RT-AC68U 5 GHz led not working: info needed

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Ric03
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Joined: 11 Apr 2011
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Location: Milan, Italy

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:42    Post subject: RT-AC68U 5 GHz led not working: info needed Reply with quote
Hello folks,

I am investigating the issue in trac about the 5 GHz led not working on the RT-AC68U.
What I found till now is that it 'seems' that the initialization is correct, but there's a slight deviation which I cannot explain which is:

https://svn.dd-wrt.com/ticket/3924

Code:

root@rt-ac68u:~# nvram show |grep ledbh
size: 34934 bytes (30602 left)
0:ledbh10=7
1:ledbh6=136
1:ledbh10=7


In merlin firmware the initialization don't set apparently for the AC68U the ledbh6 nvram parameter.
It does for AC56U, but not for AC68U.

Now to confirm this I need someone with the merlin wrt which has, as far as I know, the 5 GHz led working to run the same nvram show command, so to extract the ledbh initializations from the nvram from a wrt with 5 GHz led working. I believe it can also be an original asus wrt as I think the nvram settings are the same as merlin wrt.

In the dd wrt code I see that the AC68 is identified as AC67 but I'm not quite sure this is correct, at least for the 1:ledbh6=136 initialization which is done for AC67.

I wonder what these nvram settings do at boot, I guess the CFE is using these to initialize the board so maybe this extra setting is wrong for AC68U.

Another experiment would be to unset the 1:ledbh6=136 on dd wrt and save nvram and reboot, as it was added in the patchset 22502 by BS, and see what happens but I'm not quite sure if that could boot loop or brick the device, for sure it will be re-set by the dd wrt initialization, so maybe someone with a spare AC68U or a spare amount of courage can try it and see if the 5 GHz led comes to life at least for the first boot right after having unset it (the ledbh10 setting is correct and done also in merlin so that should work as it is the only relevant setting of 5 GHz led in merlin).

Let me know and, from heart, sorry in advance if someone wants to experiment on dd wrt and bricks (I cannot afford to brick mine because is a production AP, not a spare) ...
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the-joker
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 13:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hello

I have the exact router RT-AC68U version E1 which is identified as a C1 in DD-WRT.
Code:
:~# nvram show | grep boardrev
boardrev=0x1103
size: 36833 bytes (28703 left)
:~# nvram show | grep boardtype
size: 36833 bytes (28703 left)
boardtype=0x0646


I cant tell you about Asus-WRT or Merlin-WRT output is, because Ive used them for a total of 20 minutes before Jumping to DD-WRT if even that long.

I can Tell you is that in my current private test build for version DD-WRT v3.0-r47865 std (12/17/21) I can 100% confirm that the 5GHz led is indeed off. This is with the output below. (same as yours FYI)

Code:
s:~# nvram show |grep ledbh
size: 36846 bytes (28690 left)
0:ledbh10=7
1:ledbh6=136
1:ledbh10=7

Mine is also production and cant really afford to brick it, though I'm not sure what valid output or values would be to get this working, since, Ive never really looked into it.
Bigger fish to fry and all that.

What version of DD-WRT are you running?

The only thing that would hel here would be to flash stock some really old build that's doesn't lock 3rd party FW installs and rest nvram and see what the correct values are according to Asus (if it works there).

That said Ive forwarded this to BS. Its not important the led light working or not,my most pressing issues are RL and the webif work.

Also this is the wrong place to ask for Merlin-WRT outputs or Asus-WRT outputs, this is D-WRT support forums, though we occasionally have people trying to slide in their stock/merlin FW questions into our forums, I dont think anyone has the same router to ask, so consider asking on their boards.

Take care.

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Ric03
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 15:47    Post subject: Reply with quote
About other wrt, I agree but that was a shot in the dark, maybe someone here can help.

On a side note, I have double checked with merlin sources and compared its default boardflags*, 0:boardflags* and 1:boardflags* and they are the same as dd wrt counterparts so at least the basic board initialization flags of dd wrt is same as merlin.
the-joker
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 16:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ill trust your word for it.

Something has to be up, if it works in rmerlin/stock and not dd-wrt side.

I wouldn't hold my breath for anyone here just out of the kindness of their hearts or whatever lump of coal there is it its place to flash either and check, that said, it could happen, random acts of kindness and all that.

Since you seem to have some invested interest in this, and having now seen your follow through on the trac tickets and other areas, consider the next logical step to try and see what rmerlin support on snb forums says. Just in case planting seeds here, there and everywhere yields something more fruitful.

TBH I dont get it, its a led light, how hard can it be? I wonder what the serial output says. On another note, this router has a button on the back to turn on/off leds and that also does work dd-wrt side.

/me shrugs

Do keep this updated, ill try to grab all the related issues and link them on your OP soon as I have done all my chores and buried the recently deceased after the 20th.

For now.. signing off and take care and good luck.

