10/07/2020

Q+A: Marine WiFi APP Connectivity Options and Setup

Do I need a router to Connect a Quark-elec WiFi product to my wireless device?

You can connect to any Quark-elec product directly from your wireless device (phone, tablet, laptop or wireless Chartplotter) with no need for a WiFi router or Internet on board.

You can also connect to a router/access point if you have one onboard.

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What is the difference between Ad-hoc WiFi and Station mode WiFi?

Without a Router (Ad-hoc mode) featured on ALL Quark-elec WiFi products:

This is the default setting. No configuration required.

4 connections can be active at one time, in the default (TCP) setting.

The WiFi range will be about 10 meters (line of sight).

Simply scan for nearby WiFi networks/SSIDs, select your device WiFi SSID and enter the default password.

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With an Access Point / Router (Station mode) featured on ALL Quark-elec WiFi products:

By connecting your quark-elec device to your network access point or router, your marine data will be available across your whole network.

– Many more connections will likely be possible, depending on the range of your access point.

– The WiFi range will be extended to the range of  WiFi network.

– WiFi data will be accessible at the same time as other network data, without switching between networks.

Setup through Configuration software (Windows software via USB to PC. Or if using a Mac, a Windows simulation software such as Parallels or Boot Camp can be used)

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Some Quark-elec Products also feature:

Disabling WiFi (Standby mode) featured on some Quark-elec WiFi products:

This is  may be useful if you are connecting several WiFi devices or wish to conserve energy

Setup through Configuration software (Windows software via USB to PC. Or if using a Mac, a Windows simulation software such as Parallels or Boot Camp can be used)

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Bi-directional WiFi

Our more sophisticated multiplexers have all the above functionality, plus 2-way WiFi.

So you can both view your Marine data on your phone/tablets boating Apps, and also send messages/commands via WiFi from your tablet/device to all devices connected to the Quark-elec WiFi product. This includes sending waypoints and other commands/alerts, in line with your Apps functionality.

Check out the folwing products, if this interests you.

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How do I set up Ad-hoc mode WiFi?

On your hardware device (phone/tablet/PC/Chartplotter):
15 seconds after the A026 has powered up,

  1. Scan for a WiFi network with an SSID similar to ‘QK-A026xxxx’.
  2. Connect t to ‘QKA026xxxx’ with the default password: ‘88888888’.

In your chart software (APP, program or Chartplotter software):
After you have connected to the WiFi network (as above)
Open the charts/marine data software of your choice, and find the Settings menu for Connections/Devices
Add a connection, set the following settings:

  • Protocol  = TCP
  • IP address = 192.168.1.100
  • Port number = 2000

(see Navionics Boating App and OpenCPN examples below)

   OpenCPN WiFi Connection Setup GPS-AIS-Wind Setup

In Ad-hoc mode, can I change the SSID or Password using the Configuration tool?
If using the Configuration software (Windows) to adjust Ad-hoc WiFi settings, you can:

  • Change the SSID if desired
  • Change the password (The password must stay between 8 and 12 characters)
  • Do not change the IP address (in Ad-hoc mode). The IP address and Gateway IP address must remain the same, both IP addresses should be set to  192.168.1.100 (in Ad-hoc mode)
  • The Port number should remain 2000 (in Ad-hoc mode)

Just in case…

Ad-hoc mode Troubleshooting checklist

The vast majority of Ad-hoc WiFi connections are completely seamless.

However, if you’re having trouble receiving data through your WiFi connection, there are a number of checks you can do.

Check:

