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A tiny, easy to use, battery-powered, multipurpose wireless NAT repeater
A tiny, easy to use, battery-powered, multipurpose wireless NAT repeater
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106 backers pledged €6,769 to help bring this project to life.

About

Kortex Xtend Lite | Smallest battery-powered WiFi repeater

€6,769

106

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Ae3188239de057b013f1792bd3292de6 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Project Overview

Kortex Xtend Lite is a small cheap, battery-powered multipurpose WiFi repeater that includes a full variety of features and functionalities suitable for any type of project or setup that needs WiFi.

It’s intended for those interested in developing fast/easy solutions for IoT applications, WiFi extenders, ethical hacking, network security, packet sniffing, WiFi speed tests, and so on.  

Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0
Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0

What you get

  • A Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 NAT Repeater
  • A 6dBi omnidirectional WiFi antenna
  • A JST male battery connector (comes without battery)
  • A mini USB cable (optional)

Easy setup

It takes less than a minute to setup your Kortex Xtend Lite repeater!            (sorry for bad quality video)

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
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It can be used for....

  • Range extender for a WiFi network
  • Limiting maximum bitrate for all connected clients
  • Ethical hacking experiments
  • WiFi vulnerability tests
  • Battery powered wireless NAT repeater
  • Setting up an additional WiFi network with different SSID/password for guests
  • Setting up a secure and restricted network for IoT devices
  • Monitor probe for WiFi traffic analysis
  • Packet sniffing
  • Network experiments with routes, ACLs
  • Traffic shaping
  • Setting up a secure, wireless, battery-powered mesh network

Commands list and documentation 

Click this terminal window to get the commands list and documentation. If you can't get the PDF file, go to the link below
Click this terminal window to get the commands list and documentation. If you can't get the PDF file, go to the link below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=19liTGy4znQ47vXk5iZhEH2SZbfd8GOhF

How to use it... (just some ideas :))

Guests at home: Your friends are visiting you at home? No problem, just setup your Kortex Xtend Lite as a free open WiFi access point and let your friends connect without them knowing your WiFi password.

Deploy a WiFi drone: You can take your WiFi connectivity to the air by simply attaching your Kortex Xtend Lite to a drone. You can use it for allowing IoT sensors located at a high altitude to connect to the internet in order to upload the recorded data to a server (e.g: temperature, humidity, pressure).

Kortex Xtend Lite + Drone
Kortex Xtend Lite + Drone

Scan AP's with a drone: You can also use it to scan your neighborhood access points by simply flying your drone near the place you want to get info from. Imagine you want to hack your angry neighbor WiFi (just kidding... don't do it), but your computer doesn't detect the AP due to the large distance between your home and the AP you want to scan. The solution would be flying your drone with the attached repeater, and from your computer (already connected to the repeater attached to the drone) running "snet" command in order to get the access point name, ip address and mac address. 

Kortex Xtend Lite + Drone
Kortex Xtend Lite + Drone

Your drone should be on air at least 15min. If the drone moves to too far from the AP, you could fail at sending commands, and also while receiving data. Remember that this repeater only provides information about the network (and of course other great features), and it cannot do things a computer does, so when I say hacking, that means from your computer, the repeater is only a little "spy"

Protect your connected devices: The advantage of using this NAT repeater is the IP masquerading feature that protects your devices (computer, IoT sensors, etc...) identity by implementing a network address translation procedure that gives your devices a unique private IP address hidden behind a single public IP address (repeater IP address), so you can keep a bunch of devices hidden from hackers.

Deploy aerial WiFi zones with drones (mesh) *not tested yet: Do you want to provide WiFi to a large area? That's possible if you can get a bunch of drones and attach to them another bunch of Kortex Xtend Lite repeaters set to "mesh" mode. If you fly the drones, automatically the repeaters will form a mesh network and you'll be able to provide WiFi connectivity to your clients (IoT sensors, neighbours, etc....). Remember that many factors like trees, houses, weather and distance can cause WiFi bandwidth to go down, and eventually, if you increase the number of repeaters (up to 8) the available bandwidth will almost disappear, so please keep that in mind :)

Capture data from connected clients: In order of being able to capture connected clients data, firstly you must set the repeater as an open WiFi access point (see *commands list, documentation and tutorials - up)

Once you make sure someone is connected to your Kortex Xtend Lite (by running "show" command) from your console or Telnet terminal start a monitor service by running "monitor on [portno]"

This service mirrors the traffic of the internal network in PCAP format into a TCP stream. With a "netcat [external_ip_of_the_repeater] [portno] | sudo wireshark -k -S -i -" from a computer in the external network you can now observe the traffic in the internal network in real time. Use this  to observe with which internet sites your clients are communicating. 

Board view  

Top:

 Bottom:

 Note that "GPIO13" and "GPIO14" can be configured to do certain functions like running a different STAT LED or Buzzer.

