To be useful, this app requires access to a Science On a Sphere® (SOS)
installation. For further information about SOS, see our web
site. The app does nothing interesting until it is
connected to a running SOS system.
The app requires Wi-Fi access to the SOS computer that is being controlled
(specifically TCP port 2468).
There are two basic approaches to getting that Wi-Fi access. The first is to
use the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure at your site. The second is to add a Wi-Fi
router to your SOS installation. In either case, you will want to consult with
your network and security team for advice on the best approach for Wi-Fi
connectivity at your site. In extreme cases, Wi-Fi network security policies
may entirely preclude the use of the SOS Remote App. A direct connection to a
dedicated Wi-Fi router is preferred for performance reasons, since the remote
control protocol is “chatty” and sends lots of messages back and forth between
the iPad and the SOS computer.
If your site has an existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, you may be able (or required
by policy) to use it to connect to your SOS system. The details of this will be
specific to your site, so you will need to consult with your networking team for
the specifics at your site. Many sites have multiple Wi-Fi networks, typically
a low-security one for visitors and casual access, and one or more high-security
for access to internal computers at the site. You will want to use the one that
provides network access to your active SOS computer (TCP port 2468). There will
be network passwords and/or VPN instructions that are specific to your site. See
your network team for the details.
For the most responsive control of your SOS system by the app, you can connect a
Wi-Fi router directly to your SOS computer. Doing this in a secure way requires
some network expertise, so be sure to consult with your network team before
attempting this. You may need to select a Wi-Fi channel that doesn’t conflict
with other Wi-Fi networks, for example. Using the minimum transmitter power that
you need is always a good idea. And WPA2 encryption is probably the minimum
level of encryption you will want to use. You might want to turn off the beacon
identifier for your Wi-Fi router to make it less obvious to casual visitors at
your site. You might also consider limiting access to the specific MAC
addresses of your portable devices. The details of router configuration are
beyond the scope of this document, so consult with your network team when in
The SOS computer has two network interfaces: one to the external Internet, and
one for a private subnet. The private subnet provides maximum security in the
event your router is compromised, since the private network doesn’t allow
connecting beyond the SOS computer.
Alternative to the Wi-Fi approach described above, a Bluetooth connection can be
used to connect the app to the SOS computer. This is a two step process.
First, the SOS computer has to be configured to use a Bluetooth Personal Area
Network (PAN), and then the iPad has to be paired with the SOS computer. For
full instructions on setting up Bluetooth, please see the Connecting the iPad to
the SOS Server via Bluetooth guide.