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Wirelessly tethering Nikon D4 using a sub 50 Euro mini WLAN router

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The Nikon D4 offers various tether and remote-shoot options via TCP/IP network. This can be a wired network via the LAN connection or a wireless network by means of the Nikon WT5 Wireless Transmitter. The WT5 is a wonderful device that can be neatly mounted on the camera body. Besides the fact that the WT5 offers great freedom of movement, it also enables a wireless link between iPad and camera without the need of additional devices such as a routers or a laptop. The iPad, or even iPhone, connects directly to the built-in web server of the D4. Unfortunately, the tiny transmitter has a price tag that does not suit occasional use.

I wondered if it was possible to achieve the same functionality with cheaper, commercially available devices. And to my surprise I managed for under 50 Euro!

I had the following list of requirements:

  • Camera wirelessly via WiFi from the ipad operated via the D4 http function.
  • The device must create a Wifi network itself.
  • Indeed, there is not everywhere and always accessible to me Wifi.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Built-in battery with at least a few hours of play.
  • Connection via the network connection of the D4.
  • Connect, switch on and play. Minimize hassle with cables, boxes, buttons, etc.

The Nikon WT5 is actually a micro Wi-Fi access point, so in fact I was searching for a normal Wi-Fi router in a small as possible casing. There are several small 3G WLAN access points on the market. You connect your laptop via WLAN with such a device, which in turn connects you via 3G to the Internet. However, these units are almost never equiped with a LAN connection. There is another category of devices called LAN extenders: units that convert a normal LAN connection into a wireless network. These units cannot route data and have no battery. So these are all ineligible.

 

tp-link mr3040 wireless tehering nikon D4Eventually after a lot of searching on the web I came across the TP-LINK TL-MR3040. This device is offered by various online shops and costs between 45 and 75 Euro. The MR3040 is a portable Wireless-N Router and contains a Lithium Ion battery. The box measures 10 x 6 x 1.5 cm and weighs about 100 grams including battery. This is slightly larger than the D4 battery but lighter.

In the remainder of this blog I will explain how to set up the router and camera. That might look complex but it is not much more difficult than setting your wireless router at home or office. I had the whole setup working in 15 minutes. Not so hard to do!

Configuring the TP-Link TL-MR3040

The MR3040 is a versatile device and has four operating modes. We are interested in the Wireless AP mode. In the mode the AP shares IP addresses to wireless clients (eg your iPad, Android phone or laptop) and routes data traffic to the camera connected via the RJE45 network interface. After you switch on the MR3040 for the first time, a default SSID (TP LINK_POCKET_3040_xxxxxx) appears. Create a wireless connection from your laptop to this SSID. Open a web browser and go to http://192.168.1.1. We are now in the router and ready to make the required configuration.

In the left menu for "quick setup", click next.

  • Operation Mode Select 'Standard AP mode, click next.
  • Operation Mode Select Wireless Access Point, click next.
  • AP Mode Setting:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID): Nikon-D4 (or anything else).
    • Region: your region 
    • Channel: Auto.
    • Security Mode: None.

I deliberately choose not to use WEP or WPA security. In this case I prefer ease of use in favor of security. I will only use this access point for a short period of time and do not worry about hackers. Access to the camera is password protected and I think that’s safe enough. If you are concerned about security then you can of course always set a (preferably WPA) password.

  • Click next and finish.

The router makes a reboot. After a few seconds the WLAN light on the MR3040 blinks. Connect the laptop to the just created Nikon-D4 wireless network. Open a web browser and go to http://192.168.1.1.

  • In the left menu choose 'Network' / 'LAN'.
  • Type: Static IP.
  • IP address: 128.1.1.10
  • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway: 0.0.0.0
  • Choose Save and make a reboot.

After a few seconds the WLAN light on the MR3040 blinks. Connect the laptop to the Nikon-D4 wireless network. Open a web browser and go to http://128.1.1.10. A logonbox appears. The default account is admin / admin.

  • In the left menu for 'DHCP' / 'Settings'.
  • DHCP Server: Enable
  • Start IP Address: 128.1.1.100
  • End IP address: 128.1.1.199
  • The other settings: defaults.
  • Choose Save and make a reboot.

The router is now ready. You might want to change the default admin / admin account.

Now, all we need to do is setting the camera

I assume that you already have setup a http networkprofile. Follow the instructions in the D4 manual if this is not already done. We now need to configure the D4 to talk to  the MR3040.

