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DIY Linux Gateway

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Geofrancis, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    DIY Linux Gateway Super Router!!!

    i was having trouble with my netgear WNDR3300 rangemax with DDWRT lagging out if more than 1 person ran a bit torrent client so i needed a faster solution. what i tried the first time was running DDWRT on my ESXi server and it worked. it was fast but i now had the problem where i needed to be in the building to get the internet back on if the server went down. this turned into a pain so i wanted to build a small low power pc to handle the routing so i went on ebay and found a small 1ghz via industrial motherboard with dual 100mbit realtek network ports for just £20!
    http://www.boser.com.tw/detail_product.asp?Model=HS-2613




    CPU:
    VIA V4 Eden processor 1GHz
    FSB:
    400MHz FSB
    BIOS:
    Award PnP Flash BIOS
    System Chipset:
    VIA CX700(M)
    I/O Chipset:
    Winbond W83697UF
    System Memory:
    1 x 200-pin SO-DIMM, DDR2 533MHz, Max. 1GB
    Storage:
    1 x Type II CF socket
    Expansion Interface:
    1 x PCI-104 slot
    DIO:
    8-bit input/output port
    Watchdog Timer:
    Software programmable time-out intervals from 1~255 sec. or 1~255 min.
    H/W Status Monitor:
    Monitoring temperature, voltages, and cooling fan status
    Power Function:
    +10~30V DC IN
    Operating Temperature:
    0~60 degrees C
    Operating Humidity:
    0~95%, non-condensing
    Board Size (LxW):
    145 x 102 mm
    I/O Port:
    3 x RS-232
    1 x RS-232/422/485
    5 x USB2.0 (1 x external)
    1 x IDE
    1 x SATA
    1 x PS/2 for KB/MS
    Chipset:
    VIA CX700(M)
    Display Memory:
    32/64/128MB video memory
    LVDS:
    24-bit single/dual-channel
    DVI:
    VIA CX700(M)
    TV-Out:
    Provides PAL or NTSC TV systems
    Resolution:
    VGA Mode: 1920 x 1440
    LVDS Mode: 1600 x 1200
    Chipset:
    VIA VT1708A
    Audio Interface:
    MIC In, Line Out
    Chipset:
    Dual RealTek RTL8100C Ethernet
    Ethernet Interface:
    2 x RJ-45


    when it arrived it had 2 wires soldered to the bottom of the router for testing plus power, reset and a pair of LEDs on the front panel header. i am testing it with installing windows to a ancient 1gb hard drive!
    [​IMG]

    I got DDWRT running no problem after putting the public x86 build onto a CF micro drive after i lost my 1gb card
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I ordered a plastic project box and i plan on taking my netgear router apart and fitting it into the box along with this motherboard and wire them to a single power supply it only uses 8.4W at idle and 10w under load so i should be able to run it and the netgear router from the 12v 3a power supply i have.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  2. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i ordered this box from ebay it should be big enough to fit everything inside
    [​IMG]

    Running DDWRT for the moment i think im going to install PFsense
    [​IMG]
    PopcornMachine and james888 say thanks.
  3. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    this is a picture of the pcb of a netgear wndr 3300 i am going to solder 5 new new rp-sma antenna connectors to the pcb and mount them to the outside of the box 3 for the 2.4/5ghz N radio and 2 for the 54g radio so i can cut away most of the pcb around the edges untill i am left with the red square that should sit nicely below the via board.
    [​IMG]

    i also found this interesting a 12v ups
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PicoUPS-1..._UPS_Batteries_Components&hash=item2ead670729

    its rated for 10a so it should have no problems powering the via motherboard, netgear router and my cable modem. i should get 6 hours with my 12v17a battery.
    [​IMG]
    james888 and grunt_408 say thanks.
  4. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    this is pretty cool! subbed
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  5. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i am going to order 5 of these

    [​IMG]

    along with 3 of these dual band antennas
    [​IMG]
    and 2 of these TP-link 5dbi antennas

    [​IMG]



    i was thinking i wonder if i could fit my cable modem in along with them....
    james888 says thanks.
  6. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Definitely cool. What search terms did you use on eBay? "VIA industrial" something or other?
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  7. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I was just searching dual LAN motherboard when I seen it at auction with no bidders.
    If you search for 3.5 motherboard or pc104 motherboard
    You should find one the same size but few have dual LAN. If I didn't find this it would have been a socket 479 itx board with a pentium m i would have got.
    Wrigleyvillain says thanks.
  8. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    VIA has a list of all of their products on their website.
    http://www.viaembedded.com/en/

    Maybe you can find something that looks decent on there and search for it on Google? Long term I want to get a VIA Quad 1.2Ghz to take over as a gateway. The Phenom II is fast but it eats more power than a VIA would.

