ASIAIR STN Mode with mesh network

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W7AY
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

ASIAIR STN Mode with mesh network

Post by W7AY » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:16 pm

I had earlier reported that ASIAIR v1.4 (original ASIAIR hardware) would not connect to my home mesh network (eero brand).

I am glad to report that the ASIAIR 1.4.1(9) Beta with Firmware 4.66 (on iOS TestFlight) now works on my mesh network in Station Mode (STN) without any intervening WiFi extenders.

If you are using a ASIAIR in a metal enclosure and have a signal quality problem, you may still be better off directly connecting the ASIAIR to a travel extender (where the WiFi antenna is in the extender instead of in the ASIAIR) instead of using direct STN mode. But at least you now have a choice to use STN mode. With a mesh network, you can also move or add a mesh node as close as possible to where your ASIAIR is located to mitigate the signal quality problem.

From ZWO's Facebook postings, ASIAIR 1.4.1 should be out of beta soon. If you are not on the iOS TestFlight program, you should not have long to wait.

One of ZWO's postings also mentioned possibly supporting an external USB WiFi dongle in the future -- that should mitigate signal quality problems.

Clear skies,
Chen

W7AY
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAIR STN Mode with mesh network

Post by W7AY » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:05 pm

A little more detail to my post above.

In the past (released v1.4 from January), whenever I tried to connect to my home mesh network, I could see the ASIAIR on my router's tables. I had in fact be able to reserve an IP address on my router for the Raspberry Pi's MAC address.

However, ASIAIR would time out with a connection failure and asked for the network password again. And fails again, etc.

With the ASIAIR v1.4.1 (9) Beta (firmware 466), ASIAIR successfully connects.

In fact, I can even start the iOS ASIAIR app before even powering up the ASIAIR (original) hardware. With the iPad connected to the home network, the app just sits and wait in the ASIAIR splash screen. Once the ASIAIR hardware finishes booting, the app automatically detects the ASIAIR on my home network and places the app into the first screen (the one with cameras, focuser and mount selections).

But there is something that I have not been able to explain -- contrary to the documentation, the ASIAIR (in Station Mode) actually switches itself to the 5 GHz band to connect to my eero mesh network, and the ASIAIR also appears as a 5 GHz connection when I looked at the eero's router tables.

Since it is actually working on 5 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz, I am not going to worry about it.

In case there is a signal quality problem (I have not been able to test outdoors because of the persistent rains), my fallback is to directly (Ethernet) connect the ASIAIR to a travel router, which then acts as an extender to my mesh network, thus using the WiFi antenna in the travel router instead of the antenna in the ASIAIR.

Right now, I have two very workable solutions.

One day, I may drill some holes in the wall of the house to install a weatherproof RJ-45 connector and I can then wire the ASIAIR directly to one of the mesh routers -- the speed that you get from direct Ethernet connection is highly addictive :-).

Clear skies,
Chen

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Ji.zwo
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 3:29 am

Re: ASIAIR STN Mode with mesh network

Post by Ji.zwo » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:28 pm

Hey Chen, thanks so much for your sharing. About the mesh network, it seems we need more tests on it. The V1.4.2 is coming soon, we changed some configures in STA mode, so when it's ready, we can test more~~ Thanks again.
ZWO | Tech Support
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SuZhou China

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