Solderless Pogo-Pins For Flashing Routers

Solderless Router Pins

Low-cost wireless routers are a dime a dozen these days — but what happens if you need to flash the firmware? Normally you’d have to solder in a serial connection in order to access it, but [Luka Mustafa] had another idea — pogo-pins!

It’s actually quite easy to make a small PCB with pogo-pins and then use a 3D printed bracket or alignment jig in order to make connection. They currently only have designs for a few TP-Links (WR740 and WR741ND) on their GitHub, but more will be added soon. They’ve also included instructions on how to restore firmware on any of these devices with their handy-dandy pogo-pin PCB.

[Luka] is one of the guys behind IRNAS (the acronym is in Slovenian), a non-profit open-source company that makes lots of cool projects. They believe in open-source and sharing technology in order to empower the world.

And if you’ve royally bricked your router it could be possible to unbrick it with a Raspberry Pi!

17 thoughts on “Solderless Pogo-Pins For Flashing Routers

  1. and the good part you dont void the warranty

    provided there are no external visible tamper detectors like stickers or glue in the seams.

    they have to look to the solder points on the board.

    if you should botch the flash and brick the device you can remove the connections and close up the device and return it as defective..

    and if you are lucky there is a clearance sale that makes the device cheap enough that it isnt worth returning.

    1. people who return products that have been messed with and fail because of it should be shot, they make the return policy harder for genuine people to get replacements.

      1. the store would not detect anything in fact the product may be so cheap that the manufacturer may not even bother repairing it they may just throw it in the dumpster and send a new one.

        1. It isn’t about the store not detecting that the device was intentionally tampered with. The whole point is that the warranty covers defective units. Why should they be on the hook for someones failed attempt to intentionally modify something that was sold in perfect working order?

          1. ….. On the hook for replacing a defective unit that was not defective.

            It genuinely saddens me that some people need clarification on the subject. You can tell yourself that “They were expecting X% returns anyhow so it doesn’t hurt anyone” if it makes you feel better. To me it is almost as bad as people who can justify littering by saying “Its only once piece of trash it doesn’t hurt anything”.

          2. I saddens me too that smart people, intelligent people and brilliant people sometimes fails miserably on ethics…
            Yes, doing this clearly are not causing a big loss, like returning a messed up 72″ 4k TV. But is a steal. If you can sleep with this, I am very sorry for you. Stealing a penny or a thousand bucks is stealing.

            And if the routers are so cheap, why not just buy one? Or a dozen?

          3. Economists have established that moral hazard is bidirectional in all principal-agent dealings. Moral hazard can be loosely defined as changes in behaviour when risk or cost can be transferred to others. In this case, the principal is the router buyer and the agent is the manufacturer selling the router.
            Consumer protection is all about ensuring that a manufacturer does not supply defective goods to a consumer who is not possessed of perfect knowledge in the transaction and cannot be sure if they are being sold a lemon.
            The more that one decreases the potential for moral hazard of this kind in the manufacturer and makes the manufacturer assume risk, i.e. with a warranty, the more potential there is for moral hazard to manifest in the consumer, i.e. by returning a unit that the manufacturer will not know was bricked by the user.
            Conversely, the more one reduces the potential for such moral hazard in the consumer, i.e. by limiting consumer protection and dispensing with warranty protection, the more potential there is for the manufacturer to sell lemons, as others will be bearing the risk.
            The presence of insurance, in this case the warranty, allows the consumer to shift the cost of their unseen behaviour or activity to the manufacturer. Returning an inadvertently bricked unit is the moral equivalent of a manufacturer knowingly selling lemons.
            The same issues of moral hazard in principal agent interactions underlie the fiduciary obligations of professionals from whom consumers seek advice with the reasonable expectation that the professional will put the client’s interests ahead of their own.

  2. I understand the concept here. but why? for the price of the router plus the adapter wouldn’t it just be cheaper to buy like a wrt54g or something from amazon or a thrift store? thus negating the need for a serial connector to flash it?

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