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Posts Tagged ‘openwrt’

WRTNode is a Hacker-Friendly Open Source Hardware OpenWRT Wi-Fi Module Selling for $25

August 20th, 2014 4 comments

There are now some tiny and low cost ($15 to $20) Wi-Fi modules supporting OpenWRT such as VoCore and AsiaRF AWM002. However due to their small size they may not be that hacker’s friendly as they can’t have 2.54mm headers due to heir small size, and I’ve recently received AsiaRF AWM002 only to find out it not only needs 3.3V supply voltage, but also 1.8V and 1.2V. So I’d need to make my own power circuit with the required LDOs, or purchase a $20 base board to use the module. Here comes WRTnode another larger Wi-Fi module but with more usable 2.54mm headers, and based on the more powerful Mediatek MT7620N processor @ 600MHz.

WRTnodeWRTnode hardware specifications:

  • Processor – Mediatek  MT7620N 600MHz MIPS CPU (MIPS24KEc)
  • System Memory – 64MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 2T2R 802.11n 2.4 GHz up to 300Mbps
  • Expansion Headers – 2x with access to  23GPIOs, JTAG, SPI, UART Lite, USB2.0 host
  • USB – 1x micro USB
  • Dimensions – 45mm x 50mm

OpenWRT is based on BARRIER BREAKER release with various patches (opencv 2.4.8, linino, …), demos (opencv, mechanical control, and RESTful), and source code available on github. The project also claims to “open hardware”, but for now they’ve only released the schematics (PDF), with the BoM and PCB layout being released layer. The board has apparently been designed by a company called DFRobot (TBC), and robotics projects and shields are planned for WRTnode, and “WRTnode IoT development framework SDK” will be released at a later stage with a graphical IDE, “enhanced AI algorithms”, RESTful, and more.

You can watch a demo with WRTnode running OpenCV and controlling uARM robotic arm to pickup coins, and move them into a cup.

They have already sold a few beta boards in China, but the module is not currently available for purchase, but it will sell for $25+ shipping on DFrobots, SeeedStudio, and a few other sites. You can find more information on WRTnode website.

Via Olof Johansson

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Kankun KK-SP3 Wi-Fi Smart Socket Hacked, Based on Atheros AR9331, Running OpenWRT

July 28th, 2014 1 comment

Kankun KK-SP3 is a $20 Wi-Fi smart socket that can be controlled via iOS and Android app. But one person created a Kankun community on Google+ to try to hack the device and control it from a PC, or from outside the home network for example. Up to now, the device has been opened, found to run OpenWRT, and one the member wrote a Windows app to control the socket from a PC. It is a basic smart socket, without power monitoring capabilities, and unless you start hacking the hardware, all you can do is basically turn it on and off.

Kaunkun KK-SP3 Board (Click to Enlarge)

Kankun KK-SP3 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The device is based on Qualcomm Atheros AR9931, found in many low cost routers supporting OpenWRT, and the socket indeed runs OpenWRT, which you can access via SSH or Telnet (username/password: root/admin). There’s 32MB RAM (Winbond W9425G6JH), and a 10A OMRON relay.

SmartPlug_App

SmartPlug Windows App

The smart socket actually communicates with the mobile app using the UDP protocol, but communication appears to be encrypted. So instead of trying to reverse-engineer the protocol, one member (Konstantin) found the relay was controlled by one of the LED GPIO, and provided instructions to access the device from the outside using a CGI file he built (relay.cgi) to control the relay.

Building up on relay.cgi, another member released SmartPlug.exe, a Windows program to control the socket from a PC. There are also more tips on the community such as instructions to access it from the Internet. Since routers based on Atheros AR9331 are quite popular, there are many instructions on the web, and you can find various way to improve the functionality of the device, for example by adding a USB port.

If you want to play around, you can purchase the plug on it can also be found on Aliexpress for as low as $19.99 including shipping, and If you live in China or use forwarding services, it’s available on Taobao for 99 RMB ($16). A new version, Smart Plug 2 (K2), appears to be in the works, with Wi-Fi and RF support, and two USB ports for motion sensing, camera, weather, and light sensor modules. I’ll cover it in another post, if I can find more information.

