Thread: $16 Wifi side plate for DSMC2

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  1. #1 $16 Wifi side plate for DSMC2 
    Senior Member Nathan DuMoulin's Avatar
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    I'm a huge proponent of FoolControl, and Mikael has done an amazing job at developing the app. That being said, the internal antenna on the DSMC2 cameras ...well, kind of sucks. WC announced a very elegant solution at Cinegear last week, which will be shipping next month for $500. It's on my list of things to pick up when I have more money, but in the meantime I decided to whip up a quick workaround.

    Similar to the Lattitude Sidekick module, I designed the Wifi antenna to sandwich between the camera and the DSMC2 side plate. It replaces the internal Wifi antenna, which connects under the plate. Shown in the picture above is a 4" antenna that I had already, however I've since ordered a smaller 2" antenna that should be more suitable.

    UPDATE. I have tested the range, and the ad-hoc mode gets around 300-350ft now, and that's with the smaller 2db antenna.

    The mod costs a grand total of $16 in parts, and takes under 5 minutes to install. Here's a list of parts, as well as the 3D file in case any one wants to make their own:

    1) 3D printed side plate ($10)
    2) 2db 2.4ghz antenna ($4 on ebay)
    3) 4" (10cm) U.FL cable ($1 on ebay)
    4) 4x M3 18mm screws ($1)

    File: http://runoutmedia.com/business/red_wifi_3d_v4.zip

    The file is designed in MM, intended for 100 microns or smaller. You can get it 3D printed in whatever material you like, but the standard black PLA (plastic) seems quite suitable. I used 3dhubs.com, which allows you to upload the file, and then it will list all the 3d print facilities closest to you, as well as complete the transaction.

    Please note that you'll need the right type of antenna/cable to make this work, as there are many different kinds that look the same, but have different intended purposes (see the list above, as well as check on page 3 for further discussion). Obviously I assume no responsibility for whatever modifications you make to your camera, so use at your own risk. :)

    EDIT. As kindly noted by Mikael below, the U.FL connector on the antenna is rather fragile, so just be a little cautious when swapping the new antenna with the internal one (use tweezers or something, rather than yanking on the cable to pull it loose).
    Last edited by Nathan DuMoulin; 10-15-2016 at 12:55 AM.
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  2. #2  
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    nice job!
    i wonder why the WC one has to replace the power button too?
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Nathan DuMoulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordan levy View Post
    nice job!
    i wonder why the WC one has to replace the power button too?
    Thanks!

    The WC version replaces the entire side of the camera, so that the Sidekick or upcoming Side Handle will still sit flat and line up with the internal ribbon/electrical connector. My workaround doesn't facilitate that. :)
    Last edited by Nathan DuMoulin; 06-09-2016 at 11:20 PM.
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    Nice job!
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Mikael Lubtchansky's Avatar
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    Nice. Yes the wooden camera side plate replacing original one was the only way to keep it compatible with sidekick, dsmc2 sidehandle etc while offering a semi permanent elegant solution.

    It is important because the antenna connector is quite a fragile one and you would not want to disconnect and reconnect it too often.
    Wooden camera plate will ship with a small tool to avoid any bending / twisting and some vinyl tape to attach the original antenna cable inside.

    Nathan's solution is great and should also provide stronger wifi with the right antenna but be careful with your camera, avoid too many mating cycles or stress on the connector if you decide to install an external antenna.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Antony Newman's Avatar
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    Very cool of you to share this Nathan.

    If this solution markedly increases range - and if many people are going to be buying the new side handle - perhaps RED could consider introducing an (optional) external aerial into it?

    AJ
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  7. #7  
    Member Simeon T Geyer's Avatar
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    Hey Nathan,

    awesome little tool.
    I'm looking forward to read your test results.
    Unfortunately I'm in London and 3dhub.com couldn't find anyone close to me.
    Well unless I have choosen wrong settings.
    When you upload your model do you use CM or MM for units?
    Also which material would you use for this? PLA or ABS? Or something totally different?
    So I'll have to find someone the old fashioned way. I was thinking wether it would make
    more sense to have the antenna going out towards the top of the camera?
    What program did you use to create the model?
    I would like to play around with it a bit if you allow.
    Last edited by Simeon T Geyer; 06-10-2016 at 03:16 AM.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Tommaso Alvisi's Avatar
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    Very cool Nathan!

    Thanks for sharing!

    How much is the range improved with the external antenna?
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Daniel Stilling's Avatar
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    I just ordered it through Shapeways. Thanx Nathan. When I set it up, I'll report it here.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Hurcan Yilmazer's Avatar
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    Great solution :D i wish i had a DSMC2 instead of DSMC so i would be able to use this :/ and would be able to capture proress and many things... (crying at the corner)

    thanks for the idea :D
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