Home Hub 3 Type A

I've just joined this forum, so I've popped in to say hello! I was given a brand new boxed (unopened) BT Home Hub3 by a lovely lady who had posted it on Gumtree in the Glasgow Freebies section, so I picked it up to use as a replacement for my Virgin Media hub - I have gotten rid of, because it was too expensive to keep going once I had been made redundant during lockdown. I am now using my mobile hotspot (and 5G is far faster than Virgin). Because I am only connected whilst my phone is at home, I've had to temporarily do without the usual services that I run from home (I was self-hosting a number of services, but not any more due to the lack of permanent connection). Of course, whilst my Samsung Note10 can connect to the WiFi and run the mobile hotspot simultaneously, I haven't been able to successfully share it's internet across that bridge, and in any case I'd prefer a permanent solution that works when I am out. I don't have an old smartphone I can use in it's place. I'm considering getting a MiFi router with a giffgaff SIM as a permanent replacement, so my home can be permanently wired to the intarweb. The cheaper MiFi options don't have wired network ports, so wiring that to my HH3A - which doesn't support WDS or configuring as a repeater - isn't possible without an ethernet port to connect to the HH3.

BTW, this HH3A was the lady's mothers router, who had a better DSL router so never used this one. This lady set up her mum's network, it turns out (I love good conversations with random strangers - turns out, she was an eco-warrior and semi-retired IT professional, now running a non-IT related business alongside freelance IT consulting, just like myself). The router had been lying around in a cupboard for quite a while, and being the environmentally-minded, wanted to recycle rather than bin the item.

So, it's not really a question (yet) - or even a recommendation, but it's a piece of hardware and I want to talk about it, so I've created this post :slight_smile: I may have questions! I've just discovered this lovely piece of software (well, technically it's firmware isn't it). And what I am most chuffed about is that, if I flash my HH3, I can get WDS! Which means that I will be able to connect my MiFi (when it arrives) with my HH3 and do what I want to do without having to get a more expensive MiFi with an ethernet port, or else ditch the otherwise perfectly working WiFi router.

I'm really impressed with OpenWRT so far! From what I am reading, that is, I haven't been brave enough to flash the router yet. I shouldn't find this too difficult, and the UI looks quite friendly. I have a lot of experience hacking linux distros, so I will enjoy having a play with this.

My background is in IT - software development - some 25 years in the industry. Before branching into developing mobile phone OSes and ultimately becoming a Web/Android/Apple App developer, I started out in 1996 as an apprentice, and I spent many years as an Embedded Software Engineer at the (ill-fated) Marconi, where I specialised in limited memory embedded systems (predominately Layer 2). So this product is straight up my (historical) street!

Funny side note you might like to be entertained by - at Marconi (formerly Plessey telecoms) I worked in a team that had developed an SDSL DSLAM for the System X exchange, which formed the backbone of the British Telecoms UK telephony system (98% of the exchanges at the time, late 90'S-early 00's) and we tried to sell it to BT, as a replacement for business ISDN and potential new residential market (this was during the time of 56K modems, Home Highway and the dreaded 0800 rediallers and 3 hour auto-disconnect - about 18 months before BT built there far too rushed ADSL catastrophe)

Remember the green ADSL frog? What was one of BT's sales director/board members response to our company's sales pitch? Who the hell would want a 1MB connection to their home? There will be no residential market! We just don't see a need for fast connections into the home. What would be the point? There is no application for it. We would never sell this!

Sadly, our SDSL DSLAM would have slotted straight into their exchange, simple plug-n-play. It could have been modified if they wanted to limit the upstream. Without BT's support, the project was mothballed. Funny when BT came back 18 months later and sheepishly enquired whether we had developed the product anyway. Err.. no! We did do something for the USA, but it wasn't compatible without more development time and they wanted to use off-the-shelf products to cobble together their ADSL as fast as they could...

So what did they end up with? A complete mess of hashed together technology, filtering off certain frequencies before the twisted copper hit the exchange, passing them into a separate ADSL product restricted to 512K. When they finally caught with the modern age, what they did was akin to rejecting an after-market, double DIN Pioneer Head Unit, that would slide straight into their Mercedes existing car stereo slot, and instead used the AUX-OUT from their existing Head Unit and patched that into the amplifier of an old HIFI seperates stack, connected to an AC inverter hotwired to the car battery and hooked up to a set of HIFI speakers in the boot.

Totally off topic, I know, so, back to my shiny HH3A! Because it's brand new (to me) and unopened, I was delighted to read the firmware version is exactly what it needs to be to flash OpenWRT over the top!

So, I am downloading as we speak, :grinning: