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Does wifi really work on the 536?

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wb4sqi

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#1
Just received a pre owned 536 with wifi dongle and have read numerous posts back to January 2015 plus the stickies posted by Upman.

Does the wifi dongle really work as Uniden designed it? Is there a central location or information repository for setting up wifi?

Thanks in advance.
 

ofd8001

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#2
"Pretty much" as far as local wifi or Access Point goes. They still haven't come out with the set-up to do remote access while away from home. (Others who are pretty proficient from a technology standpoint have found ways to accomplish that, however.)

I'm pretty happy with my two.

No central place to find all the information, but numerous threads exist on this site on how to set it up. Just need to do some searching to find them.
 

kruser

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#4
"Pretty much" as far as local wifi or Access Point goes. They still haven't come out with the set-up to do remote access while away from home. (Others who are pretty proficient from a technology standpoint have found ways to accomplish that, however.)

I'm pretty happy with my two.

No central place to find all the information, but numerous threads exist on this site on how to set it up. Just need to do some searching to find them.
I run mine into a local access point that is hooked to my local network. I can access it over a VPN tunnel from anywhere and it actually works very well. The audio is delayed a small amount if listening from the dongle in the same room as the radio but not a big deal.

I added other features as well that are beyond this thread but were helpful for me. Remote radio reboot and access into mass storage mode or serial port mode for example using a usb device that breaks the +5 volt line so the radio asks which mode you want. With that, I can do remote firmware upgrades or downgrades, programming etc.

I assume the Android app will also allow for much of that if they ever get it working.

But yes, the dongle does work but make sure everything is running the latest firmware, especially the radio and wifi dongle.

I do wish they would have offered a hardwired ethernet dongle to get away from the wireless layer as the dongle does not do the 5 GHz band.
 
D

darunimal

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#5
Yes the Wi-Fi Dongle works on the BCD536HP once all firmwares bring it upto v7.28, it works in both Infrastructure and AP mode, with a 8000hz audio over Wi-Fi, Radiofeed provides 22050hz upconversion to rebroadcast on broadcastify.com. Though it may still not like WEP it gladly accepts WPA and WPA@ security.
 

NyGregg

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#6
I just found they finally released the Android Siren app....ridiculous how long they took...now to see how many bugs will it have?
 

JamesO

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#7
I do wish they would have offered a hardwired ethernet dongle to get away from the wireless layer as the dongle does not do the 5 GHz band.
I think we may need to start a thread with Votes for a hardwired Ethernet dongle. I am one that made this suggestion way back when Uniden was suffering with the Wifi problems that they should offer a wired Ethernet dongle. They are out there for cheap in numbers.

The question is what would people be willing to pay Uniden for a wired Ethernet dongle??
 
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#8
I have used mine with the AP is in the same room and just a few feet away, I was able to join it to the network and access it with ProScan as well as ARC software for both programming and net streaming. However when I moved it to another room about 20 feet away the unit dropped the connection repeatedly despite being able to reset it, get it to connect and keep it live for 5 to 10 minutes.

Ideally we need a USB > Ethernet adapter and firmware to recognize it.
 
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#9
What I do suggest that you get a wemo or a tp-link remote switch so you can reset the scanner in case the wifi hangs up. That has happened to me and it needed to be power cycled.
 
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#10
What I do suggest that you get a wemo or a tp-link remote switch so you can reset the scanner in case the wifi hangs up. That has happened to me and it needed to be power cycled.
That's a good suggestion but not a solution, if the WiFi is flaking out every 10 minutes because the AP is in the other room and can't be moved for other reasons, then the ability to run a Hard Wire dongle rather than WiFi dongle might be the preferred method.

If Uniden has already coded for an ethernet device it's not a stretch to code to one that provides an RJ45.

Thanks for the suggestion again however.
 

ofd8001

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#11
Access Point (AP) is only good for short distances, such as used as a remote head for a vehicle mounted scanner.

