RT-AC66U_B1 Tomato Fimware Recommendation

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by schnappi, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    Ten year old WRT54GL cannot stay on for more than a few hours without restarting so unfortunately need to replace. Understand that the RT-AC66U_B1 is an ARM device (https://www.snbforums.com/threads/can-asus-rt-ac66u-b1-run-asuswrt-merlin.35323/page-2#post-293351) among others.

    Is tomato-RT-AC68U-9008.8Toastman-ARM-VPN-64K.trx the correct firmware for the RT-AC66U_B1? Secondly has anyone been using a RT-AC66U_B1 with Toastman or Shibby Tomato so far?

    For learning purposes what is the likely issue/ hardware failure that causes the WRT54GL to restart constantly? After replacing will probably reset NVRAM and use as a switch while seeing if issue is still occurring.

    Thanks and have a good weekend.
  2. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    The RT-AC66U_B1 uses a newer CPU that isn't currently supported by Tomato.
  3. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    Thanks. Really wanted to finally give RT-AC66U_B1 a try with Tomato. The ARM architecture, dual core processor, and USB 3.0 port all seem like neat upgrades from RT-N(AC)66U. Will think about giving Asuswrt-Merlin firmware a try for the RT-AC66U_B1 or probably just get another RT-N/AC66U.

    Reset NVRAM in old WRT54GL and predictably problem persisted. Interestingly enough since turning off WiFi the WRT54GL in question has been up for a day without restarting. So as to what was wrong the issue was/is probably with the WiFi card.
  4. humaxboy

    humaxboy Network Newbie Member

    Does it mean that it isn't supported by Shibby as well ?
  5. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Correct. None of the Tomato forks support it yet.
  6. humaxboy

    humaxboy Network Newbie Member

    "yet"...does it mean that in the near future maybe they will ? My dillemma : keep this router and use your firmware until Shibby or Toastman do the version for B1 OR change to another router. Around Toastman is pretty quiet lately, Shibby just launch new firmware and can last a long time until he launches a new one..
  7. pomidor1

    pomidor1 Networkin' Nut Member

  8. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    None of the Tomato developers have announced anything about this, so nobody knows.
  9. tybalt

    tybalt New Member Member

    I just picked up one of these units myself. AC66u_b1 HW:b1. Which apprently is different from the HW:A1. Would love to see support for this. Bugs the heck out of me that ASUS make these suttle changes in HW revisions. I'm currently running dd-wrt right now on it with the AC68U firmware. But have been wanting to move to tomato for some time. Disappointing to find out this router is not supported. Not sure what exactly the issue is with supporting this broadcom cpu. Would be nice to see movement towards making this compatible

    This is very similar in hardware as the AC68U C1 that has been out for sometime. Yet no movement on finding a solution to making tomato work for this.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  10. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    The main issue is a newer SDK
  11. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    I can tell you that there HAS been movement toward supporting it. It's just not that simple as you might think, and the project hit a few problems. No idea what has been happening with the project since that.
  12. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    May I inquire as to what an SDK is? Software development kit according to google but interested in understanding further what this actually is.

    As to slow development of Tomato. Am happy with the pace and features. However if we put Tomato in a place where more people could contribute think it would help Tomato firmware as a whole and could speed up routers like the RT-AC66U_B1 being supported. It would also be neat to be able to see the code and learn from it to the point where maybe could eventually contribute.

    Am not saying GitHub or Sourceforge is great and should move there just because everyone else is because neither of them is perfect. Am just saying maybe Tomato could be moved somewhere to enable contributions and where the code is easily accessible. Know this has been touched on before.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  13. bjlockie

    bjlockie Network Guru Member

    The code is on github.
    I think this is it: http://repo.or.cz/tomato.git/
    Probably the CPU is not supported by Linux yet.
    SDK is software development kit.
    Maybe there is an SDK for tomato, I don't know how to build it.
  14. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

  15. tvlz

    tvlz LI Guru Member

    Could somebody post the board info from the AC66U_B1

    nvram show |grep board
  16. tvlz

    tvlz LI Guru Member

    NO Tomato Support until/IF the SDK is updated to support the BCM4708co chipset.
    Nothing can be done for RT-AC66U_B1 & new routers with the BCM4708co chipset.
    Elfew likes this.
  17. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    I am about to buy an Asus RT-AC66U, but I want to make sure I buy the right version so that I can run it with Advanced Tomato.

