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Sunlight Labs, known for opening America’s government, had a problem when they recently moved facilities. Creating new keys for team members was becoming costly, so they figured out an alternative method of providing secure access using a WRT54GL, easily sourced components, and a trusty copy of Make: Electronics. [Thanks, Nicko!]

With the firmware installed, I was able to SSH into the router and perform some simple manipulations of the system’s GPIOs — General Purpose Input/Outputs. These connect to things like the system’s LEDs and switches, and can be controlled in software. I selected a GPIO that didn’t seem to be used by OpenWRT — it illuminates the “DMZ” LED on the front panel — and wrote a very simple script to control it. I could now flip a tiny light on and off from a network connection.

In the Maker Shed:
Makershedsmall

Make: Electronics
Our Price: $34.99
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun and experiential way? Start working on some excellent projects as soon as you crack open this unique, hands-on book. Build the circuits first, then learn the theory behind them! With Make: Electronics, you’ll learn all of the basic components and important principles through a series of “learn by discovery” experiments. And you don’t need to know a thing about electricity to get started.