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

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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The Cageybee
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The Cageybee

1mm headers? Not very hobbyist friendly. 🙁

deets
Guest
deets

Plus no RF shielding so no modular certifications.

Mongrol
Guest
Mongrol

and ironically, it’ll need firmware blobs to run. So hardly open at all.

zoobab
Guest

@Mongrol
Can you tell us what kind of blobs? I am curious to see how it supports ad-hoc mode, and other special wifi modes, like VAPs or ad-hoc demo.

Member

@zoobab I don’t believe anyone has gotten Adhoc mode to work on the RT5350. RT5350 is almost identical to RT3050/3052, it just has an integrated PA.

He is using OpenWRT. You can check out the code here = https://openwrt.org/
RT5350 has been in OpenWRT for years.

Member

Poking around a little I think it can run Adhoc, but not simultaneously with AP/STA. That is a main advantage to the AR9331 and why all of the BATMAN people use Atheros.

trackback

[…] 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. […]

trackback

[…] VoCore, a proposed one-inch-square Linux computer with wifi being crowdfunded at indiegogo, has raised […]

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[…] mini PCs community. Some OpenWRT routers such as TPLink WR703N selling for about $20, or the VoCore Wi-Fi module selling for about the same price (Wi-Fi only) were parts of the answers, and I also mentioned some […]

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[…] 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 […]

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[…] some reasons, Wi-Fi modules are pretty popular this year. After modules such as VoCore, AsiaRF AWM002, and ESP8622, here’s come xWifi. This module is based on Mediatek MT7681 SoC […]

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[…] point of view, Zero+ (Zero Plus) board looks very much like many other Ralink RT5350 boards such as Vocore or AsiaRF AWM002, but what makes it different is that it can be programmed with Lisp from a […]

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[…] VoCore […]

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[…] already, here’s another one with Black Swift. The board runs OpenWRT, is a little larger than Vocore, smaller then WRTnode, is based on Atheros AR933, provides access to lots of I/Os via headers, and […]

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[…] Linux based SinoVoIP BPI-D1 recording up to 720p30 videos, and an upcoming mini camera for VoCore Wi-Fi module. There’s now another project called OpenMV, and open source camera for machine […]

GreenWire-Elektronik
Guest

The Cageybee :
1mm headers? Not very hobbyist friendly.

Just use this Breakout Board:

https://www.tindie.com/products/GreenWE/vocore-breakout-board/

trackback

[…] I/Os or/and an even smaller form factor, you’d probably be better off with something like Vocore + Dock that currently sells for $45 with a serial board, as well as a larger NAND […]