Saturday, 28 March 2015

New download links for all files and new domain :)

I recently found out that my FTP hosting had changed the way it worked and screwed up all my links, between that and Rapidshare going weird the other year I have decided it's time to do the job properly and host the files in a better fashion.

All files will now be permanently available via my new domain which for now will bounce back to this site until I decide if I'm going to stick with Blogger or not.

I shall update all my older posts and threads on various forums over the next week but for now here are the links.

Version 5 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 5

Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 5 (Lite)

Version 4.1 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4.1

Version 4.0SE page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4.0SE

Version 4.0 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4

Version 3.1SE page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.1SE

Adobe Flashplayer

Version 3.0 & 3.1 mini patch page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.1

Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.0

Version 2 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 2.0

Version 1 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 1

Sunday, 18 January 2015

TRENDnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Antenna Upgrade

A few weeks ago I managed to score a rather cheap refurbished TRENDnet TEW-812DRU Wi-Fi router, I had been eyeing this model up for a few months, while most reviews give positive marks for the speed (it is fast), gigabit lan ports and fairly decent firmware it's rather let down by the antennas which are not too great over any real distance especially if you have thick solid walls such as I have. On the whole though it's main feature is it's excellent 802.11ac wireless speeds which will beat a lot of the more expensive units around.

While reading around I came across a great review from SmallNetBuilder where they opened it up and revealed that it had pigtail connectors for the wireless antennas, this along with DD-WRT* releasing a firmware for the unit told me it was time to break open the piggy bank.

I shall make a second post with a few more details regarding DD-WRT and speed/reception performance in the next week or so.

*At time of writing (Jan 2015) you must have a v2 unit to run DD-WRT, TRENDnet offer an 'Open Source Firmware' for the v2's which is a branded copy of DD-WRT but I went with the official DD-WRT one as it's a later build.

The Build:

Click any of the pictures for a larger view.

First up you need to get the lid off, lift the two rubber feet off to expose the screws then work the lid open with a spreader. Wedge it in between the grey side and black lid and gently work your way round.

Once the lid is off you'll see the mainboard with the pigtails for the antenna, NOTE: v1 models differ slightly, check the SmallNetBuilder review to see.

These are the stock antennas hidden under the mainboard, if you live in small property they will work well enough.

Next up it's time to  mutilate  modify the lid to take some new antennas, you can buy 'Pigtail to RP-SMA leads' on eBay for next to nothing but make sure you have enough cable to position them. I decided with this three in a row layout but in hindsight I should of spaced them further apart.

Once you have the connectors mounted just pop them onto the boards connectors and close up the lid. Tape over the old leads so they don't short out on anything.

Once done all you have to do is attach the antennas, this is where things were not initially as successful as I was hoping. From my previously modded Asus WL-520G and D-Link DIR-615 routers I had some big rubber duck antennas which were meant to do 2.4GHz and 5Ghz, in short on 2.4GHZ they were excellent, on 5GHz they were truly awful.

Not to be deterred I splashed out on some rather natty Alfa APA-M25 antennas that do an excellent job covering the 3 floors of my house with 3/4 to full strength on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You can buy them on eBay. Full specs can be found here.

Much neater and much better, I might at some point alter the layout to give the antennas a bit more room to breath but they seem to be working well enough at present.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

New year, New Posts

Just a quick post to say that I'm still here and am planning to try and write a lot more this year than last. The main reason for starting the blog was to get my Ainol Novo 8 Advanced firmware out into the wild, however the device is now pretty much obsolete and there is not much more that could be done beyond where I got to so I won't expect to be posting a lot about that in the foreseeable future.

I have a few things lined up, some will be new projects, some not so new stuff and the odd review/post of bits of tech that I happen to purchase.

Posts coming up:
TRENDnet TEW-812DRU v2 Router Antenna Upgrade (new project)
D-Link DIR-615 Antenna Upgrade (old project)
Lego Car Dock V2 for Xperia Z

Planned future projects:
Mini posts on some of the stuff I repair for people (Phones, laptops etc . . .)
Retro Home Computer foot pedal to emulated Joystick/Keyboard via Arduino or similar. (Extra input method, handy for crouching, reload etc . . . in First Person Shooters)
Possibly some sort of expansion to the above, custom spinner controls for arcade games or such.
Write up about my lan/firewall setup.
Other things that may spring into my head as I go along.

Stay tuned :)