  • In the D4 Setup menu choose "Network".
  • Select Hardware: Wired LAN, OK.
  • Network Setup: Choose your HTTP Profile, OK.
  • Network Setup HTTP, right arrow, choose Edit (zoom minus button).
  • Select TCP/IP.
  • Get automatic: OFF.
  • Address: 128.1.1.1
  • Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway: ON.
  • Address: 128.1.1.10
  • DNS: Off.
  • MENU.

Wireless tethering via iPad in use

  • Switch on the MR3040 and wait until the green WLAN LED lights
  • Connect the camera to the MR 3040 via the LAN cable.
  • Selecht Network in the D4 Setup Menu
  • Select Network ON.
  • Wait until the upper indicator beside the RJE45 connection goes green.
  • Connect the iPad or laptop with the 'Nikon-D4' wireless network.
  • Open Safari and go to: http://128.1.1.1
  • Enter the camera password. Tadaaaa ... !

wi-fi tethering nikon D4 ipad

Remember to turn off the network function on D4 after use It will shorten the battery life otherwise.

What I want to find out / do (to be continued)

  • I want to create a kind of bag which I can attach the camera strap
  • Determine Battery life during use.
  • Set as MR3040 Wireless client so you can hook up to an existing WLAN

Reacties  

 
# Andy Astfalck 06-04-2017 18:01
HI, thanks for this, I got it this afternoon, took a bit longer than 15 minutes, but now have access to my MacBook, and Iphone.

Thanks very much.

Andy
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# Volker 14-09-2014 17:51
Great instruction, thanks!!

Workt for me using a Intenso Memory 2 Move Max
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# Peter 04-01-2014 10:43
Thank you, I don't think I would have worked this out without your article!

Some of the menu settings are different on my version but got it working with me D4 in the end.

Peter.
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# Hans Martens 04-01-2014 13:45
Hi Peter, nice to hear!
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# Tom 04-12-2013 11:11
Here is an idea for attaching this unit to the leg of a tripod while in use.

http://www.amazon.com/Tether-Tools-StrapMoore-Laptop-Power/dp/B007E4VL26/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=33J2VWP9HXDU9&coliid=I25AZC2PGGV579
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# Hans Martens 04-12-2013 15:08
Tom zei:
Here is an idea for attaching this unit to the leg of a tripod while in use.

http://www.amazon.com/Tether-Tools-StrapMoore-Laptop-Power/dp/B007E4VL26/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=33J2VWP9HXDU9&coliid=I25AZC2PGGV579


Hi Tom, looks good! tnx!
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# Tom Benson 10-10-2013 04:14
You saved me $260 dollars my friend. A more brilliant fellow I have never met.

Tom
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# Lars Andersen 28-08-2013 10:41
Hi,
Is there a way to connect the camera to an existing wifi and find the photos on a computer connected to the same wifi?
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# Hans Martens 28-08-2013 13:08
Lars Andersen zei:
Hi,
Is there a way to connect the camera to an existing wifi and find the photos on a computer connected to the same wifi?


Hi Lars,
It is possible to upload the photo's to an FTP server running on your PC or Mac. I've tested this and it works fine via the TP-Link. See the Nikon Networking Manual on how to enable FTP on your PC/Mac and D4. http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/dslr/D4NWG_En_01.pdf
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# Peter Morgan 18-08-2013 14:48
Hi, This is remarkably helpful! Thank you for publishing the easy to follow details. I'd tried before but it was bit like monkeys on a keyboard trying to guess what combination of TP-Link and Nikon D4 settings would work.
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# Quoc Nguyen 23-07-2013 07:34
Hi,
Please advice how to connect and setup the TP_MR3040 to a canon 5D Mrk III through micro USB network. I don't know to read your language, so I hope I click a right button
Thx,
Quoc
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# hans martens 24-07-2013 10:29
@Quoc, I am not familiar with the Canon D5. However, since the D5 has no ethernet port, the MR3040 cannot be used to remote control the camera. Unfortunately the TPLINK MR3040 is not capable to convert USB signals into WLAN. The only purpose of the USB-port is charging and to connect a 3G dongle.

I would suggest you take a look at one of the available off-the-shelf solutions like CamRanger (http://www.camranger.com/)
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# Quoc Nguyen 25-07-2013 11:57
Thank for replying. The reason I'm interested in the TPlink because it is the same hardware ( assumingly) camranger uses for its hardware , just rebadges it. With Camranger, the USB is used to connect to Nikon or Canon . You are correct about the purpose of USB in the TPlink. I wonder how cam ranger did to use USB for camera connection. Any idea ? By the way, the camranger is $300 vs. TPlink $30.

Thx
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