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Hardwired CL-Wifi: The 788T Mod Nobody Asked for Is Finally Here!


jawharp
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Can't really tell if I'm proud or ashamed of this one, but I made a hardwired ethernet version of a CL-Wifi for my 788T.  This started as a random idea, then a hobby project, then something I spent way too much time and money on (about $200 total and countless hours of my life I will never get back).

 

I still use my 788T and have wanted an easy iPad interface to arm and name tracks, change routing, rename files, etc.  I got a CL-Wifi when it was originally released and was really disappointed with its performance.  It constantly lost its wifi connection and had to be reconnected and disconnected multiple times.  I got rid of mine pretty soon after getting it.

 

A year ago, I made a remote roll button for my 788, and in the process started reading about the C-Link port on the 788t.  Since it was basically a modified serial connection, I figured I could just make my own device that sent the remote control serial commands to the 788 to remotely control it.  I bought a used CL-Wifi and took it apart.  What I found was a main board with the C-Link port on it, and a removable daughter card that was the WIFI module.  The module is the Nano WiReach, which was made by ConnectOne.  The company has since gone out of business. 

 

Through looking at old ConnectOne documentation, I found out that there was a companion module released with the Nano WiReach: the Nano LANReach.  It was made to be a 1 to 1 swap out module that provided a single ethernet port instead of a WiFi network.  It wasn't easy to track down since they haven't been sold since like 2010, but I found one in Israel along with the evaluation board used to program it and the WiReach.  I connected the prototyping board to my PC with an RS-232 to USB cable, and using the programming software I found on an old backup of the ConnectOne site on The Wayback Machine, I was able to read the settings off of the original Wifi module and copy them over to the LAN module.  The LAN module is larger than the Wifi one, so I had to remove the C-Link port from the CL-Wifi board.

 

Final Results:

It works like a charm.  No lost connections, changes are near instant, and I can even sleep the iPad, and it comes right back up no problem. 

 

If anyone wants any more detailed descriptions of anything or wants to replicate this, feel free to PM me. 

 

I attached some photos of the LAN and Wifi modules, the evaluation board, and the whole thing hooked up to the 788.

 

Here's a video of it working: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9vqWUJwhutbpGoRY6

 

 

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Very nice! I always wished that SD would have done this themselves. The fewer wireless items on set the better. Keeping connection has been such a pain that I haven’t used cl-WiFi in years! I wish I had one of these as I still use the 788 as well!

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