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dTX
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 19:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
[deleted by BrainSlayer]

I will not tollerate offending message here on this board. i'm sure there was a reason why the-joker deleted your post

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BrainSlayer
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 22:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
and to answer your question. broadcom routers are the most shitty routers on the planet. broadcom does not support opensource drivers and the closed source drivers are unmaintainable. since there are much bigger problems on this planet than a annoying blue led which disturbs your dreams at night its sometimes possible that i'm not spending weeks of work into such trivial irrelevant problems which are not a functional defect. in addition i find it distracting how you behave and treat the developers for a free product. hey. pay me money and then you can yell at me. otherwise you have to live with a power save feature for a while until a solution has been found. but its not on my high priority list. i dont even have a e1 model. i have a1, b1 and c1. all of them are working including the led.
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Ric03
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Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 82
Location: Milan, Italy

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 23:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
BrainSlayer wrote:
and to answer your question. broadcom routers are the most shitty routers on the planet. broadcom does not support opensource drivers and the closed source drivers are unmaintainable. since there are much bigger problems on this planet than a annoying blue led which disturbs your dreams at night its sometimes possible that i'm not spending weeks of work into such trivial irrelevant problems which are not a functional defect. in addition i find it distracting how you behave and treat the developers for a free product. hey. pay me money and then you can yell at me. otherwise you have to live with a power save feature for a while until a solution has been found. but its not on my high priority list. i dont even have a e1 model. i have a1, b1 and c1. all of them are working including the led.


??????
Are you talking at me?
Where the hell did you see that I yelled at you?
Have I asked you something?
I was just trying to understand the issue and eventually help closing it, if ever possible.
Granted, if you wanted to upset me you are successful!
And by the way, I can live with a led not working, just wanted to try to help with an issue, but I see that you don't care much for people that want to help: very friendly and encouraging, NOT!!!!!

And figure not much what I have written above, figure instead what I wanted to write but I set back biting my tongue.
kernel-panic69
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 0:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
I think he was talking to someone else, not you. I haven't spent any time even trying to look at this as I don't have this router.
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the-joker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 18:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ric03 wrote:
??????
Are you talking at me?


It was 100% not directed at you, I could see this immediately, these boards have rules and everyone should just accept them or move on to other communities that are perhaps are more tolerant of disruptive/disrespectful behavior for the people who develop their choice of router OS.

Sorry for that offtopic noise @Ric03

Will try to link related issues on you main post and maybe grab the info needed to formulate a patch as soon as I have some time. Meanwhile do continue your research.

Take care.

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wabe
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2021 9:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
BrainSlayer wrote:
i have a1, b1 and c1. all of them are working including the led.


The LED light for 5Ghz wifi haven't worked ever on my AC68Us (rev. A1 and C1), if that is what your quote refers to.
I don't mind at all though.

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Ric03
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Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 82
Location: Milan, Italy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
the-joker wrote:
Ric03 wrote:
??????
Are you talking at me?


It was 100% not directed at you, I could see this immediately, these boards have rules and everyone should just accept them or move on to other communities that are perhaps are more tolerant of disruptive/disrespectful behavior for the people who develop their choice of router OS.

Sorry for that offtopic noise @Ric03

Will try to link related issues on you main post and maybe grab the info needed to formulate a patch as soon as I have some time. Meanwhile do continue your research.

Take care.


I see what happened, some post(s) were deleted to which was directed BS one.
I take back my complaint to BrainSlayer as it was not proper, sorry @BrainSlayer I didn't recognize you were not talking at me.

In the mean time I have continued my investigation and had an interesting idea: CFE contains, hardcoded, sane and proper nvram defaults for the router (used when you reset the nvram to defaults). So I have extracted the nvram defaults of my router from the CFE and compared with the current nvram active values using some strings, sort and diff and the result is:

- all hardware relevant defaults are equal, the same, except:
- radio zone and power values:
Code:

...
-0:dot11agofdmhrbw202gpo=0x6533
+0:dot11agofdmhrbw202gpo=0x3200
...
-0:mcsbw202gpo=0x88653320
-0:mcsbw402gpo=0x88653320
+0:mcsbw202gpo=0x65320000
+0:mcsbw402gpo=0x65320000
...
-0:regrev=13
+0:regrev=66
...
-1:mcsbw205ghpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw205glpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw205gmpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw405ghpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw405glpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw405gmpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw805ghpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw805glpo=0xECA86420
-1:mcsbw805gmpo=0xECA86420
+1:mcsbw205ghpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw205glpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw205gmpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw405ghpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw405glpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw405gmpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw805ghpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw805glpo=0x65320000
+1:mcsbw805gmpo=0x65320000
...
-1:regrev=13
+1:regrev=38
...
+2:regrev=38
...

and notice the last regrev on radio 2: which this hardware doesn't have: but I think this can be ignored
- ledbh all equal except:
Code:

...
+1:ledbh6=136
...

which confirms that this setting is not meant to be in the default ASUS nvram settings for this router so it is kind of an hack.

