ASUSWRT Merlin Build 384.5 or later ON Linksys EA6900 or EA6700

Discussion in 'Other Firmware Projects' started by Starbuck99, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    UPDATE!!

    Because Vortex stopped further development of firmware for EA6900 I came up with a solution to flash official RT-AC68U or ASUS Merlin for RT-AC68U on the Linksys EA6900.

    This also works exactly the same for the Linksys EA6700. I have tested it with both routers.

    Download the current Asus Firmware for the RT-AC68U from the ASUS support website.
    This has been tested and confirmed as working with the latest build as of this writing... Version 3.0.0.4.384.32738

    No other scripts or GPIO edits need to be done.


    1. Follow all the steps up to step 13 as set out in http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.ph...n-ea6900-v1-v1-1-without-32k-bug-renew.74084/

    2. Use CFEEdit.exe and edit the following additional fields as well:

    Important: MAC address Edits are Different - otherwise AIMESH won't work

    et0macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:C8 (MAC address on the bottom of router)
    0:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:C8 (et0macadd=0:macaddr)
    1:macaddr=48:AB:xx:xx:xx:CC (et0macadd+4)

    odmpid=RT-AC66U_B1
    model=RT-AC68U
    bl_version=1.1.2.0
    0:sar2g=24
    1:sar5g=20
    ctf_fa_cap=0


    3. Follow steps 14 - 17
    4. At step 18 flash with AdvancedTomato firmware.
    6. Reboot into Tomato Firmware Interface and goto Administration -- Upgrade--- and flash the official ASUS Firmware!
    7. From within the ASUS firmware, under the Firmware update one can Flash to the latest ASUSWRT Merlin (second branch currently at 384.6) firmware for the ASUS RT-AC68U or one can just stay on the official ASUS Firmware.
    8. Well done, no more worries about getting the latest builds!
    9. All the firmware now runs flawless - both USB ports work. Wifi is on with startup!. You now have a 100% ASUS Clone.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    buzzzy, migtoe, ymom411 and 2 others like this.
  2. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Nice work. Two things I would say is:

    1. You likely don't have to flash to tomato first before going to AsusWRT. After flashing the custom CFE, you could load your build from the mini recovery server. You might want to get used to this anyways, because I think Asus/Merlins latest branch can only be downgraded through recovery. WebUI attempts won't flash (partition layouts change I believe between the two).

    2. Keep an eye on the CFE as well, or at least your nvram values from CFE. Newer builds have been known to update your CFE during the firmware load.

    I know XVortex modified some GPIO's in the custom CFE. So keep an eye on these (for EA6900):
    btn_wltog_gpio=255
    btn_wifi_toggle=255
    btn_led_gpio=255
    pwr_usb_gpio2=10
    led_pwr_gpio=6
    led_wps_gpio=8
    led_usb_gpio=255
    led_usb3_gpio=255
    led_5g_gpio=255
    led_turbo_gpio=255
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  3. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Xvortex, is it possible to update your CFE to a more recent Asus Compatible version?
    I notice that my method above works, however the airmesh doesn't.
    I am not sure if it is only a CFE problem, but that would be my first guess.

    I looked at the latest official CFE from the Asus RT-AC68U, however my knowledge is too limited at this stage to know what the main differences between your custom CFE and the latest official ASUS CFE is, besides the basic recommended edits.
    Can the official ASUS CFE work theoretically, or would it brick the Linksys?
    Can you shed some light in line with your expertise?
     
  4. XVortex

    XVortex Networkin' Nut Member

    You should not to change ANY gpio nvram settings if you plan to use Asus/Merlin firmware.
    Because some of asus sanity checks are relay on gpio's.
     
  5. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    So in theory, if I make an exact copy of the ASUS CFE as well as the ASUS gpio's, then it should work with ASUS original as well as ASUS Merlin?
     
  6. XVortex

    XVortex Networkin' Nut Member

    Yes it does but asus firmware will check and trigger their gpio's so you'll need to redirect it somehow.
     
  7. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    REMOVED
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  8. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Hi guys, I have basically 2 questions:

    1. Xvortex, did you add those gpio settings which Cybernook is talking about in your CFE? I don't seem to find those variables when I examined it?
    Or did you recompile the merlin opensource and added those parameters in the EA6900 Mod as part of the firmware?

    2. Furthermore, I examined your CFE compared to Official ASUS 1.0.2.0 US firmware link as discussed in this article and found a lot of variable differences.

    Can you please explain why they differ?

    Can you please explain why some variables are extra and some are missing as compared to the offical ASUS CFE?

    As a newbie it looks to me that the memory allocations differ, but both work with the official new ASUS firmware, however the ASUS CFE only switches on the radio's around every 1/4 times when switching the router on and off, while the VORTEX CFE switches them on around 1/2 times.

    The specifically modded EA6900 older versions of Merlin Vortex works 100%.

    Also, as a side comment - on both CFE's flashed with the latest ASUS firmware, the air mesh system doesn't operate. The routers can't find each other in order for one to be the router and another to be the node.

    Hence my main thought is:

    Can one mod the a custom CFE to mimic the ASUS RT-AC68 router 100% - that way one can use any opensource firmware compiled for the ASUS without any need to have a special compiled firmware version for the EA6900?

