The Victor Reader Trek GPS navigator and eBook Player media player offers access numerous GPS wireless capabilities. Like with the Victor Reader Stream 2, you can download firmware updates directly to it without a personal computer, play Internet radio stations, download talking books directly from the National Library Service for the Blind (NLS), get National Federation for the Blind (NFB) News Line updates, and listen to thousands of podcasts. The Trek continues the advance of the VictorReader family of devices further into the realm of a smart device, that offers complete accessibility to low-vision and blind users for the online services it offers.
However, all this new feature-function relies on a Wi-Fi network connection to work correctly. So, like other wireless devices, the Trek must be set to connect to Wi-Fi networks in your home, or anywhere you wish to use these cloud-based features. And, as is also the case, these wireless networks can change as you move your Trek from location to location, or you upgrade your WLAN router, but use a different network name (SSID) and / or password. In this post, we step through how to add a new wireless network to your Trek.
This original (first) generation of the Victor Reader Trek, features a voice style prompt system, and thus, has no screen. So with each instruction below, rather than showing pictures, we’ll quote what the Trek says as we execute each command.
If your Victor Reader had previously connected to a network at your current location, but no longer does, this could mean that that network is no longer broadcasting, its SSID has changed, or its password has been updated. In either case, you’ll need to program in a current in-range Wi-Fi network, as described below.
1. Turn on the Victor Trek
Press and hold the Power button, located on the left side panel, near the top, as shown next. Hold the button in until the unit vibrates. Release the button then.
The Trek then says, “Welcome to Victor Reader,” followed by a musical sound.
2. Turn Airplane Mode OFF
Skip to the next step if your Airplane Mode setting is already OFF. The Trek cannot connect to any wireless network with Airplane Mode enabled, since this deactivates the Wi-Fi chips inside.
To make sure that airplane mode is OFF, press and hold this round key, with the Wi-Fi symbol embossed on its face, until the Trek announces airplane mode state. Release when you hear the airplane mode announcement begin. If the announcement is, “Airplane mode ON,” then press and hold the button a second time, again releasing when you hear an announcement start. This announcement should be, “Airplane mode OFF.” Note that the online status lamp may begin to blink, which signifies that the Wi-Fi circuitry the Trek is now looking for any networks in its Saved Wireless Network list, that are in-range.
3. Observe that the Trek GPS Enabled Reader is not Connecting to any Wireless Networks
If the wireless network status lamp continues flashing for more than fifteen seconds, or remains dark even though you’ve turned airplane mode off, then the Trek is not able to connect to any in-range Wi-Fi access points that it knows about (those contained in its saved-networks list).
If you are blind, and cannot see the online status lamp, then just assume that if you haven’t heard the, “Connected to Wi-Fi,” voice message after half a minute or so, then the Trek has not connected yet, and is probably unable to establish a Wi-Fi link with the internet. Proceed in that case, to the next step, to enter a network to which the Trek WILL connect.
4. Bring Up the Online Bookshelf
Press and quickly release the Wireless key until you hear, “Online bookshelves.” If the Trek says, “Orientation,” or, “Offline bookshelves,” then quickly press and release the Wireless button again, until you hear “Online bookshelves.” You need to be in online bookshelf mode in order to access the wireless network settings as discussed below.
5. Scan for Available Wireless Networks
Press and quickly release the 7 key. This takes you into the Trek’s setup and configuration menus. It should say, “Menu, wireless.” If yours says, “Menu, navigation and playback,” then you need to repeat step 4 above, making sure that your Trek has been set to the online bookshelf.
However, if the Trek has announced that you’re now in the Wireless menu, then press and release the 8 or Down-Arrow key multiple times until you hear, “Scan for available connections.”
Then, press and release the # (Confirmation) key, located at the lower right corner of the numeric keypad.
After a short pause, the Trek announces the first in-range SSID that it found. This may or may not be your desired network, if your target network is not the only one that is visible to the Trek.
6. Find your Desired In-Range Wi-Fi Network in the List
If the network you want was not announced in the previous step, then move around in this list by pressing the 2 and 8 (Up and Down) keys, pausing briefly after each press, so that you can hear the current network name. Stop navigating when the Trek speaks your desired wireless network SSID.
Note that like the older Victor Reader Stream 2, the Trek does not see 5 Ghz. wireless networks. Only in-range 2.4 Ghz. ones appear in the available networks list.
Press the Confirm (#) key when you hear it. This “chooses” your desired network. The Trek will then prompt you for the password for the Wi-Fi network you just selected.
7. Enter the Network Password if Prompted
If the network you’ve chosen requires a password (and we hope all of your Wi-Fi networks do), the Victor Reader will ask you for it by saying, “Enter password.”
Use the numeric keypad to enter the password, by pressing each key the right number of times in order to reach the desired character. For example, to enter the letter ‘c’, press the 2 key three times. For the letter ‘s’, press the 7 key four times. After pressing the right number of times, pause briefly, and the Trek will say the letter you entered. If this is not right, use the Back (rewind) key to move the insertion point to the wrong character. Then, enter the correct one. If you need the character to be uppercase (passwords are case sensitive), then prior to entering that character, press the Book Mark key (the Book Mark key is the diamond shaped one, located at the top right corner of the keyboard, just to the right of the Wireless key).
When you’ve entered all the password characters, press the Confirm (#) key. This initiates connection to the selected Wi-Fi network.
When the Trek establishes successful connection, it announces, “Connected to <wireless network name>.” The Trek then asks you to enter a nickname for this connection.
8. Enter a Nickname for this Wireless Network
Once the new connection has been successfully established, the stream may prompt for a network nickname by saying, “Enter a nickname for this network.” Such names might include Home, Work, Sisters, and so on.
Again, use the numeric keys as described above in step 7, to “type in” a short but memorable name for your new network connection.
The Victor Trek then says, “Connected to <nickname>.”
It may then say, “Please wait.” one or more times, while it checks the Humanware website for software updates. This pause is short however.
9. Test Out your New Wireless Connection
If you wish, you can verify that your new internet connection is working, by running the “Validate Connection,” menu item. This will only work if your Trek is connected to a Wi-Fi access point that also provides Internet access. This option attempts to download a small file from a known internet site, and if your network connection was made successfully, and the Wi-Fi network you used has internet access, this test will succeed.
Do this as follows. Press the Exit Menu (the star (*) key). The Trek should say, “Leaving menu.”
Then, press and release the 7 key to enter the online settings menu.
Next. repeatedly press and release the 2 or 8 keys until you hear the Trek say, “Validate connection.”
Then, press the Confirm (#) key. The Trek then says, “Completed.” Then, it announces the date and time that the test file was successfully downloaded from Canada.
Enjoy, you’ve now successfully changed wireless networks on your Victor Reader Trek eBook player and talking GPS navigator.
The comments in this piece apply to Victor Reader Treks that are running Version 1.1.3, Model 513 Trek, of the US English firmware.
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- 2018-02-11: Originally published.