1.4. Cost to Build

Building an access router from scratch has its charm and is affordable compared to commercial solutions that support a comparable feature set. Table Table 1.1, “Cost to build” gives an impression of what I paid in 2004. The compact flash card was reused and therefore not included in this table. Buying the wireless parts as a kit might bring the cost down.

WRAP.1D (2 LAN / 2 miniPCI)$143
Indoor WRAP.1D case$15
Power supply WRAP 12V 1.5A$15
5354 ML Aries 802.11a/b/g miniPCI$80
Two U.FL to RP-TNC Male Pigtails$28
Two 5.0 dBi Rubber Duck RP-TNC Female Antennas$28

Table 1.1. Cost to build

Now adays

1.4.1. Alternatives

If you merely want to roll your own Linux based distribution on a wireless router, I recommend buying a Cisco/Linksys access router and tweaking the sources [7] Another alternative is to buy a cheap motherboard and run a LEAF distribution [8] or M0n0wall [9]. To get some more performance at the cost of not using a pentium-lookalike, one could use the a MIPS based SBC such as the RouterBoard 500. [10]