Expedition and the MiFi 2200

Aboard Distance recently I installed a MiFi 2200 to start sending data, via its 3G Modem to the world wide web. A side benefit of having the MiFi aboard is that when I set up a PC running Expedition software it not only repeated the data from the DMK Box but also added data to the stream used by the tablets and mobile devices on the deck.

A lot of folks have been using the Ventus App to do this. I have not done that yet, however I used the NKE App and was able to access the data I plumbed to the network. It worked reliably and connected easily once I performed the following steps to set it up.

I purchased the MiFi from Walmart online and purchased their pay as you go data plan. I purchased the 500MB plan for $25 dollars because I only want to send my boat's data. I do not plan on using this card to browse the internet or download movies.

After I received the MiFi card in the mail the next step was to configure my MiFi 2200 for the boat. Using the web based configuration tool and instructions I received with my MiFi, I registered my the MiFi card with the data carrier and downloaded the some setup software. I hooked the MiFi to my PC via a Micro USB to USB cable and programmed it with my boat's name and a new password. I also changed the card's security setting to WPA2 since that is the setting needed to interface with the DMK Box.

Once I had the MiFi card setup to my liking I connected my iOS device to the DMK Box in order to reprogram the DMK Box to go into Infrastructure Mode. Using the DMK App I created a WiFi Profile where I entered the MiFi's PSK (password) and SSID (Network Name). In the profile I also set the security to WPA2, selected DHCP under DMK Box Connection Info. Next I set the IP Address to 192.168.1.124 and the Port to 1703. Lastly I set the Endpoint Sockets to have one at 255.255.255.0.

After I had set up my WiFi Profile I tapped the Apply This Profile button and it reprogrammed the DMK Box. I could tell that the box was reprogramming because it flashed 8 times then worked itself through a reboot. Also I received confirmation from the DMK App that the reprogram was successful. If you do not receive confirmation from the DMK App don't worry, the profile still might have loaded. The next step if this is the case is to power cycle the DMK Box and see if it reprograms itself on being powered back up. Only after power cycling and confirming that the box did not reprogram, should you attempt to Apply the WiFi Profile again.

When the box does reprogram you will loose connection with the DMK Box and your instruments. To access your instrument data it will now be necessary to connect to the MiFi 2200. In your network settings connect to the MiFi Card and you will see the data streaming to your apps if the app is configured correctly. Now it was time to add Expedition to the network.

My PC was already connected to the MiFi card since I had just configured it. In Expedition I went to Expedition Button/Instruments/Number Of Network Connections and set the number to two. Next I went to Serial and Network Ports and set up Network 0 as DMK Yacht and made my connection as UDP TX & RX. Because DMK Yacht was selected it already was set to listen to port 1703. Next I set Network 1 to NKE and selected UDP TX. I selected the port to 1703. In NKE Settings I set it to send %Polar and Target Boatspeed data.

In the NKE App I had already set it up to listen to port 1703 and once I connected the iPhone to the MiFi card I was getting data from both the DMK Box and from Expedition. The boat data was still coming from the box in Infrastructure Mode while I was also getting higher level performance data from Expedition. For Distance I loaded a Cal 40 Polar to start with. If I'm on the racecourse and can sail as fast as a Cal 40, I'll be doing well. -KD