    I understand that Tomato will only run on an A1 (older version of this router), but I am seeing there are models of this router that are called Asus RT-AC66U B1 H/W A1, having both B1 and A1 in the product description.

    Attached is a screen shot from a YouTube video I watched where the guy is holding up the side of the router box and it appears to be an Asus RT-AC66U B1 H/W A1 model. So will this model run with Tomato since it appears that the hardware version is A1, even though the router model number is B1?

    I also spoke with a local supplier that said they are selling model ASUS RT-AC66U B1 H/W Ver.: B2 F/W Ver.: So this is clearly a newer B1 version since the hardware version is listed as B2. I assume this model definitely won’t run with Tomato, right? But what is also a bit confusing is the B2 hardware version here. I thought there were only A1 and B1 hardware options?

    Thanks for any clarification you might be able to offer in order to steer me towards buying the right version of this router to use with Tomato.

  18. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Not compatible, no.

    RT-AC66U_B1 is a new model, that's why "B1" is part of the model name and not of the HW revision.
  19. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    So for it to be compatible it would need to say the following on the side of the box?

    Asus RT-AC66U
    H/W Ver. A1

  20. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Correct. Newer H/W revisions for the RT-AC66U would also be fine. It's the model number that's important in Tomato's case for that model.
  21. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    Anyway you can buy it and use Merlin's firmware, it is pretty good and stable. I would like to use it but no support for RT-N18u unit :(
  22. PetervdM

    PetervdM Network Guru Member

    even then beware of an installed firmware version or newer. this f/w level inhibits installation of non-authorized third party firmwares
  23. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    My firmware is compatible with the new header signature, and other compatible firmwares can also be flashed using Firmware Recovery mode.
    Sean B. likes this.
  24. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Unfortunately I am finding it very difficult to find any new RT-AC66U routers available that are of the older version that are able to run with Advanced Tomato.

    I didn't think it would be so difficult to find one, but where I am located all the retailers only seem to have B1 stock at this point. I also don't really like the idea of older, used routers. So I guess I may have to look for another router model instead.

    As an aside, if I were to switch to an RT-AC68U instead, would I be able to buy any version of that model and safely flash it with Advanced Tomato or are there also issues with newer generations of that router that would prevent a successful flash? Thanks
  25. Sean B.

    Sean B. LI Guru Member

    Pretty sure this is not a B1, as there are over 6,000 reviews and over 1,000 questions answered dating back to pre-2013, but can always post a question to verify:

    marcbkk likes this.
  26. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Thanks Sean. I can't really buy stuff on Amazon so easily as I reside outside the USA. I normally get stuff on eBay if I order from overseas.

    By the way, if I was interested to buy a Netgear R7000 are there any things I need to watch out for or be aware of in terms of hardware generations in order to be able to easily flash the router with Advanced Tomato? Also, whether it is an AC1750 or an AC1900 model, would it make any difference in terms of being able to flash it with Advanced Tomato?
  27. tvlz

    tvlz LI Guru Member

    If the RT-AC66U B1 has usb3 it has the newer unsupported BCM4708C0 chipset, same with the AC68U C1 & E1 models.

    You are going to have a hard time if you want brand new, most will use the upgraded BCM4708C0 chipset, Tomato needs a SDK upgrade to work with the newer chipset.

  28. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Thank you. So it seems like the best thing if I wanted an ASUS would be to get a RT-N66U to avoid flashing issues with Advanced Tomato. But I read about some people having a 32K Nvram issue with that model, although I am not sure if that is correct or not. Also, speeds are only N900 on the RT-N66U. Not very impressive.

    So I should probably just move to a Netgear R7000 instead. As I queried earlier, are there any things I need to watch out for or be aware of in terms of hardware gens on this model that would cause problems being able to flash the router with Advanced Tomato? Also, whether it is an AC1750 or an AC1900 model, does it make any difference either in terms of being able to flash it with Advanced Tomato? Thanks.