    I personally like the idea of this: http://www.viaembedded.com/en/products/boards/1893/1/EPIA-M920.html with a VIA Quad core, but its a big on the pricey side if you can manage to find one. For a low power platform, it's looking pretty nice.
    Wrigleyvillain says thanks.
  9. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    yea its a nice processor but the issue i have with it as a router is that you cannot use more than 1 core with most router os's and if you max one core to 100% then you will end up having performance issues. thats why i got rid of my dual core atom itx board . i used to use it as my file server with 4x external usb hard drives but just copying files maxed out one of the 4 HT cores so i replaced it with a mobile 2ghz core 2 duo that ran passive on just 1v. it actually used less power becasue it used the mobile version of the 945 chipset on its motherboard rather than the desktop one that the atom used and sucked 25w on its own.

    the new atoms are marginally better with the integrated memory controller and graphics for power consumption and performance but its still underpowered.

    my 1ghz via chip will beat most atom cpu's in single threaded performance and thats why i just went the single core route.

    what would be interesting with that via quad is having it in a laptop there i could see it being far more usefull.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  10. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    subbed. looks really interesting. didnt know you could get industrial motherboards like these!
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  11. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    ok the case arrived yesterday and i done the first test fit to see if my plan would work and it was almost perfect.
    [​IMG]
    the posts in the case obstruct the board slightly for lying flat. but i think i can grind out 2mm off the board so that it fits snug.

    [​IMG]

    stripped down my netgear wndr3300 and sat it on the case to give me a better idea of how it would fit and how much i would have to take off it and its a better fit than i expected.

    so next step is trim the motherboard so it sits flat then trim the router so it fits on to the bottom of the case and fit the antennas.
  12. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    all the antennas and and sp-sma leads are ordered so i can chop the router as soon as they arrive.
  13. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    VIA makes a lot of really cool products if you're not in the market for high performance x86 chips. They make good low power components. Great for projects that don't require a ton of compute like a home server or a router or something along those lines. It gives you the flexibility of x86 while still being low power. It's probably a good reason why VIA has been able to hang on. The markets that VIA serves is really only threatened by AMD and bobcat/jaguar. I honestly believe that VIA has a good one up when it comes to SoC components.

    All the motherboards I had in the past that used VIA chipsets worked great. I've never been disappointed with a VIA product knowing what that product is intended to be used for.
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  14. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    [​IMG]
    (pic from ddwrt.com)

    this is what i need to solder the pig tails to on the netgear router in order to do the antenna mods.
  15. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Totally. I do remember when they were a bit more "mainstream" and consumer-oriented as well, though. An old gaming rig or two had VIA chipsets and used their "4-in-1" driver. Ah, memories...
  16. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I had a few of the via chipsets back in the day when it was all you could get for socket A other than the expensive nForce boards. The only thing that held it back from enthusiasts was the lack of pci frequency lock.
  17. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Mmmmm. I remember it well. Their newer chipset didn't have that problem though. I used to have an ASRock P4V88 that did an okay job many years ago with a 2.53Ghz P4 with a nVidia GeForce 6800 OC. That was some time ago.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  18. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    yea the p4 chipsets didnt have the pci lock issue just the amd ones. but they had other issues like compatibility with pci-e 2.0 graphics cards. i have a board upstairs and of the graphics cards i tried in it only a couple would work. i tried - 8400gs 8600gs HD5450 HD4850 9800GX2 and only the 8400gs and HD5450 will work in it.
  19. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I am going to try just cutting the sides of the router off to begin with until the antennas arrive. This will leave me with 2 antennas on the N radio and a single antenna on the G radio located at the front of the router that should work well enough for me to use till the antennas arrive and allow me to make the router small enough for it to fit into the enclosure.
  20. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Right on.
  21. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i used a small hacksaw and a pair of snips to trim the router down to the size i wanted. i needed to keep some of the antennas to keep the router operational untill the new ones arrived.
    [​IMG]
    this is my first test fitting to see how the router would go together and i found that the holes on the motherboard line up perfect with the case support posts all i had to do was trim one down slightly to leave clearance in the case for the motherboard to be held in place
    [​IMG]
    as you can see there is still alot of pcb sticking out the side of the case but this is just temporary
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    all plugged in and being tested. i am running it with just the back exposed just now to see how much it heats up i might have to install a small fan and drill some holes if it gets too hot.


    things still to do=
    solder the power cables of the motherboard to the routers DC jack'
    drill cooling vents and possibly install a fan
    cut back panel to expose ports
    solder pigtails to fit external antennas
    install new switches for the router/motherboard
    rewire the router and motherboard leds into a custom front panel.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  22. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    its epic
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  23. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Geo how did you order that board? I looked on their website but could not find a place that had an order form?
    Crunching for Team TPU
  24. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i found it used at auction on ebay with no bidders i got it for £20 and £6 p&p

    its a 3.5 inch motherboard or pc104 motherboard
    [H]@RD5TUFF says thanks.
  25. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Awww none show up for me on ebay :(
    Crunching for Team TPU

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