2M Flash - Atheros routerboards LINKS & INFORMATIONS - J

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desigabri
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:29    Post subject: 2M Flash - Atheros routerboards LINKS & INFORMATIONS - J Reply with quote
(EDITED: I'll use this post to share usefull links and references about this TOPIC)

Topic INDEX:

1) Presentation (Original TOPIC)
2) GOOD NEWS GUYS!!! UPDATE
3) 14/01/2011 UPDATE... work in progress: take a look Smile



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hi, I'm looking for informations about Atheros boards with 2Mb Flash only :(

I have read all what I've found about in this forum. There are people that have chiper routers and want to convert them to DD-WRT. It should be possible: there are more than 5 DD-WRT firmwares ready for this chipset.

For my pourposes, NOT all features of DD-WRT are needed at the same time. So if someone wants to help with ideas or knowledge to realize a mini or micro generic version for this board I'll appreciate him.

At this moment I'm speaking about two routers that I've:

Philips SNB6500 and SMC WBR14T-G

Philips has and Arcadian WG4005E board
2Mb Flash 16Mb RAM

SMB is the same or nearly the same.

The boards are also very similar to:
Siemens SE551 (2Mb Flash and 16Mb RAM but it has also an USB port);
Siemens WLAN 108 Repeater (2Mb Flash+ 8Mb RAM);
MicroDigital F5D7230ec4 (2Mb Flash and 8Mb RAM) this last is at Wip OpenWRT status;
Fonera 2200 boards (8Mb Flash 16Mb RAM) this isn't the same board but has Atheros chip and Serial flash eprom too;

So seems that It should be possible to do something with DD-WRT too.

Personaly I tried to run the modification Kit Hoping to reduce one of the realized DD-WRT firmwares but script returns me to the prompt, saying that may be possible that the firmware is not regularly compressed and then stops to work. Someone of you can add here informations about similar boards and possible solution. Not at last I think that WRT54G v7 has the same Atheros WinSoc so you could keep togheter all informations.

Remember that The first need seems to be to change the bootloader. We should have a redboot bootloader.

Can anyone correct mistakes? What information needs the bootloader? Are these information equivalent for all boards?

We need a Flash space for saving the configurations.
Does the bootloader know the place for them or it depends only from firmware image?.

If you know a generic how to explaning this, can you post the link here?

I'm sure that a lot of users want to convert these unlucky boards into a most usefull DD-WRT router.
Please add any post to increase possibilities about that!!!

INTERESTING DISCUSSIONS:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5083&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15&sid=ecf8d970df1aed20542c2f834c42b0cf
http://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=7799&p=1

REFERENCES:
http://ecos.sourceware.org/docs-latest/redboot/redboot-guide.html

Siemens SE551 (2M?/16M):
http://opossum.rat.at/~anno/SE551/
http://wiki.openwrt.org/OpenWrtDocs/Hardware/Siemens/SE551

http://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=52497
http://openwrt.vcp-springe.de/se551/

MicroDigital F5D7230ec4 (2M/8M):
http://wiki.openwrt.org/F5D7230ec4

Fonera boards(8M/16M):
JTAG: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/JTAG_pinouts#Fonera_2200A

SMC WBR14T-G (2M/16M?):

Philips SNB6500 (2M/16M):
JTAG: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/JTAG_pinouts#Philips_SNB6500_.28v1.29

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
GOOD NEWS GUYS!!!!
for serial flash programming on atheros boards:

http://wiki.openwrt.org/yoonix

and something more about the history of modification here: they speak about 2M firmware versions, just take a look there is interesting material

http://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=15492&p=2
http://wiki.openwrt.org/WingedUnicorn
http://www.gargoyle-router.com/
http://wiki.openwrt.org/OpenWrtDocs/Hardware/SMC/WBR14-G2

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
14-01-2011
hi again. for those of you or anyway for any people needing news about this kind of board... I think I can say the time is arriving :)

My time wasn't so generous but anyway when I could work on this project I did it. So just in a few words, after having changed the bootloader the stuff is more and more playable. In particular I found some dd-wrt firmwares promising good things. So at this time I'm engaged working about compiling a new firmware or editing an existing one. I would like to show you how mutch close to the finish we are. I hope to wake up all of us that have waited for news.

