In order to employ remote debugging, calibration, and control, it would be really nice if we could connect to an ad-hoc network hosted by the beaglebone.
I've worked out how to do this, but the connection is far from reliable. I am able to connect to the bone using my Macbook Pro running Windows 7, and can even remote into using Cloud9. Unfortunately, the connection drops within a couple minutes. I appear able to get the connection going again for a short while using:
sudo ifdown wlan0 sudo ifup wlan0
I can see and connect to the Beaglebone's ad-hoc network using an iPad, but am unable to navigate to any of the pages served. I tested 3 different Android devices. None of them could connect to the network, but I was able to see that the Beaglebone was broadcasting using Wifi Analyzer. My home router and the dongle were within about a foot of each other and showed comparable signal strength of over -50 dBm when analyzed at a distance of about 3 feet. However, the Beaglebone's ad-hoc network was finicky, and would drop down or completely out regularly.
To eliminate as many potential problems as possible, I hooked up the Beaglebone to my TV and used an unpowered USB 4-port hub to connect the WiFi dongle, a keyboard, and a mouse (I also had a webcam plugged in). I powered it using Adafruit's 5V 2A power supply.
My first step was to uninstall Wicd using the following command
sudo apt-get remove wicd-* --purge
I did this to eliminate the possibility of Wicd somehow thwarting the old school method that follows.
Second, I modified the /etc/network/interfaces file to include the following lines:
# WiFi ad-hoc auto wlan0 allow-hotplug wlan0 iface wlan0 inet static address 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 wireless-channel 2 wireless-essid Beaglebone #wireless-key s:beaglebone wireless-mode ad-hoc
I originally tried to connect with a password, but had difficulty so commented it out. Once these changes were made, I ran
sudo ifup wlan0
At this point I was able to see the WiFi connection using Wifi Analyzter. It took my Macbook a little longer to find the connection.
In order to use the ad-hoc network as desired, the following issues must be addressed:
- Stability of the network (figure out how to keep it from dropping after only a few minutes).
- Connectivity to the network (the Android tablets were unable to connect to the network, and the iPad could not navigate to any pages served).
Possible solutions include:
- A better WiFi Adapter
- A different configuration of the /etc/network/interfaces file.
Adafruit has an informative tutorial on setting up WiFi with a few suggestions that might be applicable,