WiFi support

From edgertronic high speed video camera
Revision as of 10:29, 28 February 2021 by Tfischer (talk | contribs) (GL.iNet travel router)
Jump to: navigation, search

The easiest way to add WiFi support to your edgertronic camera is using a travel router configured to operate in client mode. There is nothing special about the network configuration used. The camera attaches to the LAN Ethernet port on the travel router and the laptop controls the camera over a WiFi connection. You can use a regular WiFi access point. A travel router is suggested because you can use one of the camera USB ports to power the travel router (meaning on less cord) and the travel router is so small you can attach it directly to the camera (mean the Ethernet cable connecting the travel router to the camera is contained as well). If the travel router is attached to the camera, then the only cable going to the camera is the power cable.

When configuring the WiFi router, keep the following in mind:

  • Router mode of operation (access point mode of operation will work fine as well)
  • DHCP server
  • If the router has more than one Ethernet port, use the LAN (not WAN) port
  • Since the wireless router is running a DHCP server, make sure your laptop wifi networking is not configuration for a fixed IP address.

GL.iNet travel router

Trackman recommends the GL.iNet Travel Router stating they found this to be a more stable and better performing wifi router. I liked the looks of the 300Mbps external antenna version, so I purchased the GL.iNET GL-AR300M-Ext travel router.

GL-AR300M-Ext setup procedure for one or more laptops and tablets controlling the camera over wifi:

  • Plug the travel router into USB port on camera to provide power and from the travel router Ethernet LAN port to the camera's Ethernet port. Both cables come with the GL-AR300M.
  • From the factory (or after a factory reset), you can connect to the travel router using SSID GL-AR300M-add (or similar) and wifi password goodlife.
  • Once your laptop is connected via wifi to the travel router, browse to http://192.168.8.1
  • Configure the travel router via the webUI, in the left pane click on WIRELESS. We ignore the Internet settings.
  • In the 2.4G WiFi first click on the Modify button at the bottom of the settings. I used SSID edger-behind-pitcher and password AwesomeVideo.
    • If you have several cameras in close proximity, you might want to set the transmit power to low. I also selected Bandwidth 40 Mhz to see what happens.
  • After setting the wifi SSID and password, you need to reconnect your wifi to the GL-AR300M using the new settings.
  • To learn the IP address assigned by the GL-ARM300M's DHCP server to the edgertronic camera, I refreshed the browser and in the left pane selected CLIENTS. All edgertronic cameras have an Ethernet MAC address that starts with 00-1B-C5-90. The assigned address for my camera was http://192.168.8.149.

TP Link TL-WR802N travel router

I picked the TP LInk TL-WR802N travel router because it was available when this wiki page was updated and the size allows the router to be attached to side of the camera. I wasn't too worried about which WiFi protocol was supported. The TL-WR802N supports 802.11n, which works fine with my MacBook.

The steps below were done with TL-WR802N hardware version 4 and firmware version 0348.0.

I found the TL-WR802N travel router a little temperamental. See the hints section below if you find after you have configured the travel router, you are having troubles browsing to the camera. The problem is the TL-WR802N travel router doesn't remember which IP address it gave to which device, so the order you power up and connect to the travel router affects the IP address assigned to the camera. If you only have two devices (laptop/tablet and camera) connected to the travel router, then the camera will always have one of thse two IP addresses (assuming you followed the configuration steps below): 192.168.0.100 or 192.168.0.101. If the camera's System LED is blue, then one of those two IP addresses should work.

Step 1 Attach the router

Using the USB cable that came with the router, connect the USB cable to the router and camera. The USB cable only provides power. There is no USB data communication.

Using the Ethernet cable that came with the router, connect the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the router and the other end to the Ethernet port on the camera.

Step 2 Power on the camera

The router defaults to wireless router, which doesn't run DHCP over the Ethernet connection, so you will see the System LED be steady yellow, meaning the camera is using the default (10.11.12.13) IP address. This is not what we want.

On the travel router, the green LEDs should be illuminated.

Step 3 Associate laptop to router

On the bottom of the TL-WR802N travel router is a label with the default wireless SSID, and wireless password. There is also the default user name and password you would use to access the router's internal web server.

