Archive for June, 2012

After serving me for around 5 years, my old Linksys WRT150N (flashed with DD-WRT) has died completely today. No response at all from Telnet or http and no Internet connection. The only thing that still works is the dumb switch.

Because most of my jobs require Internet connection, I went emergency router-shopping. I was hoping to find something like Asus RT-N16 or better, but couldn’t find anything decent (the best routers I could find had worse specs than my hacked F7D3402) so I had to get some cheap device as a temporary replacement.

TP-Link TL-WR740N is a really cheap device, around 20 Euro. Although, the device feels really cheap, the hardware inside is more than enough for a basic router.

Specs: CPU: Atheros AR9330 SOC (MIPS) @ IIRC 400Mhz, 32MB RAM, 4 ethernet ports, 1 WAN port, Wireless Lite-N (150 mbps).

I initially planned to use this device with DD-WRT, but found that my device’s hardware revision is 4.21, while DD-WRT only supports version 2.x.

Fortunately, the latest OpenWrt trunk seems to support this device, so I compiled my own build and flashed it.

The router works fine, but there’s no WebUI, so I had to configure my PPPoE DSL connection and WiFi settings manually. Fortunately, the root FS is JFFS2 which is writable, so I didn’t have to reflash the device to make changes. The version of OpenWrt which I have flashed seems to use raw JFFS2 for rootfs, although a SquashFS version is also available.

Now I need to free some space (removing some of those extra packages which I have added) and install a WebUI, so I can properly setup port-forwarding. But that’s another story.

This router is a really good device for the money, especially with OpenWrt (but the stock FW isn’t half bad either).
But I still treat it as a temporary replacement until I get something more decent. After that, I will probably use this little router as an additional WiFi hotspot to extend my WiFi range.

OK, that’s the whole story. R.I.P. WRT150N.

Decided to do some more router hacking on my F7D3402.

Got sick of DD-WRT on my F7D3402 (due to it’s outdated kernel and because I could not use my USB WiFi dongle, because I couldn’t build the needed drivers, again due to outdated kernel), decided to ditch it and install OpenWrt instead.
OpenWrt seems to support BCM4718 chip, so this should not be a big problem. Current release in SVN trunk (which I will be using) uses Linux 3.3.7 which is a recent version. Nice. (see Update 1)

Patched the kernel (needed due to Belkin’s nonstandard TRX magic):
/drivers/mtd/maps/bcm47xx-flash.c -> change TRX_MAGIC to 00017517
/drivers/mtd/bcm47xxpart.c -> change TRX_MAGIC to 00017517

Now it boots (at least I can see it booting). But it does not mount root. It seems that it does not like Belkin’s mksquashfs 3.0 (perhaps it’s too old), because it sees the flash partitions, but does not mount anything.
Will try to rebuild with mksquashfs 4.2 instead.
Also, it tries to use JFFS2, would be nice if that worked as we could install OpenWrt packages (we can still use Optware though, even without JFFS2).

Will try to rebuild again and update this post.
When it’s done, will upload the TRX binary here in case if anyone needs it.


Update 1: It boots but nothing works, except the shell and USB. No Wifi or LAN. It seems that OpenWrt still does not fully support the BCM4718 chipset.

Update 2: I won’t be messing with this, it’s not yet usable. Switching back to DD-WRT for now. Will probably buy a more decent device to mess with in near future.

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