Feb 28, 2015

Flashing Movistar Zyxel P870HNU-51B with OpenWRT 14.07

With enough coffee I managed to compile OpenWRT 14.07 for Zyxel P870HNU-51B distributed by Movistar.

It was the first time I ported a new router to OpenWRT. I learned a lot. Here are some references:
This router is the successor of ZyXEL P-870HW-51a and have almost the same hardware specs as ZyXEL P-870HN-5xb but with a 16MB of flash memory instead of 8MB. It's a VDSL-Only router.

  • Original Movistar Firmware (.bin file) or if needed, the original installable assistant (.exe) which includes that .bin file in its installation folder)
  • OpenWRT 14.07 (r42625) with LuCI, 3G Modems Support, RelayD, IPv6, NTFS-3G, vFat, Ext4, USB v2, USB 1.1 OHCI, usb-storage-extras, block-mout, fdisk, Kernel with FPU +  Drivers for USB Wifi Cards (ath9k-htc, brcmfmac, carl9170, libertas-usb, zd1201, zd1211rw, p54-usb, rt2500-usb, rt2800-usb, rt73-usb, rtl8187, rtl8192ce/cu/de/se)
  • A lighter OpenWRT 14.07 (r42625) with LuCI, 3G Modems Support, RelayD, IPv6, NTFS-3G, vFat, Ext4, USB v2, USB 1.1 OHCI, usb-storage-extras, block-mout, fdisk, Kernel with FPU. [WITHOUT] the extra USB Wifi cards support
  • A patch for Barrier Breaker if you need to compile it yourself.
  • OEM Bootlog if needed
  • OEM extra info if needed
  • OpenWRT Bootlog if needed

Flashing either from:
  • Router's web interface: Maintenance > Tools > Firmware
  • CFE (powering up the router while pressing the reset button a few seconds then access CFE web interface  your OS needs a static network config)
  • Serial UART (USB-to-TTL) from CFE Bootloader. issue ATUR. Then send the firmware via XModem
  • tftp from telnet. login with 1234/1234. then issue sh to get a busybox shell, then: tftp -g -t i -f zz112BKW0b11.bin    or   tftp -g -t i -f openwrt-P870HNU-51b-squashfs-cfe.bin  (but you need to have a tftp server set up first)

The router is stable and running well. However:
  • This router's WIFI works only with b43 or with the proprietary driver, not with brcmsmac.
  • LEDs are working except for USB. I couldn't find its GPIO. Also, Lan LEDs  become on only if the cables were already attached when the router was booting up.

Enjoy it. 

Feb 18, 2015

Flashing DLink DSL-524T and DSL-G624T with OpenWRT 14.07

DLink DSL-524T was my first experience with a router that was able to connect to the Internet using OpenWRT. Its integrated DSL modem is fully support under OpenWRT. Later I bought DLink DSL-G624T which has the same hardware specs as DSL-524 but with an integrated wireless mini-pci card which is while supported offers no WPA/WPA2 encryption, only WEP which is insecure.

Both work great under OpenWRT 10.03.1 but not under 12.09 which feels slower. While 14.07 feels snappier, it consumes all the 4MB of flash memory.

Well, today I've got some time to build a lightweight OpenWRT 14.07 for both DSL-524T and DSL-G624T.

The installation steps are documented for both.

As reference, these are the steps I did for DLink G624T.
# under root or using sudo

echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_frto

# just a second or two after the router is powered up

ftp -n

user adam2

# adam2 as a password also

quote "SETENV mtd1,0x90010000,0x903f0000"




put "openwrt-ar7-generic-squashfs.bin" "openwrt-ar7-generic-squashfs.bin mtd1"

quote REBOOT


Notes: While both DSL-524T and DSL-G624T ran OK under 14.07 you should go easy with LuCi as 16MB of ram is really the minimum requirement. After setting things up consider disabling LuCi for better performance. A /etc/init.d/luci disable would suffice.

A USB-to-UART (USB-to-TTL) cable is not necessary but  would be helpful in case you want to know what happens while flashing it or setting it up.

Red is GND, Green is RX and White is TX

Usually you need to setup CuteCom or Putty to 38400 baud, 8 bit, no parity, 1 stop bit. Serial (/dev/ttyUSB0)