On my MacBook I click on the WiFi icon in the top bar. In the dropdown list I see with the TL-WR802N device name listed on the travel router label.

Use the SSID and password to connect your laptop to the travel router.

Step 4 Configure the travel router

Using the browser on your laptop, browse to http://tplinkwifi.net

Enter the user name and password to log into travel router's built in webserver.

Click on Quick Setup in the left hand pane. Click on Next until you get to Operation Mode, then select Access Point. Continue to click on Next until you can click on Finish.

The travel router will reboot. I had to reconnect wifi to the travel router after it rebooted becuase my laptop switched to my normal wifi access point. Once laptop wifi was connected to the travel router, it took a while and several browser refreshes before http://tplinkwifi.net came alive again.

If you did everything correctly the System LED be steady blue, meaning the camera is using a DHCP address assigned by the travel router. To figure out what the IP address that was assigned to the camera, pop out the SD card, stick it into your laptop, and in the top level (root) directory, you will find a file named cam_ip_address.192.168.0.100.

Step 5 Browse to camera

If you are using the default travel router configuration with just the operation mode set to access point, then the camera's IP address will be 192.168.0.100.

Using Chrome on your laptop, browse to the camera

Performance

I measured the camera's ethernet maximum performance using a tool called iperf:

iperf -c 10.11.12.13
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 10.11.12.1, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 85.0 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local 10.11.12.1 port 57754 connected with 10.11.12.1 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-10.1 sec  72.2 MBytes  60.2 Mbits/sec

That shows a bandwidth of 60 Mbits/sec. It is a 100 Mbit/sec ethernet link and I know the DM368 process is not fast enough to use all 100 Mbits/sec, so 60 Mbits/sec looks reasonable.

Similarly TL-WR720N supports 150 Mbits/sec link, but the access point is not that fast. I would expect an access point with a real throughput of 75 Mbit/sec would work.

I hooked up a TP-Link TL-WR802N to the camera via ethernet and ran iperf over it.

iperf -c 10.11.12.13
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 10.11.12.13, TCP port 5001
TCP window size:  129 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  4] local 192.168.0.100 port 57250 connected with 10.11.12.13 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  4]  0.0-10.0 sec  77.8 MBytes  65.1 Mbits/sec

My quick test shows TP-Link TL-WR802N should work fine if there is no other wifi interference and the distance between the access point and your laptop isn’t too far.

Hints

  • The only configuration that needs to be changed is setting the operating mode to access point.
  • My laptop quickly switched to a different access point if the travel router was unreachable. If you can't talk to the camera, check which access point your laptop is associated with.
  • To have the system work consistently, wait to connect your laptop to the travel router until the camera system LED is blue. This makes sure your camera always has the same IP address.
  • If the camera's system LED is solid blue, the travel router LED is solid green, and you can't browse to the camera, pop out the SD card, stick it in your laptop, and see what IP address the camera is using.
  • If the camera's system LED is solid yellow, something is wrong. Do a factory reset and try again.
  • After powering up, the TL-WR802N travel router doesn't remember which IP address it gave to which device previously, so the order you power up and connect to the travel router affects the IP address assigned to the camera. If you only have two devices (laptop/tablet and camera) connected to the travel router, then the camera will always have one of these two IP addresses (assuming you followed the configuration steps above): 192.168.0.100 or 192.168.0.101. If the camera's System LED is blue, then one of those two IP addresses should work.

Still having a connectivity problem, please contact us and provide the following information:

  1. What wifi access point was the laptop connected to?
  2. What was the LED on the TP Link doing?
  3. What were the two LEDs on the camera’s ethernet port doing?
  4. What was the color of the camera’s system LED and camera’s camera LED?
  5. What was the full name of the cam_ip_address file on the SD card?
  6. What URL did you use when trying to browse to the camera?

My guess is the TP Link is not giving the camera the same IP address every time. You likely need to check the cam_ip_address file on the SD card so you know what URL to use to browse to the caemra.

Factory reset

If you need to get the TL-WR802N travel router in a known state do a factory reset.

  • With the router powered on, use a pin to press and hold the RESET button for about 5 seconds until the LED blinks. Release the RESET button and wait for the travel router LED to again go solid green.

