OpenWrt Forum Archive

Topic: Zyxel 550N / 550NH / 460N, Atheros AP81 platform, ar9103, gigabit

The content of this topic has been archived on 23 Mar 2018. There are no obvious gaps in this topic, but there may still be some posts missing at the end.

Ok, we have us an interesting router!  All 3 models are the same, 550N and 550NH sold in USA, the 460N sold elsewhere.  The NH is same as N but comes with three cool external antennas on cables.

Review and internal photos here:
http://en.network01.net/modules/newbb/v … mp;forum=2

This is an Atheros AP81 platform router.  Gigabit Ethernet ports!  And it has pad on the motherboard to add a USB port, they even have a pad on the front for an LED to be added labeled USB.  Very impressive hardware specifications:

-- Gigabit LAN Ports (rtl8366sr chip)
-- ar9103 3x3 MIMO radio chip
-- same 32MB of RAM and 4MB of flash that most other AP81 have

I found a serial port with 5 pins and  #4 pin missing matching this information:
http://zyxel.nas-central.org/wiki/FieldReport

I can not find a JTAG port, I look on the backside of the board like on some other Zyxel.  Printed on backside of board:

RU E89382
HannStar K MV-4
94V-O
0835

Front of board
Made in Taiwan
45-401-000764
CHAIN2

Serial of boot is 9600:

Bootbase Version: V1.04 | 12/28/2007 13:20:00
RAM: Size = 32768 Kbytes
DRAM POST: Testing: 32768K
OK
ST32M *1
ZyNOS Version: V3.60(BFD.1) | 08/20/2008 09:55:00
Press any key to enter debug mode within 3 seconds.
............................................................

Then I enter command "ATHE" and "ATSH":

ATHE
======= Debug Command Listing =======
AT            just answer OK
ATHE          print help
ATBAx         change baudrate. 1:38.4k, 2:19.2k, 3:9.6k 4:57.6k 5:115.2k
ATENx,(y)     set BootExtension Debug Flag (y=password)
ATSE          show the seed of password generator
ATTI(h,m,s)   change system time to hour:min:sec or show current time
ATDA(y,m,d)   change system date to year/month/day or show current date
ATDS          dump RAS stack
ATDT          dump Boot Module Common Area
ATDUx,y       dump memory contents from address x for length y
ATRBx         display the  8-bit value of address x
ATRWx         display the 16-bit value of address x
ATRLx         display the 32-bit value of address x
ATGO(x)       run program at addr x or boot router
ATGR          boot router
ATGT          run Hardware Test Program
ATRTw,x,y(,z) RAM test level w, from address x to y (z iterations)
ATSH          dump manufacturer related data in ROM
ATTD          download router configuration to PC via XMODEM
ATUR          upload router firmware to flash ROM
ATLC          upload router configuration file to flash ROM

< press any key to continue >
ATLD          upload router default configuration file to flash ROM
ATXSx         xmodem select: x=0: CRC mode(default); x=1: checksum mode
ATSR          system reboot
ATSP          send packet
ATEUx    Upgrate image by Ethernet, 0:bootbase,1:romfile,2:RAS
ATMU          print Multiboot client version
ATLTx         LED on/off test

OK

ATSH
ZyNOS Version          : V3.60(BFD.1) | 08/20/2008 09:55:00
Bootbase Version       : V1.04 | 12/28/2007 13:20:00
Vendor Name            : ZyXEL Communications Corp.
Product Model          : X550N
ZyNOS ROM address      : bfc40000
System Type            : 7
MAC Address            : 0019CBC4E3DE
Default Country Code   : FF
Boot Module Debug Flag : 00
RomFile Version        : BB
RomFile Checksum       : a369
ZyNOS Checksum         : a50e
Core Checksum          : c67f
SNMP MIB level & OID   : 060102030405060708091011121314151617181920
Main Feature Bits      : C0
Other Feature Bits     :
          01 F0 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   
          00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-06 41 13 00 00 00           

OK

ATMU
MultiBoot Client version 2.2

No JTAG that I can see, I even lifted the large metal cover (center of board) and it houses the ar9132 CPU and the Realtek rtl8366sr switch.  But no JTAG there either.  So once I put OpenWRT, no way to flash back ZynOS?

keywordz: NBG460N NBG-460N 460 ZyOS

(Last edited by RoundSparrow on 29 Jan 2009, 01:51)

Ok, activated the restricted debug commands.

