ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

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W7AY
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by W7AY » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:54 am

I had earlier (viewtopic.php?f=33&t=10436) described how I connected ASIAIR 1.4 Beta by using station (STA) mode at 2.4 GHz through a mobile WiFi extender (TP-Link TL-WR902AC) to a home mesh WiFi network (eero). Note that in STA mode, ASIAIR v1.4 seems to only work at 2.4 GHz.

I found an even better way to connect ASIAIR v1.4 to the home network through the same TP-Link WiFi extender.

Note that the TP-Link is mounted right next to the ASIAIR hardware.

I reconfigured the TP-Link extender to turn off 2.4 GHz, and extend just the 5 GHz network, and configured it to join the home network. But instead of using a WiFi connection between the ASIAIR and the extender, I connected the LAN connecter of the ASIAIR to the LAN connector of the extender (short CAT6 cable).

After launching on the iPad, ASIAIR's Settings window automatically shows that it is connected through Wired Ethernet.

The ASIAIR's Hotspot Frequency Band can to set to either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz -- it is irrelevant, since the actual WiFi link from the telescope to the home network is performed by the TP-Link extender at 5 GHz.

The iPad is set to use the home network, and the ASIAIR Wired Ethernet details window shows the ASIAIR is connected to a mesh router IP addresses and the Gateway is the router's gateway address (all automatic). In my case, the DHCP IP number is 192.168.7.234.

When I checked the eero router, the name of the device connected to 192.168.7.234 is "ASIAIR" and the MAC address is the ASIAIR hardware serial number (processor number of the ARM chip).

This combination works wonderfully through the home network (and on 5 GHz). And without using the limited WiFi signal from the ASIAIR itself.

The icing on the cake is that from MacOS X's Go menu, I can connect my desktop computer to smb://192.168.7.234 and access the images (and PHD2 log) in the ASIAIR!

I will probably reserve an IP address for the ASIAIR on my home router, and be able to mount the ASIAIR image folder automatically in the future.

Chen

J. Taylor
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:03 am

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by J. Taylor » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:15 pm

This will be a very nice feature for location. My home has ICF exterior walls (poured in place, insulated concrete) - so the interior WiFi signal is really poor at my scope's location. Anyway to connect the original ASIair via a Cat5 cable, WiFi extender and my router on the inside of the house? Thanks, Jim
ASIair 1.4.1, firmware 4.66
William Optics ZenithStar 81 & NexStar 6SE
Celestron AVX GEM 5.31.9200 with MC 7.15.8270 + EQ6R Pro EQMOD
ASI1600MC/183MMC/071MC/120MM w/ EAF & EFW
iPad Pro w/ SkySafari Pro 6

W7AY
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by W7AY » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:10 pm

>> Anyway to connect the original ASIair via a Cat5 cable, WiFi extender and my router on the inside of the house?

Yes, I used my year old ASIAIR. But you will need to run ASIAIR v1.4.

It also depends on your extender. Not all WiFi extenders have a LAN port. The reason I had earlier picked the TP-Link travel router is because it works with 5V power; I do not lead 110 VAC to my telescope. Luckily, it has a LAN port.

As such, the TP-link (TL-WR902AC) sits right next to my ASIAIR -- both are on a tripod leg of my telescope.

The TL-WR902AC is advertised as an AC750, but it is really not capable of a full 750 Mp/s thruput. You can get either 300 Mb/s on 2.4 MHz band, or 430 Mb/s on 5 MHz band, and not simultaneously (at least not on my home mesh network). But even 300 Mb/s thruput is way more than enough for DSO type work with even large ZWO cameras that come with on-board memory (their Pro line of cameras).

Clear skies,
Chen

Radders76
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by Radders76 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:14 pm

Hi Chen,

I have this mobile extender, cat 6 cable and v1.4 on the normal Asi Air. Can you give step by step instructions on how to connect to home router and use 5ghz please?

Thanks.

W7AY
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by W7AY » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:13 pm

If you had previously extended your home network with the TP-Link travel router, you do not need to do a thing, and simply connect the RJ-45 connector of the ASIAIR to the RJ-45 connector of the travel router, and you are done.

It is exactly like connecting the ASIAIR through an Ethernet cable to your home router, except there is an extra extender in between. In this usage, the extender extends the home network, it is not used to extend the ASIAIR's access point.

If the TP-Link is not already configured as an extender, just follow the TP-Link online instructions.

You may need to factory reset the TP_Link; that is in the instructions too. If I recall, depress factory reset switch (in a hole) until all lights on the TP_Link simultaneously blinks on, then off. You then release the reset switch and wait for it to reboot.

After a factory reset, the TP-Link will appear on WiFi as both TP-Link_XXXX (2.4 GHz) and TP_Link_XXXX_5G (5 GHz). XXXX is the last 4 hex digits of the TP_Link's MAC address.