You should then power off the camera and power back on again to make sure the camera networking is also reset (meaning the camera forgets any DHCP assigned address). Since the camera is powering the travel router, the travel router will also go though a power on reset.

Obsolete travel routers

ZyXEL MWR102 travel router

Edgertronic-with-zyxel-mwr102-travel-router.jpg
Zyxel-mwr102-travel-router-back-side-with-arrows.jpg
Select-zyxel-mwr102-travel-router.png
Mac-wpa2-password-zyxel-mwr102-travel-router.png

I picked the ZyXEL MWR102 Travel Router because the size allows the router to be attached to side of the camera. I wasn't too worried about which WiFi protocol was supported. The MWR102 supports 802.11n, which works fine with my MacBook.

The good news when using the MWR102 router is I didn't have to change any settings to get the router to work! All the default settings are listed on the bottom of the router. The bad news is the text on the router is so small I had trouble reading it. If you have previously configured the travel router, you may want to do a factory reset.

Step 1 Attach the router

Using the USB cable that came with the router, connect the USB cable to the router and camera. The USB cable only provides power. There is no USB data communication.

Using the Ethernet cable that came with the router, connect the Ethernet cable to the black LAN port on the router and the other end to the Ethernet port on the camera.

Make sure the switch on the side of the MWR102 is set to router.

Step 2 Power on the camera

If the router is configured as a DHCP server and the Ethernet cable is connected, then as the camera powers on the System LED will blink yellow indicating the camera is booting, then turn blue indicating Ethernet is connected and the camera has received an IP address from the router using the DHCP protocol.

On the travel router, the LAN and PWR green LEDs should be illuminated.

Step 3 Associate laptop to router

On the bottom of the ZyXEL MWR102 Travel Router is a label with the default wireless SSID, and wireless password. There is also the default user name and password you would use to access the router's internal web server.

On my MacBook I click on the WiFi icon in the top bar. In the dropdown list I see ZyXEL with the devices MAC address used as the end of the SSID name.

Step 4 Browse to camera

If you are using the default ZyXEL MWR102 Travel Router configuration, then the camera will get the first DHCP assigned IP address, which is 192.168.100.100. If in doubt, remove the SD card or USB storage from the camera and using you laptop, view the filenames. On my SD card I found cam_ip_address.192.168.100.100.

Using Chrome on your laptop, browse to the camera


Reconfiguring ZyXEL MWR102 Travel Router

User manual: http://www.zyxel.com/us/en/uploads/images/ug_MWR102_1.00.pdf

Make sure the switch on the side of the MWR102 is set to router.

Get router into known state

  1. Power on router.
  2. Press the reset button for longer than five seconds. Reset button is located on the bottom of the unit.
  3. The manual says the Power LED will start to blink to indicate that the default configuration is being loaded, but that didn't happen for me. However, the routed did do the factory reset properly.

Configure SSID and password

Browse to 192.168.100.1 and log in using user admin and password 1234

For my use case, I didn't require any data encryption. Unfortunately, you have to apply your changes before you leave a page, so the router ends up rebooting several times as you are configuring the router.

Using the ZyXEL MWR102 Travel Router built in web server, select the appropiate page using the menu tree on the left and make the following changes:

  1. Network Settings - LAN Interface
    1. Router IP address: 10.11.12.1
    2. Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
    3. DHCP: Server
    4. DHCP Client Range: 10.11.12.13 to 10.11.12.100

Then Apply changes, wait for reboot.

  1. Wireless - Basic Settings
    1. Wireless network band: 2.4 Ghz (B)
    2. Wireless Mode: AP
    3. SSID: edgertronic
    4. Channel Width: 20 Mhz
    5. Channel Number: auto
    6. Country: USA
    7. Broadcast SSID: enabled

Then Apply changes, then select, reboot later.

  1. Wireless Security
    1. Encryption: disable

Then Apply changes, then select reboot.

Using new settings

  • Make sure the switch on the side of the MWR102 is set to router.
  • Select edgertronic as the available wifi network
  • Browse to 10.11.12.13

replacing 10.11.12.13 with your camera's IP address as necessary.

  • If you want to reconfigure the router (shouldn't be necessary): browse to 10.11.12.1, user admin, password 1234