2 days ago •
f you've followed StereoNinja's previous logs, you'have seen that we have used a lighting setup based on a single IKEA Jansjö light.
While this might seem like a primitive and cheap solution, consider its benefits:
- Anyone can acquire IKEA lamps easily, worldwide. No more need to worry about the much feared "This item is not available in your country yet" warning
- It's easy to setup for every individual situtation, so when you've got a special situation with some element that requires you to move the lamp, it's trivially easy to do.
- It's trivial to experiment around with the placement
- It's inexpensive - much more so than having a customized lighting PB
- It's bright. 3W of LED output for 15€.
- If it breaks, it's easy to replace
- It's just a single LED, so it only creates one shadow
- You can easily use multiple ones if you need more light
Look at how nicely this PCB is lit by the Jansjö light:
You can see the slight shadows, which add a little bit to the 3D effect. In general, our tips on how to light your board for StereoPi are:
- Place your lights as close as possible to your PCB, but keep it so far away that your entire work area is lit evenly and that the camera doesn't obstruct the view.
- Angle is more important than distance. In order to prevent large shadows, try to light mostly from above, not so much from the side
- If using multiple lights, try to keep them at approximately the same angle from the vertical in order to prevent one light casting short shadows and the other light casting long shadows
- Keep in mind that if you're using tweezers or a soldering iron, these will cast a shadow themselves, depending on where you are holding them. So you might need to adjust the position and angle of your lights so whatever you're soldering will still be lit properly
This is how too long shadows look on a PCB: They will typically not add to the 3D effect too much, they will just hide things from your view.
Or look at this image of our StereoPi where the middle part is lit just fine, but the shadows from the camera cable obstruct a lot of components behind them.
As a final note: We are working on an easy-to-do modification of the Jansjö lights so you'll be able to mount them directly on our StereoPi stand - in other words: In the future you won't need any more desk space to mount your lights :-)
2 days ago •
We'll be presenting Stereo Ninja at the (virtual) Maker Faire Hannover tomorrow (18 Jun 2021). Visit us at the FabLab München booth!
5 days ago •
We've modelled the camera stand in CAD (see files section for STEP file), so it is easier to build for you.
We will add build instructions as well. [Update: Build instructions are available in the Instructions Section now]
Here are some detail shots for the meantime:
5 days ago •
6 days ago •
Team Stereo Ninja just achieved first light with our new, custom stereo camera stand:
It's an awesome experience being able to adjust the cameras easily and being able to watch a proper stereo experience for the first time.
Note that, just like before, you won't be able to see the Stereo Effect, since the images posted here are just 2D images. Contact us if you want to join us in testing and refining Stereo Ninja - we are looking for early adopters.
7 days ago •
OK, we do not really know why the project is called Stereo Ninja. Andreas came up with the idea and lacking a better name, we stuck with it. But then of course our logo/mascot has to match that theme, so let us present...
... the 3D googles wearing ninja panda, showing his favorites weapons, soldering iron and multimeter test leads.
Hope you like it ;-)
06/12/2021 at 11:06 •
While the StereoPi2 (which takes a RaspberryPi 4 Compute Module) is not yet available, there are other CM4 boards with 2 MIPI CSI connectors which we could use for Stereo Ninja. One of them is the official CM4 Eval Board. I now have another one in my hands (thanks Tim for borrowing!), which looks perfect: the Waveshare CM4 IO Base Board. It has the needed 2 connectors, is very compact and only costs 20$.
While the Raspberry3 (and StereoPi) doesn't support FullHD in Side-By-Side Mode, the CM4 should be able to do that, as it even supports 4K output. So we definitely have to look into this!
06/12/2021 at 00:48 •
In many companies working on electronics, standard stereo microscopes (either the standard binocular-style type or the "eyes free" Mantis-style type) has become the norm in order to increase the efficiency when working with small (typically 50 micrometers to 10 millimeters) objects like SMD components.
But what is often neglected is the ability to let multiple users view the stereoscopic image simultaneously. This is not only important for teaching reasons, but you can image how much a "pair programming" like approach for electronics could boost productivity.
Sure, there are solutions for letting someone take a peek into. Some higher-end stereo microscope (especially the classical "binocular" type) offer a third eyepiece, sometimes called a "pupil's eyepiece". Also, many microscopy setups use an additional microscope path with a camera, so you can use a standard monitor in order to display the image while the main user is looking directly through the optics.
But all of those solutions have two things in common: Not only are they expensive (a good camera setup for an existing microscope can cost many hundreds up to thousands of €) but everyone except the main user will only see a plain old 2D image .
Enter Stereo Ninja, the low-budget stereo microscope. Due to its unique concept of using a 3D monitor combined with dual cameras, it basically supports an arbitrary number of viewers.
Let's suppose you're using a shutter-based 3D monitor like the Asus VG248QE. "Shutter" means that everyone who wants to view the 3D image will have to wear shutter glasses. But that means that everyone who wears shutter glasses and is able to look at the monitor will be able to view the full 3D image - and everyone will be able to experience the same quality of stereoscopic image
In other words, with Stereo Ninja, you can easily have 5 to 10 concurrent users, and even more if you use additional hardware like active HDMI splitters to split the image to multiple monitors.
And there's one added gadget for you: Stereo Ninja supports 2D and 3D live streaming over the network thanks to StereoPi's awesome streaming support. But you'll have to wait a couple of days, since we'll cover this feature in a future project log :-)
06/10/2021 at 15:27 •
Enjoy the new adjustable stereo camera stand Team Stereo Ninja has made in order to support stereo microscopy for the masses ! Best of all, it's so simple and cheap to build that everyone can build it within a couple of hours.
It's designed so you can adjust the camera position and angle while still being able to fix them in place.
Coming up: First light with the new adjustable camera stand.
06/09/2021 at 11:31 •
Just realized that Stereo Ninja has another advantage over conventional stereo microscopes in case you are wearing glasses (like me).
When I do SMT soldering with the stereo microscope at the FabLab München, I take my glasses off. This way it's easier to get a good view through the eye pieces. But every now and then you want to look at your PCB (or the soldering station or some other tool) without microscope. For me (badly short-sighted) this means that I put on and off my glasses all the time. Not the ideal solution....
But with Stereo Ninja I do not have to do this! I'm wearing shutter goggles (over my regular glasses which works surprisingly well, at least with our model) so I get the 3D effect while looking at the monitor, but they still let me inspect my PCB directly perfectly fine! Much smoother workflow! :-D