Friday, March 27, 2009

Tethering Options..

Tethering a camera has some good uses, such as reviewing the image quality, focus, etc.  Wireless tethering has always been of interest to me, so I decided to play around with some off the shelf devices.

First up was the eye-fi card, a simple 1 way method of sending images.  In my D70s and now my D300 I use it with a SD-to-CF card.  They are inexpensive and will convert a standard SD card into Compact Flash card.  This was the easy part.  The harder part was working out how to use the eye-fi software WITHOUT having my laptop connected to the internet.  If i'm on location I don't want to get online just to make sure I can download images.  So I remembered that some WiFi has software to allow the device to act like an access point.  So I picked up an Airlink 101 USB for about 5 bucks and set it up.  It acted like an AP and the eye-fi card was able to talk to it.  First part done.  Next problem is that a real AP usually has a DHCP server, DHCP is what gives your computer a temporary IP address to use, and the Eye-fi card requires it to connect.  A few searches and I found a nice super small DHCP software that was free and came with the source code.  I use that on my laptop when I plug in the Airlink card.  

Now I can be in the field, simple plug in my USB wireless, launch my DHCP server, and as shoot away.  Right after shooting the jpgs come streaming straight over to my laptop.  (caveat is that eye-fi cards will not move anything but JPGs therefore the raws stay on the card)

Next time I'll discuss my full blown wireless setup, which gives me wireless liveview for under $100....   more ltrz... 


  1. Pete,

    Do you know the model number of the Airlink you used and the DHCP software?


  2. I use TinyDHCP server and the Dlink is the older Airlink 101 USB dongle. I'm pretty sure any of the older Airlinks use the same software set that supports the AP mode. These 2 will solve part of the problem. The big problem you'll face is getting the Eye-fi configured for the airlink. I next used a real AP configured identically to how the airlink was, and had the configuration set. This is necessary because eye-fi is a pita and requires the card to phone home for a reconfiguration. Once its reconfigured you need no network, the files can go straight to your PC.