USB mod WRT54

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[edit] Introduction

Recently I bought a Netgear Router WNR3500L as an upgrade to my WRT54G because it had a USB port that I could use as a samba share. Well, shortly after I had everything configured on my new router, I found this IMPULSE DRIVE on my wrt54gs v1 (usb mod) forum post that indicated one could add a USB port to the WRT54G. With the pressure off, because I had the new router already working, I decided to give it a go and do the mod as well as document the install.

[edit] YOU NEED

2 x 15K ohm resistors
1 x good soldering stick & solder
1 x USB connector & some wires
1 x Power supply for clean 5V & hopefully also 12 V (to completely replace the original pwr supply)

Open up your WRT54G. Just google a howto (there a plently out there)

Locate the the necessary connection points:

  • RH19 usb1 Data +
  • RH20 usb1 Data -
  • A good ground (I used the shield of one of the antennas were it ties into board)


Remove the two resistors from RH19 & RH20 and replace them with the 15K ohm resistors. I you don't have 15K ohm resistors handy your can just hook several in series to get the required resistance. This was a spontaneous hack job, so I was just able to use what I had handy. Then connect the usb1 Data + (green wire) to the resistor leg that is closest to the Broadcom chip (RH19). Then connect the usb1 Data - (white wire) to the resistor leg that is closest to the Broadcom chip (RH20). Finally connect the ground/shield wire from your USB connector where the coax cable of one of the antennas is attached to the board. IF YOU HAVE MADE CLEAN SOLDER CONNECTIONS YOU ARE OVER 50% THERE! If not, your are going to be aggravated that the usb port is not working. Just replacing the existing resistors will show you in dmesg that you have a USB hub now!

USB power source:

  • The two other connection points that you need are +5V and the - connector.
  • Attach the - wire to the side of the power jack
  • Attach the - power supply lead of your 5V power source there as well.
  • Attach the + power supply lead (red cable) to your *CLEAN* 5V power source

REMEMBER: YOU NEED A CLEAN POWER SOURCE. NOT a regular wall wart that says 5V on it. I used a external power supply that came with an IDE-to-USB adapter, so it supplies both 12V and 5V. The benefit was that I only needed one power supply, and avoided adding components to the build to step the 12V's from the original pwr adapter down to 5V.



STEP 4: Put everything back together and enjoy your new USB port! Please make sure that you use the dd-wrt firmware with usb functionality!


--Plexport 04:07, 25 October 2010 (CEST)