From WRTnode Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Other languages:

First thing to know: WRTnode's default SSID is: WRTnodeXXXX
default WiFi password is: 12345678

What you will get?

WRTnode in plastic box.JPG
You get the WRTnode in a very nice transparent plastic box, inside the box you get WRTnode stickers too. The box is useful to store various small items useful for WRTnode (USB memory stick, I2C port expander module, jumpers and so on).

WRTnode box can be used to store items needed for WRTnode

WRTnode size is comparable with half of a credit card
WRTnode board size


Besides these, you get:

The 'special' USB cable customized for WRTnode

WRTnode special USB cable.JPG
The micro USB standard plug will be connected to the WRTnode board and to power the board itself.
The USB standard type A plug will be connected to any USB wall adapter, any PC USB port, any USB 5Vdc power supply (at least 500mA (0,5A) current).
The USB standard type A receptacle can connect any USB device to the WRTnode board, for example can connect a USB memory stick:

Or a USB webcam like this:

Or you can connect many more USB devices at once through a USB hub like this:

Caution: use USB hub with external 5Vdc power supply if the USB hub connects more than one USB device.

The WRTnode

The golden board is WRTnode and can be seen on the above images.

Power-up the WRTnode board

Connect the micro USB plug to the WRTnode board (if you don't need to connect USB devices to WRTnode, a normal USB data cable with micro USB can work). Connect the USB A plug of the special USB cable to a 5Vdc USB power supply (at least 500mA current - any USB port on a PC can provide this current).
WRTnode connected to a USB port using a standard micro USB data cable
WRTnode connected to a USB port using a standard micro USB data cable

After ~5 seconds, the blue LED on WRTnode will be on, that means that OpenWrt operating system is initializing on the WRTnode board.
20 seconds later, the WRTnode WiFi SSID should be visible on the WiFi networks on the PC: 'WRTnodeXXXX' (XXXX from the SSID refers to the last 4 bytes of WRTnode’s MAC address).
Connect your PC or smartphone to WRTnode WiFi SSID using WPA2-PSK encryption and password '12345678'.

Let's play with WRTnode

Login to WRTnode using telnet and ssh

Use any PC with Windows, Linux or MacOS operating system, install PuTTY on Windows PC, use any Linux / MacOS terminal software on Linux / MacOS.

  • First ping the WRTnode to see if connection is available. The default IP of WRTnode is set to, but WRTnode is able to resolve as well, wrtnode.lan and openwrt.lan to


ping wrtnode.lan


ping openwrt.lan
  • Connect to WRTnode using telnet or SSH

If you connect first time to WRTnode or you didn't set password for root user of OpenWrt, use telnet to connect:


If you a password for root user was set, use SSH to connect:


Input your root password and a similar screen should appear:

No internet no happiness

Because WRTnode may need new applications or needs to update installed applications, an Internet connection is necessary. The WRTnode will be connected to Internet through a WiFi router - you home router connected to Internet.

root@OpenWrt:~# aps

'aps' is a WRTnode customized command which scans the WiFi SSIDs available in your area. You should see as well your home router SSID - let's name it 'OUR_WIFI'. The result should look like this:

WRTnode AP scaner.
Begin scaning APs, pls wait...
APs available are...
ra0       get_site_survey:
Ch  SSID                             BSSID               Security               Signal(%)W-Mode  ExtCH  NT WPS DPID
1   Tenda                            xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   NONE                   70       11b/g/n ABOVE  In YES
1   OUR_WIFI                         xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   WPA2PSK/AES            96       11b/g/n NONE   In YES
6   TP-LINK                          xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   NONE                   55       11b/g   NONE   In  NO
6   BY01                             xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   NONE                   100      11b/g/n NONE   In YES
6   Tenda_xxxxxx                     xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   WPAPSK/AES             50       11b/g/n ABOVE  In  NO
11  CU_wpFS                          xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   WPAPSK/TKIPAES         70       11b/g/n NONE   In YES

Then we have to change the settings of aplci on WRTnode, aplci is configuring the up-link part of the router inside of WRTnode (that's it: WRTnode has an internal router)

root@OpenWrt:~# vw

'vw' is a WRTnode customized command which changes /etc/config/wireless. It is used the file editor named 'vi', a standard editor for Linux, but not very comfortable to use it, therefore here are the tips:

  • delete a character: use arrow keys to move cursor under the character you want to delete, press 'x' to delete the character
  • insert a character: press 'i' (to enter on insert mode), use arrow keys to move cursor under the character, press whatever character(s) you want to insert, the character(s) will be inserted after the character where the cursor is. Finish by pressing ESC key (to quit insert mode)
  • save changes: press ':', then press 'w'
  • save changes and quit vi editor: press ':', then press 'x'
  • quit vi editor without saving changes: press ':', then press 'q'
config wifi-device 'ra0'
        option type 'ralink'
        option mode '9'
        option channel '1'        #This is change number 1
        option txpower '100'
        option ht '20+40'
        option country 'US'
        option disabled '0'

config wifi-iface
        option device 'ra0'
        option network 'lan'
        option mode 'ap'
        option encryption 'psk2'
        option key '12345678'
        option ApCliEnable '1'
        option ApCliSsid 'aAP'              #This is change number 2
        option ApCliAuthMode 'WPA2PSK'      #This is change number 3
        option ApCliEncrypType 'AES'        #This is change number 4
        option ApCliPassWord '87654321'     #This is change number 5
        option ssid 'WRTnodeXXXX'
  • Change number 1: set the WiFi channel to match the one from our router 'OUR_WIFI' (specified on column 'Ch' from aps output)
  • Change number 2: set the WiFi SSID to match the one from our router 'OUR_WIFI'
  • Change number 3: set the ApCliAuthMode to match the one from our router 'OUR_WIFI'

Here are the accepted parameters for ApCliAuthMode / ApCliEncrypType, from vw according to aps' security:

aps:Security           vw:ApCliAuthMode/ApCliEncrypType
  • Change number 4: set the ApCliEncrypType to match the one from our router 'OUR_WIFI'
  • Change number 5: set the Password to match the one from our router 'OUR_WIFI' (this must be known by the router owner)

Additionally, if 'OUR_ROUTER' router uses ASCII WEP password, you will need to perform the following commands into HEX code

root@OpenWrt:~# echo -n 'abcde' | hexdump -e '13/1 "%02x" "\n"'   #To convert abcde to 6162636465

Also uci (specific to OpenWRT operating system) can be used to change the above settings, but this is beyond the scope of this Wiki section.

  • Network reset command:
root@OpenWrt:~# nr

'nr' is a WRTnode customized command which will reset the network side. After 5 seconds it is possible to connect again to WRTnode's SSID. Let's verify if WRTnode got an IP from router 'OUR_WIFI':

root@OpenWrt:~# ia
apcli0    Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: xxxx::xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx/xx Scope:Link
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

Sometimes, router 'OUR_WIFI' may lease the IP after tens of seconds. Let's verify if WRTnode is connected to Internet.

root@OpenWrt:~# ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=54 time=6.071 ms

In this moment the WRTnode board is connected to the Internet through our home router, we can connect our PC to Internet through the WRTnode and start configure our WRTnode board.

WRTnode software repository

root@OpenWrt:~# opkg update
Updated list of available packages in /var/opkg-lists/barrier_breaker.
root@OpenWrt:~# opkg install <here put the name of the package>

Restore Factory Settings

root@OpenWrt:~# firstboot
This will erase all settings and remove any installed packages. Are you sure? [N/y]
/dev/mtdblock5 is mounted as /overlay, only erasing files
root@OpenWrt:~# reboot

WRTnode special network cable

WRTnode uses a special network cable - one end has a RJ45 network connector, the second end has a 2x2 female header connector / Dupont connector (see Figure 1):
Figure 1
Cable pinout
First of all, this is a T568B cable. T568B cable is the cable used to connect a computer to a router at home.
So get a T568B cable, cut one RJ45 end connector and prepare all the 8 wires from the cable following the pinout from Table 1: 
Use only the green, green and white, orange, orange and white wires from the T568B cable. The rest of 4 wires can be cut, they are not useful for our application.
The 4 wires selected above have to be solder to a 2x2 female header connector (Dupont connector) according to pinout from Table 2:
After the cable is completed, it can be connected to WRTnode board like in Figure 2:
Figure 2
If a factory cable is used, on the female header connector it is visible a small black arrow which corresponds to Pin 1. This cable can be connected to any of the 4 LAN ports from the WRTnode board taking into consideration that the arrow (Pin 1 on the connector's cable) corresponds to WRTnode pins number 2, 4, 6, 8. Pin 2 from the cable corresponds to WRTnode pins 1, 3, 5, 7.
Following figure shows the cable Pin 1 connected to pin 4 on WRTnode (Figure 3).
As shown in Figure 2, pins for LAN and WAN ports are defined on the right side of the WRTnode board, Figure 3 below shows the network cable connected to WRTnode.
Figure 3

Let's move on!