At this moment this is possible only changing the flash chip, then after it will work fine it COULD be possible to TRY (try) using the original smaller flash chip, then (if all will go right) all will be able to upgrade their stuffs
Very Happy Very Happy :D

SO LET ME START WRITING ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED IF YOU WANT START ENJOING:

1) Buy a new flash chip: I brought a stock of chips 2 years ago so they costed to me about 12euro/chip vs 25-30 euro/chip. In these days you can buy the same 8MB serial flash for about 4euro.

http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220722663401&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

I didn't buy there and I don't know them so I don't want to say to you: "go and buy!", I'm only saying that the prices are very convenients at this time so if you want to try doing anything related, in the case you won't be succesfully, then it won't be a disaster :)

So if you really want to start working on it, THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE.
You could take it from a broken fonera or other broken router or take a look on the web to buy it where you want, anyway I think that the one I linked here is (seems to be) very very convenient for anyone of us who wants to start working on.

Tools: You should know that you will have to make some work for going next to this goal. Be sure that I'm not a rich boy so I always took a look to the costs of any operation, anyway remember that in these days you can buy new routers for low cost so finally you could spend more money than new stuffs... but every one can do what he likes right?

I'm going to show what to you some tools you should looking for...IF you don't have them

The new flash Sad ...a soldering, some tin, a desoldering system way (a lot of solutions starting from 0 euro up to 2000 euro), almost 8 colored tiny insulated electrical wires, a magnifying glass or very good eyes, a right adapter socket or a clamp, free flashing software, a PC or notebook with serial and/or parallel and/or USB ports, an usb to rs232 adapter or a serial to rs232 adapter, a serial programming device, a device to work on, some patienc.

THE STEPS:

1) Flashing a new "bootloader"
2) Flashing the "BoardConfig" datas
3) Flashing the new firmware
4) Rocking and Surfing!


FLASHING BOOTLOADER:

I wrote and I was happy to write about the jtag pins but now I had to write here that probably it was the first cause of the delay...

I realized that the jtag in these boards (SNB6500,SE551,WBR14T-1G) is almost impossible to make up (see the pictures into the hardware jtag section linked in the topic). Better to say is that also if you make it then you won't be sure how mutch long it will be working. I broken the tiny tracks in one of mine snb6500 and I decided to stay far from that way on my other boards.

I tried the ISP way using 3M clips (I don't want to tell you the long history behind the clip way: I only say that I brought 4 clips)

So I had to desolder the chip trying to flash it in another way and then I discovered that they can't program the flash onboard on this board Sad Sad Sad

The Fonera board's lets you flash the serial chip onboard but this Arcadyan one don't let you do it Sad Sad :(


Because I brought 4 clamps (3 of them wrong for sop16) then I used the only working one to flash the chip. If you haven't a clip and If you haven't anymore programmed to flash others serial chips onboard, then I want say to you: "don't buy clips" (althought it works like a charm on the fonera boards, the fonera boards have the jtag pins).

So I found other three solutions to do it.

- The cheaper one is to solder onto the serial flash chip 8 wires (for true you'll need 7 wires doing a tin cross onto two pins), but you need some skills so do what you prefer.

