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DIY MSP430 wifi connectivity with retail router

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I have been working on a few different projects that could be described as wireless sensor nodes. Just to get something working I decided to hack a retail router to give my MSP430 wireless capabilities. The first step was to install OpenWRT Linux onto the router to make it configurable. After that I mounted the file system onto a flash drive that was using the built in USB port on the router. From there I broke out the convenient 3.3v  serial connection and hooked it up to my MSP430. Currently I am working on a full write up that will include compiling OpenWRT from source and detailed step by step instructions to install all the needed packages. I am also finishing up some scripts that should automate the hard stuff and give your launchpad a wireless connection in no time.



Decided I would add some some pictures and examples for everyone to look at while I finish the write up / automation scripts. This is by no means a finished or polished project. 


Here is a link to the Imgur album with short descriptions.






And here is a video of me using the wireless capabilities to trigger a relay. I will update this post when I finish everything else. 






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Neat. Other ways you can do it: bitbanged i2c on one of the spare gpio, to connect to the launchpad (To save the serial port for other use). Though honestly, at that point where you have openwrt and bitbangable gpio, you can skip the launchpad and run it direct.


A nicer option is some the open/ddwrt routers with USB ports. The portable tp-link w703n for example. You could get the launchpad to plug in to usb, for both serial and debugging via mspgcc or something. That would be amazing.


While googling, I mistakenly typed w740n instead of w703n, and found this: https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=37368

This guy added usb to his tp-link router by scratching off part of the processor to access the unrouted pins! (Thankfully not bga). People have found ways of accessing hardware supported usb on embedded chips everywhere now a day.

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Good! The TP link routers have been getting all the attention these days.

What do you mean when you say you hooked the serial to the ethernet port?

His picture shows that he cut the traces from the magnetics to one of the ethernet ports, and wired the serial port to the now unconnected pins.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The following is a slight tangent on this network theme, but I've been using Bluetooth HC-05 modules for wireless UART connectivity.  They are readily available for $5 shipped.  I have only used them up to 115,200 but they probably can achieve 1 megabit per second and allow for connection to desktops or direct to Android devices while using UART hardware so not much strain on the processor.

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