Infrastructure connection

Help and ask for help on Eye-Fi related problems

Infrastructure connection

Postby gwerl » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:38 pm

For several years we have been using EyeFi for doing pictures of a childrens' award ceremony. It has worked like this:

When the child gets the award we take a picture with the parents and/or teacher with an SLR camera with an EyeFi card installed. The EyeFi is connected to a Wifi access point via infrastructure. We also have an iPad on the same infrastructure network. When the picture is taken the EyeFi automatically begins sending to the iPad. When the transfer is complete the picture would appear on the iPad and we then would email it to the parents (the parents type in their own email information).

The most important part of this is that both the camera EyeFi card and the iPad are on the SAME infrastructure network (WITH INTERNET). We do this for several hundred children over a three hour period. There is no time to be doing a separate "download" via an ad-hoc connection, switch networks to have internet access, sent the email and then repeat the process for each picture being sent out. We have hundreds of pictures to send.

Over the years we have gone from EyeFi software to Keenai software. We have had to re-purchase the black "Mobi-Pro" card when the orange EyeFi card was not supported. We have endured ownership changes (most recently Ricoh). It has been a long painful process of keeping this system working in spite of the ownership, software and hardware changes. Last year Ricoh decided to pull the plug and leave everyone unsupported.

To be clear, we do not need or want "cloud storage". We really don't want recurring fees for this. We are prepared to purchase (own) hardware/software that will accomplish the picture/transfer/email task. I suppose we could purchase a "subscription" if there was no other way.

So, I pose this question to the Forum. Is there any hardware/software combination out there that will provide this capability, ie. to reasonably effortlessly take a picture on a camera, transfer it to an iPad and then be able to email it?

Does Shuttersnitch do this? If so, how? With what hardware? Can I use any of the EyeFi card I have (or are they just boat anchors now)?

Has anyone actually tried this and made it work?
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby TheBrew » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:38 pm

gwerl wrote:To be clear, we do not need or want "cloud storage".

I don't see ShutterSnitch ever having anything to do with cloud storage (apart from letting you export to certain services). It's all about saving photos locally to the iOS device and maintaining them there.

gwerl wrote:So, I pose this question to the Forum. Is there any hardware/software combination out there that will provide this capability, ie. to reasonably effortlessly take a picture on a camera, transfer it to an iPad and then be able to email it?

Does Shuttersnitch do this? If so, how? With what hardware? Can I use any of the EyeFi card I have (or are they just boat anchors now)?

Has anyone actually tried this and made it work?

What you describe is pretty much how ShutterSnitch works. It receives files from cameras / wi-fi cards. You can then browse them and among other things email them.

ShutterSnitch is subscription based and the first week is free to try, so I suggest you start a subscription, see if you like it and if you don't, make sure you cancel on or before the sixth day so you don't get auto-renewed. Sorry to charge, but as a carbon based life form, without food, I die.

I've been on the Eye-Fi ride with you, and yes, what a ride. :)

ShutterSnitch supports all the Eye-Fi cards *if* you have the key for them. The way they work is, once you've taken a photo the card searches the network a receiver. If it detects one, it asks it for this key to verify it's not a 'bad actor' who wants to swoop up your photos. Without the key there's no way to have a dialog with the card.

As you know, there've been a lot of transitions in the Eye-Fi world, so there are many ways these keys have been stored in various apps over the years. For starters, I suggest you go to https://shuttersnitch.com/eyefikey and see if that's enough info for you to get to your key(s). If not, feel free to ask for help.

(And just to underline: Yes, ShutterSnitch does support infrastructure transfers from Eye-Fi cards ..as long as *they* support it and you have the card-key.)
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby gwerl » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:30 am

Thanks for the prompt reply.

After spending several hours trying to find a "Keenai Desktop" installer on the WEB and encountering links that went nowhere or (worse) links that set off alarms about bad security certificates, I found a computer here that still had Keenai Desktop installed with my black mobiPRO card listed. I also found the client.db file described in the https://shuttersnitch.com/eyefikey document. BTW, the download links pointed to in that document file go nowhere.

My Keenai Desktop also lists a code with the icon of a key beside it (Key Code?) that matches the activation code on a card that came with the mobiPRO. Is this useful for ShutterSnitch? I found this code and the card serial number deep in the client.db file.

Anyway, with the client.db file it seems pretty straight forward from the instructions to make the mobiPRO usable in ShutterSnitch. I will try it.

I wish I had a copy of the Keenai Desktop Installer, though. I don't think there is any way to move my installed Keenai Desktop to another machine (Ahh, remember the good old days of DOS, where all you had to do was copy the .EXE file...). I suppose I will just need to keep that machine as-is forever, or at least until something better than the mobiPRO is available.

