Here is a long overdue update from our side; please accept our apologies for our long blogging silence.
New since our last update is a new version for our firmware, 12.07-14 for newer devices based on Atheros, Ramips, and x86 chipsets and 10.03.1-14 for older Broadcom based devices. The 10.03.1-14 version is OpenWrt ‘Backfire 10.03.1’ based, while 12.07 is based on a snapshot of OpenWrt ‘Attitude Adjustment’. For older Broadcom devices and Atheros AR231x and 25xx based chipsets this is the final release (unless patches are required). Newer Atheros AR71xx and AR91xx, Ramips, x86, and in future Lantiq based devices will continue to be developed based on the final release of OpenWrt ‘Attitude Adjustment’ later this year.
So what does this all mean? Well, a lot more supported devices for you in particular from TP-Link, Buffalo, Netgear, Mikrotik and Alix. Go have a look at our ever growing list of supported models in our support site.
On the control panel we have now rejuvenated our invoice production process. You now receive invoices and credit notes as PDF documents and our system sends invoices or payments automatically via PayPal for your convenience.
The code we wrote in the context to create and send our own invoices will be made available as partner feature for Chillifire partners. This will enable Chillifire partners to create automatically on month-end the invoices or credit notes for the revenue share they have agreed with their own customers and hotspot location owners.
In addition we will leverage this functionality to enrich our manual user creation process. Creation of manual users is a transaction available to all accounts, not just partners. However, partners will be able to link to this the creation of a PayPal invoice, which can be paid by the end-customers using a PayPal account or credit card. On payment of the invoice the user is unblocked and ready for use.
This extended manual user creation is the first step to update our new offering, the WISP (Wireless Internet Service provider) software service based in feedback we received. We will develop this WISP service as a full alternative to our Hotspot management service. Goal is the automatic provision of PPPoE based Internet access to remote customers, implementing speed, and data limitations as you see fit, including monthly invoicing, automatic invoicing of additional data consumed beyond the user’s plan etc. We will base this functionality initially on a hardware environment using Mikrotik RouterOS based PPPoE servers but will extend it as required.
We have released a Chillifire version of AirOs, Ubiquiti’s router firmware. Our AirOs version (based on AirOs 5.5) has a hotspot daemon built in, so you can run a Chillifire hotspot using native AirOs firmware including the very good wireless drivers and antenna management of Ubiquiti. The firmware is for the new Ubiquiti M series and has been tested with Picostation M, Nanostation M, Bullet M, Rocket M and AirRouter. You can download the firmware from our support pages.
And yes, now that our new Openwrt firmware’s interface has been stabilised, we have also started updating our installation guides – something that was long overdue. We have added to the Knowledge section of our support pages a detailed article how to implement a WDS repeater to extend the hotspot’s signal. We have also updated the PayPal account maintenance guide. Others will follow.
I hope this gives you some insight into what we are doing at present and as always, look forward to feedback and questions.
The Chillifire Team