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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18 Comments
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onebir
onebir
6 years ago

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

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

Victor
Victor
6 years ago

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

Victor
Victor
6 years ago

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

ade
ade
6 years ago

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

ade
ade
6 years ago

@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
onebir
6 years ago

@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
TC
6 years ago

@ade he meant the link from post #1

Mongrol
Mongrol
6 years ago

Still waiting on one with an open chipset.

zoobab
6 years ago

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
hackru
6 years ago

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

gics
gics
6 years ago

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
Peter
6 years ago

@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
Peter
6 years ago

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

nwrk.biz
5 years ago

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

Peter Scargill
5 years ago

@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 –… Read more »

Chris
Chris
3 years ago

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?

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