The new FriendlyElec R2S is more fully described as NanoPi R2S: a Raspberry Pi alternative that incorporates two Gigabit Ethernet ports. That’s not strictly true, it is nothing like an alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4, for example, but with 1GB RAM it runs OpenWrt – the FA version which works straight of of the box – no problem – I set it up recently and it works perfectly – I needed to test my Spanish Raspberry Pi which is on a different subnet to my UK installation and the R2S did the job perfectly.
The R2S arrived as a smallyellow boxed unit that looks remarkably like one of those inexpensive Mango mini-routers. I perhaps should have held onto this blog entry until suppliers start stocking the R2S, but I had an immediate use for this device using the FriendlyArm supplied rk3328-sd-friendlywrt-5.4-20200118.img.zip image – check their WIKI.
This lovely little init was ready to go, needing only for me to download the above OpenWrt image onto an SD (I had a 16GB microSD handy) and power up with a USB supply (not provided). As you will see in the photo, the microSD sits in the corner of the board, opposite the Ethernet blocks. I connected the Ethernet leads, USB and plugged in an SD – that’s it.
My need in this example is for a router with WAN input and one LAN output (for the Pi which has to sit on subnet 192.168.1.x) – my internal network as it happens is 192.168.14x so I simply plugged the WAN connection into my network and the LAN connection into my Raspberry Pi.
Well, not quite, the R2S software by default sets the LAN to 192.168.2.x and it took all of 30 seconds to change that to 192.168.1.x – and add a passord (default none) to user ROOT.
Regular readers will know I’ve set up LOTS of FriendlyArm boards with various operating systems but in this case all I needed was the stock OpenWrt software from the FA site. You might be interested in their FriendlyCore (Ubuntu) software if you want something more ambitious.
I’ve already noted some comments in here about speed (good or otherwise) of this mini router… my experience so far suggests not trying to pretend it is a proper router (like a Draytek or similar) but for testing and experimenting it’s great fun and doesn’t tie up an expensive router.
Let’s have your comments… have you used the Previous model – or ever come across the Mango I mentioned?