first day: connecting to the router

A project log for networked RTL-SDR server

a wifi-based RTL-SDR receiver to cover 1 to 500 MHz

worsthorseworsthorse 11/25/2016 at 17:130 Comments

powered up the AR150, connecting to it through the wan port, using the terminal program and a lot of skimming the openwrt website. i am new to openwrt and the website is full of helpful information, with the usual caveats: you can't count on it as a cookbook and ymmv. that said, the page on the AR150 and the various how-to guides are pretty useful.

i connected to the router using terminal, set the root password, mucked about a bit with the network interfaces and promptly bricked the device. i would repeat this process three or four times during the course of the day, so knowing how to reset the router and install new firmware came in handy.

with an ethernet connection, i finally got to a stable configuration that allows (a) ethernet and wifi connections, (b) logging into the device using terminal and ssh or a web browser and LuCI, (c) the router in client mode on my network.

so first...

(1) set up an ethernet interface on the computer. the router will come up in bridge mode with the wlan disabled and an ip addr of i set up an ethernet interface on my laptop with ip addr, mask, no router or dns and connected the router to the laptop, and pinged it. success!

(2) log into the router with terminal. turns out that the AR150 is running chaos calmer v15.05. i think that means that telnet won't work, so... i log in using ssh, root@, and viola! the welcome screen and a cli prompt.

(3) make sure the router is running the latest firmware. i use the GL package rather than the openwrt version, which is available here.

sidenote: i always use whatever i think will be easiest. for something like this router, sometimes that means the CLI, sometimes a web interface. for setting up the network interfaces and adding the RTL-SDR packages, LuCi is definitely the way to go...

(4) reboot and test LuCI, set up network interfaces. go to in the browser and the GL.iNet login screen appears. oops, should be

now, brick the device two or three more times trying to figure out how to turn off bridging and set up an wlan client. failsafe boot on the AR150:

  1. power down the router
  2. hold the reset button and apply power. the red light will start flashing.
  3. on the fifth flash, release the button.
  4. the red light should flash rapidly, then go out.
  5. the green light in the middle will be unlit, the green light on the end, lit.

the device can be accessed through the wan or lan port using ssh. if both green lights are lit, try again!

next post, setting up wifi and ethernet connections...