Hey @westcoastdaz, thanks for laying out your scenarios in detail! It sounds like a cool project you have planned!
My question now is regarding scenario 3:
Internet is available via WiFi through a router. The customer will connect IP camera(s) via Ethernet with a via switch. The customer then needs to be able to interact with our hub via WiFi using a browser.
If Internet is available via WiFi through a router, how will the RPi know to connect to that SSID with credentials?
This is the purpose of the captive portal in the Wifi-Connect block, it will serve a captive portal via RPi WiFi AP and when connecting to that portal with a browser you can choose which local WiFi router AP for the RPi to connect to. Then the RPi will disable the onboard AP and connect to the router instead. This captive portal mode is enabled automatically when there is no existing Internet connection available.
This could work well for your scenario 3, but there may be an issue:
- When Wifi-Connect is running in captive portal mode via RPi AP, port 80 is required and your web services will not be available. This unfortunately breaks scenario 2.
- If you don’t use the Wifi-Connect block to avoid conflicts, you need some other method to tell the RPi which local WiFi router SSID/password to connect to while it is offline.
There may be a workaround though, what if you attached a USB WiFi adapter in addition to the onboard WiFi? This way you could create a NetworkManager connection profile to have one WiFi device always in AP listening mode, and the other always trying to connect to local WiFi routers. This avoid having to switch AP modes but obviously requires extra hardware.
Will these devices be moving around or will they be fixed on site once installed? Perhaps the local WiFi router SSID and credentials could be configured ahead of time?