    Looking forward to your imputs.
     
  9. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    I will try and help where I can, I just can't seem to get away from the EA6900, it's still quite interesting to me :)

    So for the GPIO values, yes I think XVortex added some customization to his cooked 1.0.2.1 CFE to assisted in things like the Linksys logo LED for example. I played with this concept a few years ago, and while I was successful in flashing the stock linksys RT-AC68U CFE to my unit and flashing the RT-AC68U firmware, there were some small things that nagged me. And Merlin's build is a requirements as you need to invoke custom scripting. Stock ASUS builds don't have the ability to run initscripts I believe.

    Going through my notes, I have this:


    For the CFE differences between XVortexs and Asus's, I think that is simply XVortex has only included what he was compensating for in his custom build. Even between ASUS CFE versions for the same router, values change I believe, so not so strange. If you were to try and attempt this kind of approach, I would think you are going to be copying all the values from the RT-AC68U CFE, and pasting them into XVortex's custom CFE, and saving. The main values you would want to keep the same as they are would be things like your WPS key, and the MAC address info, same as we originally modify. Then, you need custom scripting or something else to try and redirect those GPIO's so the smaller things work properly, like the LED and USB3 port.

    But even things like this are starting to get tricky with ASUS doing things like adding custom certs in hidden partitions. Obviously, linksys routers won't have any of this. I think even moving forward after Merlins latest release, the new Alpha's and Beta's prevent flashing onto the TM-AC1900's converted to RT-AC68U, so with this approach being so similar, I assume it also would fail. I suspect the fact we are just rm -rf 'ing the hidden partition on the TM-AC1900 means no cert is there anymore. Perhaps firmware is now checking for valid RT-AC68U cert in it's place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  10. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Hi Cybernook,

    I did just that. However, I still find the wifi radio's are not always on when starting up. It is more of a random thing.
    I also added the line
    radio on
    to the startup script, however that doesn't seem to work. It seems to be still a random phase of starting the radio's or not.
    I guess for some reason the ASUS firmware tries to read the hardware wifi button on or off position on start-up. Since the linksys doesn't have the equivalent switch, I assume the firmware then assigns a random value on start-up which has this radio off or on effect.
    I am not sure if one can overcome this issue only by changing a nvram setting.
    I also tried that in the start-up script with no luck.

    It would be great if you still have your EA6900 to experiment on.
     
  11. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Hmm, it's been a few years since I tested this. Maybe you could cook up a little sleep timer command in your startup scripts to toggle radios off/on post boot.

    And its cybrnook , no "e" :)
     
  12. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Hi cybrnook - I edited the first post....
    Enjoy!
     
    cybrnook likes this.
  13. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Great job, I may have to dust off the ea6900 this weekend to play around :)

    odmpid=RT-AC66U_B1
    model=RT-AC68U
    bl_version=1.1.2.0


    Why AC66U_B1 for odmpid but then RT-AC68U for model, why not RT-AC68U for both, or vice versa?

    And with bl_version, are you just attempting to lie to the firmware that you are on a different CFE than you really are to avoid a CFE update?
     
  14. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Hi Cybrnook,

    When I examined the ASUS source code I noticed that the model number defines the firmware, however, the odmpid, defines which subroutines are used for the individual routers grouped into the same firmware compilation.

    The RT-AC66U_B1 doesn't have a wifi toggle switch, hence hardware wise, it has basically the same switches as the EA6900 - and it was the false reading of the toggle switch that caused the wifi to be random either on or off, as initially described above - which also prevented both the USB ports to work as well as the aimesh pairing.

    When the RT-AC66U_B1 is detected, the wifi toggle switch subroutine is bypassed, and hence everything works properly.

    Regarding the bl_version - you are totally correct. It is to prevent a CFE update.

    With the knowledge I now have, I believe you can emulate the ASUS routers on both the Tenda AC15 as well as the Tenda AC18. You will just have to compile a custom CFE, utilizing the real Tenda Variables in stead of the ASUS variables, together with something like the above modifications.

    If someone has a Tenda router, my suggestion would be to do a NVRAM dump. Then update the variables in the vortex CFE with the Tenda Variables... but only use the ones used in the Vortex CFE. Not necessary to add other variables. Flash your Tenda with your modified Vortex CFE, and then your Tenda router will also be an ASUS clone. (This is my working theory.. unfortunately I don't have a Tenda to experiment on)... maybe some readers in this group can comment, or do the experiment and enlighten us all.
     
    cybrnook likes this.
  15. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

  16. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    While this works, I am seeing the same finickiness as I did a few years ago. LED's don't work (power LED), reboot from OS results in hung boot process. Reboot from webui results in hung boot process. However, flipping power switch off, then back on does allow it to boot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  17. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Re-flashing of custom CFE post upgrade seems to have calmed down the reboot issues I was seeing (that or the fact I was baking in OC's into the CFE :) ). However, still poking at the LED.
     