  • Your Quark-elec device:
    • Check the device has a reliable power supply (this is the most common cause of any WiFi issue.)
    • Check the WiFi antenna is positioned at a right angle from the main unit base.
  • The Configuration software:
    • No Configuration required for Ad-hoc mode connection.
    • If you (or another user) have ever used the Quark-elec Configuration software, ensure that you have not accidentally changed any of the settings.
      • Check the working mode is set to ‘Ad-hoc’
      • Check the IP address and Gateway IP address remains the same, both IP addresses should be set to  192.168.1.100 (in Ad-hoc mode)
      • Check the Port number remains at 2000 (in Ad-hoc mode)
      • If Configuring, after entering your settings, always:
        • 1) Press click ‘Config’
        • 2) After a few seconds, disconnect your Quark-elec product from it’s power source
        • 3) Re-power your Quark-elec device. (After your device is repowered, you can reconnect to the configuration software and click ‘Read’ or ‘Connect’, to check your setting have been saved to the device).
  • Your wireless device
    1. Check your device is not in ‘Power saving’ mode.
    2. ‘Forget’ the SSID and password, and retry the connection.
    3. If your device keeps attempting to disconnect the WiFi connection, in order to reconnect to your mobile data; change your mobile data settings, or set to ‘flight mode’ if you do not need your devices for calls and texts.
    4. Check if there is a strong WiFi router nearby if the device keeps dropping and reconnecting (e.g. at marina, there is a long range WiFi or a hot spot WiFi, these could transmit very strong WiFi signal and affect the other devices connections).
    5. Set up Static IP address, 192.168.1.100 for your WiFi connection, if the device is not staying reliably connected with DHCP settings. (This is usually done by either right-clicking or pressing (hold) on the relevant WiFi network, in your Setting>WiFi menu).
    6. Scan for a WiFi network with an SSID similar to ‘QK-A026xxxx’.
    7. Connect t to ‘QKA026xxxx’ with the default password: ‘88888888’.
  • Your chart software (APP, program or Chartplotter software):
    • Ensure you are using the latest version on the App/software (especially important with Navionics Boating App.)
    • Ensure the following settings are entered into the Settings menu for Connections/Devices.
      • Protocol  = TCP
      • IP address = 192.168.1.100
      • Port number = 2000

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Just in case…

Station mode Troubleshooting Checklist

  • The Quark-elec device:
    • Check the device has a reliable power supply (this is the most common cause of any WiFi issue.)
    • Check the WiFi antenna is positioned at a right angle from the main unit base.
    • Che the device should be at least 0.5 meters away the VHF radio(if applied).
  • The Quark-elec Configuration software:
    • Ensure your working mode is set to ‘Station’
    • Enter your network’s SSID
    • Enter your network’s password (this must be 8-12 characters)
    • Ensure the IP address field is set to the IP address your router has assigned to your Quark-elec product (check your router’s IP address list and confirm the IP address that your router has assigned)
    • Ensure the Gateway IP address field, is set to the same as your wireless router’s IP address
    • Netmask can be left at 255.255.255.0
    • Ensure Port is set to 2000
    • After entering your setting into the Configuration software, always
      • 1) Press click ‘Config’ 
      • 2) After a few seconds, disconnect your Quark-elec product from it’s power source
      • 3) Re-power your Quark-elec device. (After your device is repowered, you can reconnect to the configuration software and click ‘Read’ or ‘Connect’, to check your setting have been saved to the device).
  • Your wireless device
    • Check your device is not in ‘Power saving’ mode.
    • Should be connected to your WiFi network in the usual way.
    • Setup with Static IP address if DHCP doesn’t work reliably in station mode.
  • Your router:
    • If your wireless router is an older type of two channels router (2.4G,and 5.8G), you may need to disable the 5.8G frequency (your Quark-elec WiFi module supports 2.4G).
  • Your chart software (APP, program or Chartplotter software):
    • Ensure you are using the latest version on the App/Software (especially important with Navionics Boating App.)
    • Ensure the following settings are entered into the Settings menu for Connections/Devices.
      • Protocol  = TCP
      • IP address = your router’s IP address (not the Quark-elec IP address)
      • Port number = 2000

If you are not able to view your data in Station mode, the most likely cause (aside from power to the Quark-elec device) is either the data has been input incorrectly, or the IP address is different in your chart software to that of your router.

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Of course, if you have confirmed the steps above and are having any issues, simply contact our technical team, with the details, including,

  1. images of your Chart software settings
  2. images of your Quark-elec Configurations settings,
  3. if relevant, details of your Router’s IP address and the IP address your router has assigned to your Quark-elec device.
  4. Is the input data LED flashing on your Quark-elec WiFi device?  if not, the issue may in fact be with the antenna situation, wiring or baud rate of your input connections.

WiFi set up is usually instand and seamless.
However, if you get stuck, drop us a line, we will be happy to help.

Happy Sailing 🙂

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