[linux-elitists] Linksys router and GPIO or serial port?

Etienne Goyer etienne.goyer@linuxquebec.com
Tue Jun 1 11:54:27 PDT 2004

Don Marti wrote:
> Yeah, yeah, yeah, disruptive technology,
> hack the phone system, power to the
> community network, and all that...
> http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040527.html
> (thanks for the link, Jeff:
> http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/blog/2004/05/30/)

Off course, I am going to trust a ramshackle network built on 
consumer-grade equipement, running a best-effort protocol over a medium 
sensitive to interference and managed by your Average Joe for my 
telephony needs ...

The hack value of these WRT54G router is indeed awesome, but Cringely 
got overboard on this one.  It's not even _starting_ to threaten the 
telco landline services.

> But what I want to know is: has anyone put one
> or more general-purpose I/O lines, or a serial
> port, on this thing?  There are pads for a
> serial port on some of the board photos here:
> http://www.linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=6

According to the FAQ section of 
http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/LinksysWrt54g, there are two 
standard serial port header on the board.  However, it is not clear if 
that apply only to the 1.0 version of the board (scarce) or if it still 
apply to current shipping unit.  If I understand correctly, these are 
the header you can see at the top right corner of the picture at 

This is just what I can gather from the documentation at Seattle 
Wireless; I have no first-hand experience with this router.  I would 
love to have clarification from someone who have real-world experience 
hacking this baby.

> Or is the way to go, if you want to make a wireless
> fish feeder or whatever, just to hook up some kind
> of 8-bit microcontroller with Ethernet support to
> the Ethernet on the Linksys box?

My project for this router would be to hookup a voice modem on one of 
the serial port and make it an answering machine.  I have not yet 
figured out where the messages would actually be stored, as storage 
space is _very_ tight on this device.  Emailed, maybe ?

> Boxes that have a serial port and one wired Ethernet
> are about four times the price of the Linksys box,
> and the Linksys is wireless.

Now, imagine if Linksys had the foresight to put a USB port on this 
machine.  It make my head spin.

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