  18. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I don't have the reboot issues you have. All reboots work. Gui as wel as ssh into router and issuing REBOOT command. I tested it on both my EA6700 and EA6900.
    Are you sure you cleared all your nvram variables after loading the firmware?
    This is the only problem I can anticipate.
    Regarding the LED's... the only LED's not working are the 2 WAN LED's and the main power LED... which goes down after booting....
    Functionally everything works 100%.
    And in order not to have to recompile and use any of the ASUS firmwares as is, I think this is a bonus.
    I can recompile a specific version, where the power LED and WAN LED's will light up, but I think it is much easier to stick with the official firmware and Merlin....
     
    cybrnook likes this.
  19. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    We were typing at the same time :) I edited my post above.


    I'm just curious what gpio's are lighting up with our power led and wan led's, if not the the actual led's. What's being triggered on the board...…
     
  20. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Regarding signal quality - The Linksys signal strength is about 15% stronger than the ASUS RT-AC66U_B1 I have tested it against. Playing with the AIMESH is also interesting. I used 3 routers for testing... LINKSYS EA6900, LINKSYS EA6700 and ASUS RT-AC66U_B1. All with the latest official ASUS firmware...

    Works like a charm......
     
  21. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    What have you set your clkfreq to?

    Agreed, this is piquing my interest again :) need to get the TM-AC1900 out to play with as well.
     
  22. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I have played with the clkfreq, however my LINKSYS routers are very unstable at higher frequencies.
    Hence I recommend to stay with 800,666
    That is by far the most stable frequencies in my own experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  23. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    800,333 or 800,533 I think you mean?
     
  24. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Sorry, my mistake.. I edited the post.. it is now correct. 800,666
     
  25. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    I am not sure 666 works properly. That is what I attempted to use as well, but I can watch during serial boot (ttl) that the bootloader does not recognize 666 in the memory table, so it defaults it to 400. The proper freq for the ea6900 should be clkfreq=800,533.

    This is also the same value that should be in your default nvram dump when you first convert the unit.
     
  26. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I lost the default nvram dump long ago.
    So I just went with what I had.
    It would be most interesting for me to see a copy of the original nvram dump.
    Can you possibly post it or direct me to a link where I can download it?
    I am busy fooling around with a possible new CFE compile.
     
  27. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Here's one from a unit I no longer own, so it's unedited:

    EDIT: Link removed

    Keep in mind, this is taken from the Original DD-WRT flash, so will be stock w/ DD-WRT stuff in there.

    Let me know if you cook up a new one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  28. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I did some further experimentation.
    If you exchange your XVortex Variables with the official Asus RT-AC66u_B1 firmware, it works 100%
    All the LED's light up.
    However, when either pressing the reset button or the WP button, the main LED doesn't blink after x amount of time.
    The functionality is however 100% - reset as well as nvram wipe works.

    So the choice is basically yours.
    With XVortex, the main power LED light up at boot and then goes out. You can however see when you reset or erase the nvram by looking at a blinking power LED.
    With the ASUS CFE the power LED just stays on all the time.
    So at least you have a choice..... :)

    Both CFE's work regarding functionality.

    I replaced all the CFE variables, with the variables in your dump. Everything works exactly the same as with original XVortex variables. So that was basically a fruitless exercise.

    You can download the official ASUS RT-AC66U_B1 firmware here
     
    cybrnook likes this.
  29. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    So the variables you are replacing into the ASUS CFE are mac addresses, WPS key, and anything else?

    This is a move away from XVortex's CFE all together then, and becoming a true transformation of the unit to an ASUS unit, being the CFE and the Firmware, correct?

    Can you list out what variables you updated in the ASUS CFE, would be grateful?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  30. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Yes... 100% as per the above post.

    However, after your question I experimented, by keeping the original ASUS CFE, changing only the WPS key, Mac Addresses and the following few changes.

    There are a few variable values that you have to manually change in order to have all the available channels

    0:ccode=#a
    1:ccode=#a
    0:regrev=0
    1:regrev=0
    clkfreq=800,666 (if at 1000, router very unstable - at least for me) - ASUS default is 1000

    Add:
    gpio10=usbport2 (This is to enable the USB3 port to work)

    Delete
    0:sar2g=18 (This is to maximize your TX Power on 2.4gHz - otherwise you will notice a signal strength drop - as a matter of fact, if you have an ASUS router and delete the same variable you will see a 15-20% increase in your 2.4gHz signal strength)

    And now you have a true ASUS clone in the form of a LINKSYS.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    sohouser and cybrnook like this.
  31. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Do you have a TTL cable? I would ask you to watch your boot with memory at 666. I can tell you %100 on mine, 666 is not a recognized value so the system drops freq to 400 internally, while your nvram value still says 666. 800,533 should be the correct default value.

    And thank you for the rest of the info, I will test later when I am home. Excited :)
     
  32. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Who knows... maybe the ASUS CFE will utilize the higher frequency?...
    I will await your observation with the ASUS CFE @ 666 - if it still drops to 400, then we can change it to 533...
     
  33. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    I will screenshot it for you tonight, where it does not like 666. :) (Based off of XVortex CFE)

    EDIT: Sounds good on testing. I think most of the newer asus units default to 800 for memory. Let's test and see.
     
