Hacker Gets Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter to Play Nice with the D800

Hardware security guru Joe Fitz has successfully hacked the WU-1a wireless mobile adapter to be compatible with the Nikon D800. “Why would anyone want to do this?” you might ask. Well, to get the same features, you could also buy a Nikon UT-1 Communication Unit for $470 and Nikon WT-5A Wireless Transmitter for $580 — a combined total of $1050. The Nikon WU-1a, designed for the entry-level D3200, costs just $58!

Fitz was able to reverse-engineer the device and get it working with his officially-incompatible DSLR. He can now use Nikon’s special smartphone app to view his camera’s LiveView, snap photos through it, and do wireless file transfers.

Sadly, the hack isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll need quite a bit of technical know-how in order to carry it out yourself. Just to give you an idea of what it involved, check out these photos and diagrams of in-between steps:

If these images make sense to you — or even get you excited — you should check out Fitz’s slideshow presentation on how he carried out the hack.

Here’s a quick video showing the Nikon WU-1a working with Fitz’s D800, and snapping a photograph through the smartphone app:

Fitz says that the Nikon WU-1a has worked with every Nikon DSLR he has tried so far, but not with Nikon point-and-shoots or cameras by other manufacturers. He’s planning on developing the hack more, and is looking for hardware and software people to help out.

Hacking the Nikon WU-1a [Joe Fitz via Nikon Rumors]

Image credits: Photographs by Joe Fitz

  • Ian McCausland

    awesome this means someone, perhaps in China will make a 3rd party device that works and doesn’t cost an ARm and a leg. I own the WT-4 and can’t get it to work with my D800 to save my life.

  • Dave Wilson

    The fact that this has been done is proof that companies like Nikon and Canon and whoever else are charging WAY TOO MUCH for the things we want to be using.

  • Baaxee

    Yet another proof that camera manufacturers overcharge you just because thay can let’s hack them away mercilessly.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    It boils down to how much the customer’s willing to pay.

    How much more can you squeeze out of somebody who has already shelled out $3000 for the camera?

  • Mansgame

    The ebay stuff is pretty good. I got an IR remote for like $5 after losing the $25 one I had from Nikon. Just as good.