- The second way is to use an adapter board to solder the chip on it and do all others soldering connections without the fear to broke anything (remember that I payed my chips more then how mutch they cost now)
example: http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280612854328&ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT (for about 4 euro you have 5 mini boards)

- The third but just a bit expensive is to buy an adapter programming socket SOP16 for 300 mil narrow chips (300 not 150)
example: http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280594088879&ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT (for about 10 euro up to 30 euro) I think this is for 150 mil chips so not right for us

example 2: http://cgi.ebay.it/ATtiny2313-SOIC20-300-mil-AVR-ISP-Programmer-Adapter-/250670057777?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a5d198931 This is made for a programmer BUT could be usefull: it is for 300 mil narrow sop chips (16sop fits into a sop20 ones)

example 3: http://cgi.ebay.it/SOP32-SOP-32-TO-DIP32-Adapter-Xeltek-Universal-300mil-/330517529517?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf46143ad This is universal made for general programmers BUT could be usefull: it is for 300 mil narrow sop chips (16sop fits into a sop32 ones)

I didn't tried them and I'm not sure they could be right for our chip (may be this they are for 150 mil chips), but if you think you can spend money and test you can do it by yourself.


These three solutions have to let you programming the device with a programmer and then test it onboard and reflash again if something goes wrong without the possibility to broke the board. After 4 or 5 desoldering actions I cocked 3 pads on board so I had to solder some wires before the pads and before and before and before, because the tracks are very tiny on this damn board Smile
Finally the best is to avoid all desoldering actions and limit them to one time or next to one time only. You can do this soldering some wires on the board (to the serial chip pads) and OTHER wires directly on the chip (the cheaper solution) or throught the adapter boards. Then you can soldering/desoldering the wires togheter or connect them throught connectors.

be patient, work in progress: I'm writing it Smile


Last edited by desigabri on Sat Jan 15, 2011 15:48; edited 14 times in total
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Simon
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:46    Post subject: Reply with quote
You must be offering to DD-WRT Micro for Atheros? I think the drivers + the interface occupy slightly over the amount of ram that is available. Seriously 8MB is not quite enough and requires radically stripping it down, which in effect, you should just be running the stock firmware. It's only when there is enough wiggle room that you see 3rd party firmware outshine the stock firmware. Go get a broadcom-based 4MB/16MB instead. You appreciate it when doing p2p.
desigabri
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:02    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes you are right but i've 6 of 4M+8M, 3 of 4M+16M and 2 of 8M+32M broadband routers at the moment (most of them with Tomato firmware for QoS). I need only to have Atheros running DD-WRT too. Ok I'll have less options, but working Well I hope. Original firmwares are obsolete, there isn't true assistance. DD-WRT is in evolution, always!
I have 5 SNB6500 too and only want to have the possibility to configure them as Client, or AP or as repeaters, or WDS; I'd like some QoS, Working Firewall and Routing Tables, Automaticaly Reboot, encrypted administration, some scripting possibilities. I don't know how much cost in memory, every piece of firmware, but I'm sure that for that cheap routers, I don't need chilispots OpenVPN, Kaido, JTTFs, bandwidth monitor an so on. DD-WRT is great, and among a GREAT firmware and a poor one, can stay a working well mini or micro atheros firmware.

ANYWAY Philips SNB6500 (v1) has 16Mb RAM, the Flash is poor but the ammount of RAM seems to be right.
Sash
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:10    Post subject: Reply with quote
4 mb flash/ 16mb ram is recommend min. less of both is a NOGO!
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Simon
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sell the 6 2MB/8MB routers you have. They are way more trouble than they are worth. The Atheros seems to especially use more ram compared to broadcom, not sure why, probably offload more stuff to the driver, like the winmodems of the past. I have a couple "old" lan cards that have massively large drivers and consumes quite a bit of memory and hogs cpu like hell. You may have one of these older atheros chipsets.

Anyhow, even the "free" fonera's have 16MB ram. They probably considered the 2/8 setup, but did not have enough "wiggle" room. I have ONLY 1.8MB free ram via dd-wrt std. on an Atheros fonera. not sure what a micro firmware can sqeeze, not much I guess as it was probably asked already.

