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Mini 8 euro WiFi routers for IoT and other cool stuff

Started by DarkestEx, January 25, 2016, 05:09:31 pm

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DarkestEx

January 25, 2016, 05:09:31 pm Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 05:13:33 pm by DarkestEx
Hello guys, I just discovered this nice piece of tech when I was looking for small portable routers:
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00SMHXMQW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

It is a Hame MPR-A1 clone with 32 MB of RAM, 4 MB of flash, USB 2.0 host, UART and I2C broken out to pins, Ethernet and WiFi b/g/n (150 Mbit/s).
The processor is a Railink RA-5350f that runs at 360 MHz and is based on the MIPS architecture.
Another cool thing is, that with an I2C I/O expander, this thing could drive motors and do other IoT things. It can also theoretically talk to an Arduino or similar using UART.
OpenWrt (Linux) runs happily on it https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/hame/mpr-a1 and with it's 32 MB of RAM, even a C compiler or Lua environment could run on it together with a webserver.
Using USB storage, the filesystem can be expanded and more programs added.

The best thing is the price, 8€ delivered!
It is also fairly small: 6.2 (L) x 2.5 (W) x 1.3 (H) cm and it might actually contain a power bank, though this clone might not have one.



I just ordered two of them and plan doing some modding with them and I am sure there are some people here who think this is a great deal too.
As always, have fun!

Streetwalrus

Sounds nice. In the same price range you could get a raspberry pi zero which is a lot more powerful and has dedicated GPIO, but it doesn't have a network card unless you add one. Depends on the application I guess.

Ivoah

Quote from: Streetwalrus on January 25, 2016, 07:52:35 pm
Sounds nice. In the same price range you could get a raspberry pi zero which is a lot more powerful and has dedicated GPIO, but it doesn't have a network card unless you add one. Depends on the application I guess.


For just two dollars more you can get a C.H.I.P., which is much more powerful, has wifi and bluetooth, and has 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash.

Juju

Well, if you need networking hardware, it's way better than the RPi or CHIP, otherwise go with one of them which lacks WiFi stuff. Or why not combining both?
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DarkestEx

I bought a Pi Zero, but still, I love these small routers :)

DJ Omnimaga

I don't know much about routers, but would this router be useable as a replacement to home routers? And what about calculator Internet? (I know Kerm got Global Calcnet to work with the Sparkscore)

Ivoah

Quote from: Juju on January 25, 2016, 08:04:33 pm
Well, if you need networking hardware, it's way better than the RPi or CHIP, otherwise go with one of them which lacks WiFi stuff. Or why not combining both?


The C.H.I.P. has wifi and bluetooth builtin.

DarkestEx

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on January 31, 2016, 11:34:24 pm
I don't know much about routers, but would this router be useable as a replacement to home routers? And what about calculator Internet? (I know Kerm got Global Calcnet to work with the Sparkscore)

No, you cannot use it for either. About calculators, using an esp8266 is a lot better in this case.
The main reason to use it is the cheap price, and its fun to mess around with stuff and repurpose it.

DJ Omnimaga

Ah ok thanks. It sounds like a good deal indeed if someone wants a cheap mini-computer or something.

DarkestEx

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 01, 2016, 12:32:16 am
Ah ok thanks. It sounds like a good deal indeed if someone wants a cheap mini-computer or something.

Yes I thought so too. Maybe others will get one, idk. I like tinkering with stuff and not get premade solutions that are not really better. Where is the fun? Answer: nowhere.

DJ Omnimaga

That makes me wonder, though... if one of those cheap computers is powerful enough to rival low end PCs, then could someone just buy $15000 worth of C.H.I.P computers, RPi's and the WiFi routers above and build a beowulf cluster out of them or something?

DarkestEx

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 01, 2016, 01:11:22 am
That makes me wonder, though... if one of those cheap computers is powerful enough to rival low end PCs, then could someone just buy $15000 worth of C.H.I.P computers, RPi's and the WiFi routers above and build a beowulf cluster out of them or something?

Not really. You should have atleast Ethernet, so raspberry pi would work, though you can't do much with such a cluster. It'll be rather slow and needs a lot of coordination. Except for distributed stuff won't you be able to do much.
Examples are: Calculating prime numbers or working on a big rendering project

DJ Omnimaga

Would it be fast enough to do stuff like factoring a 2048-bits RSA key in under 5 years?

DarkestEx

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 17, 2016, 05:26:25 am
Would it be fast enough to do stuff like factoring a 2048-bits RSA key in under 5 years?

I have absolutely no clue. They arrived some time ago BTW. And they are super awesome.
They have a ftp server and a webserver right out of the box which are connected to an USB stick if one is inserted. It is like a portable nas and webserver right out of the box which is really great.

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