Mediatek MT760 is a recent Wi-Fi SoC found in some Nexx WT3020 routers, and WRTnode development board. Both run OpenWRT and costs $17 to $30 depending on the amount of flash, and ports with the former featuring two Ethernet ports, and the latter access to GPIOs. You could probably open the case of the Nexx routers and solder some wires to get access to GPIO, and you can hack an Ethernet cable for WRTnode, but another options could be Vonets WM300 kit that includes a board with Wi-Fi and Ethernet, a cable for USB / Ethernet connection, headers for GPIOs, and two external antennas for less than $30. An OpenWRT SDK is also provided for the kit.
Specifications listed for VM300 board:
- Processor – Mediatek MT7260N MIPS processor @ 580MHz
- Storage – 4MB SPI Flash (option: 8MB/16MB) for firmware
- System Memory – 32MB or 64MB SDRAM
- Single band 802.11 b/g/n 2T2R up to 300 Mbps with two external 2dB antenna.
- Output power: 15dbm – 16.5dbm
- Supports 1-14 Wi-Fi channels
- Working modes – Routing, Bridge (also support AP Client and AP Station), Repeater
- 10/100M Ethernet
- 3G/4G supported via USB dongle (no USB port, but signal are available on headers)
- Functions – Firewall, QoS, VPN
- Expansion – Mini PCIe, 2x 6-pin and 8-pin headers with access to Ethernet signals, UART, USB host, 2x GPIO, reset signal, status signals
- Power Supply – 3.3V – 3.4V DC, or 4.5V – 15V DC; Consumption: <2W
- Dimensions – 51 x 30 mm
- Weight – 86g
- Temperature Range – -25°C – 55°C (operating)
The mini PCIe connector is probably not following any standard, and can be use in case you make some baseboard for the module. You can find the pinout and a little more in WM300 datasheet. The quick start guide shows the board is not running OpenWRT by default, but you can download the OpenWRT SDK and instructions.
Vonets WM300 can be purchased on several sites including DealExtreme, Aliexpress or Ebay for $25 and up. The only problem is that everybody has just copied and pasted the specs showing 32 or 64MB RAM, and 4 and 8MB Flash, so you don’t know exactly what you are buying, and this could be an issue if you want to run OpenWRT as 64MB SDRAM and 8MB flash are required according to the company. Visit Vonets VM300 product page for details.
Thanks to Onebir for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.