Air Direct Wireless Tethering System FAQ

Compatibility

Air Direct Utility (ADU) does not currently support macOS Big Sur. Tether Tools has been proactively working with the Big Sur beta version so that the Air Direct Wireless Tethering System can become supported by Big Sur as quickly as possible. For more information visit our Big Sur update here.

If your camera can tether to tethering software on your computer, then your camera is compatible with the Air Direct. Wireless tethering is made possible through the Air Direct Utility (ADU) which connects your camera and computer. Select Canon and Nikon cameras are also compatible with iOS and Android devices using the Air Remote Mobile Tethering App. Please check compatibility to confirm your camera. Click on “Search By Camera” at the top of this page to confirm.
  • For a PC, Windows 10 or later.
  • For a Mac, High Sierra or later with the exception of macOS Big Sur.
    • For more information visit our Big Sur update here.

  • iOS 8.0 or later.
  • Android 4.0 or later.
The Air Direct comes with a TT-LP-E6 battery. Replacements are available on the site, while commonly available LP-E6 batteries will also work with the Air Direct.

Currently, the Air Remote Mobile Tethering App supports Canon and Nikon cameras.

Installation

The ADU is free to download. You can download it here: www.tethertools.com/adu. There is no limit to the number of downloads or the number of computers it can be installed on. We recommend loading the ADU onto the computer(s) you typically use when tethering.

The Air Direct connects to your camera’s USB port, leaving the hot shoe free for use with other equipment. The Air Direct has been designed with flexible options for mounting and use. Our recommended option is to mount the Air Direct Arca Clamp to your L-Bracket.

Other alternative methods for mounting and use include:

  • Mount on the camera’s hot shoe if it is available.
  • Attach the Air Direct to a tripod leg using the StrapMoore.
  • Mount to an arm or clamp with the 1/4″-20 thread on the bottom of the cold shoe.
  • Use a longer USB cable, allowing you to carry the Air Direct in your pocket.
You can determine what version you have by accessing the Help section in the ADU software menu.

Setting Air Direct WiFi as your default WiFi network will help to automatically connect when the Air Direct is on. This is helpful in locations with many WiFI networks like events or conferences. Also setting Air Direct as the default will also prevent disconnections in a location where another default network may already be established, like a studio or home network.

Mac OSX

open network preferences in top navigation bar on mac

Navigate to Wi-Fi > Open Network Preferences in the top navigation bar.

check automatically join this network then click advanced

This will open the network dialog window, check Automatically join this network, then click on “Advanced”.

Drag the Air Direct network to the top of the preferred wireless network lists

In the advanced settings, drag the Air Direct Wi-Fi network (AIR_DIRECT_XXX) to the top of the preferred wireless networks list. The network at the top has the highest priority.

Windows – Click the wireless icon in the notification area. Select the wireless network named “AIR_DIRECT_XXX”. Check the box for “Connect Automatically” and then click “Connect.” This automatically moves the network up the priority list.

IOS – There is no way to directly update the priority on an iOS device. To prioritize networks on iOS, use a Mac OSX computer that shares the same iCloud account as the iOS device. Update on the MAC computer and iCloud will sync to all other devices.

Android – Prioritize Wi-Fi networks must be done via an App. Available Apps included WiFi Prioritizer or Wi-Fi Switcher both which are free.

Yes, you can change the password in the ADU preferences section. Select Preferences, then Update Password.

You will need to reset the Air Direct device to the factory settings in order to reset the password to the default, 12345678. To Reset, power the Air Direct, either with a battery or the DC power cable. Wait until the power light and the Wi-Fi indicator light are solid. With a small pin, press the pin into the small pinhole on the side of the device and hold until the blue light begins to flicker. Remove the pin. The device is now Reset.

Transfer speeds will vary based on a number of factors including the tethering software, computer specifications and size of the image files being transferred. Air Direct operates on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz dual band frequencies and 802.11AC network protocol with transfer rates up to 443Mbps; up to 220Mbps throughput.