  34. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Vortex CFE - Secondary Decompression accepts 533
    [​IMG]

    ASUS CFE - Secondary Decompression accepts 533
    [​IMG]

    Vortex CFE - Initial decompression defaults to 400 from 666
    [​IMG]

    ASUS CFE - Secondary Decompression accepts 666
    [​IMG]

    ASUS CFE - Initial Decompression defaults to 400 from 666
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  35. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Looks like the second last screen shot shows that 666 is accepted on CFE Version 7.14.131.56 - which I will assume is the ASUS CFE.
    Just strange that in the last image, the 666 isn't accepted again by the same CFE version?
    Was the second last capture just the luck of the draw? Sometimes it accepts it, sometimes not?
     
  36. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Okay, they are out of order. BUT, what I am seeing is that during the boot process there are 2 - 3 waves of "decompression", which I assume is the specific partitions being deflated and loaded into memory. During the first initial boot, it seems that CFE does not like any value other than 400. Then, once it performs it's first decompression (assuming the kernel?), then it accepts secondary values where we loop back through the CFE. It takes BOTH 533 or 666. So, it seems I was somewhat right, and also somewhat wrong as it's a phased boot process and seems that ultimately it takes either 533 or 666 once you actually boot.

    BTW, ASUS CFE with front LED working fine :)
     
  37. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Interesting.... do both CFE's - Vortex and ASUS accept 666 in the end?
     
  38. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

  39. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Anyway, at least we now have a full ASUS clone.... no more worrying about cross compilation of Merlin....
    I am thinking the same can be done with the Tenda AC 18 as well as the Netgear R7000 in stead of having XVortex cross compiling.
     
  40. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Yes, I think you are correct. R7000 I have known was possible, but have not looked at the Tenda units.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  41. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    hi Starbuck99,my router is ea6500v2,would you pls provide me the ea6700 custom cfe? thank you
     
  42. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    i use the ea6700 custom cfe from koolshare. but when i flash my router to the latest ASUSWRT Merlin firmware,it seems not working properly.
     
  43. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Just follow the instructions as set out in post #1.
    This has not been tested with the koolshare CFE.
    Only with the XVortex CFE.
     
  44. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    just useing ea6900 custom cfe to flash my ea6500v2 without utilizing any Variables???
     
  45. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    You only change the variables as shown in post #1
     
  46. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    thanku ,let me have a try
     
  47. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Have you been successful?
     
  48. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    failed again with koolshare cfe which is utilized from XVortex CFE.
    we have about 12 hours time difference, so i went to sleep yesterday.
    i will try the original XVortex CFE tonight.
     
  49. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    You should be flashing from recovery webserver, not the cool share or vortex gui. Erase nvram on first but after successful flash by holding wps button during cold boot.
     
  50. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    i flash the firmware by TFTP when ttl=100
     
  51. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    And is it flashing? You haven't given much detail as to "what" isn't working, and how you determined that.

    I would advise to navigate to 192.168.1.1 when the device is in recovery mode, and flash through the recovery web server.
     
  52. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    thank you starbuck99 ,cybrnook.
    i have been successful to have a full ASUS clone.
    first i flash the XVortex CFE instead of koolshare cfe
    Just follow the instructions as set out in post #1. only change the variables as shown.flashing from recovery webserver.
    it seems to work well.
     
  53. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Glad to hear :)
     
  54. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    can i flash the other firmwares like RT-AC86U,ac3100?
     
  55. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    No, because the hardware is different.
     
  56. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    i am successful to flash rt-ac68u_380.70-x7.9.trx from koolshare,too.
    koolshare firmware has many distinguishing features,such as software center.
     
  57. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

  58. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    That's fine, but flashing cool share or vortex was not what the point of this thread was.
     
  59. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    it seems to works well for the Linksys EA6500v2. I have tested it with both XVortex CFE and koolshare cfe.
    I am successful to flash the official ASUS Firmware with the koolshare cfe which is utilized from XVortex CFE.
    here is my files https://pan.baidu.com/s/1V_3tZ1uj_AmE8zk0roOZqQ password:phlf

    I have upload the "mtd-write",so you can flash the cfe directly.
    Make a backup of your stock CFE and back it up off the router
    dd if=/dev/mtd0 of=stock-cfe.bin

    and save the modified CFE file, copy it to your router and flash it;
    ./mtd-write -i xxxx.bin -d boot


    the key point is "You should be flashing from recovery webserver or using tftp tools. Erase nvram on first but after successful flash by holding wps button during cold boot."

    You only change the variables as shown in post #1.I find the 5g network is not stable, so I change the 1:macaddr variable as shown below.

    et0macaddr=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx(MAC address on the bottom of router)
    0:macaddr=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx(et0macadd=0:macaddr)
    1:macaddr=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx (et0macadd-1)

    odmpid=RT-AC66U_B1
    model=RT-AC68U
    bl_version=1.1.2.0
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  60. leoncici

    leoncici New Member Member

    Thanks for your help. starbuck99 ,cybrnook,coolshine
     
  61. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    @Starbuck99 what about deleting "1:sar5g=15" for 5G radio?
     
  62. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I played around with it.
    Best results I found was 1:sar5g=20
    Seems to improve both 2.4g and 5g....
    Just deleting it didn't have any measurable effect in my experiments.
     
  63. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    So delete 0:sar2g=18 and change to 1:sar5g=20
     
  64. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    Yes.... correct.
     
