I put a WiFi router into a phone charger (Final Post)

Up Until Now

The WifiWart is a powerful embedded Linux WiFi security device hiding inside a phone charger. It is akin to the WiFi Pineapple without looking malicious. Over the length of the project, I’ve had plenty of comments telling me to buy a single-board computer (SBC), jam in an existing enclosure, and call it done. If I was trying to build a one-off device for personal use, this is what I would do. But this project isn’t for me; it’s for the community. In the past six months, I’ve designed a completely open source SBC boasting a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, two WiFi radios, a USB port and all the power supplies to convert mains electricity to the required voltages for the processor. In addition to the electronics, firmware and mechanical design open source, the CAD software used in the design is also open source. I did this intentionally, as having an open source design in Altium or Solidworks is pointless because nobody will shell out 10k+ for software to view my design. That being said, I hope you enjoy the final post :).

The Build

Before starting, I should say: working with mains electronics is inherently dangerous. If you choose to do so, this is solely at your own risk.

  1. Solder paste is applied using a solder stencil.
  2. Tweezers are used to place all the parts on the boards.
  3. Boards are heated using a reflow oven or hotplate.
  4. The solder paste reflows in a molten state, creating permanent solder joints.
Compute Boards on the hotplate
Fire Extinguisher not pictured

Final Assembly

After six months, I finally have the prototype completed. I flashed the OS to the SD card, fired it up, and the UART logs looked fine. If you want more details about what I just said, part two has lots of details on building and configuring the OS.

Proto 1

What’s next

I was planning on getting a crowdfunding campaign going, but the chip shortage ruined those plans for now (more on the chip shortage in part three). I don’t want to pivot over to other untested chips, so the crowdfunding will have to wait. I want to thank all the support I have received through the security and open source community.

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