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AiMesh on the T-Mobile TM-AC1900

Discussion in 'ASUSWRT - Official' started by DHume, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Kyle753

    Kyle753 New Around Here

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    Jan 5, 2018
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    Hello All! First of all thank you Asus for bringing mesh technology to these older routers. I setup two T-Mobile AC-1900 units in a mesh and wanted to post some quick observations. Maybe these errors cameup because of how I converted my units, not sure.

    After setup of the mesh my Galaxy S8 and other devices were successfully switching between routers when I went from the top floor in the house to the basement (where the second router was located). However after I went to bed and the next morning I noticed that my node router had been dropped and not detected. The node router showed up as a wired client for the master router however I do not have them linked up with an ethernet backhaul. I had to reset the node router and it came up back as normal. I also noticed that the Asus Android app will show the current firmware of the Master router however not the node.

    Steps on how I converted both AC-1900 to AC68u and enabled mesh are below (performed after research):

    I converted the two AC-1900 to the AC-68u with a modified CFE from @goggles99 following his steps in the beta thread.

    For master unit, flashed v9.0.0.4_382_19612-g01e94f5 via putty command and I tried to clear nvram using the mtd2 command however it gave me a segmentation fault error. I followed the nvramclear using WPS button method and it seemed like it worked. After boot up I went through webgui to manually update to latest firmware to v3.0.0.4.384.10007.

    For node unit, I converted again the cfe using @goggles99 method however this time I wanted to save time and flashed v3.0.0.4.384.10007 directly using putty. It said SRC success however gave me a bus error, not sure if this is a huge issue. The router came up fine after WPS button nvram clear. To be safe I updated the firmware manually again through the web gui. This second router came up as a node option for the master and I added it successfully.


     
    ddtsmokey likes this.
  2. Devante

    Devante Occasional Visitor

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    Jan 7, 2018
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    I'm having the same issue.

    Both of mine are AC68U (well actually T-Mobile AC1900 but flashed with official firmware) and I simply cannot get the second one to be seen as a node!
     
    ddtsmokey likes this.
  3. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Regular Contributor

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    Did up flash the AiMesh compatible CFE on your AiMesh router? The one used during conversion from TM-AC1900 won't work.
     
    ddtsmokey likes this.
  4. ddtsmokey

    ddtsmokey New Around Here

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    If have the same problem as tul9033. Two converted TM-ac1900's. There are up and running as good routers, but AiMesh mode is not seeing each other. I have flashed and reflashed multiple CFE's from google99. I originally used the pipeline online editor to copy over the MAC's, but after reading here I see that you said not to use that. So to correct i used cfe.exe automation found here :

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

    Under Section 5. Seems to be copying the MAC's just fine. Used Win HxD editor to confirm MAC's are being written correctly to new CFE's. I have tried 1.0.2.0 (US) ASUS => Compiled from ASUS *increase rootfs/mtd3 to 64MB* and 1.0.2.1 (US) for AC-68U from google99's post here:

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/asus-routers-cfe-dumps-collection.17793/
    Wasn't quite sure as to which one to use, so I started trying the most popular two(1.0.2.0 and 1.0.2.1). I have cleared NVRAM and factory reset in proper order as well to no avail.
    I purchased these to test out a Mesh net at home. Getting frustrated. I have been using WinSCP to copy files to the root directory of router's linux files system and then using Putty to execute write commands. Is any of this wrong? Any help would be appreciated. I'm going to continue reading on this forum thread some more. MAybe I'm missing something. The only thing i haven't done is write the MAC's manually. Maybe that's it. Also, i have my original_cfe.bin files from the two units that i extracted with command: cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin when they were still on TMobile firmware downgraded to ver. 626 to allow SSH and have verified that their MAC's are correct. Not sure where the failure is happening. Maybe these units aren't compatible with AiMesh tech. Thanks for you time and thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  5. ddtsmokey

    ddtsmokey New Around Here

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    I think the real question may be which CFE is correct for the TM-AC1900's to be converted to rt-ac68u. I know that firmware rev and H/w revision matters but not sure to what extent. I have tried 1.0.2.0 (US) ASUS => Compiled from ASUS *increase rootfs/mtd3 to 64MB* and 1.0.2.1 (US)from google 99's CFE builds thread here:
    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/asus-routers-cfe-dumps-collection.17793/

    I can't seem to get them to see each other either. It has something to do with proper MAC's written to the CFE or *.bin file that you write to the boot partition of the router. If the MAC's are not right or that file isn't right, then you will not get AiMesh to work period. You can get a good boot to webGUI but it won't work. I'm still diagnosing and researching this type of setup. Hoping someone here can help.

