Is T-Mobile modified Asus RT68 upgradeable to DD-wrt?

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onix
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:30    Post subject: Recovery not reset Reply with quote
If you have the latest version of FW preinstalled by TMobile, then you have to go into recovery.

1. Turn off router with push button
2. Press and hold reset button...
3. Turn on router with push button
4. ... Release reset button when power light flashes slowly
5. Use browser to go to router homepage (likely 192.168.29.1) over an ethernet cable
6. Upload new firmware, and wait, and follow directions

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dstnzrkl
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
Was able to get it flashed finally, somewhat with those directions. It wouldn't flash over the web interface but using the Asus Utilities it worked and I got dd-wrt working.

Although now I have another odd issue. My two Windows 8 machines get an IP and can actually connect to the FiOS modem's web interface but can't access the dd-wrt router or the internet. Every other device works fine, and so do those same computers when booted into Ubuntu from a USB drive.

They're both connecting over Wi-Fi and have no Ethernet ports to connect to to test over LAN.
jo2316
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Joined: 23 Oct 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 20:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
hey, is this convo dead? i'm looking do flash this. first time flashing anything other than android rom/kernel mods. help?! Smile
tkoyn
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Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 20:46    Post subject: Reply with quote
This router is being discussed at tmonews.com today:

http://www.tmonews.com/2014/11/you-can-now-purchase-t-mobile-wi-fi-cellspot-routers-in-store/

Quote:
Will 4 hours ago
No it is a $99 router and not the full Asus 68U router. Several of the advanced functions such as Dual WAN, 6 guest networks, and AI Cloud have been purposely disabled. So it is definitely worth the $99 price but it takes quite a bit of work to make it into the same $200 router. You have to go in and swap out the bootlooder called the CFE with a version from the Asus 68U). Otherwise it will also be the crippled T-Mobile version and not the more advanced and stable Asus version. It is not as simple as just flashing the firmware. T-Mobile and Asus automatically update and lock both the bootloader and the firmware in the latest firmware update. So if you think you are getting the $200 version for $99, think again. It's still a very capable version but not the more powerful one. And if you are technically skilled, you can change the bootloader and load stock Asus firmware (or third-party firmware). But your time is probably worth more than the $60 or so dollars you will save if you buy the full Asus 68U version. Plus you risk bricking the router by changing the bootloader.

Intel did the same thing with it's processors a few generations ago. They crippled high speed cores to sell them as cheaper parts. But the difference is that Intel would sell you the ability to upgrade to the faster cores for like $50. Asus and T-Mobile permanently lock you out.

Will 3 hours ago
The model number of the Cellspot is the TM-1900. Many people, including T-Mobile support, will try to tell you that it is the Asus 68U. But it is not. It has both a different bootloader (CFE) and firmware than the Asus RT-68U. The hardware may be the same. But it's the firmware that makes or breaks a router. Many manufacturers use the same chipsets and similar hardware. Firmware is everything on a router.

bob 3 hours ago
I have heard that if you download the latest Asus RT-68U firmware and update this one before it is connected to the network, then you have a RT-68U for $99.

Will 2 hours ago
Nope. As soon as you update the firmware with the latest stock Asus RT-68U firmware, the bootloader also gets updated and the device permanently locks to become a Tmobile cellspot TM-1900.

In other words, it reverts back to the TM-1900 firmware without any help form you.

You can only correctly make it a RT-68U by going in through Telnet and installing a stock RT-68U bootloader. But that also means using a hex editor and modifying strings in the bootloader. If you do it wrong, the device becomes bricked. But once you change out the bootloader to an older one, then you can install any firmware that you want, whether it is the TM-1900 or the stock Asus RT-68U or a third party firmware like Asus-Merlin.

It's not as simple as just loading firmware like it was in the past. Tmobile and Asus fixed that and lock you out permanently now, regardless of whether or not you try to flash the firmware before plugging it in.
barryware
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Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 13049
Location: Behind The Reset Button

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 21:59    Post subject: Reply with quote
not so simple after all..

I don't think jtag ever got figured out for the 66u and I have been away for a while.

I would assume this router has a jtag port incase something goes wrong but I don't know if any jtag software supports it.

What type of flash chip does it have.. Serial, Nand, or Tsop?

I can write serial chips.

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Mysticales
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Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 15:53    Post subject: Reply with quote
So whats the updated news today? Is this fully working with dd-wrt or will it not be worth it or just become bricked? T-mobile offered it to me for free.

If I can get a fully fledged DD-Wrt on it, Ill grab it, otherwise Ill stick with my WRT610N.

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Asus AC68U/AC1900 (Tmobile) - Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r33675M kongac (11/03/17)
kt_haddock
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Joined: 25 Dec 2009
Posts: 710

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 16:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
You can either change CFE to other that allow to change program or convert it to RT-AC68U router, same HW inside.

kthaddock

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Mysticales
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Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 17:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
So is it the same process as mentioned on page 2? Anyone else have news on this?
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Mysticales
DD-WRT User


Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 21:04    Post subject: Reply with quote
cdmarshall wrote:
Easy change to DD-WRT as any ASUS. Used admin upgrade page on the stock fw and started with:
http://download1.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv2/downloads/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/2014/06-23-2014-r24461/asus-rt-ac68u/asus_rt-ac68u-firmware.trx

logged in and telnet did and nvram erase and then loaded:


Ok, well to touch base, I just TODAY picked one up at T-Mobile for free, loaded it up, bypassed the startup router setup and went directly to main menu to update the firmware with the above mentioned file. Instantly had DD-Wrt!

