luca vascon

VR photography

wifi extender for 360cameras

Many of us have use of 360 cameras that goes beyond the actioncams.
It means we are NOT the main subject of our pictures.
This means being at more than 2 meters from the camera, and one wall in the middle.
As always, all the 360cameras have only basic functions in themselves. If you want a bracketing or similar you are relying on the app, and this means on the connection of your phone over the wifi. This hack will help you adress these limits and extend the usability of your camera

Connection range is usually very short, and it’s NOT something you find in the manufacturer’s specifications. A wall, the phone in a pocket, loosing connection is so easy.

Yes,because every camera with modern wifi is generating a wifi signal. It behaves like an access point for one single IP. When you connect to the camera with a phone it’s like connecting to a wifi modem or any wifi infrastructure. The app in your phone has all the visual interface while you exchange datas with the camera.The main data flow comes from the liveview. This is asking for a lot of bandwidth, but being a 1to1 connection, you will get it.

Range extenders are devices intended to repeat the signal of your home or office wifi, in order to bring a stable connection even in rooms that are far away or blocked by old deep rock walls or cielings. Basically, to configure them you need to turn them on and connect to their web interface with a computer or a phone. Once inside you can ask them to sniff for wifi networks, you chose the one you want to repeat, and you put in the password.

So… what if?

Turn on your camera, your pc, your phone. Turn on your range extender…and ask it to repeat the CAMERA WIFI instead some home modem.
So the device you are looking for has to have the following features:

-wifi extender (or wifi repeater)
-usb power supply (so it can run off a phone battery pack)
-small form factor (easy to carry, easy to hide)

TP-WR702N. The Tplink blue square, few grams, 57x57x19mm is an incredible, exceptionally useful thing. I can’t remember how many times it came to my help. It can be a router, a range extender, an accesspoint, an hotspot, basically it’s a wifi swiss knife, fits a pocket and it’s cheap. Comes with an RJ45 port and a micro usb for power supply, plus a reset button.

So, my test till now was with the blue square and:

YI360 All OK (sometimes lag in LV)
Xiaomi MIJIA 360 All OK
Ricoh ThetaS All OK
Samsung Gear 360 All OK

In the blue square settings I will not cover the basics, but will center in showing the screenshots of pairing it with a camera’s wifi.
When you are prompted for password, you will usually need to put in the default one (few decide to set their own):

Theta S:
The SSID is “THETA” plus the serial number (example”THETAXN00001017″). The password is the numbers in the name (in this case “00001017”). The password is initialized by pressing the reset button.

The camera’s default hotspot’s name is “YI360_XXXXXX_5G.OSC”. The default password is1234567890

The default password is 12345678

Extender position: Within the range of the camera (it’s the source of the wifi signal) andt owards the operator’s phone or tablet.

What do you gain:
many, many meters, possibility to frame, control and make manual bracketings from hidden position. To change parameters, start and stop video recordings from out-of-sight position.

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  1. Ulrich Tausend 14/12/2018

    Where would you place the extender? Halfway between the camera and the Smartphone?

    • admin 14/12/2018 — Post Author

      Hi there, that’s not really necessary. The most useful place can be that only in open spaces, the right place for a repeater is outside the view of the camera, but in the right place to repeat the signal to the phone. Can be attatched to the phone, very close to the camera, attatched to the standing monopod. Or on a corner, behind a column, etc.

  2. Mathew 24/08/2020

    Hi, I have a Theta Z1 and have bought the repeater featured, but it cannot see the Z1’s SSID… It *can* see the camera’s wifi, but it needs an SSID to repeat. I’ve tried entering it manually but with no luck.

    Any suggestions?

    • admin 14/10/2020 — Post Author

      I do not own the Z1, but when you turn it on it should broadcast its SSID so you can link to it with your phone… Am I wrong?

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