Converting DSL-AC68U to RT-AC68U for use as AiMesh Node – Solved

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  • This topic has 164 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Patryk PaboPatryk Pabo.
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  • #2142
    astanislaus
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    Following the steps outlined in this thread I have been able to replicate the posted end state (#1908) with the router looking like an RT-AC68U however as suggested (#1886) my settings do not survive the factory reset initiated by changing operation mode to “AiMesh Node”.

    Since this thread is marked as solved my question is, am I missing something or is it true what I hear that a cfe/bootloader update is also required to enable AiMesh Node?

     

    #2143
    UK Sentinel
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    • Posts 2181
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    Following the steps outlined in this thread I have been able to replicate the posted end state (#1908) with the router looking like an RT-AC68U however as suggested (#1886) my settings do not survive the factory reset initiated by changing operation mode to “AiMesh Node”. Since this thread is marked as solved my question is, am I missing something or is it true what I hear that a cfe/bootloader update is also required to enable AiMesh Node?

    What firmware are you using?

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2144
    astanislaus
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    That was quick, my firmware : 3.0.0.4.384_45149

    #2145
    UK Sentinel
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    • UKTechHub Skipper

    That was quick, my firmware : 3.0.0.4.384_45149

    Intersting, I assume you ran

    nvram set odmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    nvram set asuscpeodmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    nvram set asuscpecommit=1

    nvram commit

    If so,  I will dig out my converted DSL-AC68U tomorrow and double check ?

    ———

    UPDATE: Command should be………….

    nvram set odmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    nvram set asuscfeodmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    nvram set asuscfecommit=1

    nvram commit

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by UK Sentinel. Reason: Added Update Section

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2146
    astanislaus
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    Tried one more time, just to be sure, still no luck:

     

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root#

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set odmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set asuscpeodmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set asuscpecommit=1

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram commit

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root#

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get odmpid

    RT-AC68U

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get asuscpeodmpid

    RT-AC68U

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get asuscpecommit

    1

    admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root#

     

    Then selected AiMesh node which performed the factory reset and reverted the unit to standard DSL functionality.

    #2151
    UK Sentinel
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    Tried one more time, just to be sure, still no luck: admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set odmpid=”RT-AC68U” admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set asuscpeodmpid=”RT-AC68U” admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram set asuscpecommit=1 admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram commit admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get odmpid RT-AC68U admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get asuscpeodmpid RT-AC68U admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# nvram get asuscpecommit 1 admin@DSL-AC68U:/tmp/home/root# Then selected AiMesh node which performed the factory reset and reverted the unit to standard DSL functionality.

    Long story short, you are correct, I went to AiMesh via my converted DSL-AC68U and selected AiMesh Node and after going thru a couple of options, router rebooted and returned to default DSL-AC68U sudo  configuration excluding the modem stuff .

    I will have another play with it later this week as this is so close to working, maybe updating the CFE Bootloader could help ?

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2152
    Six
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    No need to start down the somewhat risky road of hacking the CFE Bootloader.

    There is a typo* in the instructions I shared.

    nvram set asuscfeodmpid=”RT-AC68U”

    nvram set asuscfecommit=1

    Will do the trick and will survive the reboot.

    * Sadly the router will accept any old nonsense that you decide to set, so you went through the right steps to check the settings but sadly the cpe part created a variable that is completely meaningless to the router. Use the corrected commands and it will work.

     

     

     

    #2153
    UK Sentinel
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    • Posts 2181
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    @Six, just tried this new text and works a treat, this time I fully tested and router survives both AiMesh factory reset and normal factory default (restore to default) option.

    I will amend my posts to capture correct text and glad I did not have to go looking at alternative options.

    ;-)

     

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2162
    Zigzag
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    This is interesting.  If I converted my DSL-AC68U into a RT-AC68U following this method  and then wanted to change back , I presume it would just be matter of repeating steps 1 and 2 with the latest DSL firmware from asus.com, without changing any of the nvram settings @six mentions?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Zigzag.
    #2164
    Six
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    This is interesting. If I converted my DSL-AC68U into a RT-AC68U following this method and then wanted to change back , I presume it would just be matter of repeating steps 1 and 2 with the latest DSL firmware from asus.com, without changing any of the nvram settings @six mentions?

    I haven’t tried going back yet, I had a job for the RT-AC68U AiMesh node to do and it’s currently still doing it. I will be getting hold of another (real) RT-AC68U soon so will be able to experiment again if you want definitive proof of reversibility steps before trying it.

    My prediction is the recovery flashing of DSL firmware will do the job on it’s own but at the very most I expect the only other thing you would need to do is the nvram set asuscfeodmpid=”DSL-AC68U” & nvram set asuscfecommit=1 commands via telnet.

    #2165
    UK Sentinel
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    Also take a back-up of original DSL-AC68U configs prior to conversion, as the back-up contains specific settings which could assist is reversal if you encounter problems.

    But as @Six has mentioned, process should be straightforward and maybe run the extra telnet commands at the end if needed?

    @Zigzag – Happy for you to test the reversal process for us all, as I am sure many others are also interested ;-)

     

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

    #2166
    Zigzag
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    Thanks for getting back to me @six and UK Sentinel.  My internet connection is currently via WAN ethernet on the DSL and the fact this implies the device only has three available LAN ports is driving me insane.  I’m a bit busy atm but yep when I get the chance I’ll do the conversion then test the reversal process..

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Zigzag.
    #2168
    Six
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    • Posts 54
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    Hate to disappoint you but the DSL socket on a DSL-AC68U is an RJ11 not an RJ45 so an ethernet cable won’t fit.

    If you’ve run out of LAN ports on the router just use a gigabit switch https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-TL-SG1005D-5-Ports-Gigabit-Ethernet/dp/B00ZOOJXEG/ref=sr_1_1/259-2947446-7044839?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1549544771&sr=1-1&refinements=p_4%3ATP-LINK

    You’ll lose one port with the connection between the router and the switch but gain 4 or 7 more.

    BTW not an endorsement of TP-Link kit, but it’s cheap and works.

    #2169
    Zigzag
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    • UKTechHub Recruit

    thanks for that @Six, but I’m already familiar with the specs of the DSL-AC68U – this conversion will enable it to become a wired AiMesh repeater, and I just need a couple of LAN devices to connect this. Its at the router end of my setup where I would gain another LAN port by replacing the DSL-AC68U with the RT-AC68U…

    Incidentally, I’m also into TP-link – I can’t believe the price of that 5-port gigabit switch!

    #2171
    Six
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    Just making sure, I rather stupidly tried to plug an ethernet cable into the DSL port a few days ago, took a few seconds to click.

    The DSL I converted to RT is part of an AiMesh filling in a blank spot for some fussy kit, so far it seems to do a pretty good job. When I was testing it out after working out how to convert it, I was using it to connect a few streaming devices by ethernet and it again did a pretty good job.

    What I can’t believe is that TP-Link blatantly copy Netgear’s switch kit to the point that they don’t even bother to change the model number by much see GS vs SG series.

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