Hardware Design

Document to record notes about the hardware design of Decapod

Computer System

User to use their own configuration if available.

If mobility is a use case, then we will have a recommended and minimum hardware configuration:

  • Dual-Core CPU, Quad-core ideal for lots of remastering work
  • 4GB RAM
  • Capable of running Ubuntu 9.x
  • 3 USB ports (can use a hub)
  • About 10GB per book. Recommend 200GB HDD or a 32GB flash drive.

Camera Selection

Decapod will support cameras fully controllable by gPhoto2 and meet the Decapod minimum technical requirements.

  • Decapod requirement: Capable of capturing at least in JPEG, 12MP
  • http://www.gphoto.org/doc/remote/
  • Currently we are using Canon G10 cameras.
  • Use gphoto2 SVN version to test against cameras.

Wider selection of cameras to be tested.

Camera Mounts and Accessories

Rather than come up with a prescriptive list of tripods, we should give a short guide in making a proper selection based on our minimum requirements.

Tripod Head Requirements:

  • 3/8" head plate thread size (for support of Manfrotto 131DD double-head bar)

Tripod Legs Requirements:

  • 5 lb. load capacity (capable of holding 2 cameras simultaneously)
  • Tripod plate thread size should match the tripod thread size of the tripod head selected (i.e. if tripod head has a 1/4" tripod thread, then the tripod legs must be 1/4" too).
  • Reasonably compact (~20") to fit into briefcase, large bag, etc.

Double Camera Mount

Since the Manfrotto 131DD is the mounting bar we are using for the cameras, this restricts the choice of tripods to those with 3/8" threads.

  • Tripods with heads are typically 1/4" (which are not compatible with the 131DD), but there are a few with 3/8". Careful research must be taken to find these tripods.
  • Tripod legs (without heads) are typically 3/8" which is compatible with the 131DD. However using just the legs without a head may be inconvenient to use for tilt/pan adjustments.

Tripod Heads with 3/8" threads

  • Manfrotto 486 / 488 Ball Head
  • Manfrotto 468MGRC4 / 468MG


  • the above tripod heads have a 3/8" male thread at top to mount the Manfrotto 131DD.
  • the above tripod heads have 3/8" female tripod mount at base. Therefore selection of tripod legs needs to have a male 3/8" head mount.

Tripod Legs

  • Induro A013 Alloy (20.2" folded, 5.5 lb. load, weight 2.7 lb.)
  • Induro A014 Alloy (18" folded, 5.5 lb. load, weight 2.4 lb.)
  • Manfrotto 190XDB (21.1" folded, 11 lb. load, weight 3.5 lb.)

*Note the above tripod legs have 3/8" tripod head mount thread size.

ATRC's Selection

  • Manfrotto 131DD double head arm
  • Manfrotto 486 tripod head with 3/8" mounts
  • Manfrotto 190XDB

Other Double Camera Mounts (not recommended)

Cradle Design

Alternative Input Devices

Foot Pedals

Foot Pedal Software

Basic Large Switches

Switch Circuits
Circuit boards for wiring basic switches as a keyboard: