How to power a Gainstrong Oolite V5.2 module (or other) without a dev-board?

Hi! There is a very cheap and tiny dual band router with OpenWrt from factory. Is the Gainstrong Oolite V5.2 module that is fully supported by OpenWrt. It fully works with a dev-board.

I want to ask if somebody made work just the module without the dev-board. As it has a little modified version of OpenWrt it has the WiFi enabled from factory so you don't need any other connection than power to work with it.

We tried with 5V and 3.3V in pins as I show in the picture without success.


Specs and schematics in:

As some of you was working with this device for support it I think that some of you know how to power it on correctly. Thanks.

The Table of Hardware states that it's powered by 3.3 V.

Yes, I know, it supposed could be powered by both 3.3V and 5V.


I tried to update the Table of Hardware but I just have login for and not for the new Wiki. I tried to register but the system that sends e-mail for activate new accounts or remembering passwords is not working. I'm not sure who/where contact for fixing it. Do you know it? Meanwhile, could you change the wiki?


I feel very cautious about changing that - as I do not own the device. I would advise that you edit it, after you verify you're able to power the device with 5 Volts.

Postscriptum: "NOTE" came from file "OoliteV5.2-Spec-V1.0.8.pdf". This is extracted from "OoliteV5.2-Dev-V1.0.21.pdf", both are in previous link.


1 Like

Main power is 3.3 V, see:
5 V is used only for QCA9531 PA and QCA9887 FEM.

You need to provide 3.3 and 5 V to the module to make it working.

1 Like

Thank you very much! I didn't thought on this! I'm going to test it. We tested just with 3.3V (nothing visible happened) or with 5V, never with both at the same time!

Why do you say "only"?
I know that the system chipset is QCA9531 that is also the 2.4GHz radio. QCA9887 is the 5GHz radio, but I don't know what is "PA" and "FEM".

This dual powered scenario is changing my project, but I'm going to try it, do you know more or less how much it consumes for booting? I didn't find any information about power consumption of this device (I'm thinking about power it with an Arduino that already have 5V and 3.3V output and a solar panel).

Also I want to suggest to officially support Gainstrong minibox v3.2 that is a device so similar to Oolite v5.2 with a modified OpenWrt from factory and with connectors from factory.

Sorry for asking a lot and thank you very much, your information is very useful!

With only 3.3 V applied it should work (check serial console output). 5 V powers only PA (power amplifier) and FEM (front end module) for radios, AFAIK it's not used on the module for anything else.

You should ask manufacturer about that.


Powering it off an Arduino is probably a bad plan. Most only supply a few hundred mA of 3.3 V and often have a fuse on the USB side so that the 5 V is limited as well. I don't know how powerful the built-in power amps are in the board's radios, but I would imagine that the chips will probably be drawing a 2-4 W when transmitting or running hard.

You will need regulated 5 V and 3.3 V. Single-voltage regulator boards can be found on auction sites for well under US $1 and are the size of a small coin.

I'm not sure why you would want to power it off an 8-bit MCU running at 16 MHz when you've got an SoC on the board itself that is probably something like 100x more powerful.

If you're looking for wireless connectivity for an Arduino project, I think ESP8266 or ESP32 modules are a much better bet. Even the ESP8266 can probably run whatever you've got on an Arduino as well as 2.4 GHz 802.11 and TLS connections over the encrypted wireless. The dual-core ESP32 will run circles around an AVR and would be my recommendation. The ESP32-DevKitC-VB boards are available with 4 MB RAM for US $11 through Mouser, a well-respected commercial component supplier. Note that these specific units bear an FCC identification number. No doubt there are plenty of cheap clones out there.

1 Like

Probably you're right, @jeff. Altought we don't know the consumption for turning on without amplifier.

My scenario is because I already have some "normal" routers with battery (TP-Link MR13U) connected to an Arduino and to a 5V solar panel. The Arduino is just for turning on and off the device depending of a schedule (with a relay), just because the "normal" router spend more energy than a simple Arduino and we don't need the router working during the night.

I have this already working. But now I want to do it with this cheap and low consumption dual band routers.

So probably is better the way you suggest: avoid Arduino; connect solar panel to Oolite and to a regulator from 5V to 3.3V. At the same time I think that in this case maybe I can avoid the relay if those chipsets could turn off the amplifier (if not maybe I can use those GPIO that the module already have for connect a relay to cut the 5V power supply but not turn off the main power at 3.3V).

Makes sense to use an MCU to control the power if the wireless device doesn't have power control and a "doze" mode. I'd look into regulators with an "enable" pin rather than relays. For example, this one is used in one of the regulators and it looks like pin 2 can be used to enable/disable its output.

It doesn't boot. Neither with 3.3V, neither with both 5V+3.3V :frowning:

Console connected with screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200 no output. Checked reversing UART RX and UART TX (pins 43 and 44). GND to GND on USB-to-TTL Dongle, DCC blank.

Also no WiFi up.

SYSLED (pin 47 and GND) softly blinking weird after power in 3.3V.

Am I missing something?

Welds inspected, I'm not sure at all that they are Ok, but is hard to mantain them clean after a lot of tests. Extra question: do you know how to buy this cables from the dev-board or what is their name? Would be much more easy to connect stuff there instead.

I was talking about this "cables" like "paperclips":