eWaste Recycling

Put that Old Router to Good Use!


A recent project for an outstanding local family turned out great, and I've decided to share this success with the old blogosphere (and Logic-Land.com customers).


Initially I received a phone call about whether I'd be interested in taking some old/out-dated/no longer used equipment off their hands (I'm big on recycling, and advertise as such). When I went to their place to pick the stuff up we got to talking and, one thing leading to another, I was informed that they only get a wireless signal in about half of the house.


Now this is admittedly a pretty long house, like ranch-style long, but two stories, and the 'Computer Room' was on the second floor all the way at one end, so after passing through all the drywall and wood, conduit and furniture, the signal was just barely showing up on my Wi-Fi Analyzer just over midway through the place so, pretty much useless for everyday needs.


Lo and behold, right there on top of the monitor and tower they wanted me to take with me was an old Linksys WRT54g router. After an only slightly sales-pitchy offer to turn the thing into a Range Extender for them for a couple bucks, I had the go ahead (no harm, no foul, no cash if I bricked the thing accidentally lol).


Back at the shop, and after I finished the other work orders planned for the day I was able to get started on the router into a range extender project. DD-WRT is a Linux based alternative firmware compatible with any number of WLAN routers, and would be the foundation for turning the linksys box into a range-extender (repeater bridge), something it isn't otherwise intended to do, since Cisco likes to sell those separately you know.


Anyways, after flashing the old router with what was to be its new firmware, and checking to make sure it still knew it was a router, I was ready to head back over to their place, install the thing, and set up communications with their existing router.


About an hour later they were all set up. Wi-Fi was now to be had from one end of their house to the other, and not only that, I helped them set up a new Blu-ray player that they'd gotten for Christmas connected to the Linksys/DD-WRT box and set up to stream Netflix in a guest bedroom that they have in the furthest part of the house from the computer room, and 'Master' router. It was a beautiful thing, and it worked perfectly.


Now that's the heart of recycling right there, an item that was considered to be outdated was instead repurposed and stayed with the family in a useful new capacity, saving them some money in lieu of going out and buying an extender, and making me a little bit of cash (while not the point, still a nice bonus).