ATSE
1E8480C4E3DE
OK
ATEN 1,8C5AB827
OK
ATMP
ROMIO image start at bfc40000
code version: 
code start: 81e00000
code length: 20045E
memMapTab: 11 entries, start = bfc80000, checksum = CF0B
$RAM Section:
  0: BootExt(RAMBOOT), start=81e00000, len=30000
  1: RasCode(RAMCODE), start=80000800, len=1FFF640
$ROM Section:
  2: BootBas(ROMIMG), start=bfc00000, len=10000
  3: DbgArea(ROMIMG), start=bfc10000, len=10000
  4: RomDir2(ROMDIR), start=bfc20000, len=20000
  5: BootExt(ROMIMG), start=bfc40030, len=3FFD0
  6: MemMapT(ROMMAP), start=bfc80000, len=10000
  7: termcap(ROMIMG), start=bfc90000, len=10000
  8: RomDefa(ROMIMG), start=bfca0000, len=20000
  9: RasCode(ROMBIN), start=bfcc0000, len=330000
          (Compressed)
          Version: RAS NBG460N, start: bfcc0030
          Length: 527D80, Checksum: 0138
< Press any key to Continue >
          Compressed Length: 18045D, Checksum: C67F
 10: CalibData��(ROMIMG), start=bfff0000, len=10000
$USER Section:
Msecs 128
Heap0 16 500 128
Heap1 32 1024 128
Heap2 64 360 128
Heap3 128 512 64
Heap4   192  96 16
Heap5   256  64 16
Heap6   320  32 8
Heap7   384  48 8
Heap8   448  48 8
Heap9 512 300 32
Heap10 576 32 16
Heap11 1024 64 16
Heap12  2560 128 16
Heap13 4096 4 4
Heap14 0 0
Heap15 0 0
MbufInt 20 20 20
MbufIO  384 384 1200 800 0
< Press any key to Continue >
Queue   100
Cbuf    360
FuncId  40
Proc    128
Timer   128
DNS     128
FilterSet 12
IpRoute 8
IpxRoute 4
IpMaxRt 128
IpxMaxRt 128
IpxMaxSap 128
FwTos 16000 16 16 16
CommonTos 16000 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
NatSessions 16000
NatAclBuffer 1
AclType0   2048  10  128
AclType1   2048  10  100
AclType2   2048  10  20
AclType3   2048  10  128
AclType4   2048  10  128
< Press any key to Continue >
AclType5   32768 10  128
AppleTalkRoute 0
Bridge 4
RemoteNode 1
Profile 32
Endpoint 1
NATServerSet 1
DHCPEntry   254
PoeSvrCnt 4
ScheduleSet 12
AclBuffer 1
IPSecManualSA   2
IPSecIkePeer    2
IPSecIkeSA      2
IPSecAclBuffer 1
IPSecSPD        2
CustomPort 10
IpPolicySet 12
MiscFirewallBuffer 1
CyberPatrolBuffer 1
CyberPatrolListBuffer 1
< Press any key to Continue >
TrustedIPNum 0
Logs 1
IPBUFixpart 1
NatRulePerSet 36
UPNPNum 1
IPSecExtendNum 2
HwVerRange 2 0 0
DDNS 1
Model 1 61441     #Model ID, 61441="MODEL_NBG460N (0xF001)"
VPNPort 2
DHCPMacNum 8
WlanExt 1
IEEE8021X 1
IAPP 1
ComTos 1
BmCbqIfNum      3
BmCbqClassNum   40
BmCbqFilterNum  40
BackupRadiusExtend      1
AutoSec 1
ZyDaylight 1
< Press any key to Continue >
PortIsolation 1
GameList 1
wlanSSIDProfile 1
secProfile 1
QEInfo 1
QEAclRule 20
SysOpMode 1
VistaSupport 1
MachinePool 16
wlanSSIDProfile 1
secProfile 1
radiusProfile 1
macfilterProfile 1
WPSProfile 1
nSeModules      1    #total number of features supporting scheduling
nSeSchedulePoolSize     8  #total number of schedules, the best size =(8 days a week including everyda

OK

This should work with the recent ath9k drivers and ar71xx build.  Can someone walk me through how to do an ramdisk Zyxel Xmodem upload,boot?

