RT-N10P and Tomato....

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by stephr1, May 21, 2014.

  1. stephr1

    stephr1 Network Newbie Member

    I know there's been a bit of "chatter" here about Tomato f/w and the RT-N10P. I was looking for a bit more clarification on things.

    I've been able to get my RT-N10P router (h/w Version A.1) up and minimally operational (as in getting to the router thru the web GUI) running tomato-K26-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-117-MiniIPv6. I assume this f/w is a correct match.

    However, I've tried to bring up other configs (i.e. 117-Max, 117-IPv6-VPN) and cannot even get to it thru the web GUI. Do I need to change the access address (from from my PC)? Is there a longer wait for reboot for other f/w configs (as opposed to the 117-MiniIPV6), etc. Should I care that the only config that works is the one that does?

    All 3 seem to upload fine (get the "Waiting for reboot" message in the restore routine which I assume never goes away since the f/w is no longer ASUS).

    Thanks in advance for any help/insight.

  2. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    I flashed tomato-K26-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-115-Max.trx to my sole RT-N10P months ago, it went in without a hitch, but due to (valid) complaints about performance it's been nuked in favor of an RT-N12D1. If I get a chance I'll dust it off and try upgrading to 117-Max.

    Normally when I have trouble flashing on the newer ASUS routers I use firmware recovery mode (hold down reset, connect power, release when power light starts slowly flashing on and off) to both reset NVRAM and upload the new firmware. It can take a long time to flash, on the order of over 10 minutes, and the reboot prompt is near the start of that process. It's common to see the router look like it's stuck in a loop on that first boot, where all the LEDs light up then go dark, followed by various LEDs lighting up. That happens a few times then it boots normally.

    Note that when you're using firmware recovery mode you need to assign an IP address by hand (e.g. to your network card and use an ethernet cable.

    Also, as a rule of thumb when I'm feeling impatient I leave a command prompt up with "ping -t" running, so I can see if it's responding to pings and for how long, since when it's in these loops it'll respond to 3-5 pings then go back to nonresponsive. Once I see a full window of pings I figure it's finally booted and I can start looking at it.
  3. stephr1

    stephr1 Network Newbie Member

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I tried once more (after I wrote this reply, but before sending it :) and, lo and behold, it seems to have loaded and is up and running (logged into the router and could see the Tomato version as correct). Not sure what was different this time from the others. Your suggestion of the ping was helpful. Thanks for that.

    Your 10 min est. was a bit overstated. It seems like it only took ~3 mins (prob'ly less) to complete the restore.

    Anyway, all seems good. I need to set aside some time (and motivation!) to physically install/connect the new router (located in a place where I need to drag a ladder up 2 flights of stairs :( I'll be eager to get rid of the Linksys router I've been using for a few years.

    Curious question...any sense of which router works better for wireless: ASUS RT-N10P or Linksys WRT54G

    Again, thanks for the help. I appreciate it.


  4. Malitiacurt

    Malitiacurt Networkin' Nut Member

    10p. It has wireless n and a faster cpu to support faster speeds (54g maxes out at approx 20Mbps to 40Mbps on wired, even slower on wifi depending on how much services you have running like iptraffic mon, openvpn, etc.)
  5. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    I had some difficulty getting the RT-N10P into recovery mode, as I said I already had tomato-K26-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-115-Max on the guy, but it wouldn't ping in recovery mode until used the WPS button to reset NVRAM to default. At that point it was trivial to reset NVRAM from the recovery website (I know, redundant, but it's a force of habit before I upload a new firmware) and upload 117-Max, at which point it came up. I work with such a wide range of routers I never really know how long to wait, which is why I run continuous pings to make sure I've given it enough time to get through everything. To be honest this time I started uploading and walked away for 30+ minutes, so I have no idea how long it took.

    As for 54G vs. 10P, that's a very good question. The single antenna on the 10P really limits performance, I thought I would be able to work around it to an extent by configuring Tomato to only use one antenna, but no matter which antenna (or combination of antennas) is used it's been damn slow for me. If you're working in a very RF noisy environment (e.g. apartment, townhouse, etc. where neighbors are in close proximity and a lot of wireless networks are in range) the 10P might be better, simply because of interference mitigation, but otherwise I wouldn't be surprised if the 54G is faster. The 10P has a faster CPU, so in theory for wired clients it could provide higher speed internet connections (though if, for example, you're on a 3Mb DSL line then either one would be equally slow - you'll only notice the 54Gs limitations if you need something it can't provide, like IPv6, or 50Mb internet), but for wireless the 54G would probably win out. I haven't hooked up my 54G in a couple years now though, so my memory of its wireless performance could be off. I have very good memories of the lengths I went to overcome the massive (50+ network) interference when using it.
  6. stephr1

    stephr1 Network Newbie Member

    @Malitiacurt and @Monk E. Boy

    Thanks much for the feedback.

    I do live in a townhome complex (in Silicon Valley!!) and I can see a number of other wireless networks (4-6) nearby...tho mine obviously (?) has the strongest signal. The WRT54G does have 2 antenna so I would guess it "should" have better sensitivity. The truth is in the install, tho. For wired, Comcast :( claims I have a 25MB internet connection (all wired @ 100MB) and I have CAT5E cable strung thru the house. I'll post back my impressions of which router I think performs better in my environment (non-scientific analysis,tho).

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