ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

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maudette
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:16 am

ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by maudette » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:25 pm

ASIAir, AISAir Pro
ASI1600
ZWO Autofocus, filter wheel....ZWO OAG... 40mm ZWO Guide scope
ASI294, 120, 1600
Vixen SXD2 mount


I just received the ASIAir pro. Beautiful. The WIFI range is awful. In fact less than 15 feet. Basically unusable. I'm hoping, but not happy that this is a problem specific to the unit I received. The older ASIAir has 5 times the range. 5ghz or 2.4ghz make no difference. Both dont work over 15-20 feet.

Please urgently help.

Michel

W7AY
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by W7AY » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:42 pm

Hi Michel,

For now, I would recommend adding a "travel router" (ones that run off batteries and also have at least one Ethernet port).

Configure the router to extend the home network, and connect the ASIAIR directly to it with a short Ethernet cable. This way, you will be using the transceiver and antenna of the WiFi router, instead of the ones inside the ASIAIR. ASIAIR will then appear on your home network through the extender.

I have been using this one (even with my gen-1 ASIAIR), powering it off a 5V USB power adapter at the telescope:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless ... B01N5RCZQH

If you look around, there are also self-powered routers with their built in rechargeable batteries.

Try to keep the extender fixed. I see some people mount their ASIAIR on the OTA, which is the worst possible location to have an antenna, since the WiFi signal quality changes as you move the OTA, and WiFi connections can drop through the night.

In a different thread, ZWO had earlier mentioned looking into supporting an external WiFi adapter. They will probably accelerate the development, since the ASIAIR Pro's metal case exacerbate the problem.

Clear skies and good signals,
Chen

maudette
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:16 am

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by maudette » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:26 pm

Hi

Yes, I did exactly that. But used the TP-Link version. Works great. Using the old 12 to 5 volt converter and fits under my scope.

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ASIAIR@ZWO
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 3:29 am

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by ASIAIR@ZWO » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:04 am

WiFi extender or ethernet cable connection would be fine on this issue.
ZWO | ASIAIR Support
Location:lon=120.6 lat=31.3
Suzhou China

domsel
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by domsel » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:25 pm

I’ve got the same problem. Upgraded from Asiair v1. But the throughput over the ASIAir Pro is horrible. Even standing next to the Pro results in very slow load times. The thing that is awkward is that:
- the image that loads in the main screen after capturing is loading extremely slow (at least 10 to 15 seconds, often longer)
- but selecting one that was already taken goes very quick

This is particularly annoying when framing the image and focusing.

What could be a solution?

ASI1600mm pro
EAF
EFW
OAG
ASI290
All hooked up per the Pro manual

W7AY
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by W7AY » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:52 pm

domsel:

If I were you, I would first determine if the problem is the WiFi connection, or if it is something else.

Start by connecting the ASIAIR's LAN port directly to your router. This can be done with either the original ASIAIR or the ASIAIR Pro. This can also be done in the daytime and indoors.

Check your router's table for connected devices, and you should see an ASIAIR appear there.

Connect your tablet to the Home network. Not to the ASIAIR access point.

Now launch ASIAIR app. Give it up to 30 seconds for the App to discover the device. As a last resort, check the IP address of the ASIAIR in your router and enter that as the fixed address in the ASIAIR app.

Next, do your capture and transfer tests as you did before. If it is now fast, your problem is indeed WiFi. LAN connected ASIAIR should transfer very, very fast, especially with the Ethernet interface of the Raspberry Pi 4.

If it is a WiFI problem, you might want to connect the ASIAIR directly to a WiFi extended as I mentioned in a few posts before on this thread.

If the speed has not improved with a LAN connection, then your problem is not a WiFi range problem (the topic of this thread); it might be prudent to start a different thread to get help.

I don't have a ASI1600, but I do have a ASI071, and on the original ASIAIR the download time (camera to ASIAIR) is quite slow, but in spite of the slow SPI based Ethernet interface on the Raspberry Pi 3 (the board that is used in original ASIAIR), the transfer from the ASIAIR to the iPad using a direct LAN connection to a travel router (as extender) is very fast.

In short: connect your ASIAIR directly to the LAN network. If the speed improves, you currently have a WiFI problem; and the solution has already been posted. If the download speed does not improve by directly connecting to the LAN, you have a different problem.

Clear skies,
Chen

domsel
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by domsel » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:41 pm

Thanks for your response and suggestions Chen. I’ll give it a try. However, the Asiair v1 is fine over WiFi. The Pro via WiFi is the one that’s really slow. I would have expected the Pro to have longer range and better throughput. I’ll try the direct LAN connection and will report back.

W7AY
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by W7AY » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:36 pm

>> The Pro via WiFi is the one that’s really slow. I would have expected the Pro to have longer range and better throughput.

I am afraid that it might be exactly the opposite, domsel.

The original ASIAIR enclosure (as do the default Raspberry Pi 3 enclosures from Raspberry Pi Foundation) is plastic.

The ASIAIR Pro is now in a metal case that has a few openings. Because of that, it can affect signal strength negatively.

Additionally, the multiple holes that I see in pictures of the ASIAIR Pro can create phasing so that certain directions can potentially have very deep signal nulls. You can almost model it as a class of antennas called the Slot Antenna. Holes that are multiples of 1/2 wavelength apart at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz can be very detrimental; you can only trust that ZWO did the proper homework when they created the industrial design of the enclosure. Signal strength is not the only problem -- multipath is a big problem too.

I have received an ASIAIR Pro two days ago from Agena Astro, but I have quarantined the unopened box at a corner of the house for a couple of days (I am an over-70 year old retired engineer, and cannot afford to catch COVID-19). When I finally open the box, the first step after archiving the SD card, will be an experiment to compare signal strengths vs azimuth and elevation angles of the ASIAIR Pro with my two ASIAIR (one in plastic box, one in metal box) and the TP-Link travel router to see what I can find out.

Clear skies,
Chen

domsel
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by domsel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:05 pm

Hi Chen,

Thanks for your knowledgeable responses to this and other questions in this forum.

I’ve tried your suggestion and you are right. I’ve hooked it up via ethernet directly to my network, which I’m connected to via my internal WiFi network (ubiquity/UniFi). It works super fast when taking images.

The only conclusion is indeed that the Pro’s metal enclosure makes the range of the WiFi signal useless. That’s unfortunate, as I now have to get another piece of equipment (WiFi extender) that I didn’t need with the non-Pro version. Makes me doubt if this is a real upgrade for me, as good WiFi is of course instrumental to the whole AsiAir concept.

I hope this is a warning for folks that want to get the Pro and assume solid WiFi. Also curious if Zwo has any feedback on the above.

W7AY
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: ASIAir Pro Wifi range problem

Post by W7AY » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:47 pm

Hi domsel,

In a posting a while ago, ZWO has mentioned that they are working on allowing ASIAIR to use an external WiFi adapter. You might check with ZWO to see when/if they will release it; that can help you decide whether to spend money now on a travel router. But it looks like you need to spend more money anyway, either to buy a WiFI adapter or buy a Travel Router. But hopefully, not have to buy both.

Even with an external WiFi dongle or Travel Router, you still need to be moderately careful that the device's antenna directivity does not introduce a null that is deep enough to cause signal loss while the OTA is moving through the night.

Both my (original) ASIAIR and my TP-Link travel router are located at the base of my tripod, so they do not move through the night.

Clear skies,
Chen

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