Home > Hardware, Linux, Video > $14 Marstek MPR-N9 WiFi/3G Router with 2,400 mAh Battery

$14 Marstek MPR-N9 WiFi/3G Router with 2,400 mAh Battery

One of my readers (Onebir) brought Poray M3 mini Router to my attention a few days ago, as it just cost $17 at the time (now over $20) and OpenWRT developer Squonk seems very interested about it since it features microSD and SD card slots missing in TL-WR703N. However, the device only has 16 MB memory which makes it somewhat difficult to run OpenWRT, or at least some of its features.

But today, I’m not going to talk about this. Mentions of Poray M3 router came in HAME MPR-A1 OpenWRT forum thread, and I discovered a new (to me) type of low cost, small form factor device: portable Wi-Fi/3G routers. Those devices are about the size of android mini-PC and contain the chips to handle Wi-Fi, USB host (for external 3G dongle), and comes with a built-in battery so that you can use them anywhere (beach, mountain, car…), as long as there is 3G coverage. You can also use them as a battery bank for your mobile phone. HAME MPR-A1 is built around Ralink RT5350 (like Poray M3), comes with a 1,800 mAh battery, has some limited support for OpenWRT (Wi-Fi experimental support just hit github a few hours ago), and costs about $24 on DealExtreme. You can also get it for around $19 on Aliexpress.

If you haven’t come across this type of device before, you may want to have a look at HAME MPR-A1 video review  below (~10 minutes) to find out what it’s capable of, and have a look at the user interface.

I’ve been searching for the cheapest Wi-Fi/3G router with built-in battery, and Marstek MPR-N9 router is the cheapest I could find at $13.90 on Aliexpress from a seller that has decent feedback.Marstek MPR-N9

I could not find the processor used in the device, but the key features are as follows:

  • Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g/n (150Mbps)
  • Ethernet – 10/100 Mbit port used as WAN or LAN
  • 3G – Supports HSPA/HSPA+,EVDO A/B, TD-SCDMA dongles
  • USB – Micro USB plug for charging + standard USB port for 3G dongles
  • Battery – 2,400 mAh (Working time: 4-6 hours; Standby time:10 hours)
  • Dimensions – 6.1×2.3×1.5cm
  • Weight – 71g

The package includes the router, a USB cable and a user manual. The router is said to support up to 20 users simultaneously, and can be used as an external battery for devices that can be charged via an USB OTG port. Please note that the seller indicates a 2,400 mAh battery in the title and picture, but 1,800 mAh in the description. Other sites all indicate 2,400 mAh for MPR-A9. One user has reported that many 3G dongles appear to work with this router, but Huawei E173 Evo 3G dongle does not work, although it works fine when connected with MPR-A1.

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  1. onebir
    January 14th, 2013 at 15:53 | #1

    I think the Poray’s SD and micro SD card slots are just wired so it works as a card reader when it’s connected to a PC by USB, so RAM issues aside, it’s much less interesting than I thought :(

  2. onebir
    January 15th, 2013 at 01:15 | #2

    A (n unfortunately more expensive) alternative to the Hame is the TP-Link TL-WDR4310. AFAIK it’s almost the same as the TL-703N (plus a battery & switch). So the OpenWrt support should be sorted out more easily (if it’s not already). Here’s the [url=https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=36534]relevant thread[/url].

  3. onebir
    January 15th, 2013 at 01:21 | #3

    Sorry – got my routers confused just now! I should have mentioned Tp-Link TL-MR11U (not WDR4310).

  4. Sander
    January 15th, 2013 at 02:48 | #4

    I think “3G Router” is a bit confusing: AFAIK has no 3G built in, right? You have to put in a 3G dongle to make it 3G enabled?

  5. onebir
    January 15th, 2013 at 03:07 | #5

    @Sander
    Yep – it’s confusing. They’re often called that on the sellers websites though.

  6. January 15th, 2013 at 09:44 | #6

    @Sander
    It does not have any built-in 3G, but as onebir said they all sell it saying it’s a Wi-Fi/3G router. I guess because it’s the main purpose of the device.

  7. January 27th, 2013 at 01:27 | #7

    Just got my Marstek MPR-N9 yesterday. It has the same processor (RT5350), 16 Mb RAM.

    In fact, the boot message shows:

    Welcome to “HAME” HameData Technology Co., Ltd

    The battery is 3.7v, 2200 mAh, ICR 18650.

  8. January 27th, 2013 at 09:20 | #8

    @Yohanes Nugroho
    Great! If you tinker with it, let us know your progress with OpenWRT / DebWRT.

  9. sao
    February 6th, 2013 at 05:01 | #9

    I just got my Marstek MPR-N9. I get to use it as a travel wifi router (i.e. plug in wlan and NOT 3g dongle). I followed the instruction to set it as a wifi router using dynamic IP address, with no password. Both my ubuntu laptop and xp (!) machine can “connect” to the router, in the sense that I can wirelessly connect to 192.168.168.1, but otherwise I cannot actually get online. I also tried to use the default password and a few other settings, with no luck (the router was being charged as I did all these).

    This is driving me crazy… any help and advise welcome.

  10. February 6th, 2013 at 09:43 | #10

    @sao
    Can you ping or access public IP addresses (e.g. 74.125.224.72)? If so, it could just be a DNS issue.

  11. sao
    February 6th, 2013 at 13:36 | #11

    @cnxsoft

    Indeed! I can go online after I manually point the DNS server to google. THANKS!!

  12. Frans
    February 6th, 2013 at 15:30 | #12

    @sao

    Nice!

    Can you say something about the range of the wifi?

    @sao

  13. morten
    February 21st, 2013 at 19:45 | #13

    hi
    does anybody know marstek router wifi password or where can get manual in english ?

  14. ur002
    February 28th, 2013 at 16:12 | #14

    wifi password printed on a piece of paper glued to the device

  15. gurugopal
    March 28th, 2013 at 19:48 | #15

    @morten
    wifi password is “7c600508″ login password at 192.168.169.1 is admin

  1. February 10th, 2013 at 18:16 | #1