ( minimum focus ). Now write down the distance of this witness mark ( must be in metric units: meters ) and take note of the Tilta Nucleus Nano Motor position value; it is shown on both the Motor's display and the Hand Controller's display. ( it will be between 000-999 )
Continue this process of writing down the witness mark/motor position values all the way until you reach the infinity focus of the lens. Keep these values written down or stored as they will need to be input into another utility in the next step.
!!!! MAKE SURE TO CALIBRATE THE TILTA NUCLEUS NANO TO THE LENS BEFORE GATHERING THE LENSES MAPPING INFORMATION. FAILURE TO CALIBRATE THE TILTA NUCLEUS NANO WILL CAUSE INCONSITENT OR INVALID RESULTS WITH AUTOFOCUS !!!
visit: calibrate.axoncine.com to use the online calibration utility
- Enter the details for the lens you are calibrating. ( name, focal length, aperture, etc.. )
- Enter the Lens Witness Mark & Tilta Nucleus Nano position values into the table. From the minimum focus of the lens to infinity.
- Run the calibration process.
- Enter the numerical values into your Lens profiles calibration table or download the lens profile and load it into the AXC-BM3DF G2.
This type of calibration is independent of the 3D Focus Module's position on your rig, as such you are free to move the 3D Focus Module to another location using a FULL Calibration. However, you will need to adjust the FOCAL PLANE OFFSET configuration corresponding to the location of the 3D Focus Module in relation to the camera's focal plane.
Manual Lens Calibration:
- Focus Chart ( any resolution chart or similar will work, or you can print one like this: ISO_12233 Chart )
Overview: To enable continuous autofocus you must first calibrate the attached lens. Calibration process involves mapping a measured distance from the 3D Focus Module to a focus position on the lens. To do this, you will place your camera in front of a large/flat target and adjust the focus of the lens until the image is in sharp focus; then set a calibration point. You will repeat this process, moving the camera away from the target in small amounts until you reach infinity focus of the lens; after which you save your profile and the calibration will be complete.
- Go to the Lens Profile page.
- Choose a profile ( 1-5 )
- Set the Operating Mode to "Manual" ( there will be a check mark beside it )
- Choose "Calibrate" and the "Manual Calibration" page will open.
- At the top there are 3 details that will aid in the calibration process. The "Point" detail will indicates which point out of the 64 points of calibration are currently being calibrated. The "Current" detail is updated live with the current distance measurement the 3D Focus Module is measuring. The "Saved" detail will show what distance measurement is stored at the given calibration point. ( if you have not yet set a calibration point, it will show: "----" )
- Move the camera in front of a target. ( this will start at the minimum focus of the lens )
- Adjust the focus of the lens using the slider (or the increment buttons) until the image is at maximum sharpness. ( use focus peaking )
- You can now "Set Point", afterwards the process will move you to the next point automatically.
- Move the camera back away from the target, in varying amounts until you reach the infinity focus of the lens. You should aim for a minimum of 12-15 points; up to a maximum of 64 points.
- For the final calibration point ( the infinity point ) you will move the focus slider till you reach your lens' infinity witness mark, you will want to point your camera at a target that is sufficiently far away; the "Current" reading should display "OOR" to indicate that it is measuring infinity. If the area you are calibrating in is constrained for space; you can also raise your hand up to the 3D Focus Module and nearly cover the sensor. ( this will mimic the sensor being Out-of-range. ) Then you will "Set Point". You will know it worked if you move back to that calibration point and see the "Saved" value as "10000mm"
- Save Profile, the calibration is now saved into the Lens Profile.
- You can view the results of your calibration by viewing the "Calibration Graph" to view a motor position vs. distance graph.
- Reset the AXC-BM3DF G2 using the "RESET BUTTON" to exit the Setup Application and begin using the continuous autofocus.
More details to follow...