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

September 29th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to 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.


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.

  1. onebir
    September 29th, 2013 at 13:48 | #1

    I think it can also double as a backup battery for a phone/tablet?

  2. September 29th, 2013 at 16:03 | #2

    Yes, it should be as it can provide power to USB devices, just like you can charge your phone via the USB port of your laptop.

  3. Johny007
    September 29th, 2013 at 21:36 | #3

    I have TP-Link TL-MR3040, it’s nice but one important feature is missing – battery level. Is there a way to detect battery voltage in this router?

  4. Mike
    July 15th, 2015 at 19:08 | #4

    Purchased one today, flashed using the TP Link GUI, all indications were normal, rebooted – BRICK! Perhaps something’s changed on the hardware side making it incompatible with openWRT. At least can use as a phone back up battery….

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