Unbricking and upgrading an ASUS wl520 router


[Andrew] has an ASUS wl520-gU router that he is pretty fond of, despite its numerous problems. CPU clock bug aside, the router only has 16MB or memory like many others on the market. While tooling around with the bootloader he bricked the device, so he decided it was time for an overhaul.

After some searching online, he found that the router could be unbricked by shorting out one of the pins on its flash chip. With an emergency unbrick button installed on the board, he can now reset it in seconds by power cycling the device.

Now that he had a working router again, he proceeded to remedy his initial gripe – the lackluster amount of memory. He soldered in a 512Mbit (64MB) module in the original chip’s place, crossed his fingers and booted the router. It started up just fine, so he ran a few commands to instruct the router to recognize the new memory capacity. After rebooting, he found that it only recognized 32MB of RAM, which was remedied by soldering a 22 Ohm resistor to one of the module’s pins.

It did take a bit of careful soldering to get things upgraded and working, but we think it was well worth the effort.


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