Changes to LI-8100A Wireless Communication

Changes to LI-8100A Wireless Communication

Wireless communication is an excellent way to use the LI-8100A Automated Soil Gas Flux System in the field to start and stop logging, and view the data in real time. For wireless communication, the system has always relied on a peer-to-peer connection using a Cisco wireless card inserted into one of the PC card slots in the LI-8100A Analyzer Control Unit. Apple iOS devices, like the Windows Mobile and PALM devices before them, were able to easily connect using peer-to-peer networking.

However, this peer-to-peer capability was removed in iOS 9. It appears that Windows 10 has also limited this functionality, and the Android operating system never had it to begin with. Android, Windows 10, and Apple devices with iOS 9+ do not work with the Cisco wireless card.

Fortunately, there is another way to communicate via a wireless connection. Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac software can connect to a wireless access point. A battery-powered wireless access point, also called a hotspot or a wireless router, can be connected to the internal Ethernet connection of an LI-8100A. This device creates a network that the handheld device connects to, similar to a home or public WiFi connection (but not connected to the Internet).

Requirements for this wireless router include:

  • Ability to provide static IP addresses
  • Battery powered
  • RJ-45 connector
  • Ideally, small enough to fit inside the LI-8100A case
  • 6400-26 Ethernet Card and 616-07455 PC Card Adapter installed in LI-8100A

LI-COR has tested a few models that meet these requirements. We recommend the TP-Link TL-MR3040 because it is quite stable, is widely available, and has a battery life of at least 3 to 4 hours. It comes with one rechargeable lithium ion battery and a USB charger. If you need longer battery life for survey measurements, you can buy extra TBL-68A2000 batteries online and easily swap them out in the field.

We sell the TP-Link wireless router under part number 590-16299, and it is now included with every LI-8100A purchase. Instructions for configuring and using the TP-Link router can be found here.

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