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AirConnect IP Address and new WiFly firmware


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BerndHS
BerndHS
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Hi SD development Team,
If you update the firmware of your AirConnect device to the current version or buy a new AirConnect you will probably run into a problem with the Flarm connection in SD. So did I with my Samsung 10.1 tablet.
Some background information: SD has the built-in capability of using Power Flarm or similar systems via a so called 'AirConnect' device - which is absolutely a very usefull and good feature. In fact the AirConnect device is not much more than a WiFly module (WiFi connect module from Roving) surrounded by some parts for serial voltage adaption and power stabilization. Unfortunately the AirConnect device (at least the one I own) has the WiFly's GPIO 9 pin tight to 'plus voltage'. This results in automatic AP mode on power up (which is ok) with a factory predefined IP address (and this could lead into a big problem). For older firmware versions this address is '1.2.3.4'. With this IP address SD can connect to the device and everything is ok. Newer WiFly firmware (I updated to 4.41) sets the IP address to '192.168.1.1'. With this address set SD is not able to connect to the device any more (it is probably trying only with 1.2.3.4). Due to the GPIO 9 pin on plus level one is not able to modify the device's IP address persistantly via WiFly commands. After tweaking the AirConnect hardware a bit (GPI 9 removed from plus and tied down to GND) I am now able to boot into software configured AP mode which lets me now set and use the old IP address again. You could now ask: why do you update your firmware? Of course the unit was working ok before, but new AirConnect devices are already shipped with new firmware and: why not let the end user configure the IP address to use for a connection on the SD side as individually required? This would also allow for two (or even more) AirConnect devices to be used in the same place - by using different IP nets (requires hardware tweak). Normally you cannot use two air connect devices in the same place due to IP address conflicts. Because the WyFly modules always set up a point to point connection to only one single (SD) device it might be useful to have separate IP nets if you want to use two separate devices which are both using 'AirConnect' technology.
So - after all this explanation: I would very much apprechiate to have a configuration option that lets one set an IP address for the Flarm connection on one's own choice (Default could still be 1.2.3.4). This would also allow for flexible handling of future IP changes that might come with new firmware versions or maybe other WiFi devices. The required field could be presented together with the IP password which has to be set under Flarm connect settings anyway.

Thanks for reading all this stuff ;-) and for this really great product !!

Bernd


Tim Dawson
Tim Dawson
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We connect to the IP address advised by the Air Avionics guys. I believe their advice was to base our decision as to which IP address to connect to on the pass key entered by the user, which lets us determine which version of the AirConnect device is in use. Looking at our code I can see we connect to 169.254.1.1 for the old model, 1.2.3.4 for the newer model, and 192.168.1.1 for the newest model.
BerndHS
BerndHS
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Hi Tim,
that works nice as long as nobody updates his device. In case of an update the passcode does not change (as the serial# does not as well) but the ip address does due to the new firmware. Consequentially SD guesses an ip address of 1.2.3.4 (in my case) but due to the update it is 192.168.1.1 in real life ;-)
In the current AirConnect manual (AIR Connect Integration Manual) they describe in detail how to upgrade to a new firmware Version. So you cannot assume for sure that the ip address is really the one that you can derive from the serial# via the passcode [page 12 of the manual says:...The four-digit PIN-CODE is alway calculated by adding the number 3642 to the devices serial number.Therefore individual device serial numbers may be calculated from the pin-code entered by the user.].
I would really suggest to make it configurable to the end user to avoid unresolvable problems for users who do an upgrade but are not so familiar with modifying their AirConnect Hardware in case the device does not connect any more thereafter. In fact it is not so trivial to downgrade from a higher firmware version - just in case someone tries to go back to the old Version. By doing that you can render your device unusable (at least for a 'standard' user)...

Bernd

BerndHS
BerndHS
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Tim,
I just modified my AirConnect's passcode to one that lets your Software believe that my device ist a brand-new one by calculate a serial# in the range for a 'new' device with ip 192.168.1.1. My original passcode is 5045 - so that gives a serial# of  ...-1403. This belongs to the serial range that should have ip 1.2.3.4. In fact this was the ip when I bought the device. After updating to Firmware 4.41 my device now has ip 192.168.1.1 and so SD cannot connect to it any more because it still assumes an ip of 1.2.3.4. After modifying my passcode to 5250 (results in ser# ... 1602) your algorithm gives an ip of 192.168.1.1 and of course everything works as intended. (ip 192.168.1.1 is valid for new devices with ser# 1584 and higher)
So an AirConnect user has the following Options:
1. never upgrade the firmware
2. upgrade the firmeware and modify the passcode to a suitable value
3. just set the real ip in SD (assuming there is an option to do so in future releases) ;-)
I personally can manage the situation with the software as is... so it is not really my concern right now after having the information how your software guesses the ip address. But I would still prefer to have the option of setting the ip address individually on my own due to the mentioned possible ip conflicts (see my initial message). The current algorithm could stay in place - so if the ip field remains empty the current standard calculations based on the passcode should still be the right solution for many (or most) of the AirConnect users.  

Bernd




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