Make Your Own 3G Router

There’s an Easter Egg inside the chumby One (which is now on sale at Costco online for $99, cheaper than’s $119 price!) that enables it to work with certain 3G USB modems and function as a 3G router (similar to a MiFi).

Above is a picture of a Verizon USB760 modem plugged into the USB port of a chumby One.

Use of the Easter Egg is documented on the chumby wiki, but it can be quite simple:

1. Plug in your 3G card.
2. Go to the Network Config screen by pressing the top button, going to Settings, then tapping on Network.
3. Select “create a new connection”, press OK, and wait for the scan to time out.
4. Select “Other”
5. Enter 3G as the name of the access point. It must have a capital G for it to work.
6. Wait for the subsequent scan to time out.
7. Select “Manual”.
8. Tap “OK” to select None as the encryption type.
9. Tap “OK” to select Automatic IP allocation.
10. Tap “OK” to confirm settings and connect to the network

To activate local wifi sharing, ssh into the device (or plug in a USB keyboard to activate the drop-down console) and use the command “touch /psp/start_ap” to flag the network setup scripts to configure your chumby One as an access point. Note that AP mode also works with other network sources, such as Ethernet-over-USB.

This works because the chumby One ships with a copy of pppd, hostapd and a set of glue scripts (courtesy of xobs) that allow it first to talk to the 3G network, and second to work as an access point that shares the 3G connection with other wifi devices using its internal wifi card.

Since this is an Easter Egg, it has a few rough edges on it, such as no native UI to do things like configure your AP SSID and encryption mode, and for many GSM networks you’ll need to enter a custom username, password and phone number; but you certainly can ssh in and tweak the scripts to set those things up. Regardless, this is a very handy trick that I’ve used in hotels from Shenzhen to Tokyo to New York to set up a wifi hotspot (complete with Internet radio and chumby apps) on the road — the hack works with quite a few 3G dongles and networks (given a little tweaking).

35 Responses to “Make Your Own 3G Router”

  1. […] $20 cheaper than chumby themselves are selling it – company founder “bunnie” has revealed that you can turn your touchscreen device into a 3G MiFi of sorts.  Plug in a 3G USB modem into […]

  2. […] mais barata do que chumby ela mesma o está vendendo – companhia que o fundador “bunnie” revelou que você pode transformar seu dispositivo do écran sensível em um 3G MiFi das sortes.  Obstrua […]

  3. […] chumby One is on sale at Costco for $99, this is a *deal*. And here’s a cool hack – make your own 3G router. Bunnie writes – There’s an Easter Egg inside the chumby One (which is now on sale at Costco […]

  4. […] has taken a few moments to show us how to turn our Chumby One into a 3g router. As it turns out, there is an easter egg that allows it to communicate with certain models of 3g […]

  5. Nice – but another little tidbit interests me: what is that (what looks like a) cinch connection on the back of your Chumby One for? Is that a feature on an upcoming hardware revision?

  6. […] no graphical interface, so you’ll need to do the configuration via SSH. The good news is that instructions have been posted, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could give it a […]

  7. […] no graphical interface, so you’ll need to do the configuration via SSH. The good news is that instructions have been posted, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could give it a […]

  8. […] no graphical interface, so you’ll need to do the configuration via SSH. The good news is that instructions have been posted, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could give it a […]

  9. […] no graphical interface, so you’ll need to do the configuration via SSH. The good news is that instructions have been posted, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could give it a […]

  10. Don says:


    Can you please ban these useless linkbacks? The comments section has 1 real comment, your response- and 8 linkbacks. What’s the point?

  11. […] certamente vai trazer muitos novos clientes – alguns que, certamente, vão testar o hack pra transformar o adorável em um roteador […]

  12. GC says:

    I’ll cast a vote for ditching the retarded linkbacks as well, please. There’s even more since the first comment about them.

  13. bunnie says:

    I don’t *usually* get this much redundant backlinking — typically the backlinks are more interesting, with insight added by another blogger who happens to reference this post, as opposed to a simple copy/paste on yet another blog. However, it seems there are some sites that bot content off of major tech blogs, and for some popular articles this causes a massive amount of redundant back-linking.

