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 » Accessing serial console on the Fon : SoDoItYourself.com

Accessing serial console on the Fon
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Foneros serial console

Out of the box the foneros wireless router has Telnet and SSH turned off. By accessing the buit in serial console you can turn SSH on and access various settings and reflash the firmware.

 

Read on and you’ll find out how.

 

See Inside the foneros for how to dissassemble your router. You will need to find the serial console. See the image below:

Fon serial console

 

Serial connector

In order to connect it to your PC we need to convert the +3.3 volts from the Vcc of the router to the levels of your PC serial port wich operates at -12 to +12 volts.

 

For this you can use any kind of TTL to RS232 level shifter. These can be bought as kits or made from for example a phone data cable. Using a MAX 232 you can wire it up like this:

Fon serial connection circuit

 

Using a dremel or a knife we need to cut out a hole for the Serial connector:

DSC_0004.JPG

Draw along the connector to mark out where to cut:

DSC_0003.JPG

If you use a dremel, use a low rpm so that the plastic don’t melt.

The finished cutout for the DB9 connector:

DSC_0008.JPG

 

All done! Ain’t it beatuiful?

DSC_0009S.JPG

To access it you can use any terminal application. HyperTerminal ships with windows and it will do fine.Connect your fon to Com1 and Start hyperterminal from:

Start->Programs->Accessories->Communications->HyperTerminal.

You will need to set up communication settings to

9600-8-N-1 and no flow control:

comsettings.JPG

And here you have it:

connected.JPG

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28 comments to “Accessing serial console on the Fon”

  1. Comment by Alex Hirzel:

    This is an insanely clever idea, certainly more so than I could’ve come up with myself.

    Thanks!

  2. Comment by Cory:

    In the drawing on how to wire up the MAX 232, it lists capacitors C1-C5 . Which capacitors should we use?

  3. Comment by Jimbo:

    Can you provide a link to where I could purchase the TTL to RS232 level shifter (or even a picture for that matter)?

    Regardless, this looks awesome, I can’t wait till I get my fon router and I can open it up.

    - Jim

  4. Comment by Dustin:

    Can you provide a link to where I could purchase the TTL to RS232 level shifter (or even a picture for that matter)?

    Regardless, this looks awesome, I can’t wait till I get my fon router and I can open it up.

    - Jim

    Also requesting this!

  5. Comment by Alex Hirzel:

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    http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/max232.html

    For the posts above, I just received a shipment of sample MAX232IN chips today, will be breadboarding soon. TI sends these to you for free (including shipping) for sampling purposes.

  6. Comment by Dago:

    I just tried this and got it kinda working. I see the stuff la fonera outputs at startup but it seems it doesnt respond to my commands in anyway. For example at startup it says something like “Executing boot script in 1 seconds, press ^C to cancel” and if I try to press ctrl + c it doesnt affect anything. Then it says “Press enter to activate this console” but it does not do anything if I press enter, la fonera just continues to boot like normal. Any ideas? I’ve checked my connections and they should be fine.

  7. Comment by Mike:

    @Dago

    Make sure your Tx wire on the PC is wired correctly to your fonera.

    What kind of TTL->RS232 level converting are you using?

  8. Comment by Universal Pattern:

    I got mine for free before christmas. I would like to see a wrietup on the level converter as this part sems a bit fuzzy!

    Cheers m8.

  9. Comment by Cory:

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/sodoityo/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

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    This site was really helpful in the details:
    http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=es_en&trurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.art-xtreme.com%2fblog%2f20061017%2factivar-ssh-en-la-fonera%2f

    BTW all caps are 1uF except the one linking power to ground which is 10uF

  10. Comment by Andrew:

    How many volts are the capacitors? I bought 50 and 100 volt caps, and I tried to get some lower but the lowest I could get is 16 volt. Please help! Thanks!

  11. Comment by Jimbo:

    Hey everyone,

    I just finished my soldering job… it looks correct, but I’m not getting anything intelligible in hypertrm. Instead I’m getting seemingly random special characters - black boxes, ~ equal signs, beta symbols… but no fon.

    Any suggestions?