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  65. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Poking through some of the source:

    # sar2g is the SAR limit for the 2.4GHz band
    # value in in dBm
    # Set 18dBm for 2.4GHz
    0:sar2g=18
    # sar5g is the SAR limit for the 5GHz band
    # value is in dBm
    # Set 15dBm for 5GHz
    0:sar5g=15

    Looks like these rather just set the wall limit. Instead of deleting them, wouldn't it be cleaner to just take the existing values and increase the DB limits instead? Something like:

    # sar2g is the SAR limit for the 2.4GHz band
    # value in in dBm
    # Set 26dBm for 2.4GHz
    0:sar2g=26
    # sar5g is the SAR limit for the 5GHz band
    # value is in dBm
    # Set 26dBm for 5GHz
    0:sar5g=26

    Or maybe even setting both to 0? (Untested) If you wanted to attempt for a stronger broadcast.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  66. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    0:sar2g=xx NOT 1:sar2g=xx

    I guess we will have to play around... I can definitely see signal strength improvement.
    However, I haven't checked transfer rates.

    Would be interesting to know what settings are actually optimal.

    Maybe some of the other readers on this thread can post the results of a few different settings?
    And maybe the 5g to 2g ratio also plays a role?
    Is a 1:1 setting the best?

    The original setting of 5g:2g was 15:18
     
  67. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    1 vs 0 , corrected (was just a copy paste from source code)

    I was looking around yesterday to see if I could find the max dBm output for the unit (as I doubt 18 and 15 are it), which ultimately led me into a black hole of different threads that talked about different setting people were using. Then ultimately into the adjusting output power levels and the debate surrounding it. Many of the threads where I thought I would find good info seemed to have been removed from snb, so the links were dead.

    I know there are restrictions on what the driver will allow as well, and the power table. I am no expert in that regard.
     
  68. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    "What I've enabled is country code #a...it's basically test mode. ALL channels, transmitting just shy of the chips actual rated output of 26dB (right now its at 25dB), or about 318mW. It literally doesn't get better than that, not with these chips. And why shout over your neighbors when you can just use a different channel, and still xmit at 100% (yes, 100%, you WILL NOT GET 1W OUT OF THIS, or even 1/2 W) 26dB=396mW is the rated max according the spec sheet given for both radios as posted by another user in the thread I linked. Admittedly, I don't know how to get mine above 25dB=318mW, since ccode=#a is supposed to unlock everything, but close enough. And good luck with a Chinese router, I *think* they disallow 5GHz completely. Nothing beats "test mode".

    As I stated in that thread, this mod has been amazing. I'm getting S/N of 58-61dB from 20ft away with just a flat TV between, whereas before I never broke 49-50dB. I also have significantly higher link speeds throughout the house, much more useable internet in most of my backyard, and can even use the net easily on my phone in a far corner of the yard where it was completely 0 throughput. I had my TxPower set to 300 in Merlin's 42 and 43 builds, and although the nvram value sticks through a restart and shows in the GUI, I never really saw improvements higher than 5-10%...the "wishful thinking" zone apparently, because this is a massive, noticeable improvement over that (even back then I kinda wondered if this was really working...I'm not wondering anymore! :D )"

    What is restriction for TxPower at AC-RT68?

    So perhaps seems the max is 26dBm, that coupled with #a should be what you are looking for?
     
  69. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    So what did you settle on?
    I am currently using
    0:sar2g=24 and
    1:sar5g=20

    I have great coverage... and at least a 20 - 22% improvement in 2.4gHz signal strength.
    I don't notice the same improvement at all on the 5g signal strength....

    If I am lucky 2 to 5% max.
     
  70. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Haven't had a chance to adjust and test yet :) I have the unit at my parents house as their home router. Next time I am out I will poke at it.

    What channels are you using on 2.4 and 5.0 and what bandwidth? That's great returns you are seeing.
     
  71. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    I am only using channels which are not being used by my neighbours.
    Hence, I don't use specific channels for better through put.
    I use wifi explorer pro, to see which channels are available.
    I use the widest bandwidths.
    Furthermore, the signal strengths improve the same on my original ASUS RT-AC66U_B1 as on the Linksys.
    I run the factory firmware latest build. I am not running Merlin.
    I am curious, what router do you use for your personal use?
     
  72. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    I run a Ubiquiti Unifi setup at home, Unifi USG-XG-8.

    However, I do still have an RT-AC68P I could test on this weekend, as well as a TM-AC1900 converted to RT-AC68U.... So I guess I am not telling the truth when I say I can't test, just need to get one of the units out :) Which I will this weekend.
     
  73. baani59

    baani59 Reformed Router Member

    Hi guys, on my ea6900 is xwrt 380.69 (i flashed according cybrnook's original guide). How can i do to flash official RT-AC68U or ASUS Merlin for RT-AC68U? I have to follow the Starbuck99's guide or there is a simpler way? (Cfe asus specific modification and from within the Xwrt firmware, under the Firmware update flash the latest ASUSWRT Merlin or official ASUS firmware?)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  74. gametx

    gametx New Member Member

    Hi,
    I have an EA6700 and am stuck at saving the new_cfe.bin.

    I'm following the instructions in the linked post and then try making the changes as per Starbuck99's post #1 here.

    By the time I add the UUID_Key (as suggested in the linked post,) and 0:sar2g=24 and ctf_fa_cap=0 (lines for 1:sar5g=20 and secret_code already exist in the original cfe.bin) and try saving it, it comes up with the message "Insufficient memory in FLSH segment".