Air Direct can achieve transfer at up to 200 feet.  The 2.4gHz allows for longer distances. The 5gHz will give you faster transfer rates.

The included DC Power Cable provides flexibility to power the Air Direct with alternate power sources, and to hot-swap a discharged battery for a fresh battery. Other power sources you can use, depending on your application, include a USB battery bank or a USB wall adapter. Minimum output of the battery or wall adapter should be 5V/2A.

NOTE: Using the DC Power Cable will only power the Air Direct, it will not recharge the TT-LP-E6 battery.

Review the steps on bridging here.

Troubleshooting

Firewalls or security software could interfere with your connection. We recommend following the same best practices as when tethering with a cable. While shooting, disable any anti-virus software and/or firewalls. You may also want to disable Google Drive and Dropbox from syncing in the background. As always, run only one tethering software at a time for best result.

Tethering with the Air Direct to your computer is the same as tethering with a cable. Make sure you follow the same tethered workflow best practices when using the Air Direct – update your camera firmware, have only one tethering software program open at a time, disable antivirus software and/or firewalls. If connection cannot be made, reestablish the connection from camera to computer following the Quick Start Guide Steps.

The camera may be set to go into sleep mode after a predetermined time.  When a camera goes to sleep, whether tethered wireless or with a cable, it will lose connection with the device it is connected.  The camera’s sleep parameters can be adjusted in the camera’s menu settings.

The Air Direct device may also be disconnecting because there is a “Higher” priority known Wi-Fi network available. Best practices are to set your Air Direct as the highest priority network, so when the Air Direct is turned on, your computer or phone will stay locked on that network.  

To set the Air Direct as the default Wi-Fi network, check out this FAQ here. If you require internet access while using the Air Direct, you can Bridge.

There are many inexpensive after-market USB WiFi dongles that will upgrade legacy technology to the more recent 5GHz / Wireless 802.11ac standards.  Here are some options from Amazon.

Currently, the Air Remote Mobile Tethering App supports Canon and Nikons cameras only.

Please visit our Air Direct Installation Videos to guide you through the process.

Yes, bridging or connecting to your local router through the Air Direct allows you to tether to your software, while maintaining an Internet connection. Learn how to bridge through a Mac or a PC.

There are multiple warnings prior to beginning a firmware update. These warnings indicate power level requirements, which include a full battery charge or DC power and the need to let the process complete, uninterrupted. On hardware devices like Air Direct, an incomplete firmware update will mean the unit cannot function. Please contact technical support if you would like more information about the firmware update process.

Yes. For more detailed instructions on how to set this up with your Sony camera, read our helpful tech tip here.

Applications running in the background may interfere with the tethering software’s ability to connect with the camera.  This includes applications that are running in application windows, as well as applications running in the background and in the Taskbar or Menu Bar. Some types of applications that are known to cause issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Cloud software (i.e. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
  • Anti-Virus or Firewall (Defender, Avast, etc.)
  • Tethering Applications (Imaging Edge, Acquire, EOS Utility, etc.)

Check to make sure you only have one tethering software application open. Having multiple tethering software applications open at the same time can cause connection issues.  Some software, including many camera utility applications, may launch automatically and may only run in the Taskbar (Windows) or Menu Bar (MacOS).  These applications can attempt to automatically connect to the camera even if it is not clear that they are open.

Check for software running in the background:

It is a best practice to close all software that is not actively used in tethering. Check the Dock (MacOS) or Taskbar (Windows) as well as the Menu Bar (MacOS) or System Tray (Windows) to be sure no applications are running other than your intended tethering software.  The Activity Monitor (MacOS) or Task Manager (Windows) can be used to identify applications that are running in the background as well as to quit those applications.

Turn off Auto-Connect and Auto-Start features in camera software:

Some software applications have settings that allow the software to automatically launch at startup and/or launch or connect when the operating system recognizes a camera has been connected.  This can cause issues connecting your camera to your intended tethering software.  Be sure that any installed tethering software or camera utilities are not set to automatically start or automatically connect with the camera.

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