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AsiaRF AWM002 Wi-Fi Module and a Tiny IoT Server Kit Get Crowdfunded for $15 and Up

May 30th, 2014 13 comments

VoCore Wi-Fi module selling for $15 to $20, and it’s corresponding VoCore Dock with Ethernet has been quite popular, and at the time of writing, the project has already received $40,000 in funding with 50 more days to go. But if you’d rather get something for the same price, a few months early, and an already FCC/CE certified and proven module and tiny IoT server, AsiaRF has also launched a crowdfunding campaign for their AWM002 Wi-Fi module running OpenWRT on the same Ralink RT5350 found on the VoCore. as well as AWM002 Tiny Kit which adds Ethernet and USB, and a larger board with easier access to all ports and I/Os.

AsiaRF IoT Server with AMW002 Module

AsiaRF AWM002 Tiny Kit with AMW002 Module

As a reminder, let’s go through AWM002 specifications again:

AsiaRF AWM002 Module

AsiaRF AWM002 Module

  • SoC – Mediatek/Ralink RT5350 MIPS 74KEc core @ 360 MHz dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps, hardware NAT, QoS, TCP/UDP/IP checksum offloading.
  • System Memory – 32 MB
  • Storage – 8MB NAND flash (for firmware)
  • Security – 64/128-bits WEP, TKIP,WPA, WPA2,AES,WPS
  • Multi-modes – AP/Client
  • Antenna – 1x iPex connector (PIFA optional)
  • Transmit Power (EIRP)
    • 11n HT40 MCS7 : +14 dBm
    • 11b CCK: +20 dBm
    • 11g OFDM: +16 dBm
  • Receiver Sensitivity
    • -70dBm at HT40 MCS7
    • -78dBm at 54Mpbs
    • -90dBm at 11Mpbs
  • Headers
    • PIN I – 24-pin with access to GPIOS, 3.3V, 1.2V, GND, UART, USB, Ethernet..
    • PIN II – 16-pin with access to  I2C, I2S, PCM, Ethernet…
  • Power – +3.3V
  • Dimensions – 25x35mm
  • Certifications – FCC/CE
Large Base Board for AWM002 Module

Large Base Board for AWM002 Module

The module is already supported by OpenWRT, and provides access to various I/Os such as GPIOs, I2C, UART and so on. You could develop monitoring, communication or surveillance application, such as adding Wi-Fi to a USB printer, connecting a ZWave USB module to gather data from sensors, Wi-Fi IP Cameras, Wi-Fi speakers, adding Wi-Fi to Arduino, cloud storage servers, and so on.

AsiaRF is looking for $6,000 in funding (flexible funding Indiegogo campaign), and you can pledge as low as $15 (Early bird) for AWM002 module, after which it will be $23. The large base board without module goes for $35, and AWM002 tiny kit (pictures at the top of the post) can be had for $38. There are also perks to pledge for larger quantities, and even have your own RT5350 board being designed. Shipping is included to the US, Canada, Switzerland, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, India, and the Netherlands, and it’s $5 to the rest of the world. The campaign will complete by the end of June, and shipping is scheduled for July.

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Prpl Non-Profit Organization to Work on Linux, Android, and OpenWRT for MIPS based Processors

May 28th, 2014 5 comments

prplIn what looks like an answer, albeit fairly late, to Linaro, the non-profit organization working on open source software for ARM based SoCs, a consortium of companies composed of Imagination Technologies, Broadcom, Cavium, Lantiq, Qualcomm, Ingenic, and a few others, has funded Prpl (pronounced Purple), “an open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture—and open to others—with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures”.

The Prpl foundation will focus on three key objectives:

  • Portability – To create ISA agnostic software for rapid deployment across multiple architecture
  • Virtualization & security – To enable multi-tenant, secure, software, environments in datacenter, networking & storage, home, mobile and embedded
  • Heterogeneous Computing – To leverage compute resources enabling next generation big data analytics and mining

Initially there will PEG (Prpl Engineering Group) to take of the following projects for 4 market segments (datacenter, network & storage, connected consumers, and Embedded & IoT):

  • Linux -  Optimizations for enterprise, home and embedded Linux.
  • Android – Getting started with Android, and Android source code
  • Developer Tools – Used in conjunction with Android and Linux OS
  • Virtualization & Secure Supervisor – Secure multi-container frameworks
  • OpenWRT – Enabling carrier-grade features to complement OpenWRT
Arduino Yun

Arduino Yun

It also appears some low cost MIPS32 & MIPS64 development board and reference designs will be supported such as Newton wearable platform, Microchip chipKit WF32 board, and Arduino Yun.

