It’s a clever little device with several useful functions:
- Travel adapter. Plugs into most power sockets and has a universal plug on top.
- Two USB charging sockets.
- Connect to Ethernet and share the signal via WiFi.
- Connect to WiFi and share the signal via WiFi or Ethernet.
- In built router with lots of network configuration settings.
Use it at a hotel and share a single WiFi connection with all your devices. Handy!
So, what’s inside the thing?
Warning – playing around with electrical items can be dangerous. You risk damaging the delicate electrical components and seriously injuring yourself.
This is a remarkably easy device to take apart. No screws and no glue.
The green ends pop off with a little force.
There’s a small clip on one side holding the rest of the shell together. Gently insert a screwdriver or spludger to force it apart.
Once open, its secrets are exposed! Inside we find the venerable Ralink RT5350.
It’s an incredibly common WiFi SoC which is supported by OpenWRT.
Looking at the power supply, we get a few more clues about the origin of the router.
There’s more regulatory information on the device at the FCC.
Or, watch this incredibly informative video:
Judging from comments in the code, it would appear that the interface was written by Go Ahead Software.
Accessing the router via a web-browser shows a basic configuration wizard. There’s also a manual mode.
There’s an impressive amount of configuration available to the power-user.
Filtering, port-forwarding, DMZ, VPN – much more than you’d expect from a basic router.
Apparently, there is fossilised code for sharing devices plugged into the USB sockets.
I wasn’t able to get this to work – but it may be possible with different firmware.
I emailed Ahoku and they sent through the latest version of the firmware, dated 2014-02-22.
Satechi provide two older official versions of the firmware:
Other than the branding differences, there seems to be no functional differences between them. I’ve contacted Ahoku to see if there’s a more recent version – but have not received a reply.
This really is quite the package! If you’re a frequent traveller, it deserves to be in your hand-luggage – associate it once at the hotel and have all your devices connect automatically while simultaneously charging your laptop and phone. Nifty!