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FiOv2 FiOv2 - The second gen iOpener mod
Date Posted: Sep 9 2001
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Article
Category: Hardware Modding
Page: 1 of 3
Article Rank:No Rank Yet
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Note: This is a legacy article, imported from old code. Due to this some items on the page may not function as expected. Links, Colors, and some images may not be set correctly.
FiOv2 - The second gen iOpener mod By: Joe

The FiOv2 Unveiled - The Second Gen. Franken Opener

Just as many are considering the iOpener "fad" dead, I am not convinced. Although the kiss of death has been dealt to the iOpener hacking hobby due in no small part to Netpliances business tactics, there is still some life to this hobby.

The Reasons this may be the final iO hacking article you will see

As word of the hackings done on other sites, as well as the Franken Opener on this site was flying around the net Netpliance was not amused. They based their business on the sales of the internet service more then the appliances themselfs.   They were selling iOpeners that cost 300$ to make for a $200 loss per sale that didn't buy the internet service.    Over time they changed and modified the iO to make it "hack proof". They went in versions, V1 through V5.  V1 was the original and was what the original Franken Opener was based on. V2 through V3 was Netpliances attempts of locking out the "hackers" by means of putting in a castrated BIOS that cant boot a hard drive, and gluing the BIOS into the board.  In V4 they started using Torx Screws with the Castrated BIOS, but that was largely it.  With the hardware changes they Implemented a TOS contract that would require the buyer to sign a term of service with the company or pay 500$ extra. V5 iO's was the first real hardware change, they used a new sound device ( a VIA one) that wasn't native to Win 9x OS's. So you couldn't really use the sound onboard.  There have been reports of other lock downs to stop HD's from booting also.  July 1st Netpliance changed the business plan, they now charge 399$ per iO. + Internet service.  This not only lessens the possibility of finding cheap iO's, but also ( I believe) Will be the death blow for this badly managed company. Who would pay 399$ to use a device that can do half of what a PC for the same price can from a Computer Renaissance or something?

Enough of that boring crap, lets get onto the good stuff.

I recommend you read the Original Franken Opener article before this one I am not going into technical detail like I did in the Franken Opener one. ( I am assuming you read it)

So What is in the FiOv2?


Franken Opener



PowerLeap K62-400

RiSE Pr 266 ( 2x100Mhz)


PC 100 128mb

PC 100 128mb


IBM 5gig

IBM 5gig

iO Version



From the specs it seems like a lesser machine then the Franken Opener, and it is. Its small, sleek, and portable.  The Franken Opener was a beast to move around, it was heavy, and loud ( the fans).

Here is the new Franken iOpener V2:

Ok so that's not the New iO.. but it is inside.  I made it portable enough so that I can move it from job site to job site in this case..  that is a normal hard-shell padded briefcase

And there it is. Everything it needs to run on a network in the box.

The items I transport with it are:

  • Targus Portable 4 port USB hub
  • MS Optical Intellimouse
  • SMC USB to Ethernet NIC
  • 10ft of Cat5 Wire
  • 10ft of 2 pair phone wire
  • Power Brick
  • and the keyboard.

There are very few differences between the Franken iO and the FiOv2.  The new one is just more streamline.  I did all the same work on this one as I did on the other:

  • Cut a hole in the RF shield for the fan
  • Soldered a blue IDE activity light
  • and mounted the HD to the RF shield.

The main difference was the CPU. In the old one I found that the expensive K6-2 400 setup was not used. I got a 10% increase in speed with the 400 compared to the 200Mhz Winchip C6 that was in it. Because the RiSE PR266 was clocked at 2x100, I didn't see the need to go through the hassle of the second PS, and all that stuff. Saved me a lot of time and made the system pretty clean.

Let the Madness continue

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