Mesh Station


Mesh Stations provides the basic communication and storage infrastructure to the community cluster, they form the core network that all other stations rely on for communication and storage.

Mesh Stations give your Private Cyberspace communication bandwidth at revolutionary price points by combining free yet featureful OpenWrt software with low cost yet powerful WiFi router hardware:

1. Mesh Station Positioning


2. Reference Implementation

Mesh Stations are currently based on the Openwrt software, which supports more than 2000 devices, each year we select some as our Mesh Station reference implementation:

  1. MS21 - Mesh Station 2021
  2. MS22 - Mesh Station 2022
  3. MS23 - Mesh Station 2023

Mesh Stations can be very small in size, the MS21 (58x58mm) is SMALLER than a credit card (85x35mm) looking from top, and very low cost at only AU$33.06 shipped.


All Reference implementations are supported worldwide indefinitely (even if they are no longer being manufactured) and can participate in our buy back scheme so some one else can benefit from them when you have finished with them.

Alternative Hardware

Openwrt supports more than 2000 devices, beyond the reference mesh stations above, there are many hardware options for different applications and markets.

The idea is for everyone to participate and more importantly OWN a part of the community's communication and storage infrastructure.

Model Processor Ram Rom WiFi Ethernet USB Price
GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 QCA9531 650MHz 128M 16M 300M 2 x 100M 1 x USB2 33.06
GL.iNET GL-AR300M16-Ext QCA9531 650MHz 128M 16M 300M 2 x 100M 1 x USB2 37.31
GL.iNet GL-AR750 QCA9531 650MHz 128M 16M 300M + 443M 3 x 100M 1 x USB2 + 1 x uSD 44.90
GL.iNet GL-AR750S QCA9563 775MHz 128M 16M 300M + 443M 3 x 1G 1 x USB2 + 1 x uSD 71.39
TP-Link A6 v3 MT7621DAT 880Mhz 128M 16M 400M + 867M 5 x 1G 78.80
GL.iNet GL-B1300 IPQ4028 717MHz 256M 32M 400M + 867M 3 x 1G 1 x USB3 89.90
GL.iNet GL-MT1300 MT7615D 880Mhz 256M 32M 400M + 867M 3 x 1G 1 x USB3 + 1 x uSD 95.20

Prices above in Australian Dollars are on 22-Dec-2022 at with free delivery for all orders above AU$39.

Mesh Station Addons


All Mesh Stations have at least one programmable button to gather physical input.

  1. Push Buttons: [OpenWrt Wiki] Attach functions to a push button


All Mesh Stations have at least one USB port for attachment of USB devices.

  1. Camera: [OpenWrt Wiki] USB Video Support
  2. Bluetooth: [OpenWrt Wiki] USB Bluetooth support

A bluetooth adapter is particularly useful as it can support many different bluetooth devices from a single USB port.


All Mesh Stations can communicate with most WiFi devices.

Gather information from them e.g. uptime, video etc.
Controlling them


Some Mesh Stations like MS23 has headers for easy attachment of GPIO devices.

  1. GPIO: [OpenWrt Wiki] GPIO

Mesh Station Functions

1. WiFi Mesh

The WiFi on all Mesh Stations have the dual purpose of letting you access the Internet (as an Access Point) as well as being relaying neighbourhood data traffic (as a Mesh Node).


2. Bluetooth Beacon

Mesh Stations can act as both a Beacon sending out bluetooth UUIDs as well as bluetooth Detector identifying Bluetooth signals closed by.


Broadcast Beacon:

3. Access Router

4. File Server

A SMB based disk server backed by the power of infinite disk.

Samba on Top

5. Managed Node

To enable remote management by OpenWISP.

Mesh Station 2021 (MS21)

GL.iNET GL-AR300M16 is reference implementation of a low-cost Mesh Station for the year 2021 (MS21).


