Adding LEDs to a Ruckus VF2111

Last week I bought a Ruckus Wireless bundle consisting of a VF2825 WiFi accesspoint and a VF2111 media (client) adapter. They were new in box and cheap, 15 euro for both. Snooping around in the configuration makes me believe these bundles were once offered by the Portuguese provider Clix.

These Ruckus boxes have an amazing beamforming antenna array inside and the VF2825 actually has LEDs on the antenna PCB that shine through a translucent window on top of the unit so that you can see which of the antennas are switched on at any given moment. The LEDs are pointing like a compass needle to the client that it talks to, in many cases, but reflections from the concrete walls in my house seem to spoil that effect a bit.

The VF2111 hasn’t got these LEDs, this had to be fixed of course. It was time to heat up the soldering iron!

On Ebay I ordered a couple of 0402 green SMD LEDs. Well, I quickly realized two things:

  • 0402 surface mount packages are way too small for comfort.
  • The SMT technology used in the Ruckus seem to be the larger 0603, not 0402. Which would, of course, have been less of a pain to solder.

Breathing carefully, I did manage to mount the six leds to the board, as you can see in the picture above. I only dropped three LEDs in the process, of course making them disappear forever. One PCB pad was lifted when removing the resistors that were populated on the PCB in place of the LEDs. After some micro-surgery with an Xacto knife I did manage to save the pad, though.

More Blinkenlights in the house!

I have located the console port of the VF2111 already, maybe I find the time this weekend to get a shell on the box and poke around some more. I hope the beamforming that these boxes do can make for an interesting WiFi radarscope after some hacking.

To be continued…