So, happy for this confirmation I have "rmmod wl; nvram erase 1:ledbh6; nvram commit; insmod wl" and guess what? Not only the 5 GHz led did NOT light, but also the 2.4 GHz switched OFF as well. Re-enabling the ledbh6 setting brought me back to the old situation where 2.4 GHz led is working and 5 GHz led is not working. The ledbh6 confirms to be a sort of an hack that half-works, it enables 2.4 GHz led but NOT the 5 GHz led: the strange thing is that this, on some other router, is meant to be an hack to enable exactly the 5 GHz led and by the way this led is on 5 GHz radio (1:ledbh6) so how comes that it acts on 2.4 GHz radio led? This not only half-works, but half-works wrongly: we act on radio1 ledbh to have the radio0 led working ha ha ha ha ha (big laugh)

Lesson: the dd-wrt hardware initialization nvram config is exactly the same as default (led-wise) except the ledbh6 which is not present in the default. If we remove the ledbh6, none of the leds work. This in some ways reinforces my supposition (wild guess) that the wl binaries are MAYBE expecting some hardware connections which are different from what is found on rt-ac68u.

Next step, I will try to understand and find proof if my guess is true, even if at the moment I don't know how.

By the way, I understand why so many are asking why I should care about a silly led not working, why I should lose my time with such a minor and harmless bug. It's for the knowledge, I am investing some of my spare time (which is not much) into apparently useless knowledge but for me it's double gain, I better understand how this thing works, I better understand how dd-wrt works behind the scenes so maybe in the future I can contribute more useful things, and to do that I chose to work on an open harmless issue and if there's a way to fix it we can close it; if there's no way to fix it we can close it. Everyone wins here.
the-joker
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 18:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
So shortly just as an update.

After flashing today 03-01-2022-r48432 build,after I had to reset router since it wasn't letting me login with the older test build I had, both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz LED no longer work.

On another note as promised and apologies for delay, (real life has been a raging bitch lately) which has kept me away and will continue to do so sporadically without reason.

I have looked around for related stuff for this issue and I found a few links.

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=283450

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=314050
This one claims fresh tomato works....

So I looked at various configs

https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin/tree/master/release/src-rt-6.x.4708/cfe/build/broadcom/bcm947xx/compressed

https://bitbucket.org/pedro311/freshtomato-arm/src/arm-master/release/src-rt-6.x.4708/cfe/build/broadcom/bcm947xx/compressed

Take a pick of the configs in fresh tomato, I couldn't find any relevant differences except the hex values for some of them that differ from dd-wrt.

I did find this regarding 1:ledbh6=136 its a fix for the 5Ghz LED which was introduced in this commit https://github.com/mirror/dd-wrt/commit/f9724f6a860ac3bb21d3f3fac2eddbfc69d7bbd8

I suspect the routers power brick may be dying or something, since every time I reset nvram, new weird issues popup. With no current compatible serial dongle for this in the dark form me, like a mushroom being fed bullshit. Bigger fish to fry or they to fry me more like. If someone has a fully healthy power brick and lets me know the voltages being pulled under normal operation and flashing, I may dig into it.

SO here's to nothing.

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kernel-panic69
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 20:14    Post subject: Reply with quote
If you look at the current files below, you will see that the AC68 doesn't have anything (directly) translated to the current sysinit code (which means it may be using shared code?):

https://github.com/mirror/dd-wrt/blob/master/src/router/services/sysinit/sysinit-northstar.c

https://github.com/mirror/dd-wrt/blob/master/src/router/nvram/backup.c

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the-joker
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
There was a commit made back in 2017 that changed the gpios for some boards

https://github.com/mirror/dd-wrt/commit/667c6729174c825340979d9b8f937336e1353b5c#diff-f808be742b953f06543e5bd803a229304f3e69a86ca09c345881207502448bbb

I wonder if that has any relevance, maybe not. In any case some driver fixes were done due to bugs I found that caused router to reboot when wifi was being connected/disconnected to.

Also the 2.4ghz led not working (was using the usb 2.0 led for it) issue is likely back to normal with https://svn.dd-wrt.com/changeset/48453

Ill leave it to all you great people, I have bigger fish to fry me.

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the-joker
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2022 20:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
As I explained on the tracker issue, E1/C1 versions are affected by the issue.
A1/B1 works as normal.

So any code you see doesn't apply if your router version is C1 or newer. No point trying to scratch heads or go down some rabbit hole. Also wl is closed source, so extra double bubble of waste of time.

For one I have found out, `et` will likely be needed for this, along with the magic call necessary to make it work, the `et` module is provided and loaded.

BS said that he doesn't have a C1 revision of this router atm. So no expectations is the right way forward to avoid disappointment.

On the grand scheme of things led lights are not necessary for the normal operation of any of the underlying features, it sure would be nice to have your cake and eat it too.

On a more personal note, I may disapear again without notice at any given moment and for unknown amount of time, real life and real situations take precedence over opensource work.

I have done some more work on the UI the add remove buttons and other bugs have been reworked and fixed, its not perfect everywhere but its never been better either, still lots to do.

Take care.

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