Best Build for Linksys WRT54G-TM

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AnotherBrickintheWall
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Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 22:46    Post subject: Best Build for Linksys WRT54G-TM Reply with quote
Hi - First-time poster here. A number of years ago I successfully installed DD-WRT on a Belkin F5D7230-4 v.1444 which I occasionally used in client mode. I'd like to use it again, but have looked high and low and can't find the power supply.

No matter, as I have a Linksys WRT54G-TM that I bought new years ago but never used. For the moment I simply need to use it in "client" mode. In future, I might like to use it to set up a VPN between two locations, but that's not an immediate concern. I'm trying to figure out what version of DD-WRT to put on the WRT54G-TM and am hoping that you can help me to select the correct version so I don't brick it.

The "Installation" wiki:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Installation

...says to check out the "Peacock" thread:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486

...then the hardware-specific instructions for my particular router.

The "Supported Device" page:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices

...shows that I should use "v24-SP2, build 12548."

I found hardware-specific instructions for the WRT54G-TM in three places, all authored by Luniz2k1:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54G-TM
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=212455#212455
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/tornado/CFE_Updater/Linksys%20WRT54G-TM%20Flashing%20Instructions.txt

The hardware-specific instructions also say to use "v24-SP2 build 12548," but say that "newer" is recommended.

When I look up the WRT54G-TM in the "Router Database":

https://dd-wrt.com/support/router-database/?model=WRT54G-TM_?

...it says that it is supported by "v3.0 [Beta] Build 37305." That sounds "newer" than "v24-SP2, build 12548," so I think I'll just get "v3.0 [Beta] Build 37305."

But wait... the "Firmware FAQ":

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Firmware_FAQ

...says, "DO NOT USE THE ROUTER DATABASE." It goes on to say that, "It does NOT have Recommended Builds, and the firmware build dates are not correct."

Also, the build referenced by Luniz2k1 in the instructions for the WRT54G-TM is the "Mega" build. In:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F#File_Versions

...it says:

"To upgrade from the stock Linksys firmware, first flash the mini version from the web interface. After initial flash use any version, assuming it fits the flash size."

So, in summary:

1 - What is the latest version of DD-WRT that I can safely put on my WRT54G-TM, and where (exactly) can I find that?

2 - The router has the stock Linksys firmware now. Can I just go straight to the "Mega" build, or do I need first to install a "mini" build?

Many thanks...


Last edited by AnotherBrickintheWall on Tue Jun 18, 2019 13:32; edited 1 time in total
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jwh7
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Posts: 2246
Location: Indy

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 0:32    Post subject: Re: Correct Build for Linksys WRT54G-TM Reply with quote
AnotherBrickintheWall wrote:
But wait... the "Firmware FAQ":

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Firmware_FAQ

...says, "DO NOT USE THE ROUTER DATABASE." It goes on to say that, "It does NOT have Recommended Builds, and the firmware build dates are not correct."

Also, the build referenced by Luniz2k1 in the instructions for the WRT54G-TM is the "Mega" build. In:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F#File_Versions

...it says:

"To upgrade from the stock Linksys firmware, first flash the mini version from the web interface. After initial flash use any version, assuming it fits the flash size."

So, in summary:

1 - What is the latest version of DD-WRT that I can safely put on my WRT54G-TM, and where (exactly) can I find that?

2 - The router has the stock Linksys firmware now. Can I just go straight to the "Mega" build, or do I need first to install a "mini" build?
Different WRT54* models can have very different install methods. The device wiki is the best reference. Regarding that Belkin; does it also use a 12V supply? The WRT supply might work for it too, but I know some of those have a slightly different pin and/or barrel size. Or find one that works at a thrift store. Smile

Anyway, good first post, and a great example of how new users should approach DD-WRT...with caution. First, the Supported_Devices wiki doesn't recommended anything; that field is "Min usable DD-WRT version". The Router Database used to show pseudorandom old versions, but now generally just shows the latest version, even if it bricks your model/kernel/etc. The FAQ's Note is more important: "Note: Read the relevant build thread on the forum to determine if that particular build is working. The build threads are usually titled with: New Build - date and build number."