    - Jimbo

  12. Comment by Jimbo:

    Actually, now that I messed around with it… the symbols appear to be font related. As I type, new characters appear, but no matter what fonts I try, still nothing legible.

    - Jimbo

  13. Comment by Greg:

    Hey so is the only hardware i need for this the la fonera and the max 232? what kind of wires are needed? also are the wires included with the max 232?
    Thanks
    -Greg

  14. Comment by Dave:

    @greg

    You either need a max232 with capacitors

    Or

    A phone data cable. You need to find out wich leads are Rx or Tx in it.

    Or

    Any serial peripheral communicating through RS232 on the PC side and some sort of TTL logic device on the other side.

  15. Comment by » Reflashing la fonera with dd-wrt : SoDoItYourself.com:

    [...] Be sure to read Accessing Serial console and Dissassembling the la fonera first. [...]

  16. Comment by Jimbo:

    I’m working on getting some photos up of what I’ve done with my fon for reference.

    Also, any idea if this works on *all* hardware versions/firmware versions?

    -= Jim =-

  17. Comment by Jimbo:

    I realized my problem was from a bad driver for my USB–>COM adapter. A direct connection from router to my laptop and all is well.

    -= Jim =-

  18. Comment by Hacking Fonera - How to install dd-wrt onto fonera « liltux:

    Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/sodoityo/public_html/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

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    [...] 7. http://sodoityourself.com [...]

  19. Comment by Cam:

    Thanks a bunch for the guide. I ended up using a spare USB cable I had laying around. The plug end fit perfect on the 10 pin connector in the Fonera. On the other end of the cable, I ended up pulling the USB plug apart and put the DB9 connector in it’s place. Then I just “spliced” in a DS275. Pretty darn slick. :)

    Thanks again!

  20. Comment by Originalare:

    @CAM

    I used a old IDE flat cable. Just got to cut it down a little. But your solution is much nicer.

  21. Comment by john:

    I tried this on a bricked FON and I get nothing. I used the max232 and followed the directions shown here. It appears that this will only work on a new router.

  22. Comment by Yako:

    I tried this using a MAX202, but all I’m getting is weird characters like boxes and tildes. It looks like it is using the wrong ascii table or sth.

  23. Comment by Darkcobra:

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    Nice tutorial, and very clean installation.

    But you’ve made a mistake. The MAX232 requires 5.0v to run. Since it’s powered from the Fon, it’s only receiving 3.3v - and that’s not enough! While I suppose it’s possible it *might* just run anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it or call it reliable.

    The proper chip is the MAX3232, which is designed to work from 3.0-5.5v. I used the schematic in the manufacturer’s datasheet. I don’t think your schematic will work for this chip, but I did use it to locate the correct pins on the Fon and the DB9 connectors. In 15 minutes I had it up and running perfectly.

    I got my MAX3232 from http://www.sparkfun.com, but you can locate plenty of vendors for this (or any) chip using an electronics search engine, like http://www.findchips.com.

    Happy hacking!

  24. Comment by rui:

    Where can i find a serial cable to connect from the router to the pc? I know is a db9 male / female cable but i can’t find it anywhere!

    PS: great job on the router, mine is equal ;P

  25. Comment by John:

    AWSOME! EVERTHING WORKED GREAT! YOUR THE BEST! KEEP UP THE “TOP SHELF” HACKING!!!

  26. Comment by Candungo:

    Is not working,Hyper Terminal doesn’t show connection.

    Is it possible to add some leds to RX & TX to show activity and another led for power (+) ?

  27. Comment by Manny:

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    Can someone post pictures of this setup on a breadboard? I don’t know where all the wires or chip goes on the breadboard! I have all parts and the following breadboard. http://www.flickr.com/photos/complete_bastiaan/533797506/ . Thanks. I have max3232cpe, 8 .1uf caps and 1uf caps. I also made the DB9 cable. I posted my e-mail before but I guess my post was deleted for that reason.

  28. Comment by Debricking Fonera Using a Serial cable Alone « Khalbali:

    [...] access Fonera you can use any terminal application. HyperTerminal ships with windows and it will do fine. Connect your La Fonera to Com1 and Start [...]