Installing OpenWRT and RTL-SDR on a Used $20 Router

Over on his YouTube channel GusGorman402 has uploaded a video tutorial showing how to take an old internet router and install OpenWRT and the RTL-SDR drivers on it. OpenWRT is a third party Linux based router firmware which can greatly expand the usefulness of a standard router. As it is Linux based it is possible to install the RTL-SDR Linux drivers on the router and use the router as a cheap RTL-SDR streaming or decoding platform.

Gus’s tutorial takes us from the beginning where he first shows how to install OpenWRT firmware over the stock firmware on the router and how to configure the settings. He then shows how to install the RTL-SDR drivers and run software like rtl_tcp and dump1090 with opkg and luci. 

Installing OpenWrt and RTL-SDR libs on used router

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so, why exactly did he install luci? 😀 xD
and yeah, as i commented on that other post, had some issues with the webinterface of dump1090, but finally got those nice little airplane icons moving across the screen… ;P

Aleksey Lyalin

I have converted Thierry Leconte’s ACARS decoder to an integer only version that is very light on CPU resources. It does not load a slow ARM5 much while decoding 4 ACARS channels simultaneously. It may work with an old router too.


I have several (four) of the WRT54GLs sitting around. I accumulated them when I was experimenting with BroadBandHamNet, a project which now seems to have been folded into AREDN (the developers have shifted focus from the Linksys platform to Ubiquiti devices).

I might have to pull one out of storage…

…Although I am thinking that I can probably build a better analog-to-digital gateway using a raspberry pi, for about the same money.


Most of the common routers have about 400 Mhz CPU
Cisco Linksys EA3500 has one core CPU @800Mhz and 64Mb RAM
good enough? for what?