iPad (mini) Networked without Wifi!

In the previous post, I described how to use the iPad (or iPad mini) as a networked audio player. A key ingredient was to have a good wifi connection for the iPad. It never occurred to me that you can have a hard-wired (ethernet cable) internet connection for the iPad, but guess what, you can! I came across this article a few hours ago: http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/10/video-connect-your-ipad-to-the-internet-via-ethernet-cable-with-this-easy-hack/.

Now, the 9to5mac article describes connecting your iPad directly (using a powered usb hub and appropriate cables) to a router. I found that I could connect the iPad to a powerline ethernet adaptor (instead of directly to the router).

It looks like this:

Slide4

Notice that there are 3 connections to the powered USB hub: the ethernet connection (via ethernet to USB adapter cable), the connection to the USB DAC (or in my case, DAC bridge), and the connection to the iPad (with USB cable plus USB to lightning adaptor).

Let’s review the components I used and connections:

*** Components ***
iPad (mini) with lightning port
apple lightning to USB adapter cable + USB cable
powered USB hub (I use D-link DUB-H4)
apple USB to ethernet adaptor cable + ethernet cable
Bel Canto mlink plus USB cable (to connect to powered hub) plus coax cable (to connect to DAC)
pair of powerline Ethernet adapters (one connected to router, one connected near iPad)

*** Connections ***
the powered hub is connected to an AC (power) outlet
the iPad connects to the powered hub via lightning to USB adapter plus USB cable
the powerline Ethernet near the router is plugged into an AC outlet, and then connected to the router with an ethernet cable
the powerline Ethernet near the iPad is plugged into an AC outlet, and then connected to the USB powered hub using an ethernet cable plus USB to ethernet adaptor
the Bel Canto mLink connects to the powered hub with a USB cable, and connects to a non-USB DAC with coax cable

The advantage of this approach over the wifi approach (previous post) is there is no need to have an Airport Express (or other wifi router) running bridge mode near the iPad. However, it can be an advantage to have Airport Express as it creates a local wifi that can be used by other devices as well as the iPad.

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