How to install Dsrl Dashboard to TP LINK MR3020 v.3 under Mac OS

DSLR dashboard server on Tp Link MR3020 v.3

If you are like me, willing to shoot tethered and if you also would like to use the “Control My Camera” application, you will need a router that enables the communication between the camera and the tablet / phone. For certain purposes you need a portable router and the older ones with built-in batteries got really expensive (like the Tp Link MR3030). Not only the price was against me buying a built-in battery capable router but also the fact that you cannot use it any longer if the battery is depleted. So that I found the MR3020 on Amazon for around 27€ and it arrived me to Tenerife within 35€ in total so it seemed to be an affordable solution.

By this time I did not know anything about the 3rd version (3rd generation) of this MR3020 which is not so easy to replace the software on it to the DD server software. I saw a lot of information how to do it if you have a Windows-runner machine but if you have a Mac like me you can get into trouble finding a solution. As I found the Control My Camera application really very useful and really professional I decided to move on and dig in to the internet to find the solution to do this.

It was not easy I can tell you but I am collecting all the information over here to make it much simpler to you and within the guidance I am sure you can do it in 10 minutes (it took me days)

Why do you need the DSLR dashboard (DDserver) running on a portable router?

Battery usage

So let’s start in the beginning. I am such a lucky person that I have Nikon D750 workhorses which have a built-in Wifi connection so i would not even need an external portable router to shoot tethered. But this ongoing wifi connection eats up the battery of the camera which is not so easy to replace. I mean okay, you can replace it but it is small, you have to keep on changing the batteries all day long and why would you use all your batteries every day if you can buy a portable router and a huge power bank as a power supply on almost the same price as 1 piece of original battery?

The MR3020 needs maximum 1A from the power bank so I decided to buy a 16000 mAh capacity power bank which can let me working without thinking of the extra power need of the tethering for 16 hours (and that is absolutely enough for me).

Signal strength

I am not sure in this and to be honest I have not tried it yet but I think that my built-in D750 wifi signal is maybe not as strong as the one coming from a router. So the signal can be received further.

Ongoing communication

Many times there might be reasons why I turn the camera off for some minutes. If I would use my camera’s wifi, I shall turn on the communication on the camera whenever I turn it on again and I shall connect to the wifi network with my ipad as well and this is something which I really wanna avoid when working a lot on a field.

As the portable routers have their own power supply they will not turn the wifi sign off anytime you turn the camera off. It can really save you a lot of time, believe me.

 

What do you have to do with the TP Link MR3020 v.3?

This tiny (smaller than my palm) portable router is powered through a mini USB port and we can use it to share the camera through wifi using a USB port. It also has the ethernet port which we will use.

The router will need to have the DDserver firmware installed (flashed) but the original firmware will not allow us to do it so we have to install a firmware to the router which will allow us to do so. It is called Pulpstone (https://pulpstone.pw) OpenWrt. If you have Windows, it is much easier to do but you do not have if you read this post. The best help I could get is this site: https://wrmem.net/index.php/2016/02/28/using-the-built-in-tftp-server-on-os-x-el-capitan/

You start the whole process with the router NOT connected.

Step 1

We need to use the built-in TFTP Server to help the router download the needed firmware by itself. You need to open up the Terminal on the Mac. To launch the daemon run the following commands (all you need to write to Terminal is bold)

You launch the TFTP Daemon first using the Terminal

sudo launchctl load -F /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/tftp.plist
sudo launchctl start com.apple.tftpd

 

Be sure Read/Write/eXecute permissions are set on the tftpboot folder and any files you wish to transfer:

 

sudo chmod 777 /private/tftpboot

 

Step 2

You shall go to the Mac’s TFTPD folder where you will load the .bin file we need. (you download it from Here You shall download the pulpstone-tplink_tl-mr3020-v3-squashfs-tftp-recovery-rev2.bin from here and rename to tp_recovery.bin and copy it to the TFTPD folder. By default tftpd uses the following folder:

/private/tftpboot

which is hidden in finder, but can be accessed by using “go to folder” or hitting Command+Shift+G and entering /private/tftpboot

Now hit this to Terminal:

sudo chmod 777 /private/tftpboot/*

 

Step 3

Connect the router to the Mac using an Ethernet cable. Go to the Network settings and go onto the “Ethernet” device. In “TC/IP settings” in “advanced” you set your computer to 192.168.1.225 and you set the “MASK” to 255.255.255.0.

 

Step 4

You plug the power off the router. Press the “Reset” button and keep it pressed when you plug the power in again to the router. This will make the router to update its firmware.

After it is done, go to the Terminal and hit this command:

sudo launchctl unload -F /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/tftp.plist

This will turn the TFTPD daemon off.

Step 5

Now you should have the Pulpstone firmware uploaded to the router. If you hit 192.168.1.1. in your browser you shall come to the router login page. The login is “root” and the password is “root” as well. Here you shall go tot the “System” – “Flash Image / Firmware update” section and upload a file which you can download from HERE.

After flashing this image, you shall click on “Proceed” and it will take about 2-4 minutes to update the firmware of the router.

 

Step 6

There is no 6th step actually. All you can do is to plug your camera (using its tethering port) to the router USB port, turn it to 3G/4G mode and power it on with a power supply. Turn your camera on. Search for the “Pulpstone” wifi network on your tablet or phone which you want to use for tethering and connect to it. I am not sure of the default password but you can easily change the password of the router under the 192.168.1.1. You can also change the name of the network if you want to.

When your device (tablet or hone) is connected to the network, start the Control My Camera (or QDSLR Dashboard) application and search for device (network icon).

 

Now you can shoot tethered!