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Matthew Harrison - Apr 11 2017

Using a Toshiba Flashair SD card

Flashair SD card being held next to 3D printer

A few weeks ago I purchased this SD card on eBay. It's a Toshiba Flashair card that allows you to connect to it over wifi and transfer files without having to insert it in the device that you're transferring from. In the 3D printing community, the Flashair cards are notoriously difficult to configure properly. There are a number of options for ways in which it can be set up, all of which will be covered below. If you'd like to have a look at the official documentation, then it can all be found here

Initial configuration

The first step when you get your card is to update it to the latest firmware. This makes sure that the card will be compatible with the configuration commands that we'll be entering later on. You can find the firmware updaters at the links below: 

W-02 Card Firmware Update

W-03 Card Firmware Update

W-04 Card Firmware Update

Editing the configuration file

If you haven't already, you'll want to set your file explorer to show hidden files, and then navigate to the SD_WLAN folder on the SD card. Within that folder you'll see a file named CONFIG. Open that up in any text editor (I found that it doesn't matter if you use windows CRLF line endings) and delete everything that is already there.

There are three ways that you can configure the connection to your SD card - AP mode, STA mode, and Internet pass-thru mode.

AP (Access Point) mode makes the SD card behave like a normal wireless access point, although with no direct internet access. This means that you need to connect to the SD card every time that you want to transfer files, which isn't really ideal but its the easiest to set up.

STA (Station) mode allows your SD card to act as a LAN client and connect to your existing access point, meaning that you won't need to change networks when you want to transfer files. This is generally the most desired mode of operation.

Internet pass-thru mode allows you to connect to the SD card but also have a connection to the internet at the same time. This isn't ideal as the card acts as a bridge for all your internet traffic, forwarding it to your access point. 

Setting up AP mode

To set up AP mode, you'll need to copy the following lines into your CONFIG file. Set your APPSSID to your desired access point name, and your APPNETWORKKEY to your desired access point password by typing them after the equals sign on their respective lines. At least 8 characters are required for the password.

ID=FLASHAIR
APPNAME=flashaircard
APPSSID=
APPNETWORKKEY=
APPAUTOTIME=0
APPMODE=4
UPDIR=/
UPLOAD=1
WEBDAV=2


Save the CONFIG file and then eject and re insert your SD card for the changes to take effect. You should see a new wifi network appear with the name that you set for APPSSID. 

Setting up STA mode

To set up station mode, you'll need to do a bit more configuration. For this mode your SD card will need to connect to your existing wireless access point, which means it’s going to need the login information. So in this mode, the APPSSID and APPNETWORKKEY fields need to be set to the SSID and password of your LAN connection.

ID=FLASHAIR
APPNAME=flashaircard
APPSSID=
APPNETWORKKEY=
APPAUTOTIME=0
APPMODE=5
UPDIR=/
UPLOAD=1
WEBDAV=2

Setting up Internet pass-thru mode

Internet pass-thru mode is like a combination of the two previous modes. The card will act as an access point but will also connect to your existing access point as a client. Your internet traffic will be tunneled through the SD card when you are connected to it, and forwarded on to the access point that it is connected to. You'll want to set the APPSSID and APPNETWORKKEY fields to the SSID and password that you want the Flashair-generated access point to have, and the BRGSSID and BRGNETWORKKEY fields to the SSID and password of your existing access point that the SD card will connect to.

ID=FLASHAIR
APPNAME=flashaircard
APPSSID=
APPNETWORKKEY=
BRGSSID=
BRGNETWORKKEY=
APPAUTOTIME=0
APPMODE=6
UPDIR=/
UPLOAD=1
WEBDAV=2

Testing

Once you've saved the configuration and re inserted the SD card, you'll need to find out if your card has successfully connected to your network if you used STA mode or Internet pass-thru mode, or successfully created its own network if you decided to use AP mode. If you chose AP mode or Internet pass-thru mode, firstly you'll need to find and connect to the wifi network that the SD card is generating.

After you've done that, or if you chose STA mode, navigate to http://flashaircard in your web browser. You should be greeted with the Flashair web interface. If not, then the chances are that your SD card has not connected to your network properly. For troubleshooting steps, scroll down to the troubleshooting section at the bottom of the page. 

Transferring Files

You should now have a properly functioning Flashair SD card! If not, skip down to the troubleshooting section and come back when you've got it all sorted out. When you first visit http://flashaircard in your web browser, you'll see a page like this:

Flashair web interface home screen

Once you click the start button, it will take you to http://flashaircard/~/Set.htm. You don't need to input your information here as it has already been entered in the configuration file. So navigate back to http://flashaircard and you'll see that you're taken to a different page that appears to give you access to the files of the SD card. The only issue here is that you can only view the files and not upload any. This is where most people get stuck.

Now, if you have a W-03 Flashair card then you have a few options. You can modify the web interface to allow uploads through there, you can map the card as a network drive in your computer operating system, or you can do both. If you have a W-02 card, unfortunately you're just limited to the web interface as it does not support the WebDAV protocol needed for mapping as a network drive. 

Modifying the web interface: W-02 and W-03 cards

Custom flashair web interface with file upload option

In order to be able to upload through the web page, we'll need to add some more files to the SD card that will act as our new interface. The guys over at extrud3d have made a new interface that allows you to upload and delete files through the website as opposed to just browsing them which is all you can do by default. I've made a few minor changes to the files (got rid of the makerbot title), and my version can be downloaded here.