After connecting your computer/tablet to either of those two access points, use the web browser on the computer/tablet to go to http://tplinkwifi.net, and when prompted, use "admin" for user name and "admin" also for password. (They should be printed at the back of the travel router.)

Then simply follow the online instructions to set it up. Be sure to pick the Extender mode when setting it up, and also move the slide switch on the side of the TP_Link to the extender position before you power up the TP_Link.

Remember, you are just extending your home network, so just use the common online instructions on how to extend the home network.

All these cheap extenders take forever to boot up. So, give it a couple of minutes (the LED on the TP_Link should show its state) before starting up the ASIAIR app.

Chen

Radders76
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by Radders76 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:20 pm

Thanks Chen, I'll give it a go.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions! :D

Thanks

W7AY
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by W7AY » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:12 pm

Oh, before I forget, once you have connected to the home network, remember to go to your router's management web page on your home network.

Note down the IP address of the ASIAIR (it should show up in the home network's router table as a device with a name "ASIAIR").

For future convenience, make this a reserved IP. Or, assign a unique reserved IP for the ASIAIR that you can easily remember. Then reboot the ASIAIR -- it should connect back to the home network with the IP address that you just reserved.

In my case, I reserved 192.168.7.234. (123, Pi, e, and the Fine Structure Constant are already reserved for the other of my devices that I need to quickly recall :-).

If you forget, you can always check the home router again, or go to the ASIAIR WiFi Setup window, and check the Info of the Wired Ethernet (small i in circle in the iOS version of the ASIAIR app).

In the future, you can access files (images and PHD2 logs) on the ASIAIR by, on a MacOS, connecting to the ASIAIR's Samba server (in my case smb://192.168.7.234). As a Samba server, the ASIAIR works seamlessly as a network storage device that sits your home network.

Perhaps just as useful, you can store master flats and master darks into the same ASIAIR folder, so that ASIAIR can use them as calibration plates for doing live stacking.

By the way, if you had set the TP-Link up as a 5 GHz extender of your home network, you should get better performance than using 2.4 GHz, albeit, the TP-Link's 5 GHz network is limited (junk microprocessor on it) to about 400 mbps.

If you had connected the ASIAIR in Station Mode to the home network, it can only use the 2.4 GHz band (for now), so there could actually be an advantage to using the travel router through the Ethernet connection.

Chen

Radders76
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by Radders76 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:13 pm

Hi Chen,

I think I've done it. Is there anyway to tell other than it being noticeably quicker? As like you say you can't switch to 5ghz yet in Station Mode.

Only thing I haven't done yet is reserved the ip in my home router. That's my next task :?

Thanks for the help.

Radders76
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by Radders76 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:15 pm

Hi Chen,.

Hmm, maybe I haven't done it right. It doesn't seem that much quicker from just going from Air itself, I mean when you take an image and the loading time doesn't seem that much quicker compared to the extender which should be 5ghz if I've done it correctly.

It's showing as wired ethernet connection in the Air app but in my home router management there's no Asi Air showing up in the 5ghz list, only in the 2.4ghz list. I reserved the Asi Air ip address.

When I created the tp link extender, I added the name tp link to the end of my home router name so I could distinguish the extender from my home router. Was this right to do?

W7AY
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR 1.4 Wired Ethernet

Post by W7AY » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:09 pm

If you are using a TP-Link travel router at 5 GHz, it won't be much faster than using 2.4 GHz, when the ASIAIR is close to your home router.

2.4 GHz WiFi maxes out at 300 Mbps and the TP-Link advertises the 5 GHz speed as 400 Mbps on 5 GHz. It has an "AC-700" specification, so the combined speed should be about 700. You will need extenders in the AC1300 and AC1500 class to notice a big difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

The key is not that it is faster (that is just a small side benefit), but that directly connecting to an extender can reach further than using Station Mode, since the Raspberry Pi is really meant as a desktop toy Linux computer where you only need a couple of meters of WiFi distance.

I had measured the signal strength from the TP-Link to be about 13 dB stronger than I get from my ASIAIR (thats 20x in power at the receiver). That should show up as better reliability and better speed when the distance from the ASIAIR (or TP-Link) to your home router is greater. I.e., when you are not limited by the WiFi protocol, but instead by the signal strength.

You can do a test by placing the ASIAIR/TP-link further and further away from the home router to see whether one or the other is faster or more reliable. I expect that you might see a difference at a distance of 30 to 50 feet (or with multiple walls in between).

I don't have an ASIAIR Pro to measure what its metal enclosure does to the WiFi signals.

The real reason I (not we :-) use an extender is that the ASIAIR Station Mode fails completely with Station Mode while trying to connect to my home (eero) Mesh network.

An alternate thing which also worked for me (see an earlier posting of mine on this forum), is to use an extender (whose SSID is different from my home mesh network) and connect ASIAIR in Station Mode to the extender's SSID. The difference is that the ASIAIR in that case was connected to the extender using WiFi (station mode), and for the wired Ethernet case uses an Ethernet cable.

Cheers,
Chen

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