Alfa Network boards (N2Q, N5Q, R36M-E4G)

I ran into the three following Alfa Network boards today (SoC in parentheses):

They all claim to support OpenWrt and indeed, I can find a data entry and firmware binaries for each of them:

However, besides this post, I cannot find any reports of users running OpenWrt with such boards. The mini PCIe slot in two of them got me particularly curious... Has anyone had the chance to play with one of these Alfa Network boards before?

I had the N5Q working, but it seemed to have a temperature related reboot issue, so I gave up on it.

where did you buy it?

did you ever troubleshoot the temp issue or tried a cooling solution (e.g., heatsinks, fan, or combination of those)?

My boards were sourced from Alfa directly.

Note that the issue only occurs when there is > 100Mbps generated by iperf3 from a PC ethernet to one N5Q across the wireless link to another N5Q, ethernet to a receiving PC. The transmitting N5Q is always the one that reboots. Usually within 15 minutes.

I tried heatsinks on various chips, but still got the reboot.

What did work was a cold scarf. This a cloth which is soaked in water, then draped over the board (which is held vertically), so the board is subject to evaporative cooling for as long as there is water in the cloth, about an hour.

If you do get some N5Q units, please try this test to see if you get the same results, and let me know.

has anyone else used these other two boards?

I have all of them so if you need any particular information, I might be able to give you answers.
Regarding N5Q, I have never seen such issue with the one I have.

if you don't mind, I have quite a few questions actually:

  • did you get them directly from alfa as well? i cannot seem to find them anywhere else.

  • do you remember (or have a record of) how much you paid for each unit?

  • have you used mini pci-e cards with the N2Q and R36M-E4G? anything unusual about it?

  • have you used them in production?

  • are they worth a try or is it your opinion that there are better options out there (better as in cost-benefit)?

I got them free of charge for OpenWrt support purposes.

Sure, no issues. The one in N2Q has additional power supply on unused pins, for AWMC9886PH card (QCA9886 based). There is also a new revision of this board (I'm not sure if it's available, last time I checked it was still in engineering sample stage), called N2Q-E4G with SIM slot and USB in the mini PCIe slot.

Datasheets:

No.

Can't answer that.

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thanks, @pepe2k . that's exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

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