Infrastructure is better for use when a router is "visible" to both the scanner and the smartphone type device. I have my scanner on the second floor of my house and can connect to my iPhone in the basement and scan away.
 
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#13
Guys thanks I was hoping that Uniden will take note, wasn't looking for suggestions on bandaids.

Access Point in my reference has nothing to do with the mode the scanner is in ... it has all to do with the reference to my Access Point that I have setup for WiFi. For the record I use Cisco WAP 561 units not some dinky blue box AP is the proper term for a wireless router.
 

ofd8001

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#15
For some reason I'm of the understanding that Access Point Mode means/is for, the scanner being "connected" directly to a smartphone type device. If a router is between the scanner and the smartphone type device, the mode to choose is Infrastructure Mode.

So this might be a "hair-splitting" context issue, and agreeing that if the scanner is connected to a router, the scanner is technically an access point to the router. Still when it comes to programming the scanner, if you use a router, it should be Infrastructure mode. If no router is involved, then its Access Point Mode and the smartphone has to be pretty close to the dongle.
 

buddrousa

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#16
True when you put the Scanner in AP it looks to talk direct to another wireless device (laptop, Smart Phone) not the wireless router or remote access point connected to your network.
 

JamesO

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#17
So sad that non network people at Uniden "speced" the scanner with plans ONLY for a wifi dongle.

One of the reasons all of the Apps were delayed is the fools that designed the scanner FAILED to even have "test mule" firmware that worked with a wired dongle. This would have make the chicken and the egg problem with the Wifi dongle a non issue. With a wired Ethernet interface the Engineering team could have for around $50 taken an of a number of reliable routers, flashed it with 3rd party firmware and connected to to the wired interface and had the ability to have a reliable Client or Infrastructure or Access Point mode, LONG before the Wifi dongle issues were worked out.

I do this ALL the time adding wireless networking to devices that do not have wireless or to devices that have unreliable wireless but a hard wired port. I also use this to PROVE to customers that their smart TV or other network device that is having problems is not the base network but the crappy wireless firmware in their favorite network item that they have to restart all the time. But I have a hell of a time dealing with the wireless thermostats and other crap that only has a wireless interface. I have had COUNTLESS arguments with my customers and the vendors of all of this junk that just does not work with the current wireless release firmware. And yes I argue with my customers if necessary so THEY understand it is not the base network that I provided that is causing them all their headaches, is it the poorly tested and unproven firmware in the crappy consumer electronics they are buying that is not really a network device, just a consumer electronic device that networking was added to, poorly implemented and hardly tested. And at the end of the day I am always 100% correct because I can almost always prove to them the problem is the base network I installed.

Even if you had a hardwired interface you may not need to or choose to hardwire back to the source. You might use a typically wireless router in the client mode and then use a 10-20 foot cable to connect to the router in client mode in the same room, but the router with diversity antennas and likely more power could reliably reach the wireless router in the house. I have also done this on many occasions. I find many of the new smart TV's generate so much broadband noise, they often kill their own internal Wifi card performance. So I just install a router in the entertainment center or equipment area only feet from the TV and all the sudden Netflix, YouTube, HBOGo and all the other online streaming Apps no longer buffer or hang and require a restart of the App or TV.

We really need a hardwired interface and Static IP addressing, it would go a LONG way to making the 536HP a more versatile and reliable platform.
 
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ofd8001

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#19
I'd say Uniden's target customer base is to those who might be just a little "tech-savvy". While knowing all the ins and outs of networking is truly a blessing, it may not be one shared by all.

Those who may have this knowledge may think "it's no big deal", it is for guys like me with meager knowledge.

There have been any number of posts saying the new line of scanners is very complicated as it is. Trying to add yet one more thing may push things over the top.

Lastly and there will be differing opinions, it is my sense that connected perirpherals favor wireless versus wired connections these days. My scanner, computer, printer and even a television are all in my second floor office. My router is in the basement. I do not have a wired connection and would prefer not to run several new cables.