Companies can join Prpl as Board Members or Contributors Members, and individuals can join the foundation for free to engage with the community and access source code and tools.

Since the the Prpl foundation has just been launched, there aren’t any tools or software available right now, but if you are interested in MIPS development, and possibly other architecture which may be part of Prpl later on, you can get more information and/or join the foundation on Prpl Foundation Website.

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$15 Open Source Hardware VoCore Wi-Fi Module Runs OpenWRT (Crowdfunding)

May 22nd, 2014 7 comments

There are already low cost Wi-Fi modules that can be used for the Internet of Things such as AsiaRF AWM002 and Hi-Link HLK-RM04. However, AsiaRF mainly caters to companies, and the Hi-Link module has a limited memory (16MB), which may or may not be an issue depending on your application. VoCore Wi-Fi module could prove to be an interesting option as it is the same $15 to $20 price range, runs OpenWRT with 32 MB RAM, will be open source hardware, and provides up to 20 GPIOs in a tiny (25x25mm) form factor.

VoCoreVoCore Wi-Fi module specifications:

  • SoC – Ralink/Mediatek RT5350 MIPS processor @ 360MHz with dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps
  • System Memory – 32 MB RAM
  • Storage – 8MB SPI Flash (for firmware) / 16 MB on limited edition
  • Available Signals (Via through holes):
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • USB
    • UART, I2C, SPI
    • I2S, PCM
    • JTAG
    • Over 20 GPIOs
  • Power Pins – 3.3V, 1.8V, GND
  • Power Consumption – 200mA~210mA @ 5V (during ping)
  • Dimensions – 25×25 mm

The developers envisions the device to be used for applications such as Wi-Fi to USB bridges (for printers, scanners…), robot remote controls, portable VPN routers, wireless speakers and more. He also promised to release all hardware design files including schematics, PCB layout, bill of materials, as well as source code for the boot loader and openWRT.

VoCore Module with Dock

VoCore Module with Dock

The project is currently on Indiegogo (fixed funding) where the developer aims to gather at least $6,000 to complete development, and go ahead with mass-production to lower the unit cost of the board. An early bird pledge will allow you to get the board for $15,  after which it will go up to $20, and if you want the VoCore module with the Dock as shown above, you can pledge $40 to get a complete DIY kit (Soldering required) or $45 if you don’t feel like doing the assembly yourself. Shipping is free to the US and China, and an additional $3 anywhere else, with delivery scheduled for September and October depending on the perks.

The project’s progress can be followed on Vonger’s blog.

Thanks to Oliveira for the tip.

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$15 AsiaRF AWM002 & AWM003 Wi-Fi Modules Run OpenWRT, Expose GPIOs

April 28th, 2014 18 comments

This week-end I explained how to build a web server that could be used for automation and other Internet of things applications for less than $15 by combining an Arduino Leonardo with ECN18J60 Ethernet module. The hardware itself is cheap, but it may not always be convenient, or cost effective, to wire your house or office with Ethernet cables. One solution is to use Wi-Fi modules such as TI CC3000 evaluation module, an Electric Imp module, or Ariettea G25 + Wi-Fi board, but these usually cost between $30 to $50 in single quantity. AsiaRF AWM002 and AWM003 are low cost 802.11n Wi-Fi modules with access to GPIOs that could be an interesting alternative as they cost $15 + shipping, and even below $10 in quantities. The only difference between the two is that AWM003 supports more RAM (64MB vs 32MB).