    Looks like WP has a feature where I can disable trackbacks on a per-post basis. I’ve turned off the feature for this post, so hopefully that resolves the concern.

  14. eva says:

    wa!!That is so cool,thank you very much for your share.And on the other hand I know a website that sell 3g router,that is:

  15. Jeff says:

    Could this work with a USB wifi antenna?

  16. Luis Felipe says:

    Will this work on the older chumby model? Anyone knows if updated firmwares are being released for it??

  17. I love my Verizon MiFi, but I also love the geek factor in doing this … and doing it so that you could use a lot of different dongles depending on where you are. ;)

  18. esmith says:

    would this work with a Clear 4g usb modem?

  19. b says:

    will this work with the older chumby?

    • bunnie says:

      The chumby classic does not currently have these drivers installed. There’s a project in the works to back-port a bunch of features to the chumby classic, but with the launch of the dash and other products soon to be announced, it’s been slow going…

  20. in says:

    if life gives you lemons, make someone’s paper cut really sting

  21. I have to admit that your entire weblog is extremely informative. I have been spending a whole lot of spare time over the last couple months exploring at what exactly is around in accordance with the fact that I am preparing to launch a blog page. The knowledge you have place on here is literally to the point. It just sounds so mystifying in regards to all the programming languages that are available on the market, but I enjoy the way your appears to be. Gotta love where technological innovation has come over the past 15 yrs.

  22. Donnie says:


    Do you have to use a registered and activated Verizon USB760? I bought one from eBay and tried this procedure today and it didn’t work for me. I was thinking this would just allow me to connect locally and use my broadband for access and not having to involve Verizon at all. Is that correct?

    Thank you!

  23. rgm says:

    Can you give us some hints on how to change the wifi SSID from “ChumbyFW” to something else? Or on how to enable WPA2 encryption for the network the chumby One creates?

  24. Thanks very much for sharing.
    There is no doubt that the Christian louboutin is the best high heels in today’s fashion world.

  25. Back linking can be a worthwhile aspect as well as help out in off site SEO. Have you ever detected text links result in a reverse consequence on search engine rankings? And do you know if there is a means to reveal when pay per click is better than organic link building? I myself own various online businesses and as a matter of fact manage a backlink building service. Still, I sometimes see it useful to use Google Adwords compared to link building.

  26. jessicakobe says:

    That winter vacation, girls with boys contacted through the network, cheap handbags outlets they are junior high school students after a few days after contact with the boy in love with the familiar and unfamiliar the old school, then graduated from junior high school has more than four years of time, and four years they have never met, coach bagsbut also in junior high school, did not any of the intersection, the girl also accepted a very good impression of the boy she boys and girls are convinced that the feelings between them will be lasting, but everything seems not so simple, coach puresesgirl school professional certification exam on the busy, often sleepless nights in the “eating” books.

  27. PC boxen says:

    What a great journal. I spend hours on the internet reading blogs, about tons of different subjects. I have to first of all give kudos to whoever created your theme and intermediate of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an astounding post. I honestly think there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combination of educative and upper-class content is definitely extremely infrequent with the astronomic amount of blogs on the internet.

  28. Begin by finding an easy to get is that it connects better with.

  29. rgm says:

    This topic is now full of spam with no useful updates :-(
    To share knowledge about using the Chumby as a 3G router, please contribute to:

  30. Hello, You obviously are a person who recognizes the energy of concentrate and the way for making goals which you achieve move by action.Bravo for you.In my very own existence We have only noticed results when We have kept my emphasis and created the steps wanted to realize my targets – really minor takes place by transform alone. This can be anything I prefer to frequently share with my readers.Actually, I am delighted to read about other peoples accomplishment through laser like emphasis and you have it.Continued achievement for you,David

  31. I found this very complicated. How can a novice make a router like this? I find it very easy to use internet on my mobile phone and I do not need a PC as my mobile phone has everything that i need!

  32. I’m going to give this a go with my Chumby… expect a reply from me very soon if I don’t get it to work!