The WRT54GL

I was going to have a party and my ethernet switch had died and my main router had only for 1 GbE ports which was not nearly enough for everybody to have a wired connection. Not to mention the fact that there is no where to sit around my router. I needed something and fast so I decided that Goodwill might just be able to satisfy my need.

As you may have already figured out, I found a Linksys WRT54GL sitting in a tub surrounded by sticky, dusty, decrepit electronic devices. I can’t exactly see my eyes as my eyes would need to point at themselves for that to happen but I assume they lit up with child-like excitement. I’ve been looking for one of these for years! Every time I see one the pretty blue and gray cases in a store it’s always a DSL modem or a version of the WRT54G that runs VxWorks and is incompatible with Linux.

I got OpenWRT up and running within minutes of getting it home and it’s extra 4 ports served me and my guests well. But what was the real reason that fourbit wanted one of these, I hear you ask. You may know that it’s an old router that only supports 802.11b/g at 2.4 Ghz unlike these super fast 802.11b/g/n/ac routers. Plus it only has 4 MB of ROM and 16 MB of RAM so why would I want this ancient piece of crap?

To be honest, I just wanted to do some hardware hacking but I’ve wanted one of these for years. If you Google WRT54G mods, you can see that people did some amazing things with these little blue and gray boxes. I don’t get the chance to whip out my soldering iron for a big project very often but now I can!

I’ve decided to go for an almost fully modded system and instead of using the 54GL I’m going for the 54G-TM because of it’s increased ram and ROM but identical board. I’m going to add two serial ports, two USB ports and an SD card slot.  I say almost fully modded because I’m not going to include an external JTAG connector. I don’t really know enough about JTAG to do any low level crazyness like some people can. Oh I’m also going to put a fan on top and do some slight overclocking.

Ramble, ramble, HAVE SOME PICTURES! Better Quality is on it’s way.

A lot of crap for the project lying on the carpet.

Step one – get supplies and void the warrenty. Unfortunatly a lot of stuff in this picture is random crap.

The WRT54GL with the case open and a power wire hanging out.

Under the hood. The wire on the left is 12 volts directly from the power jack.

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