  4. [OpenWrt Wiki] Techdata: GL.iNet GL-AR300M v1.4.0
  5. GL.iNet GL-AR300M - TechInfoDepot

There is NO power supply (available separately for about AU$12). This is great for plugging into USB ports in the car or laptop.

Note there is another GL-AR300M16 model with external antennas, so has "Ext" at the end of the model name (GL-AR300M16-Ext). Although its removable antennas enables higher gain antennas to be swapped in to reach more neighbours when placed outdoors, in such a situation we prefer to add an extra high gain USB WiFi Adapter to the plain GL-AR300M16 model instead.

1. Purchase

AU$44.90 - the price includes tax, transport and USB cable (no power supply).

Look out for frequent special deals, we bought a few at ONLY AU$33.06 in Jan-2023. If you are not a Prime member, ordering one more unit will get you free transport.


2. Price Performance

Unless you really need GL-AR300M16's small size and low power, the GL-AR750 (MS23) is a better deal with power supply, microSD slot and 5GHz radio.

Mesh Station 2022 (MS22)

GL.iNet GL-B1300 is used in the reference implementation of a medium-cost Mesh Station in year 2022 (MS22).


The USB 3 port allows portable harddisks and other high current devices to be attached easily (e.g. reducing the need to use bulky USB desktop drives that require separate power supplies).

  1. GL-B1300 / Convexa-B - GL.iNet
  2. GL-B1300 - GL.iNet Docs
  4. [OpenWrt Wiki] Techdata: GL.iNet GL-B1300

1. Price Performance

Unless you really need GL-B1300's High Performance, Gbit Ethernet or USB3 Port, the GL-AR750 (MS23) is a good deal with lower cost and microSD slot.

Mesh Station 2023 (MS23)

GL.iNet GL-AR750 is used in the reference implementation of a Mesh Station in year 2023 (MS23).


The simultaneous dual band provides an extra 5Ghz channel for secondary traffic away from primary traffic on the 2.4G channel.

  1. GL-AR750 / Creta - GL.iNet
  2. GL-AR750 Series - GL.iNet Docs
  3. [OpenWrt Wiki] GL.iNet GL-AR750
  4. [OpenWrt Wiki] Techdata: GL.iNet GL-AR750

Note this is AR750 not AR750S. This is the cheaper model with only 100M ethernet we are using mostly as Internal Node to be placed inside buildings.

1. Purchase

AU$59.99 - the price includes tax, transport and Australian power supply.

Look out for frequent special deals, we bought a few at ONLY AU$44.99 in Jan-2023.


2. Setup Guide

3. Hardware Expansion

AR750's built-in USB2 ports allows the owner to add hardware peripherals easily through simple plug and play.

Thousands of USB peripherals from cameras to solid state disks to bluetooth adapters are supported.

Although MS23 comes with only one USB2 port, it can be expanded easily by non-technical owners with a powered USB hub.


Make sure it is a POWERED hub that has independent power supply. You can get either Low Power Hubs with 5V power supplies or High Power Hubs with 12V power supply.

Below image shows a MS23 driving four USB3 disks using its single USB2 port through a high power hub.


Software Hacking the GL-AR750 (MS23)

1. OpenWrt

Latest stable release is 22.03.3

If there is no major problem found, a new built for MS23 will be made by end of 2023-02 and over-the-air (OTA) updates to all opt-in MS23 in will finish by end of 2023-03.

2. Rapid Setup

  1. Plug in power
  2. Login to WiFi Signal using information printed on the back of the MS23 (e.g. GL-AR750-881)
  3. Browse to the IP address printed on the back of the MS23 (e.g.
  4. Update Firmware from factory firmware to firmware.

If in doubt ask your Application Integrator or your Area Stewards for help.

3. MicroSD Support

We have assumed that all MS23 will have a microSD card with minimum capacity of 64GByte inserted.

