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Wireless photography with an iPad and ShutterSnitch - Continued
ShutterSnitch FAQ: Nikon WT-4/WT-4A configuration tips

wt4.jpg
The WT-4/WT-4A is compatible with the Nikon D7000, D300, D300s, D700, D3, D3S and D3X. As of this writing, if your Nikon digital SLR is not one of these six then it either requires an older Nikon transmitter or Nikon doesn't make a transmitter for it. The recommendations and configuration suggestions on this page have been verified to work with the WT-4/WT-4A only.

Be sure to read the router configuration tips page first for an understanding of the settings we recommend for all devices on the wireless network, including the WT-4/WT-4A.

Considerations

The WT-4/WT-4A can be configured within the Wireless Transmitter menu of the connected camera or using the WT-4 Setup Utility for Mac and Windows. Try the utility first, as it's both faster and easier than creating and configuring connection profiles in the camera. The only hitch might be your operating system. On an OS X 10.6.4 Mac Pro here it was a no-go, because the software couldn't see the D3S tethered to it. Restarting into OS X 10.5.8 solved the problem.

Included below are screenshots from both the Wireless Transmitter menu of a D3S and WT-4 Setup Utility.

left_angle_usb.jpg
Contortionist: Left angle Mini-B
This transmitter comes with a USB A to USB Mini-B cable, to connect its A port with the Mini-B port on the camera. Both ends of the cable have straight, non-angled connectors. If you'd like the cable into the camera to exit down, or even up, rather than out to the side, consider a different USB cable or cable extender.

The USB port on all WT-4/WT-4A-compatible Nikons is oriented the same way, which means a left angle Mini-B connector will exit down towards the bottom of the camera while a right angle one will exit upwards.

It will usually be the left angle version you want, but the location of the port on the left side of the camera can influence your decision. The D3, D3S and D3X all have the USB port up high, so a left angle connector makes sense. The same port on the D300 and D300S, however, is close to the base of the camera, while the D700 is a bit below the middle, so for some this will mean a right angle connector is preferable, particularly in certain remote camera installations where this will help keep the USB cable clear of the hardware the camera is mounted on.

Look at your camera, look at what you might be attaching it to and decide if an angled connector would be beneficial. You can also opt for an angled connector into the WT-4/WT-4A's USB A port, though the are probably few instances where that would be useful.

Note too that the USB A connector on the cable included with the transmitter has a slight lip around the base of the connector housing. This gives it a firmer, more-sealed connection into the WT-4/WT-4A than a regular USB cable. If you don't want to give that up, but you do want an angled connector at the camera, consider a short extension cable that mates up with the included cable.

Different lengths of USB A to left angle Mini-B cables are here. Different lengths of USB A to left angle Mini-B extension cables are here. Motorola's Right Angle Mini USB Adapter is another option, at least for those who want to direct the cable upwards from the camera (this adapter doesn't seem to come in a left angle version).

The WT-4/WT-4A lacks any sort of intelligent power management. It's either on, and draining its EN-EL3e battery quickly, or it's off. A runtime of one to two hours is typical, and if you're shooting and transmitting a lot of pictures to ShutterSnitch, expect one hour at most from a fully-charged battery. Plan on bringing along more power, in the form of extra EN-EL3e batteries. Or if it's practical in your usage to plug it in, bypass the EN-EL3e and use the AC Adapter EH-6.

auto_power_off.jpg
The transmitter includes an Auto Power Off feature, which will power the unit down after a user-set period of inactivity of between 30 seconds and 30 minutes. But then it's off for good, the camera can't nudge the transmitter back on. The only way to bring the WT-4/WT-4A to life again is to slide its power switch. If the transmitter is in your backpack, this is inconvenient. If the transmitter is part of a remote, then it's more than likely impossible.

We've chosen to leave Auto Power Off disabled, but you'll need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks for yourself.

The WT-4/WT-4A's standard antenna can be removed and a higher gain one put in its place. Nikon makes the WA-E1 Extended Range Antenna, we have one, and it does improve range somewhat, plus the transmitter's use of the common RP-SMA antenna connector opens you to a world of Wi-Fi antennas beyond Nikon's WA-E1.

But, the relatively weak transmit power of the WT-4/WT-4A means that swapping its antenna can only do so much to improve wireless speed and range.

picostation.jpg
Just arrived here is a Ubiquiti Networks PicoStation M2-HP (shown at right), an 802.11b/g/n wireless access point, router and client whose transmit power is far higher than any portable router or most desktop routers and is designed to carry wireless signals greater distances than typical consumer products. Positioned closer to the camera transmitter, it should be able to fling pictures to a distant iPad and do so quickly.

