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Home routers are easy hardware to come by--I just picked one off the street yesterday! It would be great to put all these routers to good (re)use.
There is a lot of software out there (DD-WRT and Open-WRT), especially for working with wireless routers, but even non-wireless routers should be useful.
As a proof of concept, this project is starting with the Linksys BEFSR41 Etherfast Cable/DSL Router with 4-port switch.
- DD-WRT http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Known_incompatible_devices
- Known to be incompatible
- Linksys Blue Box Router HOWTO http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Linksys-Blue-Box-Router-HOWTO/
- Hacking the Hardware (serial ports) http://www.rwhitby.net/projects/wrt54gs
- Specifically the BEFSX41 Series http://befsx41.flogator.org/doku.php
- Helpful hardware spec http://befsx41.flogator.org/doku.php?id=hardware
- Possible firmware option http://www.uclinux.org/description/