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New - AREDN's first USB Mesh device: GL-USB150

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K9CQB's picture
New - AREDN's first USB Mesh device: GL-USB150

Huge thanks to ​Joe Ayers AE6XE for being awesome and to ZL2WRW and others for contributing the code for AR150. AREDN and ham radio's first mesh-capable USB device now exists in the GL-USB150 (still experimental FW -nightly load 896). 

The GL-USB150 Microuter is the result of basically cramming a USB-to-Ethernet adapter and an AR150 inside a USB stick (minus the second LAN port and USB host port of course) - all for $30. 
With such a small footprint, this device would be great for traveling and tunneling back to the home mesh or hitting your local 2.4GHz AREDN nodes. It has a lot of memory like the AR150, but also has very low power (20dBm).

On the PCB there's a Realtek USB to Ethernet chip inline before it hits the tiny Ethernet pinouts on the AR9331 chip. For those of us with no Ethernet ports on our laptop, this is great, because it's already built in. They used one of the most common USB to Ethernet chips (Realtek RTL8152B). Upon its connection to the computer via a USB port, it will work as a USB Ethernet 10/100 adapter.

Here's a link to buy one of these:

I'll attach some photos of my node running IperfSpeed and Meshchat and the board layout.
I will show a few projects in the future on how to increase the range of your WiFi USB stick in a tight package.

-Damon K9CQB

K9CQB's picture
Photos of GL-USB150

Here are some photos of my GL-USB150 AREDN node and some board layout.

* The last 2 photos are a comparison of how my WiFi travel router connects to my laptop with the GL-AR150, compared to the GL-USB150 Microuter. One is more sleek than the other.

-Damon K9CQB

Image Attachments: 
K6AH's picture
Ok Damon...

... you finally pushed me over the fence ;-)  I just ordered one on Amazon and it'll be here tomorrow.

You Enticed Me To Try This Device

Thanks for the great information on this device . I ordered two and successfully 
updated and configured the first one tonight .  It’s operating flawlessly so far.
the wheels are turning in my head about future uses . Please keep us all informed.

Stan WB8QJZ 

WU2S's picture
Thank you

Thank you for the thorough update on these interesting little units!

n9ms's picture
WAN Connection

I'm plugging in my AREDN node gl-usb150 into a Windows 10 computer. Is there any way to get the device a WAN connection for use with the tunnel client/server?

K5DLQ's picture
not at the moment.

not at the moment.
It would take firewall/iptables manipulation on the host (Windows, OSX, Linux) to do this.

K6AH's picture
Check out the gl-ar150

...but the gl-ar150 will do tunnels.

WA9JG's picture
Issues with the GL-USB150?

I bought two of them on Amazon.    I had one of them loaded with Nightly ​960-d8f9320 at the workshop K5DLQ put on at Transtar in Houston.   While in the class I was not able to see or connect to a mikrotik hAC.  I assumed that it was somthing I did.  I did check the channel and bandwidth and they were correct.   
So,  after arriving at home I loaded up my second GL-USB150.   They cannot see each other...    I noticed that the WIFI scan was blank also.   I have multiple SSID's in my house operating on 2.4Ghz

Should I see them in the wifi scan window or is that a ubquiti only feature?  
Is there some localization that must be done prior to updating the firmware to the AREDN image?     

I have a 2.4Ghz bullet being delivered at home today I will get that loaded up later tonight. 

As an update I also checked to see if I could see the SSID's using a scanner and I do not see the AREDN-5-v3 SSID nor do I see any RF out in the 2.4Ghz range using my HackRF one SDR 
I also updated to the 987-74ca6f5 nightly build with the same results. 

nc8q's picture
Issues with the GL-USB150?

This sounds familiar.
Did you 'un X' the box next to 'Keep Settings' when you loaded the firmware?

A device set to 20 MHz bandwidth can find other 20 MHz bandwidth devices but not 10s or 5s.
Set both/all your devices to 10 MHz bandwidth and re-scan or
set all your devices to channel 1 through 6 and 20 MHz bandwidth and re-scan.
There seems to be a bug with 5 MHz bandwidth settings.

I hope this helps, Chuck

WA9JG's picture
I did uncheck keep settings..

I did uncheck keep settings...     I made that mistake the first time I loaded one up.  I'm an old netork guy so I figured out where to find it and did a firmware reset.   
I think I got them working.   I did GL reload putting on the GL firmware then followed the full reinstall and saw RF this time and the can mesh with each other..   I wonder if not clearing the setting was the cause because I made that mistake on the first one..... I noted my steps when troubleshooting. I did not watch closely when I did the first one.   

Thanks for your input! 


K6AH's picture
Try 10MHz bandwidth

Try changing to 10MHz bandwidth.

K6CCC's picture
OK, I ordered one too...

This looks really cool.
You got me.  I have one of these on order.  It will arrive at my office on Monday, but that is my day off so I'll have it Tuesday...

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