    UPDATE: I did see the post that says the newer R7000P isn't supported with Tomato, but all other generations of the R7000 are?
  29. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Also, I believe the R7000P is an AC2300 model. So does that mean any R7000 AC1750 or AC1900 is flashable with Tomato?
  30. Jose C

    Jose C Serious Server Member

    I have 2 r7000 running tomato, it is AC1900

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  31. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Thank you Jose. I think all AC1900 versions of the R7000 should run with Tomato. I think the R7000P mentioned is the AC2300 model as I said earlier. And if it is AC1750 then I think it is the R6700.
  32. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Sean - I decided to order one of these from Amazon from the link you provided. Thanks again for the link. I realized that the total cost from Amazon (including overseas shipping cost and customs duties) worked out to be the same as the price the retailers are selling them for in the country where I am located. So I went for it.

    I had also done a search through the reviews on the Amazon product page for the router and there were people from both 2015 and 2016 who said they flashed this router with Tomato and no problem. So hopefully it works out well for flashing it with Tomato when I get it. See a screen shot of those reviews below and I will post again after I get it and if it flashes with Tomato successfully. Thanks.

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  33. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    By the way, under the Specifications within the Amazon product listing of the AC66U I ordered it says it has "USB Port(s): 2x USB 2.0", but further down under Product Information and Technical Details it says it has 1 each USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. So I am not sure about this point.

    But this one I ordered is definitely not the B1 model so hopefully I am OK for a Tomato flash. B1 is sold by Amazon under a different product listing here: https://www.amazon.com/Dual-Band-AC1750-4-Port-Gigabit-RT-AC66U-B1/dp/B01N08LPPP/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

    I also looked at the specs on the B1 model from Amazon and it looks different on the USB specs than the one I ordered as it says: "Integrated USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports".

    Fingers crossed I will get a router I can flash with Tomato.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  34. Sean B.

    Sean B. LI Guru Member

    You may do as I suggested and send a message to the seller to verify it's not a B1 before it ships. Not sure about the USB 3.0 being a sign it's a B1 with the 66U.. but I know the 68U/R/P has 3.0 prior to the chip upgrade, as I have a 68P with USB 3.0. You're welcome for the link, hope it works out for you.

    **NOTE** Amazon is really good at taking care of purchase issues. I ordered a liquid cooler for my desktops CPU and after installing it one of the 2 fans on the radiator had a intermittent nasty rattle. I couldn't get the seller to respond, but without needing any evidence of the problem or waiting period Amazon refunded me half the purchase price of the entire cooler, even though only a fan was having a problem. Didn't even have to send back the fan. So I'd be willing to bet that sense no where in the sellers description does it state it's a B1, if when you receive it it turns out to be a B1 Amazon will cover you.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  35. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Thanks again Sean. This router is both being sold and shipped by Amazon so that helps in terms of any issues with it. Also, I called Amazon and expressed my concern about the discrepancy of the description contradicting itself by first saying it is 2X USB 2.0 and then saying later in the description that it is USB 3 as well.

    They have now agreed if I have any problem I can send it back and they will pay the return shipping. So there is no real risk to me at this point if it turns out to be some form of a B1.

    They also were nice enough to bump me up to priority shipping for free. So I might get it as soon as Thursday of next week. I will keep you posted. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    Sean B. likes this.
  36. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    I received the router from Amazon today. It is a true ASUS RT-AC66U and not a B1, but has H/W Ver B1. It says it was manufactured this year in 2017, so it isn't old stock, just older gen hardware. The problem is it came with the dreaded firmware version preinstalled. So I first flashed the CFE. After that I was able to install an older stock firmware version. I flashed it with stock firmware version and after that I was able to successfully flash it with the latest Advanced Tomato.

    The steps on how to flash the CFE for this router, and all the files you would need, are here on this thread: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/how-to-sprint-ac-rt66u-to-stock-asus-firmware.25261/

    I didn't use the HEX editor though he provided in his instructions in order to pull the 3 Mac Addresses and the Secret Code from the original CFE file, which are needed to edit his Zentel CFE bin file used to create a new custom CFE bin for flashing. I just used the CFEEdit program to get my 3 MAC addresses for my router and edit the Zentel CFE bin file. It which was much easier and faster than using the HEX editor. Maybe he wasn't familiar with CFEEdit when he flashed his using the HEX editor 2 years ago.

