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skeblon
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magic box for join camcorders network

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:07 pm

Hi,

I have special problem. I use 3 camcorders (Panasonic) via wifi when I record concert. But each camcorders create own AP. If I want remote control every camcorder I need change wifi AP on my mobile. It is small problem. Big problem is distance. Distance between camcorder and me is 20 metres and sometimes signal is low or disconect.
Do you know If there exists solution for better camcorder wirelessing?

My first step for solution, that failed: Camcorder have mode for wifi-client. But when I connect camcorder to my AP there is a problem, when signal lost. Camcorder disconect and never reconnect again. It is problem, because there is not chance to go to camcorder (when concert goes) and reconect.

I think about another solution - but I'am not network specialist. Do you know if Exist 'magic box' which I put in the center (for better signal) of concert hall and this 'magic box' create 3 connection to 3 indipendent AP (camcorders AP)? And I make connection to this 'magic box' from my station.

Thanks very much.
 
mkx
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Re: magic box for join camcorders network

Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:03 pm

I don't think there's a simple device that can simultaneously connect to more than one WiFi network (that's more than one AP). The solution would be to construct a device with 3 wireless devices that can each connect to own AP/camcorder and then use device's CPU to allow you to connect to all camcorders.

Example:
  • RB800 has 4 miniPCI slots and one miniPCI-e slot allowing you to install up to 5 WiFi modules
  • 3x R52HnD miniPCI wireless cards.
  • a case ... no idea which one would fit the RB800 with wireless cards installed
  • appropriate number of (partly directional) wifi antennas
  • a stand where you can mount all the "central" gear - the RB box and all antennae ... if antennae are directional, then mounting should allow to turn them so they point in direction of individual camcorders ... that can improve reliability of the wifi connection a lot.
  • a power adapter capable of powering all that - each wireless card consumes up to 7W and RB800 itself up to 15W, altogether up to beefy 43W (with 4 wifi cards) ... 48POW should be fine.
Then you configure each wireless to connect one of camcorders and configure one of radios with virtual WiFi interface for you to connect from your station.

Or throw the fourth wireless card in the mix and configure it independently (perhaps even on 5GHz band if there's too much interference on 2.4 GHz band, it seems that Panasonic cameras mostly only support 2.4GHz WiFi) for connection between your station and wifi "concentrator" ...

It doesn't matter what IP addressing uses each of camcorders, you can deal with it using advanced configuration of routing and NAT ... but it would be much simpler if you could set camcorders to use different subnets, in this case simple NAT would do.
BR,
Metod
 
skeblon
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Re: magic box for join camcorders network

Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:15 am

Thanks, Yours solution seems good, But 'central core' consume much energy - It's not good for powerbank (in center of concert hall, there is not power).

I thinking about losing signal from camcorder. I used mobile app wifi analyzer - in 5 meters I see cca -45 db pro my home wifi AP and -65 db from my camcorder. Camcorder and wifi router I put beside. Result - camcorder have very low signal. From this test I made new idea - make better signal from camcorders.
What about 'small black box' powered from powerbank - which I will put to each camcorders and one simple wifi AP? This 'camcorder's friend' box will make two connection - to camcorders AP and to wifi AP which I will have with me on my sitting.

What do you think about this solution?
If seems good, please recommend me products.

Thanks
 
mkx
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Re: magic box for join camcorders network

Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:22 pm

This could work if the main problem is really lack of WiFi signal from camcorders. You just have to check if the wireless connection between AP and camcorder is stable when they are "glued together" ... it could happen that one (or both) gets upset because of too high signal from the other party. mAP might fit your needs just fine - you can power them off USB power bank and with max consumption of 5W (equals 1000 mA) a decent power bank (with, say, 5000 mAh) should last long enough. Note that the rated max power consumption is maximum, while average might get down to 2W at times when wireless is mostly idle).

Do you use number of controllers (one per camcorder) or you switch controller between camcorders' wireless signals? If you only use single controller, you could make your life slightly easier with the following setup:
  • add another AP at the central position (e.g. where you use camcorder controller) and configure it as usual AP (ap-bridge mode). Configure DHCP server on this device
  • configure "camcorder add-on APs" as clients to the central AP (station-bridge mode) on wireless interface. Add virtual AP (using same master interface) as usual AP. You can set different SSIDs on each so that each camcorder will only try to connect to its own "add-on AP" and add virtual wireless to same bridge. Remove DHCP-server on these APs (being transparent they should simply pass DHCP requests and replies to/from central AP).
    This way "camcorder add-on APs" will act as transparent "signal boosters" between per-camcorder SSIDs and central AP.
  • configure camcorders to connect to their own APs
If you configure static leases for camcorders in central AP DHCP-server, you'll be able to control camcorders by simply changing target IP address in the controller application. Or, if app allows controlling several at the same time, just configure app with all the IP addresses. Or, if the controller app can auto-discover camcorders, it should be able to detect all of them at the same time.
BR,
Metod
 
skeblon
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Re: magic box for join camcorders network

Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:57 pm

Thanks - it seems good and its cheap for testing if it will work. I will make test it on one camcorder.
But - I don't know - What is diference between 'mAP' https://mikrotik.com/product/RBmAP2nD and 'mAP lite' https://mikrotik.com/product/RBmAPL-2nD for my solution? I found on this pages, that Antenna gain dBi for 2.4 GHz for 'mAP' lite is 1.5 dB and for mAP is 1.2 dB. But 'mAP lite' is smaller and cheaper! I don`t understand.
Do you know which minibox will have better signal?
 
mkx
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Re: magic box for join camcorders network

Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:05 pm

You're right, for your use case mAP lite is just as good as mAP.

Looking at specifications, mAP lite should have wireless signal better by 0.3 dB (neglectable).

I guess that mAP is more expensive because it's got one more ethernet port with PoE pass-through. It also features barrel-type power input with higher power capacity and more robust design than micro USB. Probably none of these features present any added value in your use case.
BR,
Metod

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