New Battery Power Router?


I need a router which these details:

1.- Nice battery which maks possible to charge a phone via USB
2.- at least 32Mb flash size.
3.- Dual band 2.4Ghz y 5Ghz.
4.- Desirable Ethernet Port.
5.- Upgradeable to the latest firmware (19.07.0)

Nowdays i have TPLink TL-MR13U. But seems it gets obsolete, since i must use a USB dongle to expand its filesystem, it has no 5G wifi.. but it is the king of Power size with 10000mAh.

I found, HW-C108 which could be an interesting replacement, but seems only available at Alibaba... :frowning:


Did oyu consider travel routers that take 5V power source, so can be powered-in by any power bank. This is a more flexible approach, will gives you more options, allows you to use the power bank in other uses and also replace it in case the battery fails.

GL.iNet has a range of these little devices, and they are shipped with OpenWrt.[Brand*~]=GL.iNet

1 Like[0]=device%20type_%3DTravel%20Router%20-%20Battery%20powered

hehe, thats how i found router... :smiley:

Anyway, searching Gl.inet products, i found this one (quite expensive but perfect for my needs)...

But seems its not OpenWRT (standard) firmware yet... any plans?
I use collectd, statistics, OpenVPN, ebtables... some services that doesnt fit well without the Luci interface. (GL.inet has it owns OpenWRT version)


if you click the advanced config button in the gl-inet custom gui it sends you to LuCI

Ahm,... didnt know. I have not bought any GL.Inet router at the moment... Do they update its Openwrt to the latest version also?

Roughly at the time you wrote the thread opener message I ordered my HW-C108. It arrived today. Shipment got delayed, first by chinese new year festival activities, then by the coronavirus outbreak. Point being, just gather your courage to order from Alibaba, it's not that much different from other portals. Main difference is that its mainly aimed at resellers and even wholesalers, rather than consumers, but most vendors are happy to send single items, called "sample".

Alibaba offers about a dozen different ways to ship, be careful to select the right one. I wasn't, so Hnet asked back, which led to an additional delay as I did not check my e-mail often enough. They asked if I wanted my device without battery, as my selected way of shipment did not allow lithium batteries, that would have been $6 extra, which in the end Hnet was generous to pay for me. They also asked for the choice of colour (had not realised there is a completely black version) and operating system (there seems to be a proprietary alternative). Needless to say pre-installed OpenWRT is the choice.

There is even no need to worry about unreadable manuals, as there is none whatsoever. :slight_smile:

Superficially, the package and the device inside look just fine (professional, good finish), but I cannot report about the stuff inside as I have not played with it yet.

After finally having found some time to work on the device I have been able to get almost everything working. Last thing missing is the SD card interface, for now I do not have a clue how to get that working. However, to me that is of peripheral importance. I'm happy to report the core functions (LAN, WiFi, WWAN i.e. LTE) are working very satisfactorily.

The device came not with stock OpenWRT but a fork from the LEDE time, that the manufacturer maintained themselves. In that firmware, LuCI is severely crippled and provides only basic functions. Either the firmware image checking in OpenWRT has changed since, or Hnet implemented some proprietary checking. This leads to the standard ways of OpenWRT upgrade to fail, as the stock image is determined to be invalid. Hence both LuCI and the sysupgrade commandline tool refuse to upgrade. However, the latter can be made to bypass the checks by using the --force option ("Use the force, Luke" :slight_smile: ). This makes it paramount to triple check that the image is the right one, and it's not corrupted (check the SHA256 checksum). The image can be transferred to the device using SCP or TFTP.

After reboot you can customise the device as usual with OpenWRT. LAN and WiFi work out of the box but may need tweaking according to the purpose you have in mind (on my device, LAN is going to become WAN).

LTE is of course a different matter. I installed kmod-usb-serial, kmod-usb-serial-option, kmod-usb-serial-wwan and minicom. These provide some basic ways of communicating with the device. Using minicom on ttyUSB2 (115200bps, 8N1), the device brand and make can be checked with the ATI command. In my case, a Quectel EC25 is present, but since this is a PCIe module, something else my be present if you purchase a C108 for yourself.

For the EC25, QMI seems to work. So I installed luci-proto-qmi and kmod-usb-net-cdc-ether. After that, in LuCI you can add another interface (e.g. call it WWAN) with the protocol "QMI Cellular". Further configuration is straightforward: Enter your providers's APN, the PIN to unlock the SIM (You did insert a SIM before, did you?), etc. Enjoy your LTE access.

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Just for completeness, I'd like to add that I got the SD card interface working fine as well, so nothing left without support.

I now have a travel router for attaching my devices via WiFi, and which provides WAN via either Ethernet, WLAN, or cellular, whatever is available locally. It builds a Wireguard VPN to my home net, and if my wife runs out of memory with her non-extensible phone she can dump photos to the router's SD card via SMB (Samba) or FTP.

The inbuild battery can be used as a power bank, but it really does not have much energy to spare. With power hungry stuff like LTE operating, the battery powers just the router for only about 4 to 5 hours. Here it really becomes obvious how smartphones are optimised for power-efficiency.

Three points that I want to work on more:
a.) There is no way to see the cellular signal level, not even from LuCI; I'd like to use the LTE LED to not just show if the device is connected, but also show the signal strength.
b.) Battery run time is rather short, I'd like to install some power saving machinery to extend it.
c.) Changing the WAN WLAN is a PITA, as each time you have to set up the updated credentials, even if the WLAN to log in was used many times before, so I really want some kind of WLAN credentials management.

Please open new topics for questions regarding configuration of your device.



In this post you are replying to I did not answer any questions. There are no question marks. I posted a list of work items on my agenda. On the same day I posted my agenda I did also write a question regarding item a) in a new thread in the Installing-and-Using Forum.

Thanks for mentioning these, even though I had already found the first a while ago, and the second only today. :grinning: I will investigate them in time.

I'm currently working on a script that reads the WWAN signal level, and sets LED action. The LTE LED is a single dual colour (red/green) LED. My plan is to use the netdev trigger on the LED (flicker to indicate traffic), and indicate strength by colour (red=bad, yellow=fair, green=good)

After that I want to try creating a LuCI status page showing cellular network details (type of connection (LTE, UMTS, GSM), signal strength and reference signal received data in [dbm], signal to noise ratio. Lua is new for me, so that's gonna be interesting.

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