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Posts Tagged ‘tplink’

$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

TP-Link TPmini “Android-on-TV” Box Features 2MP Webcam

April 29th, 2013 No comments

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve started to see more and more Android media player with a camera that can be apposed on top of your TV such as the Archos TV Connect. Let’s call them “Android-on-TV” boxes / media players. Several Chinese manufacturers are also selling this type of device, but none of them have brand recognition in the West. TP-Link, however, is relatively well known for its cheap routers, and the company has introduced the TPmini powered by a dual core processor with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, and a 2.0MP camera.

TP-LInk_TPminiHere are the specs of the device:

  • SoC – Dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor @ 1.6 GHz + Quad core ARM Mali 400 GPU (They did not say, but it looks like Rockchip RK3066 to me)
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash + microSD slot (Up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3
  • Connectivity:
    • 10/100M Ethernet
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Camera – 2.0 MPixel
  • Power Supply – 12V/1A

The device runs Android 4.1, supports DLNA, and the company provides a remote apps to control the box from an Android smartphone or tablet.

Liliputing reports TP-Link TPmini will soon be available in China for about $56.

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TP-Link WR703N – $23 Hackable openWRT Wi-Fi 802.11N Router

July 19th, 2012 17 comments

TP-Link WR703N is a tiny 802.11N 150 Mbps Wi-Fi router smaller than a credit card (5.7 x 5.7 cm) and 1.8 cm thick based on Atheros AR7240 processor with 4 MB flash and 32 MB RAM. It costs just above $20 US and can be hacked with openWRT. It features one USB host connector that allows you to connect USB devices (USB flash drive, printer…) to it.

Low cost openWRT router

TP-Link TL-WR703N

TL-WR703N Specifications:

  • Atheros AR7240 CPU @ 400Mhz (MIPS24k core)
  • Atheros AR9331 Chipset (integrated wireless)
  • 10/100 Mbit Ethernet port
  • 802.11 b/g/n 150Mbps
  • 3G support via external USB dongle
  • 4 MB flash memory
  • 32 MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 port
  • micro-USB port for power
  • Dimension – 5.7 x 5.7 x 1.8 cm

All you need is a USB to TLL board to access the serial console, open the box to access the serial pins (TP_IN and TP_OUT) and follow the instructions on openWRT website to convert it into a Linux router.

You can do all sort of things with this board such as an home automation system, a printer server (there may be limits to the document size due to the lack of memory), a sensors gateway and more. It is powered via USB and only consumes 0.5W on average.

The router is available for $23 including shipping on Dealextreme, Aliexpress and eBay, and comes with a power supply and a micro USB to USB cable. You can get further information on the device on TP-Link website (in Chinese).

Via DangerousPrototypes

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

Can You Really Boost your Wifi Router Signal with a Beer Can?

September 15th, 2011 1 comment

I’ve recently come across an interesting and amusing story entitled “Boost Your WiFi Signal Using Only a Beer Can”  on discovery channel website. I’ve said to myself that I’ve got to try with my WiFi router.

The interesting part is that my WiFi router (TP-LINK TL-WR940N) has 3 antennas, so I had to diligently drink three beer cans (LEO brand,  the best local beer in Thailand). Once this was done, I had all that I needed, besides a pair of scissors, a utility knife and some double faced tape.

TP-LINK TL-WR940N - LEO Beer

The Wifi Router and the Beer Cans

The next step was to clean the beer cans, let them dry and cut the bottom and top of the beer cans as described on discover channel blog post. There is no dotted red line on LEO beer cans, but there are yellow horizontal lines that make this can perfect for the job. After less than 5 minutes of hard work, I had my first “beer can antenna” as shown below (and strongly considered drinking another one as a reward for my work).

LEO Beer cut for Wifi Router

Beer Can "Wifi Antenna"

So I could try it on the router and realized it would not be practical to use 3 beer cans on this router, and that only two would do. Sorry, my bad. But I think I’ll get over it.

I then cut my second beer can WiFi antenna and installed then on my router by fixing them with double faced tape.

TPLink TL-WR940N with LEO Beer

Wifi Router with 2 Beer Can Antennas

As you can see, this looks absolutely gorgeous, but the router is wall-mounted in the living room and unfortunately not everybody appreciates arts in the house, so it may not stay that way very long.

So this was done, but my “work” was not complete as I wanted to measure the Wi-Fi signal strength improvement or if there was actually any improvement at all.

I chose 5 strategic locations in and around the house to measure signals:

  • Location 1 aka the “sala”  (Sala (ศาลา) means Pavilion in Thai).
  • Location 2 aka the bedroom.
  • Location 3 aka the wife’s office.
  • Location 4 aka the neighbor’s house.
  • Location 5  aka my “playroom”.

I did some measurement with iwconfig in Ubuntu before adding the beer can to the router with the command:

iwconfig | grep “Signal level”

Here are the initial measurements:

  • Location 1: -50 dBm (Quality: 60/70)
  • Location 2: -41 dBm (Quality: 69/70)
  • Location 3: -58 dBm (Quality: 52/70)
  • Location 4: -83 dBm (Quality: 25/70)
  • Location 5: -32 dBm (Quality: 70/70)

I did some measurements with the beer as shown above, but there was some improvements in some locations but results were not that great, probably because the signal of the middle antenna was blocked by the beer cans, so I adjusted the middle antenna to be horizontal and made the beer cans vertical so that it looks that way:

TL-WR940N Router with Beer Can Antenna

Wifi Router with Beer Can Antennas (Vertical Position).

The beer cans make the signal directional so the signal would be likely to gain strength where the can are pointed to and lose in the other direction. I pointed the left can (on the picture) towards my wife office (location 3) and the right can towards my neighbor’s house (location 4) since I’m such a lovely bloke. Location 5 is between the router and location 3.

Here are the measurements with the beer-can improved-wifi-router:

  • Location 1: -50 dBm (Quality: 60/70) – Difference: 0 dBm.
  • Location 2: -50dBm (Quality: 60/70) – Difference: -9 dBm.
  • Location 3: -53 dBm (Quality: 57/70) – Difference: +5 dBm.
  • Location 4: -77 dBm (Quality: 30/70) – Difference: +6 dBm.
  • Location 5: -30 dBm (Quality: 70/70) – Difference: +2 dBm.

So WiFI signal strenght can be improved with a beer can. But this should only be used, if you have specific areas (or directions) where the signal should be made stronger as other place will lose signal strength.

 

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Categories: Testing Tags: beer, tplink, wifi