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Under The Covers

The NETGEAR WGR615V is very much a TI-based design, with the TNETV1060 CPE Gateway at its core (Figure 2). The chip integrates a programmable TMS320C55x DSP, MIPS32 4KEc processor, and Telogy VoIP software. The only other chip of note besides the RAM and flash is a Realtek RTL8309SB Single-Chip 9-port 10/100M Fast Ethernet Switch Controller. Given that the switch supports so many ports, it's curious that NETGEAR brought out only three Ethernet LAN ports.

WGR615V board

Figure 2: WGR615V board
(click image to enlarge)

The radio is a TI-based design, too, OEM'd from Sercomm. Figure 3 shows it uses TI's 802.11g TNETW1130 / RC2422 / RC2326 solution comprised of a single chip MAC / baseband, Transceiver, and RF Front End respectively.

WGR615V radio

Figure 3: WGR615V radio

When I first received the box, I was quite surprised to see the DB-9 connector on the back. These ports are usually used by engineers during development, and it's pretty uncommon to see them on a consumer product. I thought that perhaps I'd received a pre-release box with an engineering connector, or maybe just the first production batch had it left on. However, when I "Googled" the web, I found other pictures that also had the same connector.

Regardless of why it was there, the "danger" sticker was an irresistible beacon for me! Trying this port out was just a matter of the right cable, a dumb-terminal program, and a bit of trial-and-error for baud/parity etc. It turned out that it wanted a pretty standard 9600 baud, no parity and one stop bit. Using this setting, I was able to see VxWorks boot-up messages, some debug messages, and an attempt to acquire a new flash image via tftp. Playing with it a bit more, I found that when the network cable was unplugged, the box presented a user name and password prompt. I tried a few standard combinations but never had success. I suspect that with some more research on similar boxes, one could find the correct combination and explore further.

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