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A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router 54

Posted by timothy
from the hook-it-to-anything dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to an intriguing device highlighted at Hackaday (it's an Indiegogo project, too, if it excites you $90 worth, and seems well on its way to meeting its modest goal): The DPT Board is something that may be of interest to anyone looking to hack up a router for their own connected project or IoT implementation: hardware based on a fairly standard router, loaded up with OpenWRT, with a ton of I/O to connect to anything.

It's called the DPT Board, and it's basically an hugely improved version of the off-the-shelf routers you can pick up through the usual channels. On board are 20 GPIOs, USB host, 16MB Flash, 64MB RAM, two Ethernet ports, on-board 802.11n and a USB host port. This small system on board is pre-installed with OpenWRT, making it relatively easy to connect this small router-like device to LED strips, sensors, or whatever other project you have in mind.
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A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router

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  • First thing I would do is hook up a screen, keyboard, and pointing device and use it for a computer. Imagine.. a Beowulf cluster of these!

  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @06:34PM (#47546089) Homepage

    It's one of those "flexible funding" Indiegogo projects, where they get to keep the money even if they don't get enough money to make anything. Great scam; just come up with some popular idea, overprice the project, and keep the money.

    • It's $35 plus shipping for the development board with the module soldered on it, so it's about the same as an Arduino; the $89 price was for two of them plus accessories like cables and power supplies. They're asking for not very much money to finish their software development, and the real question is whether their software is any good.

      • Yes thats a good price if he delivers the project. He is simply pointing out the great difference between Indiegogo and kickstarter, where in the former if you miss project target funding, you may still keep all funding without delivering anything to funders.
        • by cdrudge (68377)

          He is simply pointing out the great difference between Indiegogo and kickstarter, where in the former if you miss project target funding, you may still keep all funding without delivering anything to funders.

          Or in the latter where if you make your project target funding, you may still keep all funding without delivery anything to funders.

        • by melstav (174456)

          That's why it's important to actually read what they wrote instead of just stopping at the first "red flag" you come to.

          Why flexible funding? We choose flexible funding because we want to give people a chance to contribute to the software as early as possible. The hardware part is already done and we have sold units to existing customers who were very happy about it. Specially for this campaign we made a new revision ready for mass production so we can sell it at an even better price than we already had in

  • by complete loony (663508) <(Jeremy.Lakeman) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:56PM (#47546461)
    A similar board, http://wrtnode.com/ [wrtnode.com].
  • by Osgeld (1900440)

    A) I didnt know router hacking was still a thing
    B) you can get a wrt compatible linksys any day of the week at goodwill for 4.99$ if you really want to dick with it
    C) there's a thousand ways to make a custom router with already available and cheaper hardware from old pc's to the invasion of the crappy ARM sbc's (pi, beagle bone black etc)

  • We are about to embark on designing a similar product. Essentially we want a gateway that can select from either a Cell Phone embeded data modem such as the Telit HE910, or local WiFi, then provide an internal data link via USB or Ethernet to our device and some remote connectivity for setup via Bluetooth.
    We need good power management, and the ability to add local peripherals (such as a keypad, status LEDs, etc)
    OpenWRT looks like the right foundation, but which chipset to select is more difficult.
    Any sugges

  • Instead of flash memory soldered to the board, microSD is ubiquitous and cheap -- and makes the device effectively unbrickable. Sure, there are bootloaders with recovery features, but it's not as simple as writing a new image to SD. Raspberry Pi got it right in this department. It's a shame there's no PCIe bus on the raspi...

    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday July 28, 2014 @02:49AM (#47547883)
      MicroSD required mechanical connectors to the device and is a great deal more expensive that flash - in a very price-sensitive market. Given that an IoT thing could find its way into any environment, the last thing you want is for its operation to be dependent on the correct operation of nasty, cheap (and they *would* have to be cheap for comparable production costs) connectors and uSD cards of variable quality - that are outside your control.

      Far better to have everything firmly and permanently attached to the board. Why solder in a connector whan it's just as easy (and takes the same amount of board space) to solder in flash instead. That way you don't get the blame when an idiot user "recycles" an old uSD card and blabs all over the internet how crap and unreliable your product is, as their card keeps corrupting.

      RPi got it completely wrong in this respect. You don't hear of corrupted software & kernels on all the cards that use flash. If it's more "difficult" for noobs to use, then that's no bad thing either as it discourages those who are lacking in the clue department. This is not meant to be a plaything for children.

    • by Agripa (139780)

      Do SD cards implement background scrubbing? Using NAND Flash as a replacement for NOR Flash always strikes me as unreliable given the short storage time of high density NAND memory. I have already seen older consumer devices that use high density NAND Flash for firmware storage "self brick" after a period of time and I suspect this is what caused it.

  • yes, you are correct,

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