FTP Upload with FlashAir

Eye-Fi Pro X2 End-of-Life Options

Eye-Fi will discontinue their relayed transfer service on September 16, 2016. This is the service that supported transferring images from an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card over the internet to a computer running Eye-Fi Center or an FTP server. To continue transferring images from a Harbortronics time-lapse system with the network option, you will need to find an alternative. Basic image storage on the SD card will continue to work until the card is full.

http://x2migration.eyefi.com/hc/en-us/articles/216741158-Frequently-Asked-Questions

Transfer Images over LAN via Eye-Fi X2 Utility

For users whose camera is on the same Local Area Network as their computer, Eye-Fi has produced a replacement file transfer utility. This is applicable to many customers with the PoE option. If your computer is on the same LAN as the camera, you can continue to use your Eye-Fi Pro X2 card after following the Eye-Fi X2 Utility installation instructions:

http://x2migration.eyefi.com/hc/en-us/articles/224494628-Download-Eye-Fi-X2-Utility

It may also be possible to use this utility over a VPN, but this has not been tested by Harbortronics.

Internet Transfer to FTP Server with Toshiba FlashAir Card

If your camera depends on an Internet connection to transfer files, no Eye-Fi products will work for you after September 16, 2016. One alternative is to use the Toshiba FlashAir card’s scripting features to upload images to an FTP server. You will need to arrange for your own FTP server.

Harbortronics has produced Lua scripts compatible with third-generation Toshiba FlashAir cards to enable uploading images to an FTP server. After a photo is taken, the script searches the SD card for new files. Any new file will be uploaded to the FTP server. If the FTP server reports that the image was uploaded successfully, the script will mark the file to not upload again. If a problem occurs with the upload, it will retry when the next photo is taken. This is similar behavior to Eye-Fi’s Relayed Transfer feature.

Buying FlashAir Cards

Toshiba FlashAir cards are widely available from electronics retailers. They are currently offered in 16 or 32 GB. When choosing a card, make sure it is marked as “FlashAir III” (third generation) on the label. The card itself will have “W-03” printed on the top right corner. Only third-generation cards are capable of FTP upload.

Installing the Scripts

The Harbortronics FlashAir FTP upload scripts are available for download here:
https://bitbucket.org/harbortronics/flashair-ftp-upload/downloads

Installation instructions can be read here or in the README.md file. You will need to edit the SD_WLAN/CONFIG file with your wifi credentials and Settings.lua with your FTP credentials.

Note: There is an option in Settings.lua called “delete_after_upload” that is set to false (disabled). This is an experimental feature that allows recovering space from successfully transferred images, much like Eye-Fi’s endless memory feature. This feature has been observed to lose image files on Canon and Nikon cameras. Do not enable it in a production setting! You can leave this option default to avoid any problems.

Setting up the Camera

Unlike Eye-Fi cards, the FlashAir card does not communicate with the camera to keep it from sleeping. To allow uploads to complete, you must set the camera’s auto-power-off feature to a sufficiently long time to complete an upload on your connection. (Slower connections will require longer power-off times.) When using the DigiSnap to control power to the camera, you can completely disable the auto-power-off feature of your camera. Make sure the DigiSnap is configured for sufficient post-snap time to allow uploads to complete.

Harbortronics DigiSnap 2700 Configuration Instructions

When using the FlashAir card with a TLP or Cyclapse with Network Transfer option, configure the DigiSnap with the following settings:

  • Follow the standard DigiSnap Terminal instructions to connect to the DigiSnap.
  • Type “P” to Configure Power for Camera.
  • Type the menu number that corresponds to “Set Pre & Post Snap Times.”
  • Seconds On Before Pic: 60
  • Seconds On After Pic: 180
    • You may need to adjust this timing depending on your network speed.
  • Output Polarity: 1
  • Output Type: 0

Maintaining the System

Because the FlashAir card does not delete images after upload, you will need to return to your installation site periodically to delete images. If you format the card, the FTP upload script and settings will be deleted. Instead, delete only the contents of the DCIM folder.

Support

Questions can be directed to tom@harbortronics.com.