Friday, 24 July 2009

Ad-Hoc Wireless Network Troubles

Now that I have the Edimax IP Camera working I want it to connect to my Toshiba NB100 netbook computer as simply as possible - the idea is to use it when we are away on holiday so I don't want to have to set up a whole network with an access point etc. Instead I just want to set up an ad-hoc network between the computer and the IP Camera.
According to the instructions this should be easy - I tell the IP Camera to connect to an ad-hoc network called 'bentv', and then use NetworkManager in the Ubuntu desktop of the netbook to create the ad-hoc network.
This works fine on my main laptop, but fails on the netbook.
It turns out that NetworkManager is not capable of putting the wireless card into ad-hoc mode.
The work around was to have the script to start the VLC viewer shutdown network manager and set up the network manually as follows:

#!/bin/sh
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
ifconfig ath1 down
wlanconfig ath1 destroy
wlanconfig ath1 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode adhoc
iwconfig ath1 essid bentv
iwconfig ath1 channel 1
iwconfig ath1 192.168.1.35
iwconfig ath1 netmask 255.255.255.0
ifconfig ath1 up

vlc --fullscreen rtsp://192.168.1.17/ipcam.sdp

/etc/init.d/NetworkManager start

This is based on information I found here.
This seems to work, but the wireless networking is a bit iffy after the script exits - I might have to do the wlanconfig destroy bit again to put it into infrastructure mode.
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