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MultiTech Systems RouteFinder RF600VPN Router Teardown/Repurpose

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I picked up a MultiTech Systems RouteFinder RF600VPN router/firewall/VPN thing for really cheap recently. It's a 1U rack mountable device with three Ethernet ports, serial, USB, modem, and a VGA connector. The VGA and USB suggested it was probably an x86 compatible thing that could be repurposed to run pfSense/opnsense/plain old OpenBSD. I had time to take it apart today, did not disappoint:




Plain looking beige 1U box




Nice front panel status readouts though, interfaces helpfully labeled LAN, WAN, DMZ.




Ports! The VGA was a tipoff that there was probably an x86 PC inside.




Oh look, an x86 PC! It's a custom motherboard but it uses a standard Intel chipset, Socket 370 CPU, 168-pin SDRAM, 44-pin 2.5" IDE hard disk, and has a free PCI slot and CF slot.




CPU was a 566 MHz Celeron, replaced with a random 933 MHz P3 I had which works just fine. I upgraded the RAM from 128 MB to 256 MB.




Looks like the Ethernet interfaces are real Intel eepro100 devices! Should make for a good router/firewall.




There are keyboard/mouse PS/2 ports hidden inside. Oddly enough they don't seem to like a keyboard plugged in. A USB keyboard works fine, though. You can see a floppy drive header to the right of the PS/2 ports, and a modem module below the ports. The red jumper to the upper-left appears to be a "turn the power on" jumper -- it won't power up without it. I suspect it's for a front-mounted power switch, which this model doesn't use.




Hardware summary screen, internal hard disk is 15 GB. Oh look, it's loading Linux with LILO...




Apparently this used to be the router for some city hall. "But glitch, you seem to have root!" Yeah...the root password was set to "admin." Everything's on default.


That's as far as I've gotten with this, next thing I'll do is probably dump the hard disk (or just swap it out) and get ready to put something better/more modern on there. I'll probably plug in a CD drive and try booting Slax Linux (Slackware-based Live CD).


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Tried a DVD drive last night, it doesn't like it as either master, slave, or cable select. I unplugged the hard disk and stuck a bootable Slax CF card in the CompactFlash slot. Looks like it comes up as master on primary IDE, so you can't use the CF and IDE master at the same time. A lot of CF cards won't work as a master with an IDE slave, so probably you ought to pick one or the other. Anyway, Slax boots fine, identifies all of the Ethernet interfaces, and all of the Ethernet interfaces work (grab IP/IPv6 addresses and will communicate). I have memtest86+ on that CF card too, so I let it run for several passes. Seems to be completely stable with the 933 MHz CPU and 256 MB RAM.


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