Now since some mentioned do not have the router connected to a network and update, I did not hook this up to the internet, just ran it straight. ASUS file on its GUI showed my version as 3.0.0.4.376_1520

Now AFTER that, I went to dd-wrt admin stuff, enabled telnet, username - root, password - whatever you set

Then did "erase nvram" and "reboot" to clear it out. Then after that, looks like the K3x build works. Grabbed the single bin file from http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/

Which awesome enough, has minidla too! Seems I have SOOOOOO many new options now that I have AC... Region stuff etc, I have no clue what it all is, but I have the 12/27/2014 build installed on it for a quick and easy process. (Wifi does seem to take an extra min to load each band tho before a PC can connect it seems)

So confirming, that as of todays pickup, it worked flawlessly! I cant wait to get home and play with this more. =D

Edit. Posted 2 pics to show what router and that it indeed is working. Case people need more proof and peace of mind. Smile



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Asus AC68U/AC1900 (Tmobile) - Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r33675M kongac (11/03/17)
Mysticales
DD-WRT User


Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
Holy hell... the upgrade from Wrt610N v2 Kong, to this Asus AC1900 Kong, just made my speeds off the charts. I have a 100Mbps internet plan, The 610 gave us about 50-70 Mbps on speedtest.

This one.... still using a N600 Wifi dongle with everything on the network connected just gave me this on 5 different tests.



Only change was the router and making sure it was tweaked up for the house. Yea... Free router = Good! (And Kongs firmwares are awesome!)

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Asus AC68U/AC1900 (Tmobile) - Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r33675M kongac (11/03/17)
psychoboy
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Joined: 29 Jan 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 22:56    Post subject: Reply with quote
Mysticales wrote:

Ok, well to touch base, I just TODAY picked one up at T-Mobile for free, ......................... Smile


Free? Maybe not. I had to sign for it, and was told if I left T-Mobile without turning it in I would be charged $200. However, I have no intention of leaving at the moment. Let the flashing begin!
Mysticales
DD-WRT User


Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 23:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
200$? Its only 100$ if you dont return. Normally had a 25$ dep which is waived.

Prepay customers just buy it out right.

Either way.. even if you left T-Mobile. After you get dd-wrt on this, its easily worth 100$. Better then other items on the market currently.

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Asus AC68U/AC1900 (Tmobile) - Firmware: DD-WRT v3.0-r33675M kongac (11/03/17)
elwoodjblues
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Joined: 18 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 22:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ugh, mine won't accept the BrainSlayer firmware, neither via GUI nor via CFE recovery webserver.

Over CFE, I get: The file transferred is not a valid firmware image.

The stock firmware identifies itself as: 3.0.0.4.376_2827-g566ef60

Any hints? Maybe I can downgrade the firmware to something more "accepting" of the dd-wrt firmware, but I am not sure where to get an earlier version of the stock firmware from. Hmmm.
Mysticales
DD-WRT User


Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ive seen stock firmware out there, not sure if its orig tho.

So Ill take it you upgraded orig the stock rom after you plugged in everything eh? Since seems your version is different.

Which would go along with what others said, not to upgrade or network connect it till you have dd-wrt on it.

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UKEE
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Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:30    Post subject: Reply with quote
elwoodjblues wrote:
Ugh, mine won't accept the BrainSlayer firmware, neither via GUI nor via CFE recovery webserver.

Over CFE, I get: The file transferred is not a valid firmware image.

The stock firmware identifies itself as: 3.0.0.4.376_2827-g566ef60

Any hints? Maybe I can downgrade the firmware to something more "accepting" of the dd-wrt firmware, but I am not sure where to get an earlier version of the stock firmware from. Hmmm.


Version 2827 is firmware locked to only TMobile branded firmwares. Not only is the firmware locked (disabled Telnet), it installs CFE 2.1.2.2, which locks the router from any non TMobile branded firmware via recovery mode and GUI mode. The only way to change firmwares is to downgrade to an older TMobile firmware (1703 for example), enable Telnet, and then replace the CFE (preferrably with an Asus RT-AC68U version - such as 1.0.2.0).

Many details in this guide including links to the older 1703 firmware and all CFE's and utilities needed:

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=70991738&postcount=2576

Updated guide here but doesn't mention flashing firmwares:

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895

Oh, and if you're on CFE 2.1.2.1, which is not locked, and try to use the latest Asus branded firmwares, it will update your CFE to TMobile's CFE 2.1.2.1, therefore lockout out all non TMobile firmware's again. Once you get to DD-WRT, doesn't matter anymore unless you decide to go (back) to Asus stock RT-AC68U firmware, latest copies.
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