Wireless Wonders (on the cheap) Nikon D4 & powered portable router

I’m writing this after tearing my hair out over a couple of days trying to get this to work…

I was looking (albeit without too much research) for a portable router (access point) for my Nikon D4.  At about $800-900 for Nikon’s WT-5A a quick web search it was clear that there are portable (battery included) access points out there.  So I was on a mission to find one here in Bangkok, as I wanted to use it for a NYE event.

My cunning plan was to use my iPad with Shutter Snitch to live feed my photos to my iPad… upload the photos to my Facebook site (or at least my website) during the event and give them some nice realtime coverage (of decent images, rather than the usual iPhone images).

What I found was a “3G Powerbank“.  It looks pretty ugly and by far the coolest option out there but it was all that was available at short notice.  Having found no decent alternatives I decided just to go for it.  Ultimately I got it working but jeez… a couple of very frustrated days.  A big thanks to the boys at iServe Apple in the Amarin Plaza who found a WordPress blog in Thai that really helped me out.  Being a networking retard and the interface of the router manager being totally horrid, it was a real battle.  That being said there were also a bunch of posts out there that didn’t really help, or at least seemed more complicated than I could understand.

  • 3G Powerbank Setup:  Essentially I followed the blog instructions for the set up, which ultimately created a secure wireless network called Nikon_D4.  The main thing being that the RJ45 is set to LAN and I enabled the FTP transfer.  I kept the hostnames the same as the wireless network I’d created just incase that’s important.  I also limited the range of IP addresses on the “Network” tab, “LAN” submenu, to only 3 IP addresses (192.168.8.100 to 192.168.8.103) as I’m only using a limited number of devices and I didn’t want the iPad skipping around IP addresses, meaning I had to reconfigure the camera every time.
  • All Devices on the same Network: One concept that helps is that the router in the wifi mode creates the address book.  Then each device that connects on the same network will have an address created either automatically or one that you give it (within the range defined).  As the iPad and the MacBook Pro do this automatically (DCHP) so no worries there.  The camera is the manual one and I’ll deal with that later.
  • Connected up the Camera to the router with a class 5 cable.
  • In the “setup menu” of the camera go to “network” and “choose hardware”. Set to “wired LAN”

So getting it to work was another frustration… although a much shorter lived one…  There are two ways to access the camera.  Either HTTP and view it on a web browser, or FTP and access it via Shutter Snitch (although I’m sure that’s not the only option but my focus).  So let me explain both, although it’s actually not very hard once I got beyond the frustration.

  • Let your Laptop, iPad, iPhone, all connect using automatic DCHP
  • Nikon D4 setup for HTTP: Setup menu;
    • 1) Network; Network Settings;
    • 2) Create Profile;
    • 3) Configure Manually;
    • 4) HTTP server;
    • 5) TCP/IP;
    • 6) Obtain automatically (select Disable);
    • 7) Enter address within the range of IPs set up for the router (I suggest Address: 192.168.8.110 and Mask: 255.255.255.0);
    • 8) Enable Gateway and set to the same as the “router address” (you’ll find in the network preferences, advanced, tcp/ip tab);
    • 9) enable Domain Name Server and for this router it’s the same address as the router/gateway;
    • 10) hit “menu” on the camera and you’ll see the profile under network settings;
    • 11) To get it going turn “Network Connection” to “ON”.
    • 12) You can then access the camera via any browser at the address you assigned during step 7.

 

  • Nikon D4 setup for FTP:  This is specifically for the app “Shutter Snitch” but I’m sure other apps are similar (but I’m not that smart with this so I’ll stick to what I know).  So, have the 3G Powerbank on, and the Shutter Snitch running.  Then initiate “Setup Guide” under “Options” and choosing “Canon WFT / Nikon WT or other FTP transmitters”.  This brings up a splash page with the details you need soon (particularly the Host Address).  For the camera, setup steps
    • 1 to 3 are the same;
    • 4) Select FTP upload;
    • 5) FTP;
    • 6) Server type is FTP;
    • 7) Address should be the same as the Host Address presented on the Shutter Snitch app, remember that the camera is looking for the app so it needs to have the same IP;
    • 8) Port should be the same as that of the set up in the Shutter Snitch (set to 26000 by default);
    • 9) User ID is “snitch” and the password is that of the Super user you entered into Shutter Snitch;
    • 10) On the camera select “options” in the Network menu.  I choose “auto send – ON”, “send file as – JPEG”, “Overwrite if same name – ON”, “send folder – CF (main folder)”;
    • 11) On the Shutter Snitch app that’s running click “done” and then “+” in the top corner for a new collection.  From here the images should upload automatically… if there is an “FTP error” message, check that the IP address of the camera match that of the IP that the app on, which you can check by clicking on the spanner icon and tapping “show listening info”.

This took me WAY too long to figure out so hence the post.. I hope it makes sense!!

For the Nikon D4 setup I figured the quickest way to get the images across to the iPad for processing would be to use the CF as a secondary card and save them as compressed files (jpeg; normal or basic).  That way I can just do a quick adjustment with them if necessary with Snapseed and upload to Facebook.

My only concern for tonight is low light to a point that if the images are underexposed in RAW the JPEG will be too compressed to recover in Snapseed.  Importing RAW images take quite a long time and if I’m taking a bunch of images could get tricky.  As for practical setup, I’m thinking have my iPad tucked away somewhere charging and when I’m messing around uploading, I’ll put the 3G Powerbank on charge, that way I won’t run out of juice during what could be a long night…

Happy New Year and enjoy the celebrations!!

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3 thoughts on “Wireless Wonders (on the cheap) Nikon D4 & powered portable router

  1. Great article, i have a ASUS WL-330NUL and a Nikon D4 , i have been at it for days and it just wont work. Have tried all your settings and it will not work, i can connect to router from iPad but travel to the ip address and nothing , im at a loss can anyone help with settings

  2. Hey Dean! Sorry for your woes and I feel your pain. Try chatting to a networking specialist (on a forum or at the office/through a social connection)… I found this really helped. Good luck!

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