    This is the process I'm using minus the USB flash drive part. I write to the root file system of the router instead. Also, i use a modified cfe.exe that writes the MAC's for me instead of hunting them down manually. Can be found in Section 5 of the write up:
    https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895

    PS: I have tried using the original CFE(not that it should work anyway but it did boot and got GUI up) from the TM-AC1900 cause I did it by accident. I had correct 10007 F/w and wrong CFE. Putty task didn't run and I thought it did.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  6. tul9033

    tul9033 Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
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    I had a very similar problem, I went over the results several times and could not get the router to see the node. I was very thorough. I ultimately went back to the goggle99 CFE edited it with HxD and rewrote it. After clearing nvram and rebooting through putty, both routers came up prompting me to change the password, which was the first time I had been prompted for that. Changed the password and ran the search with no other changes being made and they found each other immediately. I was using the official firmware release from the Asus website.
     
    ddtsmokey likes this.
  7. ddtsmokey

    ddtsmokey New Around Here

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    Sweet! I will try the manual Process with google99's CFE and see what happens. What version CFE from google99 did you use? Dang automation. Supposed to make life easier not harder.

    PS: You cleared NVRAM first? I usually reboot then clear NVRAM. Does it matter?
     
  8. tul9033

    tul9033 Occasional Visitor

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    These are the instructions and links I used from @goggles99:

    Since many of you have asked me, Here is the CFE that I used to get two TM-AC1900s working with the new AiMesh Firmware. I only had to write it to the master/router, not the node.

    Brief instructions (you will have to re-configure the router after this process because you have to do a nvram erase/factory reset):
    1. Log in to router
    2. Go to Administration > System > Enable SSH > Yes > Apply
    3. Open Putty and WinSCP and connect them to 192.168.1.1 using a admin : admin or admin : password (or whatever you may have changed it to)
      Tip: In WinSCP select SCP as file protocol, in Putty SSH
    4. In putty type:
      cat /dev/mtd0 > backup_cfe.bin
    5. In WinSCP refresh the window on the right side and note that backup_cfe.bin is present
    6. Copy backup_cfe.bin to a local drive as a backup
    7. Download the cfe_from_ac68u.bin file from the link above
    8. Open the CFE with a hex editor or CFEEdit. tul9033 EDIT: I tried this editor with no joy. Did it again with HxD and had success.
      Modify the WAN Mac address and secret code as I have zeroed them out tul9033 edit: only one mac is zeroed out. Just search for mac and secret and replace appropriately.
      Important: If you are going to put this CFE on more than one router on a common network, you should edit all the MAC addresses in the CFE so there are no duplicates on your local network.
    9. Upload the edited CFE to router through WinSCP
    10. Upload mtd-write to router through WinSCP (Found HERE)
    11. In Putty type:
      chmod u+x mtd-write
    12. In Putty type:
      ./mtd-write cfe_from_ac68u.bin boot
    13. In Putty type:
      mtd-erase2 nvram
    14. In Putty type:
      reboot
     
    ddtsmokey likes this.
  9. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Regular Contributor

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    I did it both ways. I used the CFE file googles99 posted (not from that CFEEdit link) and used Hxd to copy/past the MACs and secret. Flashed that and bingo. Later I used my original_cfe (TM version captured from the router) and googles99' CFE, then fed them into CFE.EXE. I did a binary file comparison with the generated CFE and it matched my hand-edited file. So, I think some of you are overthinking and making it harder than it needs to be.
    Here's the easy way [Official Release] AiMesh Firmware v3.0.0.4.384.10007 for All Supported Products
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    Tbod likes this.
  10. ddtsmokey

    ddtsmokey New Around Here

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    manual edit of my CFE's MAC's didn't work in getting the Mesh node to show, going to try tul9033's CFE from previous post and see what happens. I did get it to see the node for a split second then it disappeared before I could click anything, so that was strange and I never was able to make it show again. Pushing on ward.
     
  11. tul9033

    tul9033 Occasional Visitor

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    Nahh, no over thinking here. It just didn't work the first time. The CFEEdit is just another HEX editor not a CFE if that is what you were implying. However, it didn't seem to work for me. I didn't even need the original CFE, I just pulled the mac and secret code from the back of the router and added 4 to the last 0mac # using a hex calculator and used HxD to edit goggles99 CFE.. Ultimately, I should of done a file comparison when I had problems to see if there was any difference, but I got to my end goal and moved on.
    Bottom line, I'm not convinced mesh is the end all be all over multiple AP's. I'm going to sit this out for a while and see how it plays out.
     