Technical data

It’s based on an ESP8266-07S WiFi module at 80Mhz. It has 2 free GPIO pads (GPIO14 and GPIO13) to configure multiple functions (*see Configuration). It has an MCP2221A USB to UART converter and an AP2112 3.3V LDO that outputs up to 600mA of current suitable for powering the ESP8266-07S and all the other components. 

The board has an integrated MCP73831 battery management and charging controller along with a status red led that indicates when the battery is charging. There's also a switch that allows you to turn on and off the board while the battery is charging.  

On the bottom side, there’s a reset button for restarting the ESP8266, and an IPEX cable that connects the SMA connector to the ESP8266 in order to maximize transmission range.

3D View of the assembled board
3D View of the assembled board

Comes fully assembled and tested, with the firmware uploaded and a USB bootloader that lets you quickly use it with the Arduino IDE serial monitor or any other similar software. It's based on the implementation of a WiFi NAT router on the ESP8266-07S. 

It allows packet filtering firewall with ACLs, traffic shaping, port mapping, packet sniffing, an MQTT management interface, power management, in/out data management, and so on. It also includes support for the implementation of ENC28J60 Ethernet connection, which would require an additional hardware component, however, this feature as not been tested or debugged yet, which means it could have some bugs. Next version releases will include updated firmware and documentation.  

* See gallery for functional prototypes

Specifications

The following table has some important specs regarding the board:

Features

  • NAT (Network Address Translation)
  • Traffic Shaping
  • Port Forwarding
  • Packet Sniffing
  • Port Mirroring (internal networks) to TCP stream
  • IoT ACL Firewall
  • KRACK Attack Invulnerability
  • Static Routing
  • Mesh Networking Mode
  • Bitrate Limiting
  • MQTT Device Management
  • Power Management
  • Battery powered
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Long Range Transmission*
  • On/Off Power Switch
  • Reset Button
  • Hardware Factory Reset Mode
  • Small size/weight

Mesh Networking Feature: A mesh network is a local network topology in which the nodes connect directly and dynamically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients. This can be done without any problems with Kortex Xtend Lite repeaters, which allows you to setup multilayering NAT structures, and of course, the more layers you add, the available bandwidth will decrease.

Each repeater configured in automesh mode will automatically offer a WiFi network on the access point with the same SSID/password as it is connected to, and it will first search for the best other access point to connect to, and this is the one which is closest to the original WiFi network and has the best signal strength.

MQTT Device Management Feature: Kortex Xtend Lite has a built-in MQTT client, which allows you to transform your repeater into an IoT device that can monitor power (load), connected stations, bitrate, etc...

Port Mirroring Feature: This amazing feature mirrors the traffic of the internal network in PCAP format to a TCP stream. From any computer in the external network you can now observe the traffic in the internal network in real time. This means you could observe on with which sites your users are communicating, or even steal packets.

Hackable

There are plenty of forms in which you can hack or modify the Kortex Xtend Lite repeater:

   - Customizing/Modifying firmware (open source)

   - Adding new ESP8266 modules

   - Uploading any ESP8266 compatible code

   - Adding sensors (not tested yet)

It's not just a repeater

I wanted to create something that would be different from the actual market products, I mean, most people have repeaters and as we know, we tend to skip the part of reading the manual and spending time trying to understand how to setup the repeater. That's why I took advantage of open sourcing and made an "all-in-one" device that could offer better functionalities than other ones in the market.

Easy to set up: Just plug and play! Connect your Kortex Xtend Lite to a USB 5V source or 3.7V battery. Then connect (via WiFi) your smartphone or laptop to the repeater and type "192.168.4.1" on your browser, which will show you a configuration page. Finally set the SSID  and password of the network you want to repeat from, and that's all!

(see Through Web Configuration for more info)

Size MattersKortex Xtend Lite is very small, almost all of the components are put together in order to save space, so you can keep it in your pocket and claim you are a human repeater! :) 

Kortex Xtend Lite and a 2€ coin
Kortex Xtend Lite and a 2€ coin

Battery Powered: This great feature allows you to carry your Kortex Xtend Lite everywhere. It has a built-in MCP73831 battery charge and management chip that charges your Li-On battery. The device can be charged in two ways:

  • When the device is on (switch)
  • When the device is off  (switch)

It has to be charged via its mini USB connector, and it can be from your laptop, a battery power pack or from a 5 VDC adaptor.

Kortex Xtend Lite and a LiOn battery
Kortex Xtend Lite and a LiOn battery

How to configure / More info....

First of all, you have to connect to your Kortex Xtend Lite

Through Serial Monitor: Open any serial monitor (Arduino IDE for example) at 115200 baud rate and send the configuration commands.  The serial monitor allows you to set advanced configurations, however, you can do it wirelessly via Telnet (see Through Telnet Port* )

Through Web Configurator: Connect (via WiFi) a laptop or smartphone to your Kortex Xtend Lite repeater and open your browser, then type "192.168.4.1" and press enter. You will automatically see a configuration page which allows you to set all the necessary parameters (e.g: SSID, Password, etc...)

