Saturday, February 22, 2014

Running DslrDashboardServer on MLW221 OpenWrt

A little while ago I mentioned that I wanted to use the MobileLite Wireless for teetered shooting together with my trusty 50D and a Nook HD+. So my earlier prioritized list of functions is now on hold, and its time to play.

Earlier i found the great application DslrDashboard, so thats what I want to play with. And not only is the source ready, the developer has also created an OpenWrt package for it. This is almost easier than I deserve.

As mentioned in the last post I have cloned a github repo named qdk0901/openwrt-mt7620. Since my original plan were to actually create full support for the MLW221, I already started on adding proper support. So here is a short patch file.

Nothing big there, but at least it's a start.

After applying the patch, the next thing we want to do is getting DslrDashboardServer, and following the instructions on the page.

The next thing is to do a make menuconfig and configure our image. Since I haven't gotten time to look at the filesystem yet, we should still run with initrd. So it would be a smart choice to select that. Quickly summed up, these are roughly the items that needs to be selected.
  • The correct SoC etc.
  • Initrd
  • USB things
  • Vfat
  • Udev
I will most likely have forgotten something here, but you get the idea. I also choose to install the LuCI package, not because it's needed, mostly because I wanted to play around a bit.

Afterwards it's just to build OpenWrt. Boot the MLW221 uimage using tftp and play with the camera. If you have firewall enabled in the image (as I do) you will have to allow INPUT udp/4757. And then its time to play with the camera a bit. And I have to say, it's a quite sweet solution. The Nook HD+ is awesome for this, it's cheap, good sized and the screen is quite nice. And now I guess can finally find a use for the large hole in the bottom left corner of the Nook. It's good to have both hands free when adjusting the tripod.

Some people might find it a bit irritating that we start up in OpenWrt with an open WiFi network, and have to redo all configuration after every reboot. But then again, it's fun to test that it actually works fine.

If anyone want to test out with OpenWrt with the image I played with, you can download it here. If you don't have at least UART attached to your device, you should stay away. Myself I would prefer to just boot from RAM using TFTP (as described earlier). Have fun and play.


  1. Hi

    I downloaded git, and applied your patch, but I can not select device MLW221 from make menuconfig. It is not there under ralink rt28xx/mt7620a or mt7620n/target rpofile. Even-though I see DTS file for MLW221.

    1. You will find the MLW221 image in the output folder after building for mt7620n. You don't have to select it as a target profile.

      I could have made a target profile to automatically require the WiFi driver to be installed when it's selected, but I chose not to do so.