I'm perfectly content with the set-up as it is. I have yet to experience any connectivity issues or breakdowns in connectivity. As I've said before, however the iPhone version of the Siren App has a way to go yet.
 

kruser

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#20
The question is what would people be willing to pay Uniden for a wired Ethernet dongle??
Being as it should or could be based on very common chipsets used in many USB to Ethernet dongles that run up to USB3.0 speeds, I'd pay the same as you can purchase those simple dongles for. I'd guess you can probably get a common chipset ethernet dongle for about $10 bucks on eBay. Not that I'd buy a no name brand dongle though. I'd probably pay in the $30 range to at least get a name brand USB to Ethernet dongle

What would be nice is if Uniden released a new dongle that did both, dual band (2.4 + 5 GHz) wireless and hardwired ethernet with USB3 support in a single dongle.
I doubt the radio really needs USB 3 speed support but if it is a common chipset dongle, USB 3 support would allow it to run on other devices at USB3 speeds if you don't use it on the 536.
The dongle they included is very basic. I'm surprised it handles anything above the old WEP encryption to boot!

There is probably enough room in the existing dongle housing to add in an ethernet jack so they could almost use the same mold that makes the current dongles but with an RJ-45 jack opening.

Heck, I'd even go for an ethernet and wireless combined dongle where much of the dongles setup is done on a computer and the radio only allowed some radio specific features to be altered from the radio. That would reduce some of the radio's firmware code.
They could probably write some FW code right now that would work with some of the common chipsets used in ethernet USB dongles available off the shelf at MicroCenter or through many online computer parts suppliers.
I'd love to be able to write my WPA2 key via computer into the wireless dongle where I can actually use wireless!
The inclusion of the 5 GHz band would be very welcome but the addition of true ethernet would be even nicer. Adding both would be ideal and cover most users issues.

At work, I can't use wireless and at home (apartment), the 2.4 band is so overloaded that it does not work. I pretty much need to place the 536 dongle within a few inches of a WAP or wireless router antenna for it to work reliably.
I actually built a metal enclosure for my WAPs that have detachable antennas and mounted the WAPs antenna and 536 dongle both in the box to shield all the interference from the neighbors wireless devices in order to get a reliable signal that does not drop out.
I also pump that over a VPN into work so I can listen at work that way. It's crude but does work.

edit: I also tested some WAPs from work for dropouts at home due to the B/G 2.4 band congestion at home. They are Cisco Meraki WAPs with very good range. Especially if you use a Meraki MR72 with the directional antennas they offer as an option.
Even with these top of the line wireless WAPs, I still experienced signal drops between the 536 dongle and the Meraki units. In some instances, the 536 dongle would reestablish its wireless connection to the Meraki but it also dropped out where I needed to power cycle the 536 in order to get the signal established again. Basically, the Meraki WAPs did not do any better than any of my other wireless routers or WAPs regardless if they were quality commercial duty devices or name brand consumer devices or no name el-cheapo routers or WAPs. In my case at home, the main culprit is simply the overcrowded 2.4 GHz band used by every person living here in this complex.
I did a test with my 536 at work hooked through the Meraki network and was able to achieve a seamless connection across the entire footprint of the Meraki wireless network which covers a really large area. It's a shame we can't use the private side of the wireless network at work. I can but only on the public SSID which is highly rate regulated and runs at a very low power level. I can't get that signal onto a VPN either due to the public side using a totally different IP range than we use on the private side. If I could put a 536 on the private SSID, I could pump its signal back to home over the tunnel but that is not allowed. I have several much better antenna options at work and would love to place a 536 at work and listen and control from home. The Meraki network blacklists any rogue wireless devices it detects on the private LAN though so I could not even sneak in a private WAP in my office as it would be blacklisted and firewalled within a minute or so.
 
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