    For some reason I can't see the 5 GHz channel on this router though after installing with Advanced Tomato. I did clear the Nvram after flashing the CFE and again after flashing it with Tomato, so not sure why 5 GHz isn't visible. I will keep working at it to try to can get the 5 GHz band up and running.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    Sean B. likes this.
  37. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    I got 5 GHz working now too. First I unplugged it, then I pressed the reset button and plugged it back in (didn't use the power button in this step). Then I continued to hold the reset button until the power light started flashing slowly to indicate that the router has gone into recovery mode. Then I released the reset button. Then I waited about 30 seconds and then finally pushed the power button to turn off the device while leaving it plugged in this time. Then I waited another 30 seconds and powered it back on. Then I logged into the router from the Advanced Tomato UI in my browser and then I saw the 5 GHz band had appeared. Hopefully I wont lose the 5 GHz band again. I have also since unplugged the router a few times and no problems. The 5 GHz band is always there now. So hopefully this was only a temporary left over issue that has now been resolved by recycling and resetting the router once more after all the flashing I did to it. I actually flashed it 3 times total. Once for the CFE, then I flashed it to roll back the stock firmware to an older version, then I finally flashed with Advanced Tomato.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
    Sean B. likes this.
  38. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    There is a post from shibby about WIP for newer Asus routers (revisions) on BitBucket
  39. schnappi

    schnappi Networkin' Nut Member

    What problems does the Asus stock version firmware cause?
  40. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    That version, or any of the other newer stock firmware versions (there are a number of newer versions since was released), all prevent you from downgrading to a previous stock firmware version or to flash the router with any open source firmware versions.

    Prior to you could roll back to older stock firmware versions or load Tomato, Merlin, etc if you wanted to.

    If you try flashing with (or newer) already installed you will likely get an error message like this:

    "Firmware upgrade unsuccessful. This may result from incorrect image or error transmission. Please check the version of firmware any try again."

    So the only way to install Tomato onto an ASUS RT-AC66U or 68U which has been preloaded with from the factory is to flash the CFE first. Then you can roll back the firmware to an older version like Then, once you have installed, you can flash it normally with Tomato.
  41. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    In fact, on the ASUS site where you would go to download firmware updates it says the following in red about firmware version

    ASUS has been dedicated to cooperate with third party developers to come up with more innovative features. To comply with regulatory amendments, we have modified firmware verification rule to ensure better firmware quality. This version is not compatible with all previously released ASUS firmware and uncertified third party firmware.

    There are also 6 newer versions of the stock firmware after was released, all of which will all also prevent you from downgrading to a previous stock firmware version or to flash the router with any open source firmware versions. The newest stock firmware version is now, which was released in late June of this year.
  42. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    Read this carefully - there is a small progress in supporting newer revisions from @shibby20 https://bitbucket.org/pl_shibby/tomato-arm/issues/55/bootloop-for-asus-rt-ac68u-hardware-rev-c1

    I hope it will be fixed somehow :)
  43. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Yes, it would be nice if they could fix it somehow. But that link is referring to AC68U and I think we are mainly talking about AC66U here, no?

    Maybe that is the same issue though with the dual CPU hardware revision on AC66U B1 which has a Broadcom BCM4708C0 with (800 MHz, 2 cores) and runs the same firmware as the AC68U?
  44. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    I think it is same - they use newer CPU which require newer SDK kit which is not supported by Tomato. If we can get support for new SDK then we are fine and Tomato can be used with newer devices... correct me if I am wrong.
  45. marcbkk

    marcbkk Serious Server Member

    Yes, I believe your right. People should stick to buying the older AC66U model for now (not B1) if they want to be able to flash with Tomato.
    j796160836 likes this.
  46. j796160836

    j796160836 Network Newbie Member

    I have the same issues here. I brought rt-ac66u_b1 in accident.
    I'm looking for another supported router. :(
  47. pomidor1

    pomidor1 Networkin' Nut Member

    old R7000 for tomato is the best :)
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