Using QK-A031 in Station Mode

Quark-elec AIS receiver and NMEA MUX products questions

Using QK-A031 in Station Mode

Postby d.holburn » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:24 pm

Please can you give some details i.e. A basic walk-thru procedure for setting up the QK-A031 in Station Mode? This is for a QK-A031 purchased just a few days ago.

My on-board router is an Engenius ESR300 device that uses 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.200 for DHCP. I therefore want to set up the QK so it uses a static non-allocated IP address of 192.168.0.201 or similar.

However, as there is no web interface I have found for the QK, it is not clear to me how to set these parameters up in the Configuration Tool so it logs in to my router, which has its own SSID and password.

Unfortunately, I cannot get the configuration tool in apps/23-qk-a031 to work - clicking on Connect never ungreys or changes the Configuration button.

I have also tried the configuration tool in apps/38-quark-elec generic .... , which I saw mentioned here on the Forum, but have not succeeded in getting this to work for the purpose of configuring station mode. It does let me configure baud rates. It has let me change the SSID once, but I can seemingly no longer make further changes.

Is there a procedure for resetting the the QK-A031? This is mentioned on p9 of the application note, where it gives a few lines (not enough!) about station mode, but there is no explanation given of how. How can the QK be returned to as-manufactured settings?

My PC is a very recent Dell laptop running Windows 10, so I understand no drivers are needed.

The device does seems to work ok in Adhoc mode, and I have been able to take NMEA messages from the USB port using PuTTy or from the WiFi using port 2000. But I need your help to access station mode. Any suggestions, please?

Many thanks

David H
d.holburn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:51 pm

Re: Using QK-A031 in Station Mode

Postby d.holburn » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:16 am

OK, let me try and answer my own question - trial and error has eventually got me to a working configuration.

I have the 'A031 set up to receive Seatalk at 4800 baud, and one NMEA input (which may contain AIS sentences) at 38400. This all worked in adhoc mode, but necessitated switching the on-board tablet to the QK server rather than the on-board router. There are still some rough edges to resolve (for instance, I seem to see alternating wind speeds with values at about twice the expected value). For example, when the Raymarine ST60 shows 7 knots, I see sequences like 6.9, 13.5, 7.4, 15 .... appearing in the NMEA. More research required, but I suspect there could be some calibration issue in the translation from Seatalk.

Configuring the QK-A031 seems to be most practicable using the utility at:

http://www.quark-elec.com/download/apps ... n-gui/file

I could not get the utility specifically intended for the QK-A031 to work.

My experience is that in the 38- utility, the Config button sometimes has to be clicked twice, perhaps three times, to get the config installed. Initially the device seems to return the original settings, but if you persevere, eventually the desired config will be uploaded.

I found it better to alter one parameter at a time, with its value held on the clipboard so I could easily re-enter it a second or third time.

Although my objective was a configuration in Station mode, it seemed as if the device would accept configuration commands more readily in Adhoc mode, so I programmed the various IP addresses, SSID and password first, and finally used the pull-down to select Station mode.

My on-board router is an Engenius ESR 300. It has a WiFi extender (e.g. a Ubiquiti 'Bullet') connected to the WAN network connector which I use for long-range access to Internet services e.g. Marina hotspots that are far away. This is not especially relevant to this work, however.

The ESR 300 uses the 192.168.0.xxx IP address space for the on-board LAN. Addresses 100 to 200 are allocated by DHCP. The router's own address is 192.168.0.1. For the sake of this discussion its SSID is MyOnboardWiFi and the password clients need to use is: OnboardWifiPW.

So, the configuration I have set up is as follows:

5. Working mode: Station
3. SSID: MyOnboardWifi
4. Password: OnboardWifiPW
1. IP Address: 192.168.0.201 - chosen to be outside the range allocated by DHCP
2. Gateway: 192.168.0.1 - the IP address of the On Board router
Net Mask: 255.255.255.0 - unchanged
Port: 2000 - unchanged

THe number alongside each shows the order I programmed them, each one individually programmed and read back. But your mileage may differ!

I could not find a clear procedure for 'resetting' the 'A031 (p 9 of Application Note). I waited until the configuration utility returned all values as expected, then power-cycled the 'A031, and finally checked that the config utility was still returning the expected values.

With that done, a tablet or PC connected to MyOnboardWifi and giving the PW: onboardWifiPW can access whatever internet service the router can provide. To run the desired instrument or plotter software using the NMEA data from the 'A031, it is necessary in the software to state the new pre-determined IP address, in my case: 192.168.0.201, as well as the port number (unchanged at 2000), and the selection of TCP rather than UDP.

Does any Forumite know how to determine the MAC address of the 'A031 - or - Admins: would it be possible to have the Config program read this back? It would help in trouble-shooting connections to routers in Station mode. I have only limited trouble-shooting kit on board, but by elimination I think mine is probably: B4:F0:AB:C4:CB:xx. Is that likely?

All best

David H
d.holburn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:51 pm


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