The other day I saw that Target was selling the D-LINK DIR-615 draft N router for $50.00 each. Since it had been a while since I purchased a wireless router to hack, I bought one. It turns out that this was a wise choice.

This router chip has an 88F5180NB1 CPU. This is a Marvell Orion SoC. Support for this family of processors is coming into the tree shortly.

There's a FS28F640 flash chip on board. This is a 64Mb/8MB of memory. With compression, FreeBSD can fit into this size. There appears to be 32MB of RAM, which is also enough to run FreeBSD.

There's a 88E6061-LAJ1 PHY chip which should be relatively easy to program.

Finally, it has a mini-pci slot with a 802.11n card based on the 88W8361P-BEM1 chip. Maybe a driver for this chip will come along. I've not investigated the GPL tarball to see if there's a driver in source for this, or just a binary module.

There's a GPL tarball available at the D-Link web site.

Finally, there's two interesting connectors. One looks to be a JTAG connector, the other looks to be a serial port.

My next step is to look into what's coming out of the serial port and what's in the GPL tarball for hints while I'm waiting for the Orion support to come into the tree.


Ivan Jones said...

I bought this router on Boxing Day, thinking that it would have good range and speed throughout my house, being a draft-n... I was sadly mistaken, but I'm stuck with it now.

Please continue your exploration, and if you get FreeBSD installed on it, let me know (a little tutorial would be awesome), because I'd like nothing more than to boost the signal a little so I have a signal in my bedroom!

Thanks a lot

Xyc0 said...

I just bought me one of these. I haven't done anything as far as modding it, but it works great in a WET network my WRT54G with XWrt on it.

Can't wait to put FreeBSD on it and start messing with range boosts.

stass said...

JTAG should be really useful. You can do almost everything with it, including full debugging and remote resets.

Warner Losh said...

Update on the GPL distribution: it contains only a binary .o for the ethernet driver. Guess they don't consider their driver to be a derived work....

Warner Losh said...

I've just written up how to add
a serial port
to the D-LINK DIR-615. Maybe you'll find it interesting.

Boris said...

This thread is incredibly useful to us as we're stuck in iraq and this is the only wireless N router we can get here. We've got a VSAT link to the rest of the world, a wireless router for the hooches, but it doesn't reach 'em all. I've been trying to figure out a way to set up a second DIR615 as an AP/bridge/repeater for the network to extend to the rest of my platoon. Any idea if this is workable? I plan to place it at the outer edge of the current router's signal (in another tin can AKA room, makes for crappy signal strength, but you cant leave 'em outside due to sand, rain, heat, etc). I'm a reservist infantry marine and a sys engineer in the civvie world so i know my way around systems, i'm just on a horrible schedule right now so i haven't had time to rip apart the firmware and try to get @ the guts. Warner, if you have any inclination to help out we'd greatly appreciate it and i'd be glad to provide testing and feedback when i get back from patrol in a few days. Basically i need to make one antena function as a client to connect to the other router and the other as an access point (like using two of the RJ45 ports for a bridge) and obviously i dont need any WAN functionality for this thing so if ROM image size is an issue all of that can be dumped. all it needs to do is run WPA2 for authentication, and relay to the primary router for DHCP and NAT. Thanks for any help you could provide

Anonymous said...

Can you seal the WIFI router in a plastic case/ball and put it on top of your "room"
This way, you get the sand protection + better reception?

Robert said...

I found this site (http://www.dd-wrt.com) to be useful for exactly what you are trying to accomplish. The software was originally designed for a Linksys WRT54G router, but the devs put some hard work into getting it on other routers. According to their Wiki (http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices) the D-Link DIR-615 is compatible, and you get access to everything, including signal strength. Hope this helps mate :=)

Warner Losh said...

@robert: The DLINK DIR-615 isn't supported by DD-WRT. At least rev A1 and B2 aren't. A1 uses an ARM part that isn't supported yet, while B2 uses a proprietary part that no open source supports.

C1, which uses the AR9130 and the D1 and D2, which use the Raylink RT3052F are partially supported. The C1's support appears to be quite a bit better than the D1/D2. The C1's support is the same as the trendnet TEW-632BRP. There are some open issues, but it is basically usable.

Getting new software onto the DLINK DIR-615 REV A1 is a challange, unless you have a fully formed image to put on there. They jimmied uboot so the network doesn't work so you can't netboot FreeBSD on them...

Giorgio said...

Warner You got a fully formed image for the a1? Which ARM part is it on the a1?(location on the board)? Thx. G