Serial Flashing EA8500 Fail- can't access Rev305XD

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msoengineer
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:01    Post subject: Serial Flashing EA8500 Fail- can't access Rev305XD Reply with quote
Well...I'm f'd....looking for ideas of how to assure I have good solder points on the header pins... Ground checks out, but where on the board can I check for RX and TX continuity? Putty has no response from my Rev305XD board which is a newer version of the board according to wikicat

I know that my serial is working right because when I hook up the serial to my A7v5- I get no issues for putty output:
Code:

A7v5 serial output on boot:

U-Boot 1.1.4-g8fda4a3b-dirty (Feb 24 2018 - 18:17:06)

ap152 - Dragonfly 1.0

DRAM:  128 MB
Top of RAM usable for U-Boot at: 88000000
Reserving 393k for U-Boot at: 87f9c000
Reserving 16448k for malloc() at: 86f8c000
Reserving 44 Bytes for Board Info at: 86f8bfd4
Reserving 36 Bytes for Global Data at: 86f8bfb0
Reserving 128k for boot params() at: 86f6bfb0
Stack Pointer at: 86f6bf98
Now running in RAM - U-Boot at: 87f9c000
Flash Manuf Id 0xef, DeviceId0 0x40, DeviceId1 0x18
flash size 16MB, sector count = 256
Flash: 16 MB
Using default environment

In:    serial
Out:   serial
Err:   serial
Net:   ath_gmac_enet_initialize...
No valid address in Flash. Using fixed address
ath_gmac_enet_initialize: reset mask:c02200
athr_mgmt_init ::done
Dragonfly  ----> S17 PHY *
athrs17_reg_init: complete
SGMII in forced mode
athr_gmac_sgmii_setup SGMII done
: cfg1 0x80000000 cfg2 0x7114
eth0: 00:03:7f:09:0b:ad


So for sure the serial is working proper on my PC & usb....
I even tested a second USB TTL adaptor to make sure...it's not the USB TTL adapters....


I am now wondering if Linksys/Cybertan removed a resistor of capacitor somewhere for TX & RX..... that's the only other explanation I can think of....

Anyone have any tips?

Otherwise it looks like "EWW604-B1-L5 REV:305 (XD)" versions of the router can't even be serial flashed...which is N.F.G. !!!! Evil or Very Mad

Hope I didn't waste $51 on a non-flashable EA8500....

Thanks in advance!

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Last edited by msoengineer on Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:07; edited 1 time in total
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msoengineer
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:06    Post subject: Reply with quote
I am returning this router and just going to bid on a R7800 I know I can make work.

The lesson here is that the future of EA8500, and being able to serial update them, is in serious question right now to be able to serial interrupt u-boot...

I have successfully done a 205 board in the past as well as a 305 board in the past without issue... This one should have been a cinch...

I know my soldering was spot on...something else is up with this new version. It's so hard to follow the via's on the back of the mobo and it seems that there is a missing cap at CM172 on the back of the mobo where the TX via leads to... The cap is way too tiny for me to even attempt anything even if I did have the components...

Ain't no way I can flash this thing and I've spent 3hrs too many already on it.

Let this be a warning that the EA8500 should be considered highly suspect for being able to solder a header pin on and flash it using MRJCD's awesome tutorial. DO NOT BUY THIS ROUTER ANYMORE UNLESS YOU HAVE SKILLS.

This might be a fluke, or it may not be; but there are other routers much easier to load with dd-wrt on them...even if you can get this for a steal, I cannot recommend it anymore. Linksys really ruined a good router by encrypting the firmware... such a shame. Evil or Very Mad

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mrjcd
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:46    Post subject: Re: Serial Flashing EA8500 Fail- can't access Rev305XD Reply with quote
msoengineer wrote:
I am now wondering


I been gone outtapocket for couple days but in reply to your email---

I really don't have a clue but best guess is yous right about Linksys/Cybertan crap.
They have always done real good stuff and usually kinda first to put stuff out like when they code locked the EA8500 firmware.
I can probably put my claws in some of them folks but I promise they will only tell me they have it lockedup good now.
If you may have noticed, anything electronic you buy now days is....can't mess with it -- only we control -- we SEE everything you do.
Took me long time to get my new phone straightened out.....it's kinda hard to delete apps that come with it but I am sure I did NOT need an app telling me about my digital health/wellbeing Twisted Evil
blkt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 17:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
This guy had one minor issue with EWW604-B1-LS REV:305(XD) and an FT232RL chip based TTL adapter.

"...traces and resistor (RM328 and RM231) packs feeding the signal to the missing header are still there."

https://www.s-config.com/linksys-e8500-dd-wrt-router/




"I ran into a bit of a problem though! The USB to TTL/FDTI chip kept powering itself off every time I powered the router on! This was a big problem because you have less than a few seconds before the bootloader kicks in and you missed your opportunity to stop the Linksys firmware from loading. This is possibly due to an initial power surge coming down the lines and knocking out my chip. We got around this by holding the router in two hands. One hand over the power switch and the other hovering over the port ready to hot-plug in our TTL interface. After the second try, I was able to hot-plug the interface in and hit that enter button on PuTTY to get that golden IPQ prompt. Mission success!"

However I didn't experience this problem at all with DTECH FTDI, latest drivers & plugged in the entire time.
mrjcd
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 15:25    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
This guy had ...

msoengineer
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote
I didn't experience any of those isues at all.
I have two TTL adapters and both were working and tested fine on a Archer A7v5, as indicated in the fist post...

so it's not a TTL issue.
Also, the same resistors were present on my unit, but if I follow the traces on the back it led to an area where there were some missing capacitors where there should be...

