Networking Your Toppy

The following is an updated version of the on the old Topfield Australia Forum (disappeared mid-2013) prepared by IanLS.

There are several ways by which you can connect your Toppy to you home network. The methods available depend on the Toppy model (see table below). The method you choose will depend on a consideration of ease of setting up the networking and the amount of effort in maintaining the network connection.

Ethernet Port USB Wireless
TF7100HDPVRt Yes Yes
TRF-2400 Masterpiece HD Yes Yes
TRF-2460 Masterpiece HD Plus Yes Yes
TRF-2470 Yes Yes
TRF-5300/5310/5320 Yes Yes
TF7100HDPlus Yes Yes
TRF-7170 Yes Yes
TRF-7160 Yes No
TRF-7260 Yes Yes
TRF-2100 No No
TRF-2200 No No
TF-T6000 Yes Yes
TF-T6211 Yes Yes
Freeview Models
TBF-7110 No No
TBF-7120 No No
TRF-7150 Yes No
Toppro Models
TPR2000 No No
TPR5000 Yes No

Wireless networking using USB dongle

Because the driver for the dongle forms part of the firmware, support for all USB dongles is not possible. Three wireless dongles are supported.

1 TF-GB100 802.11b/g/n

This dongle has a Ralink RT3070 chipset and is available from OKShop. This dongle works wth TF7100HDPVRt PLUS, TRF-2400, TRF-2460, TRF-2470 and TRF-7170. It is probably also available at Topfield stockist such as Harvey Normal and JB HiFi.
TF-GB100%20Wireless%20Dongle.jpg

2 TFWD-15 802.11b/g/n

This dongle has Topfield printed on the upper side. It is uncertain if it is still available.

3 WU5202 802.11b/g/n

This dongle was previously sold by Toppro. It does not have Topfield printed on the upper side. The adapter appears to be an AboCom WU5202 802.11b/g/n Mini Wireless LAN USB2.0, and was apparently only available in Australia as Toppro product.

4 The 802.11b/g

This dongle was included with the TF7100HDPVRt, which has Topfield printed on its upper side.
The wireless dongle can be used to connect to wireless access point or a modem/router or router with wireless.

Although most of the dongles support wireless n, the maximum setting I have been able to achieve is wireless g. It is suspect that this is a firmware limitation.

5 Generic dongles using Ralink 307xIC chip

There are reports that some generic USB dongles will work with some Toppys (the TRF-7260 and TF-T6000 at least). These dongles use the Ralink 307xIC chip. The TF-T6211 apparently ships with such a generic USB dongle (see image below).
TF-T6211%20WiFi%20Dongle%20-%20Cropped%20-%20Resized.jpg

Instructions for setting up a wireless network connection.

One thing to be considered when using a wireless dongle is the need to configure wireless settings (including the WAP passphrase). Another drawback is that if the wireless connection is lost, you have to manually restart it, something you cannot do when the Toppy is recording.

Ethernet networking

For Toppys with an Ethernet port, you can connect to your home network with a standard Ethernet cable. However, frequently it is not possible or convenient to connect via Ethernet cable. The Toppy Ethernet port is rated 10/100, rather than 10/100/1000.

Instructions for setting up an Ethernet network connection.

There are several ways in which you can connect the Toppy Ethernet port to you home network without a physical connection:
1 use a HomePlug adapter (discussed below)
2 use a wireless bridge (discussed below)

A wireless bridge

A wireless bridge connects Ethernet enabled devices to the home network. It has one or more Ethernet ports and connects to your wireless network. They are relatively easy to set up, although performance depends on how close the bridge is to the wireless router, and the nature of the obstructions between them. If you have an old wireless router, you can probably set it up as wireless bridge.
The transfer speed is determined by the lesser of the maximum speed of the Toppys Ethernet port and the connection speed between the wireless bridge and the access point/wireless router to which it is connected. Most bridges support wireless b/g/n, and there are one or to that support the new ac standard. Most access points support wireless b/g/n, and there are some that support the new ac standard.

There are some inexpensive, simple set-up wireless bridges.

A wireless access point

A wireless access point (AP) performs a function similar to that of a wireless modem/router (they are themselves APs). It has one or more Ethernet ports and connects to your home network via Ethernet cable. The access point can be used to connect to the Toppy wirelessly. APs are relatively easy to set up, although performance depends on how close the AP is to the Toppy, and the nature of the obstructions between them. If you have an old wireless router, you can probably set it up as an AP.
Most access points support wireless b/g/n, and there are some that support the new ac standard. However, if the Toppy only allows the wireless dongle to operate at wireless g, then that will dictate the maximum transfer rate.

HomePlug

HomePlug is a standard developed by the HomePlug Alliance (wikipeidia entry) for transmission of data over electrical wiring. You can find a discussion of the various HomePlug standards see here. To use this technology you need at least two HomePlug adapters, one near the Toppy and one near your modem/router, or a switch that is connected to the modem/router. Some of these adapters are an awkward shape, and can cause problems accessing both power points on a dual power point. It is usually recommended that you plug the adapter directly into the power socket, and not into a power board. Most manufacturers of routers/modems also have a range of HomePlug products, however, the performance can vary considerably and you should research the performance of the available models before taking the plunge.

The success you have in using home plug depends on the quality of your wiring, and the way the wiring has been installed.

First generation HomePlug transfer speeds were very slow, however, current generation transfer speeds will cope with the maximum amount of throughput that the Toppy Ethernet port can provide.

Using a direct connection between the Toppy and a PC

For two devices to communicate over an IP network without a router, they must be on the same subnet.

After making a direct connection (or through a switch), give both the computer and the Toppy a static address. 10.0.0.2 for the PC and 10.0.0.3 for the Toppy. Give both a subnet mask of 255.0.0.0

Wait a few moments for the addresses to change, then try the connection again.

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