I am just getting started but am having problems connecting to the Web Browser that controls the Pixelblaze. I have it set-up to run in AP mode. The unit shows up on my list of wireless networks.
Getting the hardware to connect up is a game of hit and miss. To navigate to the browser I need to be on my computers wireless network. However when I try and go to the 192.168.4.1 page I get a timeout ie it can’t find the page. If I switch to the Pixelblaze network I can’t access the webpage. After several back and forth attempt, switching from one wireless network to another as some point I will get the correct combination and can reach the page and control the Pixelblaze. At this point I can control the string of LEDs.
There has to be some way that I can reliably get the Pixelblaze up and running on the first try.
Edit: An additional data point is that I am spending a fair amount of time dealing with a mac message stating
“Pixelblaze_xxx” was previously joined as Open, not WAP2 Personal.
or another message with the Open/WAP2 message reversed.
I don’t feel confident about any of these definitely solving your problem, but I’ve noticed a few times on the forum where people have WiFi issues and it sometimes comes down to:
- Password needed to be 8 or more characters
- Someone found it utterly inconsistent on their wireless network, then switched APs or routers, and found it worked perfectly
- Range from your home AP/router. If you’re on the edge of usable range, I’ve seen slow or inconsistent trouble loading. The antenna on the board is not as robust as what’s in most other consumer WiFi client devices.
192.168.4.1 will only be the IP address in initial setup mode or AP mode - you usually won’t be able to connect to a web server there if your computer’s wifi is connected to your home network.
You said “To navigate to the browser I need to be on my computers wireless network” - and I wasn’t quite sure what you meant. Do you mean you’re trying to set it up so that the computer you’re using with a browser can be connected to your home network, and thus also the internet, while also being able to connect to the Pixelblaze? If so, that’s exactly what client mode is good for. You probably don’t want AP Mode for that kind of setup.
If I’m having a WiFi issue, my normal workflow is this:
- Hold the button for 5 seconds
- I’ll see the setup network appear as “Pixelblaze_NNNNNN” after about 15 seconds
- Connect to it. Load http://192.168.4.1 (being sure to avoid typing ‘httpS’ from muscle memory)
- Click “Configure WiFi” (Not Configure AP). Observe my home network and verify it has over 50% signal strength. Click it, enter password, and definitely leave the discovery service checkbox checked. Save.
- Now rejoin my home network from my Mac, then load http://discover.electromage.com/ (after waiting 15 seconds or so for the board to have notified the discovery service), and click through to the board’s new assigned IP on my home network.
On Mac, for the WAP2/Open message you saw, you might also try:
- Giving your Pixelblaze a unique network name other than the default if you’re sure you want to run it in AP mode (not be connected to your home network at the same time), and
- Deleting the entry/entries in your WiFi list:
Hope something in here was helpful.
Thanks I will look at this and try various things.
I am still having problems. I will try and state what is happening in the best way I can.
I turn on my Mac laptop (it is about ten inches from the PB). I turn on the PB. (blue LED on).
On my WiFi list the PB WiFi signal shows up. Four bars solid.
I use my browser (Firefox) to navigate to the “Setup Guide/Getting Started” and scroll down to the link to the Web Browser. (http://192.168.4.1).
Then the browser looks for the Web page and finally times out.
It is super puzzling to have the the PB wireless signal be there and strong yet have nothing happen.
As a final note this exact same behavior happens on my work network.
Your computer can (usually) only be connected to one wifi network at a time. If you are connected to your home network such that the setup guide page can load, then you are not connected to PB.
You can load the page first, then switch wifi to PB. Or bookmark the link to 192.168.4.1.
Either way you can only load the 192.168.4.1 page while your computer is connected to the PB network. This is true both for setup mode, or AP mode, but not client mode.
Setup mode is used to configure wifi, and you can tell if it’s in setup mode by seeing 3 flashes of the orange LED when powering on PB, and that the network name will be Pixelblaze_XXXXXX where the X values will vary.
AP mode can be configured in setup mode screens. It is used to create a new wifi network. Use this if you want to move your PB away from your home network. Useful for costumes or other mobile installations. For AP mode you will choose a unique network name, and password at least 8 characters. Do not use your home wifi information for AP mode.
If you want to have PB available while your computer is connected to your home wifi network and have access to the internet, then you want to configure it in client mode, not AP mode. When configuring client mode, you will select your home wifi network from the list on the setup screens, and enter the password for it. Leave discovery service enabled.
In client mode PB will not be reachable at the 192.168.4.1 address, but will instead have an IP address allocated by your router. This address will be hard to guess, so I recommend using the discovery service. The discovery service only works in client mode, and you can only reach that site while your computer and Pixelblaze both have internet access though the same network.
The discovery service is here:
Thanks. I will try this out. Even a brief read (I am a total dope about wireless) makes me feel that your explanation will make sense after a while.
The only way I have been able to get to the Web Browser has been by juggling between my home network (router) and the PB WiFi network while the Web Browser is trying to load.
No worries, we’re here to help!
Some times browsers can get stuck trying to get to a page that can’t be accessed, and when you switch might not recover in a timely way.
Try closing the browser, then connect to PB wifi, then load the page directly by typing or pasting the URL into the address bar. That may help with some of the unpredictable behavior.
The key though is choosing a path once you get to the setup page. Do you want a portable Pixelblaze or something that will run within range of you home wifi? The path you choose will change how you get back to it.
I am now getting an error message from my computer telling me that I cannot join the PB network.
My computer is still showing the PB network at full strength.
Also when I pressed the rest button in the past I would get a green LED flash. This does not happen any more.
Incidentally I am using a very high quality H/P E3610A power supply. My voltage is not an issue.
Edit: Is there any chance of a PB hardware problem? Not to be superstitious but a while back I
had a very hard time getting a Fadecandy device to work and after much hair-pulling it turned out to be a hardware issue.
It was a hardware issue. Just not the PB board.
This is quite amazing to me. Yesterday a new USBC adapter for my Mac arrived. I wanted one that allowed charging while using the adapter.
Well I was playing around with the PB this afternoon and was trying to set it up as WiFi rather than AP. I was having absolutely no luck. So I went back to AP and could not get anywhere.
For some reason I decided to go back to my old adapter. Which I have been using for several months.
I can now reliably get into the AP mode and run the Web Browser. I have reset the PB and “re-logged” onto the PB with success and shut down the browser after loading some effects. Several times.
Bottom line is a defective USB extender. Man I am tired of entering the PB ID and password.