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Minimal DSLR Dashboard WiFi Remote Control Setup

Summary:  Remotely controlling a DSLR over WiFi with DSLR Dashboard using an Android tablet connected to an Android phone's mobile hotspot works.  There is no need to buy any extra kit beyond the USB OTG cable.

Recently a friend asked if I had tinkered with TL-MR3020 wireless hubs to remotely control a DSLR using DSLR Dashboard on an Android phone/tablet.  I hadn't played with this, but it sounded fun.  I read different links turned up by Google searches about the TL-MR3020.  From what I saw, I suspected that if you already owned two Android devices (a phone and a tablet, or two phones), it should be possible to do this without spending $30 on a TL-MR3020 (and flashing it w/the necessary firmware).  I have absolutely nothing against the hub; it looks to be a nice device.  I just couldn't see why if you already had multiple Android devices, it would be necessary to buy anything but the USB OTG cable, so I began playing around a bit.

Thanks to messing around with Minecraft PE for my kids, I already knew that an Android phone with hotspot enabled would allow other devices to connect and talk to each other even if the phone was out of network service (or in service but not connected to the data service).

Proof that also this works for remote DSLR control is offered in the three, horrible quality pictures (sorry about that) below.

In the setup shown in the three pictures, the Samsung S3 is acting as the mobile hotspot and the tablet is the only device connected to that hotspot.  DSLR Dashboard is running on both the S3 and the N7.  The N7 is running in server mode.  Simply click "start server" and note the IP address DHCP from the phone assigned to the tablet.  On the S3, click "Connect to Server" and enter the address of the N7.  Bingo.  Remote control over the D300 including Live Preview is now established!
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Jeff Hill's profile photoRobert Linthicum's profile photoChristopher Forand's profile photoDennis Dame's profile photo
11 comments
 
Fantastic information. Thanks for sharing!!
 
Pretty cool! Reminds me a little of when Jenny and I were selling things on eBay and I would tether the DSLR to my laptop while it was on the tripod. I played with triggering via wifi, but I wasn't using the tether device as the hot spot--that's very nifty. 
 
Samsung galaxy s2, kindle fire and Canon 5d Mark iii are gonna have a little orgy later on this weekend! Lol
 
Hopefully the fact that you're in the States victimized by crappy US mobile carriers who love to disable stock features on phones doesn't prematurely rain on your little orgy....

Do you have the mobile hotspot feature available on your S2?  This would be the big hangup to the coolness...    Anyway, good luck!
 
I've rooted it... it's been the Netflix server for a while now... $600 for a Netflix server...sigh...
 
yeah...cause Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast are all not good enough for that....  :)
 
Well, I've got chrome cast, but I don't want to have to power up a desktop or laptop for that...and the s2 isn't really of much other use since I got the s4...
 
But I'm guessing that I spent about $600 over a two year contract for the s2... nice hidden racket for the cell phone companies
 
Just a little gaffer tape to secure the phone to tripod legs, and you could photograph birds at a feeder or something like that? (That is the only use case I can think of.)
 
There are a couple good use cases. The first is an intervalometer for exposures greater than 30 sec. Most cameras require bulb mode over 30 sec and therefore you can't use the built in capability to shoot a sequence without external control. The other one is for big multi-camera setups. You can connect to multiple ones from a single location to check all of their live previews.

There are other uses, but ones like these are probably the big one.
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