Electronics hobbyist Amine Mansouri’s Kortex Xtend Lite Wi-Fi repeater was designed as an easy solution for projects that need Wi-Fi capability — including IoT applications, Wi-Fi extenders, packet sniffing, network security, and more.
About the size of a 2 Euro coin, the Kortex Xtend is based on the popular ESP8266 (ESP8266–07S) module and Cadence Design Systems’ Tensilica Xtensa 32-bit L106 microprocessor targeted for low-power applications. It also sports a pair of free GPIO pads for multiple function configurations, an MCP2221A USB to UART converter, as well as a 3.3V LDO (outputs up to 600mA) to power all the components on the board.
Integrated on the board is a MCP73831 battery management and charging controller, with a red LED to denote when the battery is charging. On the underside of the Kortex Xtend is a reset button, on/off switch and an IPEX cable for connecting the SMA to the ESP8266 for maximum Wi-Fi range.
While the Kortex Xtend can be used for any number of project applications, one of the more unusual functions is their ability to form a mesh network, as each board can be configured in auto-mesh mode, which will automatically offer a Wi-Fi network on the access point as long as it has the same SSD/password.
It also has a built-in MQTT client, enabling you to transform the Xtend into an IoT device capable of monitoring power, connected stations, bitrate, and more. Mansouri is currently crowdfunding his Kortex Xtend Wi-Fi repeater on Kickstarter, and those interested in getting one (or more) can pledge $32 and up, which gets you a fully assembled Xtend repeater, an omnidirectional 6dBi SMA Wi-Fi antenna, battery connector, and IPEX cable.