How to set up your Chameleon Wi-Fi Reader

Note: These instructions are for Chameleon Wi-Fi Reader firmware version v0.78 and above. See Find your firmware version and How to setup your Chameleon Wi-Fi Reader v0.77

Connection options

There are a variety of ways the Chameleon Wi-Fi Reader can be connected to the internet to automate uploading data.

Connection examples

Permanently installed Wi-Fi Access Point

  • Provides completely automated data collection.
  • The Wi-Fi Reader can stay in the field and data is collected every 2 hours with no human interaction.

Android phone using Portable Hotspot

  • The Wi-Fi Reader and phone are carried to the sensor on a periodic basis.
  • A data plan is required on the phone and needs to be enabled.
  • 'Tethering & portable hotspot' needs to be enabled before restarting the Wi-Fi Reader.

Detailed Instructions: 

iPhone using Personal Hotspot

  • The Wi-Fi Reader and phone are carried to the sensor on a periodic basis/
  • A data plan is required on the phone and needs to be enabled.
  • 'Personal Hotspot' needs to be enabled before restarting the Wi-Fi Reader.

Detailed Instructions: 

Pocket Wi-Fi device

  • Can be used for completely automated data collection or for period collection.

Configuration Overview

The Chameleon Wi-Fi Reader needs to 'learn' the Wi-Fi connection details in order to connect to the internet. The details needed are the SSID (the name of the Wi-Fi connection) and the Wi-Fi password.

The Wi-Fi Reader can scan for available Wi-Fi signals and can see a list of SSID's and we will use this as a way to communicate the details to the Wi-Fi Reader.

The device providing these details is called the 'Config Beacon'. It's a beacon because it is broadcasting the information to all devices.

The format for the Config Beacon's SSID is: [ssid]<=>[password in reverse]

If the Wi-Fi access point details were:
SSID: MattsPhone
Password: abcd1234

Then set the Config Beacon's SSID: MattsPhone<=>4321dcba

When the Wi-Fi Reader attempts to connect to the internet it will see the characters <=> and will learn the SSID and password.

Note: There is a security risk involved as we are publicly broadcasting the password. To reduce the risk we are only broadcasting this information for a short period of time (minutes) and are displaying the password in reverse.

Smartphone Hotspot (single device method)

Rename the SSID to include the password in reverse in the format:
eg SSID as: MattsPhone<=>4321dcba
Plug in a sensor, reset the Wi-Fi Reader, it will look for "<=>" and collect the SSID and password.
Wait for it to say: Trying SSID: MattsPhone

Then on the smartphone, rename SSID back to original.
eg: SSID: MattsPhone

Wait for the Wi-Fi Reader to connect and say Upload Confirmed/

Now the SSID and password are saved in the Wi-Fi Reader and the Config Beacon is no longer required.

Detailed steps for specific phones:

Wi-Fi Access Point plus smartphone method (two device method)

When configuring a Wi-Fi Reader to connect to a permanent Wi-Fi Access Point, use a smartphone as the Config Beacon.

  1. Enable the phone's hotspot and name the SSID in the format: [ssid]<=>[password in reverse].
  2. Plug in a sensor, reset the Wi-Fi Reader, it should connect and say "Upload confirmed".
  3. You can configure many readers very quickly with this method.
  4. Remember to disable the Config Beacon hotspot after you have finished.