Again, Thanks.
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby gwerl » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:02 am

Also, on a slightly different topic...

I also found an orange Eye-Fi PRO X2 card in the bottom of the camera bag. When Keenai took over they said that they required the black mobiPRO. They also said to erase the old EyeFi software and replace it with Keenai. Thus, I have nothing but the SD card.

Is there any way to get this working with ShutterSnitch?
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby TheBrew » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:43 am

gwerl wrote:BTW, the download links pointed to in that document file go nowhere.

Oh my, good thing I keep backup-copies - I've updated the https://shuttersnitch.com/eyefikey page with links to mine. :)

gwerl wrote:My Keenai Desktop also lists a code with the icon of a key beside it (Key Code?) that matches the activation code on a card that came with the mobiPRO. Is this useful for ShutterSnitch? I found this code and the card serial number deep in the client.db file.

That's the activation code, not the key, sorry. But it's already important to keep a backup copy of that. If I remember correctly, it's also the password for the wireless network it creates.
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby TheBrew » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:52 am

gwerl wrote:Also, on a slightly different topic...

I also found an orange Eye-Fi PRO X2 card in the bottom of the camera bag. When Keenai took over they said that they required the black mobiPRO. They also said to erase the old EyeFi software and replace it with Keenai. Thus, I have nothing but the SD card.

Is there any way to get this working with ShutterSnitch?

Getting it to work is all about that card key.

For the older cards, it's fairly easy if you already have the Eye-Fi Center application installed and previously configured with the card. (But it doesn't sound like you're that lucky?)

That said, I ..think.. the Keenai app works with the PRO X2. Try and see if you can set it up.

If not, I'm not sure if finding the Eye-Fi Center application and installing it will work - since I think the key needs to be retrieved from Eye-Fi's servers ..which are officially gone now. I have a backup copy of most of their software though, so if you want to try your luck: Are you on a Mac or a Windows machine?

Alternatively, if you have the original Eye-Fi iOS app installed and it works with the PRO X2, there may be a chance we can get the key out from that installation.
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby gwerl » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:39 am

After some fussing, I was able to get the camera/mobiPro to send photos to the iPad with Shuttersnitch.

I had set up the mobiPro card on my desktop with Keenai, then I went to test the camera and iPad. The camera would say it was sending but nothing showed up on the iPad. I went back to the desktop to check the card configuration with Keenai and... there were the photos, in the Keenai folder on the desktop. Apparently the mobiPro must "fixate" on the forst valid Wifi connection it sees. After disconnecting the wifi on the desktop I was able to connect and get photos on the iPad.

I note that the photos show up on the iPad full screen. I can select photos and email from a selection screen of thumbnails. Although this is fine for our email needs, it appears that when in the thumbnail select screen the iPad will not load images from the camera. Any way of loading images from camera directly to thumbnails? It would save us some time, as we really don't need to see the full screen image and keep switching back and forth between image receive mode and select/email mode.

Otherwise a nice app. It has a lot of photographer features (that we don't need) however I can see how a photographer might want to instantly tweak an image on a shoot and either display it or send it out.
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby TheBrew » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:59 am

Yes, it’s important to only have one active receiver on the network at a time when using eyefi cards.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve actually been working on that thumbnail mode for a few months now. Still a long way to go though. Can’t say if it’ll be out this year, but it is coming.
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Re: Infrastructure connection

Postby gwerl » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:33 am

Well, I was able to get through two awards events, close to 700 pictures in two days.

Shuttersnitch worked pretty well, however a few comments...

For our purposes, speed is a factor. Parents get their picture taken with their child, award and possibly teacher, then come to the iPad station to enter their email and get the picture(s) sent to their device.

The actual wifi image transfer was actually quite fast. However we noted that when images are being transferred, the "select" function is not available, so emailing must wait. And when in select or email mode, there are no image transfers. With several hundred images to transfer and email in a few hours, things back up and throughput slows way down. Parent/child management (in our "instant gratification" society) then becomes a problem.

I understand that your criteria for this software was for a perhaps less intensive photo-shoot, to more leisurely review and send select images to a client. I can see where all the extra image correction and metadata features are very desirable for that purpose.

As you continue with the software development though, I have a wish list:
1) Image transfers in the background (allowing for simultaneous transfer and email operations). It would really speed things up for our purpose.
2) Image transfers in a thumbnail mode allowing for multiple image selection (without fullscreen). I know you said you were already working on that.
3) Being able to set a default email send size (we were always selecting "original size").
4) Being able to change the color scheme on the top and bottom bars (blue on black is hard to see with 70 year old eyes).

Thanks again for your assistance in keeping the EyeFi card alive.

GHW
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