Go get a couple of those cheap/free fonera's.

btw, how's Tomotao, there newer releases are now becoming a bit unstable, low uptimes... have you checked your uptimes? As long as your not constantly, wirelessly connected, Tomotato runs fine,.. dd-wrt has a bit better drivers it seems..
desigabri
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 16:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sad at this moment I bricked one SNB6500 trying to change the bootloader from 0.3 original to 0.6 of Siemens SE551. I though to be able to upgrade to SE551 firmware, after that. But I didn't have the original bootloader so tryed with one found in a link. I think it is was bad because during boot it stopped showing some registry contents. Now I have to try Jtag. I've Wristler, and simple Jtag connector, but software can't recognize processor. Are there any JTAG software supporting this processor? Another way could be to excange Flash memory. I have a M25P16 chip (2M). Where can I find buy an M25P32? Could I use another Flash chip too?

Last edited by desigabri on Mon Mar 03, 2008 21:43; edited 1 time in total
Simon
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's a general rule "DON'T MESS WITH THE BOOTLOADER". Is there a reason for upgrading the bootloader? The bootloader shouldn't need upgrading as it is often times "unique" to a particular model. I hope you had a backup of the bootloader before you screwed it up. Oftentimes it's "cheaper" to just trash it than waste the hours getting the jtag+software to work.
desigabri
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 22:58    Post subject: Reply with quote
Eheheh you want depress me! Yes I've a backup of the bootloader, but I can't push it into the flash because I can't make the jtag running with atheros chipset. until now I've found one only jtag that promises to talk with Atheros chip: It is ramponis jtag for linux or cigwin. It hasn't a good help so (I'm not userfriendly with cigwin and linux) I can't understand how I can Make it running well. When I see the Jtag prompt some commands doesn't work asking for "right command" that I don't know. I'm not so sad: I'm sure I'll debrick it. I need time and knowledge. Nobody get back the time to me but I'll keep the knowledge.

About the reason for changing the bootloader:

I couldn't change firmware or part of it because i could upload only to particolar addresses. Who tell which address I have to use?. If I delete all parts of the firmware the bootloader always ask for the same address. In my mind bootloader is who wants it. I've checked all documents about Siemens Se551: It has the SAME BOARD!!! Yes it has the USB but the same chips and flash and memory...so why I couldn't upload the siemens firmware on snb6500 by the serial interface?
Something is blocking operations and the only one that can block them is the bootloader I think. So, I thought, uploading the siemens bootloader may be that after that i should be able to upload its firmware...


Last edited by desigabri on Mon Mar 03, 2008 21:48; edited 1 time in total
Simon
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
desigabri wrote:
Eheheh you want depress me! Yes I've a backup of the bootloader, but I can't push it into the flash because I can't make the jtag running with atheros chipset. until now I've found one only jtag that promises to talk with Atheros chip: It is ramponis jtag for linux or cigwin. It hasn't a good help so (I'm not userfriendly with cigwin and linux) I can't understand how I can Make it running well. When I see the Jtag prompt some commands doesn't work asking for "right command" that I don't know. I'm not so sad: I'm sure I'll debrick it. I need time and knowledge. Nobody get back the time to me but I'll keep the knowledge.

About the reason for changing the bootloader:

I couldn't change firmware or part of it because i could upload only to particolar addresses. Who tell which address I have to use?. If I delete all parts of the firmware the bootloader always ask for the same address. In my mind it is who want where the parts of firmware have to be uploaded. I've checked all documents about Siemens Se551: It has the SAME BOARD!!! Yes it has the USB but the same chips and flash and memory...so why I couldn't upload the siemens firmware on snb6500 by the serial interface?
Something is blocking operations and the only one that can block them is the bootloader I think. So, I thought, uploading the siemens bootloader may be that after that i can upload its firmware...


