Seems my force shows me a red light when I start it up with the wifi dongle removed. I am plugged in to the ethernet port and everything works fine via SCAL, but I’m wondering why the web interface at the device’s IP shunts me straight to the wifi settings. If I don’t have the dongle, can I no longer use the web interface?
The dongle is required for the Force to work, regardless of whether you’re connected wirelessly or wired OR using C3 for cutting or SCAL. It just needs to be plugged in all of the time.
That being said, if you choose to upgrade your Raspberry Pi to a newer model, such as the Pi 3B+ (which has its own Wi-Fi), then you no longer need that adaptor plugged in and your Force will boot up much faster. Depending on the size of the micro-SD card you use, it can be as fast as 20 seconds instead of the usual 98 seconds. It will also load files faster and appears to provide a more reliable connection.
Note that this is not an upgrade sold by KNK USA. One of our Force owners contacted me in February to see if I was interested in testing it out and I agreed. I also fully documented the procedure for those who might also be interested in upgrading. Here’s a link to that document: