Mesh/Hardware experiments

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Revision as of 19:15, 8 August 2016 by Juul (talk | contribs)
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This page documents various hardware experiments started 5th of July 2016. Using new types of hardware as home nodes and external antennas and wifi usb sticks.

Omega2 single board computer

  • Actually $5 including tax and shipping
  • Single 2.4 GHz radio with on-board antenna and u.fl connector
  • Has USB and ethernet but no ethernet transformer or plug.
  • Power usage: Unknown but probably small.
  • Runs OpenWRT
  • You can order as many as you want now
  • Doesn't ship until November (estimated)

Raspberry PI zero

  • Not actually $5 since they can't keep up with demand (more like $15 on ebay)
  • No wifi, no ethernet.
  • A three-port USB hub with built-in ethernet and micro-usb cable is ~$3 on aliexpress
  • Single micro-usb port. You can get $3
  • Power usage: Unknown but probably small.
  • Runs Debian (well "raspbian")

The Next Thing Co. C.H.I.P. single board "$9 computer"

  • Power usage: Unknown but probably small.
  • Actually costs $12 in CA with tax and shipping if you order the maximum of 5 units at a time
  • Single 2.4 GHz wifi with no external antenna plug (not even u.fl)
  • Single USB port
  • Runs Debian

Nexx WT3020F - Very cheap home node ($12.50)

  • Cheap: $12.50 shipped
  • Power usage: Only 1 watt!
  • Single band 2.4 GHz
  • Two PCB trace antennas. No plugs, not even internal.
  • Two ethernet interfaces
  • One USB plug for host mode USB
  • Tiny physical form factor
  • USB powered (comes with usb cable but no power adaptor)
  • Not AR71xx (ramips mt7620)

Juul (talk) loaded OpenWRT onto one of these and started a compile of sudowrt for this chipset. OpenWRT seems to work fine.

The firmware was flashed via the existing web UI which is available on with user/pass admin/admin.

RT5572N - Dual-band single radio USB wifi adapter ($6)

  • Two PCB trace radios
  • Two u.fl connectors
  • Does either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz

Juul (talk) tested this on a Nexx WT3020F and it seems to work quite well. Here's how to install the driver:

opkg update  
opkg install kmod-rt2800-lib kmod-rt2800-usb kmod-rt2x00-lib kmod-rt2x00-usb  

Seems to support an arbitrary number of ad-hoc/client/master mode wifi interfaces (tested up to 8).