A5-V11 Mini Router Runs OpenWRT (Linux) For Just $8

In case you you still think OpenWRT capable NEXX WT1520 router is still too expensive at $15, what about an $8 OpenWRT router? That’s what LY mini wireless router costs including shipping, and it’s better known as A5-V11, the name of its PCB.

A5-V11_OpenWRT_RouterIt’s not exactly a 3G/4G router as the casing implied, but it does support external USB 3G/4G dongles like most other routers with USB on the market.

A5-V11 specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek/Ralink) RT5350F MIPS processor @ 360MHz
  • System Memory – 32MB RAM (W9825G6EH-75). Some people reported theirs only have 16MB RAM, so YMMV.
  • Storage – 4MB NAND flash (Pm25LQ032)
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n up to 150 Mbps; 1x 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB port for power
  • Misc – Power LED, factory reset pinhole
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions –  6.1 x 2.3 x 1.4 cm

Contrary to WT1520, A5-V11 is already part of OpenWRT trunk, but the firmware image is not automatically built yet. Fully details can be found on OpenWRT Wiki. If you connect a serial board, you may have to add a 470 Ohm to 1 KOhm resistor to the Rx pin to prevent the board from hanging at boot time.

A5-V11_Serial_Hacking
Source: stevenhoneyman.co.uk

The router can be purchased on Aliexpress for $8.25 including shipping, DealExtreme for $10.86 (with 32MB RAM), or Ebay for $8.72. It might be on other websites too, but since it’s an OEM product without clear branding it may be difficult to find.

Thanks to Maurer for the tip.

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ChrisPeter Scargillnwrk.bizFireWRT is an OpenWRT 802.11ac Board Powered by Mediatek MT7621A ProcessorPeter Recent comment authors
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onebir
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onebir

Chinese USB wifi adapters have gone under $4*, I guess these/similar will soon enough too.

*http://www.buyincoins.com/item/55095.html

Victor
Guest
Victor

@onebir
it’s not a router. it’s dongle – can’t work without host computer

Victor
Guest
Victor

to subject – good example to see that MagJack is more expensive then connector and transformer 8)

ade
Guest
ade

Web interface may sometimes says “32MB”, but cat /proc/meminfo reports 16MB in all units I have seen so far…

ade
Guest
ade

@Victor
> “it’s not a router. it’s dongle – can’t work without host computer”

@Victor: you’re wrong, it’s definitely a whole autonomous computer/router (RT5350F) that just needs 5V on its micro-usb interface to operate.

onebir
Guest
onebir

@Victor
@ade
Lol – so much confusion. I linked to a dongle/network card, not because it’s the same thing, but because these were $30+ a couple of years back, and about $8 last time I bought one. So it wouldn’t be surprising if prices for Open-Wrt-capable routers dropped a bit further.

TC
Guest
TC

@ade he meant the link from post #1

Mongrol
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Mongrol

Still waiting on one with an open chipset.

zoobab
Guest

There are some GPIOS on the board as well:

http://i.imgur.com/kHVW2Ox.jpg
https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=37002&p=24

You need good soldering skills to solder them.

I have soldered an external serial port on my router, more pics will follow.

hackru
Guest
hackru

> Contrary to WT1520, A5-V11 is already part of OpenWRT trunk?
WHAT?? 1520 have long time ago in openwrt trunk, same for 3020.

gics
Guest
gics

Hi, do you think it’s possible to upgrade Flash ROM with a bigger one? I found that exist “Pm25LQ128” (so with 16MB space) and I asked on OpenWRT forum but without luck, you can find thread here:
https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=54300

Peter
Guest
Peter

@gics: did you checked WT1520 thread on openwrt forum? I think there was some discussion about upgrading but not sure if ram or flash.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Is is possible to restore original firmware after openwrt was installed?

trackback

[…] of low cost 802.11n routers or boards supporting OpenWRT, even starting at $10 or less such as A5-V11 mini router, but if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful with 802.11ac connectivity, options […]

nwrk.biz
Guest

A5-V11 Mini Router also Runs Debian (Linux)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZLU15zx1EU

Peter Scargill
Guest

@gics
I’m interested in this – I was running out of FLASH when I put openWRT on – would not even let me update the password, so I removed the ZIP file I used to upgrade the board to openWrt – it accepted the flash and now nothing works – I know TELNET is supposed to stop working – but SSH won’t work – it’s there (wrong address at 192.168.100.1) – it will ping – but will not accept any user/pass combo in telnet or SSH – and I’ve even tried that hold-the-button-down reset with the fast flashing lights – STILL can’t get in – so I was thinking of replacing the flash anyway – but may as well get more space while I’m on so I can install the graphical interface for openWrt – and MQTT of course. Did you get anywhere?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Noob question – just bought this router and when I connect my Huawei E3131, it does not see the dongle. How can I solve this problem?