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Connecting to VMAX A1 (2.1 MP) Using Pathfinder

Connecting to VMAX® A1 (2.1 MP) Using Pathfinder


Affected Roles:  Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Mobile (iOS only)

Complexity:  Medium

Software Version:  v8. or later

Last Edit:  June 22, 2021



The P2P PathFinder function lets you securely view your system on your iOS® devices by scanning a QR code in the recorder’s settings menu. PathFinder allows users to connect, view, playback and search video from their DW® video surveillance solutions with no need for complicated port forwarding.

This article will outline how to enable Pathfinder on your VMAX® A1 recording unit and how to connect with DW Mobile (iOS).

**NOTE:  Pathfinder is a P2P (peer-to-peer) service which requires a strong Internet connection.  If your Internet connection is slow, you are using a Firewall or SonicWall, or are using a VPN, you may encounter connection issues through the Pathfinder function.

If you are using a Firewall or SonicWall, use of a direct connection or DDNS, outlined in Network Setup For A VMAX A1 (2.1 MP), is recommended instead.

**NOTE:  Pathfinder is only available for the 2nd generation VMAX® A1. You can identify if your model is from the supported generation by locating the product label on top of the unit and confirming that the serial number starts with “HDR”.

PathFinder™ End-of-Life (EOL)

Please be aware that the previous PathFinder v1.0 utility in the VMAX A1 models will have been replaced as of January 17, 2022.

PathFinder v1.0 remained available for use up until January 2022.  The newer PathFinder v2.0 service ONLY supports the VMAX A1 Plus (5 MP) and VMAX IP Plus recorder models. VMAX A1 (2 MP) legacy models may still use direct-connection (IP address, DDNS) for remote connections through a mobile device.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX® A1 Series (2.1 MP)

Activating Pathfinder

To enable Pathfinder:

  1. At the VMAX® A1, log in as the Administrator
    • Default ID:  admin
    • Default Password:  <no password>
  1. Right-click with the mouse and select Setup Menu.

Select Network, then select Pathfinder.

  1. Click on the Pathfinder Use dropdown and select On.

Click the Save button to apply the change.

**NOTE:  If the Pathfinder Status does not show that the status is successful, confirm that the firmware of the VMAX® A1 is up-to-date and check the Network settings for any errors.

If your network is using a Firewall or SonicWall, the Pathfinder service will not be able to communicate with the P2P service.

Setting Up DW Mobile (iOS)

To connect your DW Mobile (iOS) application to the VMAX® A1 through Pathfinder:

  1. If you have not already done so, download and install DW Mobile from the App Store.

**NOTE:  Legacy VMAX Mobile (DW Mobile for Android) does not support Pathfinder.

  1. Launch the DW Mobile application.

The Home screen will display your created sites.

Click on the Add button to create a new site.

  1. The Site Info window will display.

Click on the QR button.

If prompted, allow the application access to your device’s camera.

Scan the Pathfinder QR code from the Pathfinder menu on the VMAX® A1.  The Pathfinder ID will autofill in the IP/Address field.

  1. Fill out the remaining fields for the site.
  • Device Name:  how the site will be labeled in the application
  • Network Port:  TCP/IP Port of the recording unit (default – 80)
  • User ID:  the user ID of the recording unit (default – admin)
  • Password:  the password of the recording unit (default - <no password>)
  • Location Address:  optional setting; has no effect on connectivity and can be left blank
  1. Click the Save button to apply the changes.

If there are no connection issues with the VMAX® A1, a confirmation message will display and your site will display in the Sites List.

  1. Click the Home button.

Click on Monitoring.  At first you may not see any cameras and must connect with the site you have just created. To do so, swipe from left to right at the left edge of the screen to prompt the Sites List to display.

Drag and drop your site into the viewing area to display video.

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  • 14-Mar-2022