You can use latest versions...if there isn't an issue with them in relation to your router. Wink Whether you -want- to use latest versions is another matter on old hardware like that. There was a recent thread about it actually; mrjcd said he used late 2017 builds. I've got recent builds on my old WRT54's, but I just use them for testing. Smile

You need to follow the tornado/CFE_Updater instructions, with one important caveat; the old eko builds are no more. So you'll need a different firmware file. The old (OLD) standard (which you should recognize from the (also old...) Peacock is 14929. Therefore, replace the eko 12548 build with:
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2010/08-12-10-r14929/broadcom/dd-wrt.v24_mega_generic.bin

Try that for a while, then move to 33555 or 33772 to compare, before trying newer builds. And also read the New Build threads first. Wink Try to keep the bricks in the wall, and out of your router! Razz

_________________
# NAT/SFE/CTF: limited speed w/ DD # Repeater issues # DD-WRT info: Builds, Types, Modes, Changelog, Peacock, Demo #
x64 OPNsense 19.1.9|EA6900v1.1@1GHz FT 2019.2|DD 40130: WNDR4500v2, WNDR4000@533, E1500@353, R6300v1,
2*E2500, WRT54*@250: GLv1.1 nsg, GSv6 µ
|RT-N66U@663 Merlin 380.70|OEM: WGR614v10@400-WNR1000v3 mod
AnotherBrickintheWall
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 17 Jun 2019
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:55    Post subject: Re: Correct Build for Linksys WRT54G-TM Reply with quote
jwh7 wrote:
Regarding that Belkin; does it also use a 12V supply? The WRT supply might work for it too, but I know some of those have a slightly different pin and/or barrel size.


The Belkin needs a 5V DC 2A power supply. I checked the power supplies for many other of my devices for compatibility. The closest I came was the power supply for an Actiontec MI424WR Rev.A router, which uses a 5V DC 3A power supply, but the barrel size is larger than what is needed for the Belkin. (Perhaps this is done to keep people from using a 2A supply with a device requiring a 3A supply.) Too bad as the Belkin already had DD-WRT and would have worked just fine for my current needs.

jwh7 wrote:
Different WRT54* models can have very different install methods. The device wiki is the best reference.


jwh7 wrote:
You need to follow the tornado/CFE_Updater instructions...


The device wiki:

https://forum.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54G-TM

...says to use "v24-SP2 build 12548," but goes on to say that a "newer" build [than that] is suggested.

So, if I understand you correctly, the database if useless and the only way to determine the best build is to read through the sub-forum for routers with a particular chipset (i.e. Broadcom) looking to see what others have said about particular builds. Did I understand you correctly?

jwh7 wrote:
...replace the eko 12548 build with:
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2010/08-12-10-r14929/broadcom/dd-wrt.v24_mega_generic.bin


So, it's ok then to load a "mega" build on a "virgin" router (one that still has the manufacturer's firmware)?

Thanks for your help...
jwh7
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Posts: 2246
Location: Indy

PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 19:53    Post subject: Re: Correct Build for Linksys WRT54G-TM Reply with quote
AnotherBrickintheWall wrote:
jwh7 wrote:
...replace the eko 12548 build with:
ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2010/08-12-10-r14929/broadcom/dd-wrt.v24_mega_generic.bin
So, it's ok then to load a "mega" build on a "virgin" router (one that still has the manufacturer's firmware)?
That listed 12548 build was a mega build...so I assume it's fine for that model. I updated that wiki the other day to change to the 14929 build, btw. Wink
_________________
# NAT/SFE/CTF: limited speed w/ DD # Repeater issues # DD-WRT info: Builds, Types, Modes, Changelog, Peacock, Demo #
x64 OPNsense 19.1.9|EA6900v1.1@1GHz FT 2019.2|DD 40130: WNDR4500v2, WNDR4000@533, E1500@353, R6300v1,
2*E2500, WRT54*@250: GLv1.1 nsg, GSv6 µ
|RT-N66U@663 Merlin 380.70|OEM: WGR614v10@400-WNR1000v3 mod
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