WiFi support

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Revision as of 11:26, 3 March 2021 by Tfischer (talk | contribs) (Step 7 Camera IP address)
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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 enabled
  • 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 try 1

Gl.inet-edger-on-tripod.jpeg

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.


GL.iNet travel router try 2

Gl.inet-edger-on-tripod.jpeg

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.

The steps below were done with GL-AR300M-Ext unknown hardware version (hopefully there is only one version of the hardware) and firmware version 3.104.

I found the GL-AR300M-Ext travel router very slow to boot and a little temperamental. See the hints section below if you find you can't browse to the camera.

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 LAN Ethernet port on the router and the other end to the Ethernet port on the camera.

Step 2 Power on the camera

The router takes a long time to power up. I measured 38 seconds before any LED turned on, then a total of 110 seconds before the travel router was operational.

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 LED closest to the reset button is green indicating power. The middle LED is green to indicate LAN Ethernet connection and blinks when there is network packets being exchanged with the camera. The LED farthest from the reset button indicates the status of the wifi connection. I could not find good documentation on why the wifi status LED is red.

Step 3 Associate laptop to router

On the bottom of the travel router is a label with the default wireless SSID, and wireless password.

On my MacBook I click on the WiFi icon in the top bar. In the dropdown list I saw SSID GL-AR300M-add as 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 password

Using the browser on your laptop, browse to http://192.168.8.1 and select the language of your choice and click Next.

Enter the admin password. I used AwesomeVideo.

You can use one GL-AR300M-Ext travel router with two nearby cameras. In the left pane select INTERNET and in the Cable middle section select Use as LAN and confirm by pressing Yes. When I changed the use setting for WAN port, the travel router wifi went down and I had to reconnect from my laptop.

Step 5 Configure the travel router wifi

In the left pane, select WIRELESS, where you can set the SSID and key/password. You must first click the Modify button at the bottom of the webpage before you can change any settings. In addition, you can adjust bandwidth, channel, and transmit power. If you have several travel routers in close proximity, you might try adjusting these settings to avoid the travel routers from interfering with each other.

Of course changing the wifi SSID requires you to reconnect the laptop / tablet to the travel router.

Step 6 Unused WAN features

In the left pane, you will see FIREWALL, VPN, and APPLICATIONS. None of these settings are used as they relate to WAN router capabilities.

Step 7 Camera IP address

Example camera IP addresses with two cameras connected


One of the nice features of the GL-AR300M-Ext travel router is being able to see which IP address was assigned to the camera (or to multiple cameras if you have a second camera plugged into the WAN Ethernet port). The travel router factory default settings has a DHCP server providing IP addresses in the range 192.168.8.100 to 192.168.8.249. To find the address the travel router assigned to the camera, in the left pane click on CLIENTS. For my camera, it assigned the address 192.168.8.149.

The good news is across multiple power cycles, the travel router assigned the same address to each of my two connected cameras.

Step 8 Browse to camera

Using Chrome on your laptop or tablet, browse to the camera. I used:

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 for at least 110 seconds, press and hold the reset button for at least 10 seconds. You can release the button when the middle LED flashes quickly. Again wait around 110 seconds for the router to become operational.

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.