About this project

This article describes build process of Ulimate N 450 Mbit Router based on Iomega iConnect.

As my hobby is Electronic I am also interested in hardware and software modifications of stock hardware.
With routers I have started with Linksys WRT54GL (done SD mod, alternative firmware), then I switched to TP-Link 1043ND with Open WRT (written step by step installation guide) and finally bought iConnect as it has best power to price relation (USB-LAN transfers more than 20MB compared to max 10MB of TP-Link).

Then the idea come that it would be better to do all in one piece of hardware rather that buying separate Router for Internet sharing and attaching external HDD on cable to iConnect. So I started preparing requirements and components list.

Assumptions and reqirements:

- integrated NAS and Router functionality in one box
- small size
- good performace
- energy efficient
- good quality components
- well done
- good ventilation
- easy access to components

Part List:

- Iomega iConnect (30 eur, used) - CPU: 1GHz, RAM: 256MB, FLASH 512MB, 4xUSB, Gigabit LAN.
- WiFi card Intel 6300 Ultimate-N 3T3R 2,4/5Ghz 450Mbit (17 eur)
- Vivanco USB 2.0 Slim Hub (5 eur, used)
- D-Link DUB-E100 network card (5 eur, used)
- Welland USB 2.0 /eSata 2,5" hdd case (20 eur, new)
- HDD Samsung 640GB
- 4GB Flash drive
- Plastic case Maszczyk Z1-A (3 eur)
- some screws (2 eur)
- aluminium profile (3 eur)
- 3x antena connectors cables
- WiFi antena (got from broken D-Link routers and old Lenovo laptop)
- USB cables (already had some)

Total about: 85 eur

All of this componens you can find as used on internet auctions.

Getting it together.

I have decided to use plastic case produced by Maszczyk as I have good experience with that products from previous project USB Sound Card / headphone amplifier based on PCM 2902.
It is not that good looking as usual routers cases but in this project functionality is more important for me. Later router will be hidden behind TV.
Below you can see photos from building process, whole project took about 20 hours to get it done.

D-Link DUB-E100 network card:

USB Ethernet card

Vivanco USB 2.0 Slim Hub:

Welland USB 2.0 /eSata 2,5" hdd case:

Externall USB bracket:

The case at starting point. Components location is drawn and mouting screws were added.

USB LAN card installed, USB HUB munting prepared.

USB HUB mounted and some cables prepared. Added radiators. USB-LAN adapter consumes about 1W even when doing nothing so it gets warm.

Mounted iConnect board above other components.

Rear view.

HDD mounting made from aluminum L profile.

HDD mounted.

Front view.

Rear view.

Top view. Mounted side externall USB sockets.

Two externall rear antennas get mounted and one internall on front (white stripe on right).

Case closed, front.

Case closed, rear.


© Paweł Woźniak