Tethering the new iPad to Nikon DSLRs

Started Mar 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,668
You found it alright - here's the inside skinny


Yes, if they are still stocking these you indeed found the same identical wireless USB 2.0 dongle set that Cables Unlimited used to sell before they went bankrupt, same hardware and same software (even the latest 14.2 drivers which makes me think they are a new OEM provider of these - finally!).  The technology is actually made by WisAir Corp - companies like Olidata and Cables Unlimited appear to be OEM's that repackage the WisAir technology (I am not sure if WisAir makes the whole package or just the chip set and drivers).

Here is what you need to power the transmitter dongle at the camera to get rid of the bulky AC adapter entirely and be fully wireless:


When you get the charger, you need to gently widen the inside of the charger connector plug with a small nail or something to get it to fit nice and snug into the base of the USB (else it is slightly too small and you don't want to force it onto the pin in the base unit) - its very difficult.  Also it HAS to be the Motorola EngToGo charger as it has the right size connector and if you shop around by other sellers on Amazon you can get it for $1.50 USD with $4.00 USD shipping.  These are 5V DC power supplies that take two AA batteries.  I did find a smaller 5V DC one battery cylinder charger at CompUSA/TigerDirect that also works.

To make mine less unwieldy (since you still need the small base), I stuffed my dongle base up inside a hollowed out broken Sunpak handle mount flash bracket (easily found on eBay for a few bucks).  Other more electo-mechanically skilled folks have opened up the base and taken out the essential circuit board and repackaged it (look up Pete's Ramblings in Google  - but that is more complex to do).

Is it worth it?  OMG, YES!!  Even if in the end you spend $100-$150 you are getting a truly wireless high-speed DSLR to computer solution that is 6-8 times faster than any of the other options and more reliable because IT DOESN'T USE A WIRELESS NETWORK.  It is a direct point to point wireless USB 2.0 connection.  The only down side is it works only up to about 30-40 feet  - but that is good enough for a lot of people either in the studio or who have a laptop or Windows tablet nearby.  How fast you ask?  Well, consider the Nikon $800 unit and the EyeFi solutions only yield 150/Mpbs at best under ideal conditions using wireless N in actual use - typically more like 60-80/Mbps, and the wireless USB solution yields up to 480/Mbps with actual performance up near the high end of that speed all the time.  When we're talking about big RAW and JPEG images, that is the kind of speed required for practical use.  Anyone that has tried the EyeFi for example will tell you its far too slow for any practical use and only for the smallest JPEGS.  With the WUSB I capture BOTH *full size* 14-bit D800 RAW *and* JPEG-large image *pairs* simultaneously from my D800 to my computer in just a few seconds for the pair of images (roughly 4-6 seconds for the pair, sometimes faster and near instant with just JPEGs.)

A few more things, to display images immediately and remotely control the camera (including real time Live View), you need to install either Nikon Camera Control 2 or ControlMyNikon.  The latter is only about $30 USD and seems to be better than Nikon CC2 in my tests. (ControlMyNikon is not only a lot less expensive, it gives you LiveView at full screen whereas CC2 is only partial size.).

I am sorry that this solution does not work for iPads or Macs (I also have an iPad3).  The dongle drives support only Windows as far as I can tell (maybe someone could convince WisAir to have a Mac and iPad App written for it.)

Funny, I've had one pair of the Cables Unlimited original adapters and have searched incessantly for some backup pairs and finally found them lat month just before the post of the OliData product - I found a cache of 12 Cables Unlimited USB 2.0 dongles that must have been left over stock before Cables Unlimited went belly up.  I bought one additional pair and for a fee (just kidding) I'll share where there are 10 more Cables Unlimited dongles up for grabs.

I hope this information is useful to some of you.


 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR +29 more
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