AsiaRF_AWM002Here are the specifications for these modules:

  • SoC – Mediatek/Ralink RT5350 MIPS 74KEc core @ 360 MHz dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi with data Rate up to 150Mbps, hardware NAT, QoS, TCP/UDP/IP checksum offloading.
  • System Memory
    • AWM002 – 32 MB (default), 16MB optional
    • AWM003 – 64MB
  • Storage – 8MB NAND flash (default), options: 16MB, 8MB, and 2MB
  • Security – 64/128-bits WEP, TKIP,WPA, WPA2,AES,WPS
  • Multi-modes – AP/Client
  • Antenna – 1x iPex connector (PIFA optional)
  • Transmit Power (EIRP)
    • 11n HT40 MCS7 : +14 dBm
    • 11b CCK: +20 dBm
    • 11g OFDM: +16 dBm
  • Receiver Sensitivity
    • -70dBm at HT40 MCS7
    • -78dBm at 54Mpbs
    • -90dBm at 11Mpbs
  • Headers
    • PIN I – 24-pin with access to GPIOS, 3.3V, 1.2V, GND, UART, USB, Ethernet..
    • PIN II – 16-pin with access to  I2C, I2S, PCM, Ethernet…
  • Power – +3.3V
  • Dimensions – 25x35mm
  • Certifications – FCC/CE (by request)
AWM002 with Baseboard (Click to Enlarge)

AWM002 Connected to an Evaluation Kit (Click to Enlarge)

Apart from more details specs for AWM002 and AWM003 modules, there’s very little information on the manufacturer website with regards to software support and development. The good thing however is that it’s supported by OpenWRT, so you can run a known Linux distributions found in many low cost routers with the added bonus to have access to GPIOs. Instructions to load and configure the module can be found in the OpenWRT page.

I’ve been informed about these modules thanks to Jon, who happens to have contributed to OpenWRT support for the modules. He also mentioned that the board themselves comply with FCC, but you’d either need to include an FCC compliant antenna made by the company, or have your own certified again by the FCC. He also let us know that a $45 evaluation kit is available (shown above). Alternatively, a board (AP2620-P) powered by Mediatek MT7620 with Wi-Fi, two Ethernet ports, and easy access to GPIOs, I2C, SPI and more… can be purchased for $20 (sample price). The company claims it supports OpenWRT, and although I failed to find an OpenWRT Wiki page for this board, MT7620 is definitely supported by OpenWRT.

The only downside is that AsiaRF does not really cater to individuals. You may be able to get a few samples however. You need to fill a form to order, and shipping costs are not mentioned. Those two RT5350 modules could however be a good base to make low cost hobbyist boards with Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet for the Internet of things.

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$27 TP-LINK TL-MR10U is an Hackable OpenWRT Wi-Fi Router with a Power Bank

September 29th, 2013 3 comments

TP-Link WR703N is a cheap 802.11 b/g/n router (you can now get it for about $20) that can easily be hacked to run openWRT and for example, act as an home automation gateway, printer server and more.  But if you need a battery powered router for your application, TP-Link TL-MR10U,  based on similar hardware as TL-703WR, should be a better match as it comes with a 2600 mAh battery, and costs just about $27 on DealExtreme.

Here are the specifications of the devTPLink_TL-MR10Uice:

  • CPU – Atheros AR9331 CPU @ 400Mhz
  • System Memory – 32MB RAM
  • Storage – 4 MB Flash
  • Connectivity:
    • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
    • 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps
    • 3G support via external USB dongle
  • USB – USB 2.0 port + micro-USB port for power
  • Misc – Serial port access
  • Dimensions – 91mm x 43mm x 25.85mm(L x W x H)

The device comes with a microUSB cable and a user’s manual in English and Chinese.

TP-Link_TL_MR10U_PCB

TL-MR10U Internals (Click to Enlarge)

Instructions to install openWRT, perform hardware mods (including upgrading to 64MB RAM), and more are available on OpenWRT MR10U page. You can also visit TP-Link TL-MR10U page for further details about the product in Chinese.

If you need more battery capacity, another model called TL-MR12U comes with twice as much battery capacity (5200 mAh), but at $42 it does not seem as attractive price-wise.

Arnd who shared this product in G+ mini PC community, also mentioned that it could be used as a SqueezeBox slave when combined with a USB speaker, and after installing squeezeslave-alsa_1.2-r365AA_ar71xx.ipk.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux Tags: Linux, hack, mips, openwrt, router, tplink, wifi