Introduction: Network Router or Switch Powered by USB

About: Oddluck Club was founded by weird luck and the pursuit of building great things from that luck.

Benefits of Mod:

1. Discard ugly wall wart

2. Minimize foot print

3. Mobile friendly for road-trips, hotels etc.

4. Re-purpose otherwise junk network equipment

Parts List
1. Network Switch that draws less than 2A of power

2. Dc Dc boost converter 2/4/5V up to 24V and 2A of power (ebay for the win - bought 5 for $7)

3. Patch wire for Power/Ground respectively

4. Micro USB cable with Power On/Off Switch

5. Strong Power bank or USB port supporting 2A

Tools List
1. Soldering Iron

2. Hot Glue Gun

3. Multi-meter

4. X-acto Knife

5. USB Volt tester(optional but suggested)

Step 1: Picking a Good Candidate

1. Use a router or switch you know and trust like one from Ebay for $1.99 - Linksys WRT54GS

2. Remove Antennas

3. Verify that Router does not exceed power consumption limits(2A) which is the maximum supported by the pictured boost converter circuit, look up Serial on bottom of unit:

DD-WRT - Linksys Identifying Your Version

4. Confirm the version is also okay for future software mods along with reference for disassembly if your model differs from mine which is CGN1 = WRT54GS v1.0

5. Void warranty if you dare by cutting sticker and popping apart the case

Step 2: The Tough Stuff

6. Remove the internal PCB from plastic prison

7. Examine board for any looming screws that need to be removed

8. In my case only 1 Phillips head screw is in the way of freeing the PCB

9. Find the power plug barrel connections on the PCB

10. Verify and mark which is Power/Ground on the PCB Power connector

11. Remove Power connector from PCB by de-soldering and a considerable amount of gentle prying

12. Barrel Connector removed

Step 3: Turn the Dial and Drop the Glue

13. Preset the Dc Dc converter to require specified voltage in this case 12V - HOT GLUE TO KEEP FROM MOVING

14. Test Dc Boost on switch before soldering - Green lights mean GO

15. Add Dc Boost converter by soldering to corresponding router PCB connections

16. Hot Glue the Dc Boost converter to PCB in a place that will NOT produce heat

Step 4: Keep It Neat Around the Edges - Unlike Me

17. Outline the USB connector to create-carve USB port into case

18. Cut, Test Fit, File, Cut, Test Fit, File, Rinse and Repeat

19. Reassemble

20. Final test to confirm connectivity and power consumption holds up when in use

Step 5: Examples and Notes


I have modified multiple Network switches at this point with no fidelity loss, they draw less power(Amps) then a standard router in my experience and would suggest as a warm up before trying on something more valuable.