Copy List.html and the js folder into the SD_WLAN folder of your SD card, and refresh your web interface. You should now be able to upload files and delete them with the trash icon once they're uploaded.

Mapping as a network drive: W-03 cards only

Windows map network drive dialog

To map the SD card as a network drive on your operating system, we'll need to assign a static IP address it. To create a static IP we need to turn off DHCP, which is done with the line DHCP_Enabled=NO. Then the rest of the IP setup can be configured with the following lines in your configuration file:

IP_Address=192.168.0.100
Subnet_Mask=255.255.255.0
Default_Gateway=192.168.0.1
Preferred_DNS_Server=192.168.0.1


Set the default gateway and DNS servers to your router address, and your IP address to one that you know is not taken. Generally the lower numbers are more likely to be taken but numbers higher to 255 are less likely to be taken. On a home network, your subnet mask will most likely be 255.255.255.0. If you have no idea about any of these settings then try them as I have set out above. Otherwise, run ipconfig in command prompt to determine your subnet mask and default gateway.

Next, to map your Flashair card as a network drive in Windows, open up file explorer and navigate to the "This PC" menu. In the ribbon menu up the top under "Computer", click the button to Map Network Drive. Enter the letter that you would like your drive assigned to, and type in http://192.168.0.100/ as the folder location. Make sure to change this address if you changed the IP_Address value in the configuration file. Also, tick the box to reconnect at sign in if you'd like the drive to just be there without having to manually connect all the time.

Finishing Up

By now you should have a fully functioning Flashair SD card! The rest of this guide has been with regards to configuring it for general use, but if you'd like to use it in your Prusa 3D printer then there's one last step. If you navigate to settings on the printer LCD, there's an SD Card setting there that will be set to [normal]. Press the encoder wheel once and the setting will change to [Flashair]. More details on what exactly this does can be found in the Prusa firmware update information (you'll need your firmware to be relatively up to date). You should now be able to leave your SD card in your printer all the time, and access it wirelessly to transfer files.

Troubleshooting

If you haven't been so lucky and you've run in to some troubles along the way, this section will hopefully be able to help you out. 

My SD card isn't connecting to my network

Angry IP scanner user interface

Firstly, the most important thing here is to make sure that your internet connection information in the configuration file is all correct. It should be connecting to the same network as the computer that you wish to transfer files from. In STA mode, your APPSSID should be set to the name of your wifi connection, and your APPNETWORKKEY should be set to your wifi password. In Internet pass-thru mode, your BRGSSID should be set to the name of your wifi connection and your BRGNETWORKKEY should be set to your wifi password.

If you're sure that all this information is correct, the next step is to manually check if your card is connecting to your network. To do this, I'd recommend downloading Angry IP Scanner. Once you've got it installed and opened, we're going to set the IP range to the range of your network. To determine this, open up command prompt and type in ipconfig and press enter. Under Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi, you'll see your IPv4 address. Take this address and paste it into the first text box for the IP range in Angry IP Scanner. Change the last number (after the 3rd dot) to zero. Now paste this address into the second text box for the IP range and change the last number to 255.

Now click on the small button to the right of the start button, called Fetchers. You'll want to select MAC Vendor from the available fetchers list and click the arrow pointing left to move it across. This will allow the program to show us the vendor of the network card in each device on the network, which will help us to identify the Toshiba SD card.

Now click start and let it scan. Once it's finished, scroll through the list and look for a Toshiba device in the MAC Vendor column. If you do find one, type its IP address in the URL bar of your web browser and see if it takes you to the Flashair web interface. If it does, then you've got it all worked out. Use this address instead of http://flashaircard. If it doesn't, then that's not our Flashair card and it's just another Toshiba device on your network. If that's the case, or if there's no Toshiba device on the list at all, then maybe you'll have better luck manually assigning the card an IP address.

Choose any unassigned IP address from the list shown in Angry IP scanner, and enter it in the configuration file of your Flashair card in the following line after the equals sign:

IP_Address=

You'll then want to add the lines below, with your subnet mask and default gateway set to the same as what is shown when you ran ipconfig in command prompt. Your preferred DNS server should also be the same as your default gateway.

Subnet_Mask=
Default_Gateway=
Preferred_DNS_Server=
DHCP_Enabled=NO

My SD Card isn't generating a wifi network

If you're trying to use AP or Internet pass-thru mode but your SD card isn't generating a wifi signal, double check to see that your APPMODE in the configuration file is either 4 for AP mode or 6 for Internet pass-thru mode. If this is all correct, try manually connecting to the network on your computer by entering the SSID and password, in case your computer just didn't detect it.

If none of this works, leave a comment and I'll try my best to help you out!

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6 comments

  • Sunny LinNov 14, 2020

    So i got everything setup, the problem I’m having is when im using the web portal to upload files it will says upload completed but the files never shows up on the SD card. do you know what I’m doing wrong.

  • Sunny LinNov 12, 2020

    This is EXACTLY what i was looking for! thanks so much. i wasnt able to view the hidden file on my mac but i will definitely find a windows machine and give this a go! Thanks again!

  • DeonNov 12, 2020

    I kept playing with the ip and it started working. look like my router has some strange ip range blocked

  • deonNov 12, 2020

    and my APPNETWORKKEY updates to APPNETWORKKEY=*********** after reinserting the card ?

  • DeonNov 12, 2020

    Hi, I have tried both DHCP and non DHCP but it does not seem to connect to my network
    I have double checked APPSSID & APPNETWORKKEY any idea how I can debug

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