Question: RICOH Official Support of USB-C Ethernet Adapter in THETA X?

Hi Craig

I was quite disappointed when V and Z1 lost such capability because it is forcing re-architecture my system that relied on such hack. So that’s why I am super excited to see that latest THETA X has this ability again per your recent blog RICOH THETA Ethernet

I don’t see an ability ask a question in that blog entry so I hope you don’t mind me to asking here since this is very related topic.

Do you know if streaming+charging over Ethernet is a supported feature of THETA X by RICOH or we might find in the future that RICOH developers will decide to disable it again in of their future firmware upgrade ?

Thank you for your time

@jcasman we need to add this to the agenda and ask RICOH about an official position regarding support of USB accessories, particularly Ethernet. It’s easy to understand that businesses will want to confirm that this feature will keep working in the future prior to deployment.

If RICOH can’t say that “Ethernet will work” because they can’t test a specific Ethernet device in a short-term, maybe they can put out more information on the USB-C specification support for generic accessories.

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Thank you @craig and @jcasman ! That would indeed be very helpful for us (GE Research) to know if we can rely on this capability for applications we are researching and building for our partners and customers.


On related note, would you mind sharing what make/model of USB-C Ethernet adaptor you used in the video you shared ?

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hi, @viktor.holova ,
for Z1 I’m able to use internet via USB C directly from a desktop computer, but also I used a Rasberry Pi in past to share internet by a USB C cable, if cable internet is important for some reason.

Thanks @biviel for sharing your experience. We also considered this approach and that probably would be a better long term solution, however, we have come to rely on using WebAPI over Ethernet and not camera’s WiFi so we are hoping to stay this course at least for now.

I am using this model with the THETA X, but that is only because I had it plugged into my MacBook Air and just had it on my desk. I don’t think there’s anything special about the Ethernet adapter. You may want to get one with Power Delivery (PD). I have not tested the unit for 24x7 use.

link in US

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hi, Viktor! I may not understand completely what you say here or I wasn’t clear enough. I was referring to using USB C cable with reverse tethering, so Z1 could consume internet via USB like via Ethernet.

@biviel Do you mean that Z1 is working with USB-Ethernet OTG adapter for you ? What firmware version are you using ? From my tests it did not work just like @craig experienced here

This is what I was referring to:

and my plugin was able to connect to internet via USB cable and charge too at the same time. I made it to work to connect to a PC but also to a RAspberry Pi via USB directly and use the internet of Pi or PC.

To make clear USB C cable was plugged into Pi/desktop USB too, so internet access was shared between 2 USB ports.


@viktor.holova , can you advise on the use case?

Are you interested in using the Ethernet adapter instead of the USB API because you want to run the WebAPI over an USB cable to gain more features such as plug-in and stitching control?

Are you building some type of device such as a robot or is the camera functionality like a type of IoT visual monitoring node on a network and streaming video?

If you are streaming, there may be additional considerations with heat.

@craig Today’s prototype system consists of 2 elements - remote inspection robot with the camera and “ground control” station/laptop running our inspection software (BTW, the robot is remotely controlled by a separate system that has nothing with our inspection software on the laptop)

Due to various historical reasons we currently don’t have any embedded computers (e.g. Raspberry Pi) inside of the robot but rather we use wireless bridge between the robot and laptop. Benefit of wireless bridge is that our laptop can connect to camera’s IP as if the camera is directly connected to the laptop via USB-Ethernet adapter.

Therefore, for today’s system we rely on WebAPI over USB-Ethernet adapter (within robot) which is connected to the wireless bridge transmitter within robot. That is, ground control laptop is calling camera’s WebAPI and it is wirelessly (via wireless bridge) getting to the camera on the robot

I hope I describe clearly enough

For a long term we might go to embedded computer scenario but for now we need to keep described architecture hence wondering if USB-Ethernet adapter will be supported in the future - at least for THETA X

Thanks for your attention and help


Thank you @biviel for your time sharing trying to help me understand potential solutions. Please see my latest response to @craig where I describe our use case


Hi, @viktor.holova ,
thanks for sharing details. Clearly the week point here is the USB Ethernet adapter which doesn’t work anymore, right? There are 2 potential solutions for your use case as I see, mainly using Z1, but I’ve a few questions,

  1. how far is the robot from laptop usually? You use 2.4Ghz Wifi I guess.
  2. What is the FPS and video resolution that you need during this live stream?
  3. Is Z1 used to provide a low latency video stream to your laptop and you “drive” the robot by using the image coming from Z1? What is the latency for you right now? ~1 second is good for you?
  4. What is the typical environment temperature around robot and Z1?
  5. is there a sample footage/video on YouTube or else that I could look at?
  6. how long do you need to watch camera usually?
  7. Do you need to stop and start camera several times during work?


Thank you @biviel . We will work on next version when we get more budget for this project however that all depends on RICOH officially supporting (or not) USB-Ethernet adapter

@craig Would you know any approximate time frame RICOH would be able to answer the question ? Thank you

@viktor.holova , I was looking into to make a modification on my plugin for you, if it would be sufficient for your needs and for free, that’s why I asked those questions to understand better if it could replace easily existing solution you have or not. Making this work through Plugin Camera API may be more powerful, could get much better quality image compared to WebUI, but clearly up to you.

to make it clear: if with minor changes in my plugin I could help you I would do it for free, if it would involve more changes I would not do it at all as I’m quite busy. :slight_smile:

@biviel. I understand. Thank you. Is your plug-in listed on the store somewhere ? Just wanted to understand our options a bit more so we can design next stage of the project appropriately

There is a preliminary, old version, but won’t be useful for you now. HDR Wireless Live Streaming | RICOH THETA Plug-in Store I started to build it years back and did lot of improvements, changes, alpha testing is in progress for 2 months now by me and some other professionals. I try to cover lot of use cases and my aim goal is actually my web/platform where I’m building much more features, which aren’t exposed yet. For just doing live streaming, it may work without my website too. In plugin some features are covered like, support for RTMP, RTSP, SRT protocols , HDR live preview, which provides better quality image especially in darker environments. To see if it would work for your use case at all I may need some answers to my questions I asked you…

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We’re meeting with a manager today, but I don’t think he’ll be able to give an indication of the support for USB-C accessories like Ethernet unless the information is already publicly available.

If the information is already published, we can answer quickly. If the information is not already published, it may take a longer amount of time for RICOH to publish something, possibly on their support FAQ.

You can try and open a support question with the official customer support web form.

Ideally, the response would appear on this X FAQ once we get an official response.

There is this type of official response about USB switches.

I would like to get a clear response about Ethernet.

Can try and fill out the form in parallel to my discussions with a RICOH manager?

It’s a big company.

Thank you @craig. It is very helpful. I will create support ticket as well. I certainly understand that large size company plays the role. I work for a large company myself :slight_smile:
Whatever you can find out today would be great. At least you will be able to communicate such need on some level. RICOH apparently had sufficient network software that worked well for V and Z1 and works for X now. I think having wired TCP/IP communication as an alternative to WiFi (that might be susceptible to interference) would be a nice feature for the camera. This would help with communicating over WebAPI and plug-ins that can deliver data over network (e.g RTPS stream)