fonconf does not work on the Siemens RedBoot bootloader? some routers I guess cripple it somewhat. You may need direct commands to modify the bootloader, like the newer foneras
daleb
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Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi, any progress yet on DD-WRT for the Siemens SE551 ? I've got a couple of these little silver boxes and I'd love to be able to upgrade them into useful, reliable routers ! Cheers...
desigabri
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:47    Post subject: in the midle of the sea... Reply with quote
I tried to flash one flash eprom conecting one SNB6500 working to another one (bricked) but not succes Sad Then I tried in another way but forgot to disconect wires. I think that wires has worked as antennas and so I had another bad flash Embarassed and another brick SadSadSadSad
Now I'm thinking about 2 solutions:
The more expensive is to buy a serial programmer that support M25Pxx series. The cheaper serial programmer, costs about 95€ and can work also with flash chips onboard (ICSP).
The other solution Idea is to convert one SNB6500 for serial programming functions only SmileSmileSmileSmile About this possibility I'm working to find the cheapest way for changing the chip on the fly (To boot with working one and programm a bricked or a new one).
For your knowledge: I found two resellers that are shelling M25P32 4Mb (M25P16 is original one) for 5$, M25P64 8Mb for 10$ and M25P128 16Mb for about 9$. So may be that I'll buy some 16Mb Flash eproms and some 4Mb ones for upgrade the 2Mb original. In this way I think I'll be able to upload what kind of firmware dd-wrt guys will do and more...
I detached one eprom for testing pourposes succesfully, but I've not found at this time, any cheap SOP16 socket ready for use.
I forgot to say that Jtag seems to not work with snb6500. I tried more versions of jtagtools, for dos, for linux and cygwin with Atheros drivers: Now I learned something on it and the commands. I think the problem is the serial eprom (drivers not included in any version of jtag). For that reason I decided to left jtag and try this unconventional way.
ST (M25Pxx factory) produced in the past two versions of M25Pxx Programmers as "evaluation boards". They stopped to produce them. One for Printer port and another for USB port. have anyone of you informations about them? schematics?
...to be continued...
Simon
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
I think is not worth the EXPENSE and your valuable time. Don't ever get any router that has less than 4MB/16MB. I've even stopped buying those, I will in the future ONLY get 8MB/32MB or higher, if I have time an Embedded board Laughing If you've got a very high speed connection and a large family, you'll appreciate the extra memory. I've stopped my router purchases and am waiting until the dual band units drops in price..
desigabri
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 22:56    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Simon, I say it to you another time: you are in reason. But I've some unlucky routers that I would like to step up because I want... I know that I can spent more then what I'll receive but sometimes people work for the glory not for the money. May be I won't be lucky as I hope so you'll be able to say: "I told it to you!!!" No matter: I'm looking for the way to SUDDISFACT myself with less money as I can. snb6500 was my first love (WDS and g108), for this reason I've 4 of them at this moment; then i buyed two wrt54gl (4M+16M) and five SE505 (4M+8M upgradable in RAM and USB), and one WHR-HP-G54 (4M+16M) and at last 2 WRT54GS v1.0 (8M+32M). I beleave in 8M+32M as you said and looking only for them now, but depend of destination for how much memory you need on. I think that a repeater doesn't need to be 8M+32M but can work well with 4M+8M. I can't accept those 2M of flash (grrrrrrr). I want to have dd-wrt on snb6500s, I hope I'll have it in the future
Simon
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:43    Post subject: Reply with quote
If you like free/cheap stuff, the Foneras are great and the AirLink101 stuff are cheap as well. I have maybe almost a dozen foneras w/ 8MB flash/16MB ram, and the Airlink stuff are all just $20US at Fry's. They are very hackable. The fonera I got for free and make good wds/repeaters also. They are small/neat little gems. Razz

-Simon
desigabri
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 22:01    Post subject: ok for the foneras Reply with quote
I believe in your thought and brought 10 foneras...
I think I'll use them as repeaters or AP. But I want to have snb6500 working DD-WRT yet. Foneras are thiny and with their 8M flash eproms are powerfull; And they have the same board as snb6500. I think that if nobody will realize an jtag for atheros and serial eprom working, I will have to program new eproms (8Mb or 16Mb) and put them on my snb6500's...
Another thing please: I want to serve the FON service too, I think I must do it because of the very cheap price of the foneras. Which is it, in DD-WRT firmware? Is it chilispot service?
Thanks in advance. My snb6500 will have FON service too Smile
(It seems that Tornado has realized an jtag for atheros and is working on serial eprom now....I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it, I hope he'll do it....)
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