    Any suggestions on what to leave safely out of the new_cfe_bin? ...and BTW which is the right CFE.bin to use?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  75. Starbuck99

    Starbuck99 Network Newbie Member

    No need for UUID_KEY.
     
  76. gametx

    gametx New Member Member

    First of all thanks to all contributors to the thread (in chronological order) - lots of good hands-on experience and suggestions. Since based on all of the above I have the system happily running on Merlin's last beta as of today, here are some observations based on an EA6700 device.

    The physical ports on the EA6700 are a view in the mirror of the EA6900. This being said, the WAN port on the 6700 is actually port 1 and port 4 is the WAN port (n+1 based model.)
    This may save some time in trying to figure out why the update up to Tomato works well on physical port 1 and fails afterwards (on the mentioned model.) I picked up on one of the threads that you have to plug the Ethernet cable in a port other than 1 at some point - that explains it all.

    Now, the only downside is the 2.4GHz band - but since UUID_KEY is not required, I'll try to add 0:sar2g=24 to the CFE and will share the outcome.
     
  77. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    0:sar2g and 1:sar5g are already values in the CFE, you are not "adding" any values here, just changing already existing ones. And UUID_KEY is a linksys value, not an Asus one, so not needed.
     
  78. gametx

    gametx New Member Member

    There is no 0:sar2g entry in the EA6700 cfe.bin I'm using (EA6700_asus_CFE.bin.) Would you mind to share which EA6700 cfe.bin are you alluding to?
     
  79. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    Apology, I am using the ASUS CFE at the moment, which already had this value. Carry on.... :)
     
    BigBossRadio likes this.
  80. BigBossRadio

    BigBossRadio Serious Server Member

    GREAT TO SEE YOU ARE ALIVE AND WELL AND STILL HELPING OUT all us mere mortals
     
    cybrnook likes this.
  81. cybrnook

    cybrnook Addicted to LI Member

    I'm only riding passenger on the journey this time :)
     
  82. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    I still have vortex cfe on my ea6900 which is now my backup router. I have fresh tomato firmware on it. I also found out if I flash ddwrt on it, it won't flash to another ddwrt or any other firmware, I read on the net that ddwrt is looking for a second partition which vortex cfe has only one thus the failure. Anyway, mini web don't work for me, I need to hold the red reset key while turning it on until Linksys led turn on (about 30 seconds +) and use Asus Rescue 2000 software to update to another firmware.

    Just wonder flashing this asus cfe worth it since I am only using the ea6900 as a back up.
     
  83. ymom411

    ymom411 Reformed Router Member

    I'm at a loss as to which CFE i'm supposed to edit. I have the EA6900 custom CFE, but when I add
    0:sar2g=24
    1:sar5g=20
    ctf_fa_cap=0

    it comes up with the message "Insufficient memory in FLSH segment". I tried searching for those variables in the CFE, but I cannot find them. Could someone post a link to a CFE for the EA6900 that only requires MAC address modification? That would really help.

    Thanks
     
  84. gametx

    gametx New Member Member

    See post #28 for a link to an original cfe.bin and make the changes suggested in post #30 to it (you still need to follow the steps in order from post#1 and the linked one.)

    The 0:sar* & 1:sar* lines are already there - just change the values. Adding the ctf_fa* line will not yield any memory error.
     
  85. ymom411

    ymom411 Reformed Router Member

    That did the trick. Thanks very much for pointing me to that post. Not sure how I missed it.
    Before I start making changes to the router...I am already on vortex EA6900_380.70.

    Do I need to necessarily do this:

    1. Follow all the steps up to step 13 as set out in http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.ph...n-ea6900-v1-v1-1-without-32k-bug-renew.74084/

    Or can I just start at step 14?

    Once again, thanks for your help!
     
  86. Zoltrix

    Zoltrix Network Newbie Member

    Hi all, I followed the guide and got to the last step. I've applied the Asus firmware (version 3.0.0.4.384.32738) and the router now isn't responding. Before I applied the Asus one it was successfully running AdvancedTomato, and I'd completed all other steps.

    How long should the Asus firmware take to apply? Its been about 30 mins since the router restarted. It doesn't respond to pings and the web interface doesn't open. Should I power it off and back on?
     
  87. Zoltrix

    Zoltrix Network Newbie Member

    So the router still didn't come back up after a power off and power on. So I tried the reset button on the back. That still didn't work.

    So then I tried holding the reset button while powering the router on and that got the miniWeb Server page back up. So then I reloaded AdvancedTomato back on, and the router is up again.

    I notice in AdvancedTomato it reports the model as Linksys EA6900. Should it be saying Asus instead because of the changes made to the bin file?
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  88. sohouser

    sohouser New Member Member

    Thanks starbuck99. Excellent work.
    I have followed you instructions and having problems with the last step to update ASUS AC68U original firmware. It's not going through fine. Tomato firmware is running fine and its showing the model as "Asus RT-AC68P/U B1". The asus firmware uploads successfully with below message and the router restarts but not changing from tomato firmware.

    /tmp/flashO1dSBq: Bad trx header

    do I need to tick "After flashing, erase all data in NVRAM memory" the option when upgrading the firmware in tomato admin page?