Or that's the hope, since we're counting on the PicoStation M2-HP to handle outdoor remotes that may be 100ft/30.5m - 200ft/61m or more away. We've only just begun testing, but a few things are obvious so far: it has incredible range, excellent signal-receiving sensitivity and more than enough speed for the WT-4/WT-4A. It also gives a greater boost to overall range than the WA-E1.

We'll update this article once we've completed testing and a couple of real world trials of the PicoStation M2-HP.

Q: How should the WT-4/WT-4A be configured to connect to a wireless router?

Tether the camera to your computer's USB port. In WT-4 Setup Utility, begin by selecting [Add new profile] or an existing profile. The screenshots tell the rest of the story. If you've set up your router as recommended earlier in the article, then you can configure things as shown with only a few obvious personalizations.

This process has to be done with every camera body you plan to connect to the WT-4/WT-4A, since the connection profile information is stored in the camera and not the transmitter. Also, it has to be done from scratch with each body, since there's no way to transfer connection profiles from one camera to another.


WT4UtilityRouter
Start
Profile name
Wireless
TCP/IP
FTP
The camera menu screenshots below match the configuration above, if you prefer to set up connection profiles within the camera itself.

To begin creating a new connection profile within your camera, select [FTP Registration] on the [Choose profile] screen. To edit an existing profile, highlight it and press the magnification button. Remember to choose [Done] on the FTP Registration screen to save settings changes.

WT4Router
Profile
Wireless
FTP
Q: How should a WT-4/WT-4A be configured to create and connect to an ad hoc network?

Before you begin, you need to decide on the IP addresses each wireless device should have. You'll subsequently enter this, along with subnet mask and router/gateway info, into each into device that's going to be a part of this network, including your transmitter(s), iPad, perhaps your computer, perhaps your iPhone and so on.

Here's our list. You'll note that it closely resembles the DHCP Reservations list on the router configuration tips page. The difference is that a router's DHCP server can dole out network parameters to each device on the network for you, whereas in this instance the information has to be added manually into each device.
  • 192.168.3.100 Laptop
  • 192.168.3.101 iPad
  • 192.168.3.102 iPhone
  • 192.168.3.103 Canon WFT-E2 II A
  • 192.168.3.104 Nikon WT-4A
The screenshots below reflect this list, in that the WT-4/WT-4A's IP address and the destination FTP server (iPad) address are derived from it. The list of IPs and the devices they're mapped to is ultimately just for your reference. You'll want to come up with a list that represents your own wireless equipment.

What follows is a summary of this and other network information relevant to the establishment of an ad hoc network. Personalize the settings as necessary.
  • IP address for the on-site computer: 192.168.3.100
  • IP address for the iPad: 192.168.3.101
  • IP address for the iPhone: 192.168.3.102
  • IP address for the WFT-E2 II A: 192.168.3.103
  • IP address for the WT-4A: 192.168.3.104
  • Subnet mask for all device : 255.255.255.0
  • Router/gateway for all devices: 192.168.3.1

  • FTP server (aka ShutterSnitch) port: 26000
  • FTP server (aka ShutterSnitch) username: lgm
  • FTP server (aka ShutterSnitch) password: ---
  • Passive FTP transfers: no

  • Canon WFT Server username: lgm
  • Canon WFT Server password: ---
  • Canon WFT Server port: 00080

  • Wireless network band: 2.4GHz, 802.11g
  • Wireless network name (SSID): LGM Camera
  • Wireless network type: Ad hoc
  • Channel: Any clear one
  • Authentication: WEP (5 ASCII)
  • Password: ---
The screenshots show both WT-4 Setup Utility and in-camera ad hoc configurations.


WT4UtilityAdHoc
Start
Profile name
Wireless
TCP/IP
FTP

WT4AdHoc
Wireless 1
Wireless 2
TCP/IP
FTP
The matching iPad configuration is shown below. Note that [Static] has been selected and the IP address and other two fields of network information have been entered manually. The iPad hangs onto this information, such that when connecting to the same transmitter's LGM Camera ad hoc network at a later date, the iPad will remember and use the same manually entered network information when it rejoins.


iPadLGMCamera
Connected
Manual IP configuration
The following screenshots show a Mac running OS X 10.6.4 connected to the same network.


MacLGMCamera
Connected
Manual IP configuration
Reconnect automatically
A series of PDFs on the Nikon USA support site provide step-by-step instructions for configuring the WT-4/WT-4A and are worth a look.
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