Web configurator
Web configurator

Through Telnet Port: You can use Telnet for TCP wireless advanced configuration, just type "open 192.168.4.1 7777" on your terminal in order to connect to your Kortex Xtend Lite (for Windows use PowerShell). 

Opening Telnet port on 192.168.4.1 7777
Opening Telnet port on 192.168.4.1 7777

Once we have connected to our repeater wirelessly through TCP port let's run a simple command to scan networks. In this case, I will use "snet" command:

Using snet command to get all available networks
Using snet command to get all available networks

If you have Windows OS you need to enable Telnet (see steps*)

Enabling Telnet on Windows  

How to set up Telnet on your Windows machine:

    • Open your Control Panel
    • Select Program from the list of category items
    • Click or tap Programs and Features
    • From the Windows Features window, select the box next to Telnet Client
    • Click/tap OK to enable Telnet

    Why did you make it?

     Actually, this board was made for my baccalaureate high school project, since I'm an 18-year-old electronics & programming enthusiast who loves creating new "things" that improves and facilitates science and research. It took me almost a year to design it along with another board (next Kickstarter campaign:)), make the prototypes, test, and build the final version and I think this was a great experience for me since this is my first high "complexity" electronics project I ever made. Mainly I use Kortex Xtend Lite to connect my Kortex A1 IoT environment devices to the internet. 

    Total costs

    Versioning

    "Xtend Lite" was chosen to mark the series of WiFi IoT repeater devices. To mark new releases of Kortex Xtend Lite boards I use semver versioning which is formed by three digits: (n.n.n | “n tends for a number between 0 and infinite”). For new hardware releases, the first number would be modified, for major firmware releases the second number would be changed, and for minimal hardware & firmware releases, the third number would be changed. 

    Version 0.0.0 was reserved for prototypes, then it came version 0.8.0 and 0.9.0 which were the first fully tested prototype versions, after it, version 1.0.0 was released.

    By purchasing a Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 you agree that you understand that it still requires some improvements in firmware and electronics.

    Other goals...

    6660€:

    - Kortex Website: Build Kortex official Website & Forum for buying new versions, sharing projects and discussing problems

    - Kortex LAN Spot: New Ethernet-based repeater

    - Kortex Konfigurator: Windows compatible software for configuring your Kortex Xtend Lite the easy way, without using commands

    17000€:  

    - Build a free IoT platform for your sensors and devices


    References & Links

    Note: The firmware is open-source. Kortex Xtend Lite runs a modified firmware version

Risks and challenges

As expected with every Kickstarter project, the main risk or challenge would be delivering the product on time.

I'm still working on the board as the design is only being altered slightly.
Also, during the campaign, I will make tests on the firmware part in order to find bugs and errors.

When it comes to manufacturing, I have partnered with a great PCB assembly factory (PCBWay) located in China in order to ensure that the boards are manufactured and delivered on time.
However, if there's a large demand for orders, it could cause some delay when shipping due to possible lack of components

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.13

    A LITTLE BIG REWARD!

    Thanks for supporting me and making this project real!

    - Your name will be posted on my official product website.
    - You will also receive a specially made thanksgiving message via e-mail.

    Would you like to work with me in order to build awesome things....?

    I'd love to get in touch with all of you so we can discuss anything that has to do with electronics and programming

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €24 or more About $27

    EARLY BIRD Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0

    This is the special edition for you! It's an all-in-one kit that includes basic parts for setting up your first long-range, battery-powered NAT repeater

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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    Limited 19 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €28 or more About $32

    HACKER'S CHOICE

    Want to learn about WiFi, networks and ethical hacking? This is your choice to improve your skills, get a Kortex Xtend Lite and start exploring the world of "wireless"

    FIRST BACKER WILL GET AN ADITIONAL FREE SPECIAL WIFI ANTENNA!

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €55 or more About $63

    EDUCATIONAL STARTER KIT

    Share Kortex Xtend Lite with your friends and family. It includes two NAT repeaters

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €82 or more About $94

    WIFI HACKER STARTER KIT

    Easily set up your wireless mesh network and create your own battery-powered remote Wifi zone

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €110 or more About $126

    WIFI HACKER INTERMEDIATE KIT

    Easily set up your wireless mesh network and create your own battery-powered remote Wifi zone. With 4 repeaters, you can cover greater areas

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €224 or more About $256

    ADVANCED WIFI HACKER KIT

    Spread your WiFi all over the world! With 8 Kortex Xtend Lite you can create one super large WiFi area composed by 8 repeaters, or two large areas composed by 4

    Note: If you increase the number of mesh repeaters, eventually, the available bandwidth will go down. It's recommended to use no more than 6 repeaters in a row in order not to lose bandwidth.

    However, if you are using low bandwidth devices like IoT sensors, 8 repeaters would do great.

    Includes:
    • Kortex Xtend Lite V1.0.0 fully assembled board
    • Omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wifi Antenna
    • JST Battery connector + Wire
    • IPEX Cable
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    4 backers
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Funding period

- (38 days)