    Thanks
     
  89. ymom411

    ymom411 Reformed Router Member

    I have the same issue as @sohouser. Tried flashing the ASUS software from withing Tomato and from the ASUS recovery page. Same thing happens with both RT-AC68U_3.0.0.4_384_32738-gc9a116a and RT-AC68U_3.0.0.4_384_32799-gfe72567.
     
  90. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    I don't see this value ctf_fa_cap=0 on the Asus cfe should I add it? Thanks.
     
  91. ymom411

    ymom411 Reformed Router Member

    @apvmtan Yep, you have to add it. In addition to the changes on post#30.
     
    apvmtan likes this.
  92. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    Thank you.
     
  93. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    One more thing to add is I did not flash asusmerlin firmware after I uploaded the asus cfe, I use asus rescue utility to flash and have no problem, thanks everyone.
     
  94. baani59

    baani59 Reformed Router Member

    @ymom411
    #85 - Did you got any answer or you started at step 1?

    #apvmtan
    Finally, which software you installed?
     
  95. Zoltrix

    Zoltrix Network Newbie Member

    Ah so yours shows the model is Asus? Mine still says Linksys. Strange.
     
  96. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    flashed official latest and then merlin latest beta, will have time to play around it later and most likely will flash to merlin latest stable official and play around with it. Have following on the asus cfe and found the ea6900 is slightly warmer than when it was with fresh tomato, will investigate when I have time.

    0:sar2g=24
    1:sar5g=20
     
  97. Zoltrix

    Zoltrix Network Newbie Member

    Here is my cfe file. If anyone can spot anything wrong that would be stopping me from applying the Asus firmware, please let me know.

