I recently bought a TP-Link TL-WR710N. This is an awesome device.
My image gallery is here:
My OpenWRT boot log is here:
My factory boot log is here:
The wiki page for this device is here:
The latest trunk image is here:
http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/ … actory.bin
There is no stable image for this device as I write this. Then again, AA is so ridiculously out of date that using stable is pointless.
I flashed r41391 and it worked perfectly. Beware the dangers of flashing trunk images without knowing what their current status is.
I have attached images of my unit removed from it's plastic casing. I show how I attached a little pinout connector next to the ethernet jack so that I could attach my TTL serial to USB adapter to get console access.
What makes this device unique is it's small size, low cost, and built-in power plug. It has two 100BASE-T network interfaces, a 2.4Ghz 802.11b/g/n wireless interface, and a USB2 port.
CPU is an Atheros AR9331-AL31
RAM is a Winbond W9425G6JH-5
No JTAG headers that I am aware of.
There are TTL serial test points on the back of the board to which you can solder on a connector and get a console.
Serial to ethernet/802.11 server. These days you can get a cheap single-port RS232 to ethernet server for $80-$120 USD , but they are often buggy, limited to telnet, or have other issues. Multi-port serial servers get much, much, more expensive. By using the TL-WR710N as a serial port server, you get a fully featured OpenWRT linux box, can put as many serial ports onto that USB port as you can afford (the OpenWRT kernel I used supports up to 16, but you can change this), and you can use it over 802.11 wireless. That's awesome, and cheaper than a regular serial port server.
Connect to the serial port on a UPS, such as an older APC, and use nut the monitor the UPS stats and notify of a power outage. This is especially handy since the TL-WR710N is so small and has a built-in power plug. You can plug it right into the UPS with a short USB to RS232 adapter and then connect to your network via ethernet or 802.11 wireless.
The USB offers a lot of possibilities. You can connect a printer to it, some kind of environmental monitor probe, USB camera, sound card, flash storage, or whatever.
Getting the box open:
Getting the board out of the TL-WR710N is not easy, but it is not impossible. No screws are involved.
Take a flat-head screwdriver and pry the light-grey lid out of the remainder of the white box. There is a clip just above the LED, and a small nub at the corner where the power plug is located at. I would suggest starting near the power plug corner and working your way down towards and around the corner where the USB/network jacks are.
Note that the chassis is melted/glued together. The marks you see on my pictures under the grey lid are not screwdriver marks; those are molded points where the white chassis ridges were melted onto the grey lid. You will need to pop these glue points.
Don't be afraid to get a little rough with the lid. It's not going to come off easily. Wedge something in there and pry it open by force. Just don't stab anything inside.
When you get the lid popped off, there is white plastic shield behind the power plug. Take note of how it is positioned and remove it.
Next up, you need to remove the LED light clear plastic bit. It is glued in place with melted plastic, similar to the lid. Just use a razor knife to cut around it's edges and then pry it out or push it out from the front/exterior.
Now you should be able to wiggle the board out. You might need to get a hook tool in there to pull the board up. I recommend you pull from the side away from the ports, as the plastic chassis keep them in place. Beware bending the thin power contacts which connect to the plug part; do not bend these contacts.
With the board is out, you can remove the plug part, but there is no reason to do so.
When re-assembling, remember to put the plug back in first, followed by the board, then the white plug shield/cover, glue the LED light bit into place, and finally snap the grey lid back on. As long as you didn't mangle the lid too badly, it should snap nicely back into place.
Because I want to use this device as a serial port server, I installed the following extra packages with okpg:
kmod-usb-serial - 3.10.44-1 - Kernel support for USB-to-Serial converters
kmod-usb-serial-pl2303 - 3.10.44-1 - Kernel support for Prolific PL2303 USB-to-Serial converters
kmod-usb-serial-keyspan - 3.10.44-1 - Kernel support for Keyspan USB-to-Serial devices
kmod-usb-serial-ftdi - 3.10.44-1 - Kernel support for FTDI USB-to-Serial converters
kmod-usb-serial-ch341 - 3.10.44-1 - Kernel support for Winchiphead CH341 USB-to-Serial converters
minicom - 2.7-1 - Terminal emulation program
microcom - 1.02-1 - microcom is a minicom-like serial terminal emulator with scripting support.
picocom - 1.7-1 - minimal dumb-terminal emulation program
setserial - 2.17-2 - setserial is a program designed to set and/or report the configuration information associated with a serial port. This information includes what I/O port and IRQ a particular serial port is using, and whether or not the break key should be interpreted as the Secure Attention Key, and so on.
coreutils-stty - 8.16-1 - Full version of standard GNU stty utility. Normally, you would not use this package, since the functionality in BusyBox is more than sufficient.
Have fun with your own.
(Last edited by jmomo on 2 Jul 2014, 06:45)