Archive for the ‘Omega’ Tag

Onion Omega – a brief pause from ESP32

The Onion Omega

I’ve got a lot of work to do (yep and also I’m a bit tired at night when I play on my own things), so I stopped a little bit developing on the ESP32 platform. But in the meantime I had the opportunity to use a device I baked on Kickstarter in 2015.

It was a really nice project and I was so proud to have baked it, than when Onion relesed its version 2, i baked that too, and I reported its arrival in this article.

Since then, I  hadn’t so much time to spend on that project, neither I had any idea about what to build on it. But then soomething happened that made me wonder and thinking how to use it for my urgent need.

The background

I have a garage, which is connected by an Ethernet cable to my house network. In this way I can monitor everything with an IP camera, and lay some other stuff there (like my server, my OpenMediaVault NAS, …). But the garage is at floor -1, so is basically under the terrain. In this way when I’m there I cannot use my smartphone to make any call and being reachable from my wife.

So I had a thought: I grabbed an old ADSL + WIFI router with the ADSL port broken, i wired one of its LAN port to a firewall (I spoke about its hardware in this article, but I forgot to mention that as ESXi installation wasn’t gone well, I installed a plain pfSense firewall to play with) and then the WAN port of the firewall to my Ethernet cable. Just a little bit of configuration and I created a garage wireless LAN which is able to navigate in Internet using my home router, but can’t reach or surf my internal network. Awesome.

But sometimes what is working good suddenly stops working. This happened a couple of times, and just replacing the router’s power supply fixed the problem. But after three failures, I decided it was time for the router to be exchanged with something other, more cool, more modern, more… Well something I had already here without having to pay another time for a new power supply.

The Omega

Omega is an hardware platform running an OpenWrt O.S. on an Atheros chipset. You read it good: OpenWrt and Atheros. Basically we have the routing O.S. for excellence and the one of the widest available wireless platform, both at the same time in the same product. Said in another way, we have a wireless router in our hands.

The guys at Onion did a very nice work creating a project book, wich collects a wide range of designs for their hardware platform. The book is freely available here, both in the online version and in the downloadable PDF version. One of the articles available depicts how to create an Ethernet dongle, which routes the Ethernet connection to the Wifi (and vice versa). So all we need to do is to change the /etc/config/network file with a one suitable for routing and eventually configure the WiFi interface for encryption, SSID and password. Let’s start.

The first step is to connect to the board, using the preferred method. I’m just skipping the detailed instructions as they’re already listed in the Omega’s project book. Following the proposed link to Github repository, we can use the following file:

config interface 'loopback'
 option ifname 'lo'
 option proto 'static'
 option ipaddr ''
 option netmask ''

config globals 'globals'
 option ula_prefix 'fd1d:48c4:7633::/48'

config interface 'wlan'
 option type 'bridge'
 option ifname 'eth0'
 option proto 'static'
 option ipaddr ''
 option netmask ''
 option ip6assign '60'

config interface 'wan'
 option ifname 'eth0.2'
 option proto 'dhcp'

config interface 'wwan'
 option ifname 'apcli0'
 option proto 'dhcp'

After this we are almost done with the bridging. We can probably omit the IPV6 configuration at line 7, 8 and 16 (but I left it as I was not completely sure). The last step we can do is to configure the WiFi interface to expose with the wanted SSID. As I was going to replace a previous WiFi router with this one, I decided to use the same SSID and password. To configure them you have to use the following commands:

uci set wireless.@wifi-iface[0].ssid=MyPreviousSSID
uci set wireless.@wifi-iface[0].key=MyPreviousPassword
uci set wireless.@wifi-iface[0].encryption=psk2
uci commit

Then you can restart the WiFi with the


command, which will apply the new settings. The interesting part in this setup is that the Omega board is powered with an USB cable directly from the APU, so I don’t need a new power supply.

All done. I have a new WiFi router wich is smaller (probably also less powerfull but, it suits my needs). I only have to find a plastic box to wrap it around and avoid any accidental contact with something.


Waiting for my new gadget…

About a year ago I received my Onion Omega board, and it’still here on my shelf, waiting for something cool to do.

But then Onion released Omega2, a more powerful device, which doubles RAM and ROM available at a little cost. So I backed the project on Kickstarter, and my new Omega2 is on track now. I’m waiting it to be here in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime I’ll think about something to do with this new board and with the old one. I have some expansion boards (relays, OLED, Ethernet) that will be divided between the two boards to build some IoT projects.

Stay tuned!