    Code:
    sromrev=8
    boardnum=00
    boardtype=0x0646
    boardrev=0x1103
    boardflags=0x00000110
    boardflags2=0x00000000
    xtalfreq=25000
    clkfreq=800,666
    reset_gpio=11
    gpio9=usbport1
    sdram_config=0x0149
    et0mdcport=0
    et0phyaddr=30
    et0macaddr=14:91:82:25:1C:34
    vlan1ports=1 2 3 4 5*
    vlan1hwname=et0
    vlan2ports=0 5u
    vlan2hwname=et0
    landevs=vlan1 wl0 wl1
    wandevs=et0
    lan_ipaddr=192.168.1.1
    lan_netmask=255.255.255.0
    gpio7=wps_button
    boot_wait=on
    wait_time=1
    watchdog=2100
    devpath0=pci/1/1
    0:venid=0x14E4
    0:sromrev=11
    0:boardflags=0x00001000
    0:boardflags2=0x00100002
    0:boardflags3=0x00000003
    0:xtalfreq=40000
    0:devid=0x43A1
    0:macaddr=14:91:82:25:1C:35
    0:aa2g=7
    0:agbg0=0
    0:agbg1=0
    0:agbg2=0
    0:txchain=7
    0:rxchain=7
    0:antswitch=0
    0:femctrl=3
    0:gainctrlsph=0
    0:papdcap2g=0
    0:tworangetssi2g=0
    0:pdgain2g=4
    0:epagain2g=0
    0:tssiposslope2g=1
    0:rxgains2gelnagaina0=6
    0:rxgains2gelnagaina1=6
    0:rxgains2gelnagaina2=6
    0:rxgains2gtrelnabypa0=1
    0:rxgains2gtrelnabypa1=1
    0:rxgains2gtrelnabypa2=1
    0:rxgains2gtrisoa0=13
    0:rxgains2gtrisoa1=13
    0:rxgains2gtrisoa2=13
    0:maxp2ga0=106
    0:maxp2ga1=106
    0:maxp2ga2=106
    0:pa2ga0=0xff34,0x19cd,0xfccc
    0:pa2ga1=0xff38,0x1966,0xfce7
    0:pa2ga2=0xff38,0x1991,0xfcdd
    0:cckbw202gpo=0
    0:cckbw20ul2gpo=0
    0:mcsbw202gpo=0x75310000
    0:mcsbw402gpo=0x75310000
    0:dot11agofdmhrbw202gpo=0x0000
    0:ofdmlrbw202gpo=0
    0:sb20in40hrpo=0
    0:sb20in40lrpo=0
    0:dot11agduphrpo=0
    0:dot11agduplrpo=0
    0:pdoffset2g40ma0=0x8
    0:pdoffset2g40ma1=0x8
    0:pdoffset2g40ma2=0x8
    0:rpcal2g=0xffff
    0:ccode=#a
    0:regrev=0
    0:ledbh10=7
    devpath1=pci/2/1
    1:venid=0x14E4
    1:sromrev=11
    1:boardflags=0x30000000
    1:boardflags2=0x00300002
    1:boardflags3=0x0
    1:xtalfreq=40000
    1:devid=0x43A2
    1:macaddr=14:91:82:25:1C:36
    1:aa5g=7
    1:aga0=0
    1:aga1=0
    1:aga2=0
    1:txchain=7
    1:rxchain=7
    1:antswitch=0
    1:femctrl=3
    1:subband5gver=4
    1:gainctrlsph=0
    1:papdcap5g=0
    1:tworangetssi5g=0
    1:pdgain5g=4
    1:epagain5g=0
    1:tssiposslope5g=1
    1:rxgains5gelnagaina0=2
    1:rxgains5gtrelnabypa0=1
    1:rxgains5gtrisoa0=7
    1:rxgains5gmelnagaina0=2
    1:rxgains5gmtrelnabypa0=1
    1:rxgains5gmtrisoa0=7
    1:rxgains5ghelnagaina0=3
    1:rxgains5ghtrelnabypa0=1
    1:rxgains5ghtrisoa0=8
    1:rxgains5gelnagaina1=2
    1:rxgains5gtrelnabypa1=1
    1:rxgains5gtrisoa1=9
    1:rxgains5gmelnagaina1=2
    1:rxgains5gmtrelnabypa1=1
    1:rxgains5gmtrisoa1=7
    1:rxgains5ghelnagaina1=3
    1:rxgains5ghtrelnabypa1=1
    1:rxgains5ghtrisoa1=7
    1:rxgains5gelnagaina2=2
    1:rxgains5gtrelnabypa2=1
    1:rxgains5gtrisoa2=8
    1:rxgains5gmelnagaina2=2
    1:rxgains5gmtrelnabypa2=1
    1:rxgains5gmtrisoa2=7
    1:rxgains5ghelnagaina2=3
    1:rxgains5ghtrelnabypa2=1
    1:rxgains5ghtrisoa2=8
    1:maxp5ga0=106,106,106,106
    1:pa5ga0=0xff15,0x1b55,0xfc9d,0xff14,0x1b18,0xfca2,0xff1a,0x1b5c,0xfc9d,0xff1b,0x1af0,0xfcaa
    1:maxp5ga1=106,106,106,106
    1:pa5ga1=0xff13,0x1b41,0xfc9f,0xff14,0x1b85,0xfc97,0xff17,0x1b50,0xfc9e,0xff19,0x1b38,0xfca2
    1:maxp5ga2=106,106,106,106
    1:pa5ga2=0xff12,0x1b8f,0xfc96,0xff12,0x1b97,0xfc95,0xff16,0x1bd6,0xfc91,0xff15,0x1b80,0xfc98
    1:pdoffset40ma0=0x0
    1:pdoffset40ma1=0x0
    1:pdoffset40ma2=0x0
    1:pdoffset80ma0=0x0000
    1:pdoffset80ma1=0x0000
    1:pdoffset80ma2=0x0000
    1:mcsbw205glpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw405glpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw805glpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw1605glpo=0
    1:mcsbw205gmpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw405gmpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw805gmpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw1605gmpo=0
    1:mcsbw205ghpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw405ghpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw805ghpo=0xCA864200
    1:mcsbw1605ghpo=0
    1:mcslr5glpo=0
    1:mcslr5gmpo=0
    1:mcslr5ghpo=0
    1:sb20in40hrpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160hr5glpo=0
    1:sb40and80hr5glpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160hr5gmpo=0
    1:sb40and80hr5gmpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160hr5ghpo=0
    1:sb40and80hr5ghpo=0
    1:sb20in40lrpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160lr5glpo=0
    1:sb40and80lr5glpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160lr5gmpo=0
    1:sb40and80lr5gmpo=0
    1:sb20in80and160lr5ghpo=0
    1:sb40and80lr5ghpo=0
    1:dot11agduphrpo=0
    1:dot11agduplrpo=0
    1:rpcal5gb0=0xffff
    1:rpcal5gb1=0xffff
    1:rpcal5gb2=0xffff
    1:rpcal5gb3=0xffff
    1:ccode=#a
    1:regrev=0
    1:sar5g=20
    1:ledbh10=7
    bl_version=1.1.2.0
    bootflags=1
    secret_code=********
    odmpid=RT-AC66U_B1
    model=RT-AC68U
    ATEMODE=1
    HW_ver=1.90
    PA=5003
    nospare=1
    cpurev=c0
    gpio10=usbport2
    ctf_fa_cap=0
    
     
  98. gametx

    gametx New Member Member

    That looks like the cfe in post #28 link with the additional changes suggested 2 posts later. However, the MAC addresses you have are not following any of the suggested paths in this thread or any linked ones. That may or may not be the issue... just try to plug your network cable in another port while rebooting your router.
     
  99. apvmtan

    apvmtan Serious Server Member

    14:91:82:25:1C:34
    14:91:82:25:1C:34
    14:91:82:25:1C:38

    Your mac address, 1st two should be the same and last one should ends 38
     
  100. ymom411

    ymom411 Reformed Router Member

    @baani59 - I did not get a reply so I started from the beginning (with Brainslayer).

    However, I had no success at the end. I was able to get to the Advanced Tomato stage just fine. Tomato firmware was running fine and showed the model as "Asus RT-AC68P/U B1". The asus firmware would load and then give this error no matter what version I used: /tmp/flashO1dSBq: Bad trx header.

    I also tried loading the ASUS FW via the Recovery page, and after a while the page would time out. After a reboot it would come back to the recovery page.

    So currently I have reverted back to the vortex modified CFE and am running 380.70.

    The issue I have now is that I have tried to do the process all over again and now the router won't even accept the Brainslayer FW.

    I do have a question, for MAC address 94:10:3E:86:05:E7, what would the maccdr+4 be?
     
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