External Storage

  • Is there a way to expand the storage available on the VOXL? I'm hoping to collect video from 2 cameras and store them for later analysis along with data from external sensors. Unfortunately, we won't be able to stream this out during the flight, so everything must be stored on-board.

    I found references to an expansion board M0062 with PCIe (B-key?) here and here, but no further details or purchase links. I also don't see anything regarding SD cards. I'm trying to avoid using the USB-C port for external storage unless required.

  • Dev Team

    @PSI Wow, very observant that you picked up references to our M0062 board. We do not sell it as a real product (we never needed to, but at one point thought we might), but it does indeed have a SD/UFS combo card slot on it for memory expansion.
    We have not had the need to test it given we have 128GB of on-board UFS and the SW images do not use much of that. But, we have a SW expert that will try it this week to make sure it works.
    The next question once we get it working, is how do we get it to you and would it impact your development. You cannot use it for Modem (4G/5G) as that PCIe M.2 slot is for a custom card (it's an A-key), but it does have our USB3 hub on it.

    Do you currently use the J3/J5 B2B connectors for another purpose? If so, you might be looking at a custom solution, but we can hopefully at least give you the confidence the expansion works.

    How much memory space do you need?

  • I'm currently hoping to bump up to around 240GB total, so if nothing else, I was planning on trying to use one of the USB3 connections to hook on an external drive. Some way to add another 128GB should be fine as long as it supports at least 40MB/s write speed.

    I'm currently trying to determine what is possible with available hardware, so this shouldn't mess with development too much. I'd like to use a USB3 camera and Ethernet adapter, and I was trying to leave J3 and J5 open in case it is needed by the Mythic (though haven't seen much on that). Any recommendations are appreciated.

  • Dev Team

    @PSI OK, that makes sense.
    If you go the USB3 route (like a thumb drive), we recommend the host port using our plug-in/debug boards. https://www.modalai.com/products/usb-3-uart-expansion-adapter?variant=40740708876339
    The USB-C on our design is having some intermittent host mode support issues we are still trying to work out. So, right now best to plan on the host ports from the B2B. We sell a 4-pin JST to USB-A adapter cable to help you validate your plans... https://www.modalai.com/collections/accessories/products/usb-cable-4-pin-jst-to-usb-a-female
    Or a 10-pin version but it's really only proto-type quality: https://www.modalai.com/products/usb3-10-pin-jst-cable

    And USB2 at 480Mbps technically should meet your 40MBps constraint (60MB/s, factoring in some overhead, and you should be good to go), so USB3 is not technically needed.

    However, and again funny what you mentioned, that M0062 board is meant for Mythic (hence the custom A-key slot), and has a full Type-A USB host port so you could plug a full-size thumb drive right in there.
    However, after we built it, Mythic alerted us to a reset format change, so we technically need to revise it (PCB Spin) for clean interoperability with the Mythic solutions over PCIe (the rework to make it work now is very ugly and fragile). We just never had a request for it until potentially yours. If you think you want to explore the possibility of Mythic add-ons, please use our contact page to send us a message and we can work out quotes/time-frames, etc for a revised M0062 product. https://www.modalai.com/pages/contact-us

    And, once our SW team validates the SD Card on M0062 (I'll let you know how that goes), that may help your use case too. The SD card spec on the QRB5165 claims 50MB/s on two different modes (snippet from publicly available "simplified spec") 0c0d4875-3693-44cd-895f-4fc92be61a52-image.png

  • @Vinny Sounds good, I'll look at the expansion board for J3. In the past, I've had issues maintaining 40MB/s write speeds over USB2, not sure if it was hardware or software, but thus my jump to USB3.

    Thanks for the info about the Mythic, I'll reach out regarding that.

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