As you may have seen in the WiFi Modes Tutorial, the EZ-B may be put into one of two available modes (AP or Client). Some cloud-based controls require an internet connection, such as PandoraBot, Microsoft Cognitive Emotion, Microsoft Cognitive Vision, or Bing Speech Recognition. Experienced users may be knowledgeable to connect the EZ-B v4 to their local network in Client Mode. However, some users may prefer to simply add a second Wi-Fi network adapter to their PC, which is the easiest solution.
Adding a second WiFi adapter to the PC is great for people who travel with their ez-robot. Using a dedicated Wi-Fi adapter for the ez-robot makes direct connecting much easier than mucking about with client network passwords, etc.
What Kind Of WiFi Adapter?
The easiest secondary WiFi adapter connects via USB. They are simple USB dongles that, once connected, provide a second Wi-Fi network interface for your computer. This means you can connect to two WiFi networks at the same time... One to the internet via your router, and second directly to the EZ-Robot. USB WiFi adapters can cost as low as new $1 from eBay, or slightly more if purchasing at your local computer store (staples, best buy, etc.). Here is an eBay search of new 802.11n USB WiFi adapters sorted by lowest price: Search eBay.
How Does It Work?
This is the easiest part - simply connect the WiFi adapter to your PC. Once the drivers are automatically installed by Windows Update, your computer will now have two wireless devices when the Wi-Fi icon is selected from the system tray. The first WiFi device in the list will be the local WiFi adapter within the computer. The second WiFi device in the list will be the newly inserted USB device. I recommend using the second WiFi device for connecting to the EZ-Robot.
Possible Network Conflict
The EZ-B v4 uses the default network of 192.168.1.0. There may be a slight chance that your home network and the EZ-B v4 are both configured for the same TCP/IP Network. Without getting into too much technical detail about TCP/IP Networking, there cannot be the same network across two or more adapters. Imagine if there were two streets in your city with the same name and house number as yours. There would be no way for the mail service to know which physical house to deliver the mail. This means one of the two houses will get all of the mail. The same scenario applies when two WiFi devices have the same network.
You will know if a network conflict is occurring, because the EZ-Builder will not connect to the EZ-Robot even when the WiFi is connected -or- The computer will not reach the internet while connected to the EZ-Robot even though both both WiFi devices are connected correctly. Also, you can view the IP Addresses of all network devices by typing the following in the CMD.EXE console window.
- Press WIN + R
- Type: cmd.exe and press enter
- In the console window, type: ipconfig and press enter
(click for full size)
(click for full size)
In the image above, the addresses of two network devices are shown with ipconfig. The red circle is showing the network part of the address and marked with A. These numbers must be different between network devices, they cannot be the same. In the image marked with an A, there is no network conflict, as the network part of the address is different. However, the image marked with B has a network conflict.
You may change the IP Address and corresponding in the EZ-B v4 Web Configuration Interface with EZ-B v4.x/2. If you have an IP/Network Conflict, then you will have to disconnect from the internet and re-connect to the EZ-B v4 in order to view its web server configuration. Simply visit the default address of http://192.168.1.1 in your web browser, select Wi-Fi AP Mode, locate the IP Address, change it to something different and press SAVE. Such as 192.168.10.1 or 192.168.20.1. If you change the default IP Address of the EZ-B, you will also have to type the new address in EZ-Builder when connecting -or- use the SCAN tool in both the Camera and Connection controls.