  12. tul9033

    tul9033 Occasional Visitor

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    You will need to edit goggles99 CFE and add your macs and secret code.
    I totally get what @Ronald Schwerer is saying in regards to using CFE.exe to automatically make the changes, but I think it may be confusing to some. His instructions are good and if you follow those you are good.
     
  13. ddtsmokey

    ddtsmokey New Around Here

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    Alright up and running. The prompt to change admin console password when accessing for first time after reboot by going to router.asus.com popped up and from your earlier post I got excited when i saw this. Your CFE did work, and it was different. Bravo!!!

    Now to do some extensive testing before bringing down the old system.... Thank you all for your help on this.

    PS: same trick here as well, i have not flashed the second node either, it is running the different CFE from before.
     
    tul9033 likes this.
  14. janoolove

    janoolove New Around Here

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    Hi Fellas,
    Thanks for all this technical discussion which I am trying learn.
    Spent Roughly 2 days with ASUS RT-AC68 U Ai mesh set up and was not able to set up.

    Here is my set up:
    My fios modem- 192.168.1.1 (Down stair)
    My original RT-AC-68U - 192.168.1.2 (Connected to modem)

    My Tmobile AC-68U which I already flashed to original AC-68U , I am trying to set up up stair as a node. Its never used before after flash. I am using android mesh app to set up. I can see my primary 192.168.1.2 on my phone as I had already connected that phone with wifi.

    Problem is I can't see node at all in my app. I tried to switch node wifi ssid which is Asus and Asus5G but still can't see. My question is should I connect that node router to main router first? Is there a way to connect this router wirelessly as its on first floor and dont have Ethernet cable .
    Will appreciate any help. Alson to connect wireless router to router is ap mode, or bridge mode is good?
    Thanks and best Regards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  15. camedia

    camedia New Around Here

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    I have an AC68P and successfully updated a TM-AC1900 to AC68U. Both have the latest firmware with AiMesh support. I am using the AC68P as the master and the AC1900 as a node. There are a few problems.

    1. Sometimes under Client IP address in the AiMesh node client list it alternates between "Distributing IP..." and an IP address for one of the devices. It seems to only happen when there are more than 10 devices connected to the node.

    2. The TM-AC1900 node keeps getting offline. There is no log telling what happened. It would rejoin the AC68P automatically after a reboot.

    3. Clicking on the Clients Name column header of the node client list doesn't sort the list in alphabetical order. Sorting of the main client list works fine.
     
  16. tul9033

    tul9033 Occasional Visitor

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    You will need to modify the goggles99 CFE with your upgraded TM-AC1900 MAC's and secret code. Follow these instructions exactly. Only on your T-Mobile 1900. https://www.snbforums.com/threads/o...l-supported-products.43125/page-5#post-369300
    You will need to move your upgraded AC-68U near your original AC-68U and then run the AiMesh search. It's initially done wirelessly. Once they see each other you can move your upgraded AC-68U back to it's original location and see if there is a strong enough signal for the 2 to see each other. I think that answers your questions. AP mode requires an ethernet connection back to the router. If you have the signal strength I think you other option would be repeater mode which uses wireless.
     
  17. camedia

    camedia New Around Here

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    I just saw the "Distributing IP..." message again with only 4 devices, so it has nothing to do with the number of devices. After displaying "Distributing IP..." for a while the node disappeared for a few seconds and came back without the 4th device.
     
  18. hota1018

    hota1018 New Around Here

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    I think I may have found the root cause. I was having a lot of issues and when I looked at the cfe files there's actually 3 places that have mac addresses. The et0macaddr, 0:macaddr and 1:macaddr. The et0macaddr and 0:macaddr have to match. If you use the google99's cfe file those macs are duplicated on primary and secondary routers if you flashed both like me. What I had to do was use unique macs for both. So I used the mac from back of the unit for 0:macaddr and added 4 to the last digit for 1:macaddr. Reflashed both and viola aimesh is working.
     
  19. nustherapy

    nustherapy New Around Here

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    Currently I'm running one of the beta version 9.0.0.4.382_18489 on an TM-AC1900 that was converted over to an AC68u. I would like to update to the latest 'non-beta' release but the devices doesn't want to comply. On the firmware upgrade page I do not get an option to upload a file only 'Check Update' which doesn't find any updates. I tried using the CFE Webpage loader in restore mode, as well as the Restore Utility neither of which worked, was curious if anyone could point me in the right direction in regards to something that I'm missing.

    CFE Version : 1.0.2.0
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  20. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Regular Contributor

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    When you login to the webui, do you get a flashing bold Exclamation point "!" icon to the left of "App" and just under the language tab? If so, click the "!" and see if it says an update is available. Then follow the instructions.

    BTW, is this set-up as a Router and do you have an AiMesh node set-up?
     

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