Before I launched a Wi-Fi Mesh network on Mikrotik (RU) in my apartment, I had an idea to use OpenWRT devices. In looking for the best price/quality option, I came across a Hame-A1 similar device. The price is ~7$.
I bought 7 devices and spent ~50$ on all of them (or ~3700RUB)
Below are the pictures from the page in the store:
Now let’s tell you about the device truthfully. The manufacturer saved as much as he could. The chips all look different and it seems they have already been used in other devices before. The quality of the cable is such that some did not work. The case is made of bad plastic. Everything works, but it all heats up to large values in seconds and I recommend using a radiator. Below is a photo with the differences. I have already succeeded in sticking 2 radiators.
Okay, we turn on the power, the wireless network appears. We connect and go to the start page. The firmware was built in 2014, and the default time is 2000. Probably all the weaknesses in the firmware have already been found and it cannot be named safe. There is one solution — install OpenWRT.
For flashing, we will need Putty. All instructions and different firmware can be found on 4pda (RU), in the topic of discussion of this device (RU). I left a link to the firmware files without special additions here. I flashed it over WiFi, although there are some risks here. First of all, we look at the memory chip. A small square chip. I have a q32c-104hip. We are looking for documentation and understand that it is 32Mb, i.e. 4MB. Now we choose the firmware specifically for this memory. Here is a quick guide for you with 4pda:
1. On a USB stick, write two files: boot_tftp.img and firmware.bin
2. Insert the flash drive into the router, turn on the router, connect to it
3. Connect to the router via PuTTY via telnet 192.168.100.1
4. enter Login/Password like admin/admin
5. run the ls /media command to understand which partitions are mounted, for example: sda, sda1, sda2, etc.
6. Now let’s check which of them contains our files. We will enter ls /media/sda*/ where instead of * we put 1, then 2,3, etc. to see if the flash drive was mounted. The result will be a list of files on the partition, the one on which our boot_tftp.img and firmware.bin are located and is the target.
7. We are ready to flash the router. Enter the command
mtd_write write /media/sda1/boot_tftp.img Bootloader
8. The result will be the character [w] and the cursor will move to a new line.
9. Enter the command mtd_write write /media/sda1/firmware.bin Kernel
10. The result will be the character [w] and the cursor will move to a new line.
11. Enter the command reboot
12. The router will be reboot and you can find a new network and connect to it.
At first, there is no root password and we are asked to install it. We agree. I also need SSH access, but we can only allow it in the lan network. That’s all. I have flashed the routers and now I can use them as autonomous computers with a linux systems.
And that’s all, subscribe, likes, repost… And we will soon be a small lottery ☺.