Wifi card supports openwrt

I bought this mini pc router

The question is, what wifi card can I put to broadcast compatible with openwrt?
I have searched the forum but they say that it is very difficult to find them

The intel ax211 would be worth it?

buy better wifi router?

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Only if the plan isn't an AP.

For AP, https://www.ebay.es/itm/115157821962 or https://www.ebay.es/itm/204271066071 is a better choice.

I can't see what key the m.2 slot is. Can you look yours and tell?

Mine is from China to Spain but it is supposed to have a slot for Wi-Fi input but the Wi-Fi is not integrated.

Yes, it has an m.2 slot. These slots have "keys" (little places for notches in the card to fit). The position of these keys determines what cards you can use in the slot. The sales page for your device doesn't say what keys your m.2 slot has. Can you take a close-up picture of it? (google "m.2 keys" to understand better)

I've bought a Mini PCI-e WLAN card that was recommended here in OpenWrt forum but I didn't pay attention that my Mini PC doesn't have any mini pci-e slot. It only has a M2 E Key, so I bought an adapter and I'm waiting it to get delivered.
This is what I bought:
And this adapter that hasn't arrived yet:

And this is the Mini PC I'm talking about:

Since I don't know if the adapter will work, my question is:
What is the best M2 Wifi 6/6E chip available to be used as AP with OpenWrt?
Is MT7921 (those you recommended) the best available so far for m2 socket?
Would you be able to tell me how it compare to the one I bought (MT7915+MT7975), I mean, is it better or worse?
I need to buy from AliExpress, that's the only "deal breaker", I guess. Ebay is kind complicated to deliver to my country =/

Thanks :slight_smile:

No, mt7915/ mt7916 would be (and if you only have a single slot, you may wan/ need the DBDC variant thereof).

mt7921/ mt7922 are target at desktop/ notebook usage, only 2x2, no DBDC - and while they can do AP mode, they're rather limited for that (limited number of concurrent interface combinations, limited number of clients being able to connect, ...).

The other alternative would be QCA/ ath11k with its various chipsets, but those pose more trouble with drivers/ firmware combinations, getting it work, and they tend to be priced higher.

In either case, wifi6 cards are running hot, they need a heatsink and good ventilation(!) - and they require beyond specs power delivery (3.3V, 10 watts!), which many standards compliant hosts can't provide. Do yourself a favour, get a cheap purpose built wifi6 AP/ router capable of running OpenWrt instead and outsource the problem to hardware that has been designed with this in mind.

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So I should stick in the one I bought, basically.

I see...

That would probably be a no-go to me, then.

I think you were the guy that recommended the wallys card, but I can't remember, and it doesn't matter actually.
The Wallys wifi card says in its spreadsheet that it runs in 3.3V DC, so it's the same voltage.
I was trying to look what is the specs for m2 A/E key, and it looks like it's between 5.5W and 11W.
So it looks like I won't have any trouble driving this card, aside from its temperature.
My mini pc is equipped in a fan, I got some space and I think I could fit a heatsink over it, to help dissipate some temperature.

I'd love to have everything under just one product, that's why I went this route. Considering most routers doesn't even have fans, wouldn't my setup be even better, since I'd be providing a better ventilation than over the shelf solutions?

I would not recommend adapters, it adds yet another level of 'excitement'.

I would not be that optimistic, there is no grounds for that - chances for it to 'just' work are 35%-40% at best, they really need beyond-spec power supply on 3.3V (and often a separate 3.3V rail). Likewise they will boil, quite literally, that heat has to get out in a controlled way.

It's possible, if the stars are aligned in your favour and if you're willing to buy stuff until you find a combination that does, but it's not a smart move - and external AP is cheaper and 'better', most of all, it will just_work™.

Quite a few wifi6 routers do come with an active fan, those that do not, come with a quite sophisticated cooling design with large heatsinks instead (usually vertical, to create a chimney effect) - that's typically hard to retrofit to 'small' general purpose hardware.

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ahaha, fair enough!

What would point to me that it is not working as expected? Will I have my wifi dropping connections or something like that?

Will it get hot just by turning it on? Or does it depend how demanding I'm?
I have just a few wifi clients, probably less than 20. I just wish I could get good speed with any of them, when needed. What temperature would you say it's safe to have? I have a multimeter that has a thermometer probe, I could stick the probe into the surface of the wifi card and monitor for a couple minutes. In the spreadsheet it says it can work up to 90º C, but I don't find myself comfortable with that temperature, I'd try to have to go at max 75ºC. Otherwise I would just do what you said: move to a dedicated wifi hardware.

haha :stuck_out_tongue:

I see.
Well, in case I don't mind having to just use Wifi 4 + 5, would you be able to recommend me a good m2 wifi card that runs cool and it doesn't lack performance?

Currently my internet speed is 750 Mbps, EPON. So theoretically I would max out at 1.2 Gbps, because of EPON. My wifi clients doesn't need that much speed, I just thought: Why not but the latest and greatest technology, since I'm already replacing my old router?

So with current Linksys EA8500 I'm limited to 450 Mbps. It just can't go over that, because of the PPPoE overhead. So my idea was: Invest in a good X86 plataform, with low wattage, and I'd have an all-in-one solution that would be overkill for years to come. This mini pc is equipped with 2.5 Gbps ethernet and it's quite fast. I can have everything virtualized, so right now I have my DNS, and all the dockers containers I need running from this Mini PC. And I was just waiting to get this wifi card in order to fully replace my ea8500.

If I can't (because of temperature, wattage or whatever), I could just use my EA8500 for a time until I figure something else. I mean, it's only limited to 450 Mbps right now because it was the PPPoE overhead. If I set my Mini PC to do it, I think my EA8500 would be able to drive up to 800 Mbps over wifi without any trouble. The probably would only be the amount of devices close to each other, in the wall.

And I was expecting to have everything battery backed up. My EA8500 is running of a cheap chinese router UPS, but with my Mini PC I'd need to build a custom DC UPS, since it has way more performance, which means it also consumes more power. I've bought everything so far to DIY this router, I'm just waiting for some parts to arrive. Maybe I will need to keep 1x 12V DC port available to run my AP, then :confused:

It can burn out the mainboard, doesn't need to, but can.

Both, the more you push it, the hotter it gets - but it already starts hot.

Sure (in no particular order):

  • predator w6
  • tuf-ax4200
  • dl-wrx36
  • rt3200/ e8450
  • wax206
  • wax218
  • xiaomi ax3600/ ax9000
  • dap-x1860/ covr1860
  • wsm20
  • wax202
  • ...
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So basically, no DIY? Even for 2.4GHz/5GHz?
I mean, I get that Wifi6/6E is more demanding and runs hotter.
But doesn't exist a good m2 for the "old generation" that is more optimized and can run colder?