I gave up and moved on...don't have enough time or pay to further figure it out.... Like I warned, might be a fluke, but I don't think it was...I think newer hardware builds are purposely missing key TX/RX components on the mobo of the EA8500 to dis-allow the tutorial MRJCD has out there....

Anyone else who buys this router is welcome to confirm or deny my findings....

I would not take the risk, but again YMMV.

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blkt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
Has it already been returned? Which model TTL adapters do you have? Did you write down the labels for missing components in question, or the serial of the router itself? Did you attempt to hot plug immediately after power on?

Side note: a newer revision's retail box label has C00 above the UPC code, and the biggest giveaway is the artwork with green radio waves. If it's just blue and white you very likely will have A00, especially if it doesn't have a 100 million sold in lower right.

Another clue is the power adapter. Old model is HK-X142-A12 with huge label on the back side and the new one is more roundish KSAS0501200350HU with smaller label on the plug side.

With physical access to the router, you can see the serial header pins through frontside vents on the right without opening.
lexridge
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 22:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is unsettling. I just ordered from ebay 2 days ago a used EA8500 I was planning to use a backup in case my present one ever goes south. I hope I don't run into this as well.
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kernel-panic69
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 0:09    Post subject: Reply with quote
blkt wrote:
However I didn't experience this problem at all with DTECH FTDI, latest drivers & plugged in the entire time.


The TTL adapter used matters.

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lexridge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 0:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
kernel-panic69 wrote:
blkt wrote:
However I didn't experience this problem at all with DTECH FTDI, latest drivers & plugged in the entire time.


The TTL adapter used matters.


Good to know. I still have the TTL adaptor I used to flash the last EA8500. Hopefully this will still work fine using it.

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msoengineer
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
kernel-panic69 wrote:
The TTL adapter used matters.


yes they do...

this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075N82CDL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008AGDTA4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

the latter was used just fine on my first two EA8500's that I converted to dd-wrt using the serial method and confirmed working on the Archer A7v5 that is sitting open on my desk. The more expensive FTDI was, also, confirmed to work on the A7v5...so that myth is debunked... both TTL adapters are working and putty is in working order.

The EA8500 has been sent back already, but it had the newer rounded power supply with label on plug.

This was an open box, so who knows, but judging by what was said above, and that the two others I own have the old style power supply...for sure this was a recently produced EA8500. I had to solder on a molex KK header. And all soldering precautions were taken...not my first rodeo at doing this...

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FORUM RULES

TIPS/TRICKS: Best QCA Wifi Settings | Latency tricks | QoS Port priority | NEVER USE MU-MIMO |
Why to NOT use MU-MIMO | Max Wifi Pwr by Country | Linux Wifi Pwr | AC MCS & AX MCS | QCA 5Ghz chnls to use | WIFI Freq WIKI | TFTP R7800 | Don't buy AX | IPERF3 How-To

[R9000]44565 nightly (Main Router)
[EA8500]43192 nightly (2xOffsite)
[R7800]napping
[WDR3600]BS 42567 (Offsite)
[A7v5]BS 43038 (Offsite+spare napping)
lexridge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
msoengineer wrote:
kernel-panic69 wrote:
The TTL adapter used matters.


yes they do...

The EA8500 has been sent back already, but it had the newer rounded power supply with label on plug.

This was an open box, so who knows, but judging by what was said above, and that the two others I own have the old style power supply...for sure this was a recently produced EA8500. I had to solder on a molex KK header. And all soldering precautions were taken...not my first rodeo at doing this...



I thought they stopped making this router in 2017. Are you suggesting they are still making them?

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msoengineer
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:25    Post subject: Reply with quote
lexridge wrote:
I thought they stopped making this router in 2017. Are you suggesting they are still making them?


It's not on the EOL list...
https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article/?articleNum=291976

I would think they would have had this in production for 3-4 years for sure...so a 2019 version of it might be likely...
I have no idea, but it seems that both the R7800 and EA8500 cannot be had new on amazon anymore so...their end may be near for sure...

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FORUM RULES

TIPS/TRICKS: Best QCA Wifi Settings | Latency tricks | QoS Port priority | NEVER USE MU-MIMO |
Why to NOT use MU-MIMO | Max Wifi Pwr by Country | Linux Wifi Pwr | AC MCS & AX MCS | QCA 5Ghz chnls to use | WIFI Freq WIKI | TFTP R7800 | Don't buy AX | IPERF3 How-To

[R9000]44565 nightly (Main Router)
[EA8500]43192 nightly (2xOffsite)
[R7800]napping
[WDR3600]BS 42567 (Offsite)
[A7v5]BS 43038 (Offsite+spare napping)
Alozaros
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:37    Post subject: Reply with quote
always used this one, must have a few around now...

USB to TTL CP2102 UART Module 5Pin Serial Convertor 5v 3.3v + FREE Cables Arduino Programmer

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/lhMAAOSwokVdMdA3/s-l1600.jpg

the good bit is Win 7 recognises it...and has a drivers for it..

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lexridge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 15:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
msoengineer wrote:

It's not on the EOL list...
https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article/?articleNum=291976

I would think they would have had this in production for 3-4 years for sure...so a 2019 version of it might be likely...
I have no idea, but it seems that both the R7800 and EA8500 cannot be had new on amazon anymore so...their end may be near for sure...


Looks like the last USA firmware they issued for it was March 2019, so guessing it was in production at least thru then. Hoping the one I ordered on ebay this past weekend is an older one. Jeeze. From the photo, the P/S looks like the square one so hopefully I am in luck.

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