System Partition

The first 32GB will be a fixed ext4 formatted partition, typically partitioned in the following way:

  1. swap file - 2GB
  2. root directory expansion- 6GB
  3. infinite disk basic client - read mount cache - 6GB
  4. infinite disk basic server - write sparse file - 8GB
  5. infinite disk basic server - read sparse file - 8GB
  6. infinite disk basic server - temp storage - 2GB

User Partition

The microSD normally have at least 32GB enough capacity more partitions can be created e.g. to provide additional storage to one of the usage types in the Fixed Partition.

By replacing the factory firmware with our own firmware, the factory limitation of 128GB microSD size no longer applies. The in-built GL857L chip's microSD 2TB capacity is now realised.

The remaining space on the microSD card must have another ext4 formatted partition to be used for:

  1. infinite disk basic client - write sync storage (minimum 32Gbyte)

All files in this Storage Partition are encrypted and then synchronised to the infinite disk backend at least once a day - at night randomly between 12am to 5am.

Additional synchronisation can be requested manually at anytime through the Personal Console or automatic

4. Included Packages

  1. remote management - based on openwisp
  2. smb server - based on samba
  3. bluetooth - based on bluez
  4. infinite disk basic client
  5. infinite disk basic server
  6. virtual private mesh

5. Hardware Watchdog

Hardware Watchdog is turned on by default, but you can double check with ubus command:

# ubus call system watchdog
        "status": "running",
        "timeout": 30,
        "frequency": 5,
        "magicclose": false

Hardware Hacking the GL-AR750 (MS23)

GL-AR750 hardware is great for hacking (making it work in unexpected ways) to suit your individual requirements.

1. Processor

AR750 comes with a low cost QCA9531 processor, which supports hardware expansion using USB2, I2C and UART.

2. Federal Communications Commission

The FCC Report is here:

3. Firmware

End-User loves AR750 based in original GL.iNet firmware:

Our own Mesh Station firmware improves on that substantially with much newer kernels and extra features (like Infinite Disk and Virtual Private Mesh).

4. Power Supply

AR750 comes with an approved power supply.

5. Internal Headers

For hardware hackers, I2C and UART headers inside the GL-AR750 enables it to be expanded with thousands of add-ons.


Accessing the built-in headers is NOT for the faint hearted, you have to pry open the case yourself.

Note location of the headers are just underneath the 5G antenna, so if you are attaching cables to them, then do NOT screw the cover back fully, leave a gap so the cables do NOT touch the antenna above it.

To access the headers jumper cables can be used and the lid needs to be risen so the 5GHz antenna does not touch the cables.


The 7mm vertical gap is enough to for the cables to not touch the 5GHz antenna at the underside of the cover.


Looks OK from the top, but still need sticky tape or cable ties to secure the now loose cover with the main unit.


6. Reverse Engineering (in Russian):



7. WiFi 5GHz

Qualcomm QCA9887

Peak Speed: Up to 433 Mbps

Generation: Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5

Standards: 802.11ac, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n

Spectral Bands: 5 GHz

Channels: 20 MHz, 80 MHz, 40 MHz

MIMO Configuration: 1x1

Spatial Streams: Up to 1

Security: WPA2

Features: MU-MIMO

Interfaces: I²C, UART, PCIe 1.1, SPI, JTAG

General Purpose I/Os: 18

Layers: MAC, PHY

8. USB2 Hub & SD Card Reader

Genesys Logic GL857L - USB and MicroSD Controller

Genesys-Logic-GL857L-HHY10_C136619.pdf (659.3 KB)

Despite the manufacturer saying that the microSD in the GL-AR750 only supports up to 128GByte, the GL857L chip inside supports SDXC which can go up to 2TByte. MicroSD cards up to 1TByte has been tested to work.

9. SPI Flash

Macronix KH25L12835F - 16MByte internal serial flash memory.

KH25L12835F-macronix.pdf (1.4 MB)

10. Lights