(Last edited by RoundSparrow on 28 Jan 2009, 19:13)

This thing looks really good! Sort of like the luxury version of the TP-Link TL-WR941ND if I understand correctly. smile

Is there any chance this router can be reflashed to run OpenWRT all out (squashfs + jffs2) without taking it apart?

_bbb_ wrote:

Is there any chance this router can be reflashed to run OpenWRT all out (squashfs + jffs2) without taking it apart?

I think chances are pretty high, other Zyxel Bootbase + ZyOS routers have been adapted.  They are unique (not using Redboot, U-boot, etc) - but it is possible.  Not sure how much demand there is, might be a while until someone bothers.  Honestly, the ZyOS on these routers is very respectable.  To a degree, it commands a premium.

Hopefully TP-Link and others come out with a unit like this.  It's disappointing that Planex didn't put gigabit Ethernet on their high-end model (as everything else is nearly perfect on the MZK-W04NU).  And of course, this discussion is all built on the hope that the ath9k driver has a bright future and these chips prove to work great.

How are things progressing? I am quite excited by getting OpenWRT on my router, as I have 460N and am frankly unimpressed by both the OS and the fact that it can't handle two concurrent connections from Lenovo/HP laptops (anyone else have this problem? DHCP goes insane and assigns IP addresses every 4-5 seconds, Zyxel says it isn't broken as I am connecting N with one, although other laptop connects with G).

DeskJockey.

DeskJockey wrote:

How are things progressing? I am quite excited by getting OpenWRT on my router

You are the first person "in the wild" to own one and show interest wink Here in the USA Zyxel seems to have supply problems, they were sold out much of December and January on these models...

Not much is progressing.  How technical are you?  Here is my assessment:

1.  The unique bootloader of these Zyxel makes it a sizable job.  It can be done, older Zyxel devices have been taken over - but just saying these routers are unique among all the other AP81 routers.  Also the lack of JTAG port makes it more risky.

2.  The ath9k wireless driver isn't very mature - so if you could put OpenWRT on this router - it wouldn't work very well.  It is progressing, but it is young and needs a couple months more work (guessing).

It is just easier right now to work on the inexpensive Trendnet 652 routers until we get things working better with ath9k.  They easily accommodate OpenWRT flashing.

But OpenWRT users aren't always driven by practicality wink  For me, I'm on a wait and see with this particular router line.   First step is to solder in a serial port, pretty easy on this particular router. then start following the xmodem upload steps for other Zyxel routers...

(Last edited by RoundSparrow on 8 Feb 2009, 17:22)

Hi.
I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not... But I bought it because I wanted an N router and Zyxel seemed a good bet - I have had good products from them in the past. I'm fairly technical, but work with servers and storage, have very little experience with hacking routers, certainly nothing close to what you're describing.

I hope you'll figure it out/have someone help you with it. I would like OpenWRT on it - it is so much better than the ZyOs software. For now I am stuck with a borrowed D-Link DIR-615.

I will gladly offer whatever (little) help I can.

DeskJockey wrote:

How are things progressing? I am quite excited by getting OpenWRT on my router, as I have 460N and am frankly unimpressed by both the OS and the fact that it can't handle two concurrent connections from Lenovo/HP laptops (anyone else have this problem? DHCP goes insane and assigns IP addresses every 4-5 seconds, Zyxel says it isn't broken as I am connecting N with one, although other laptop connects with G).

I want to support OpenWRT and all, I specifically purchased this router due to the Atheros AP81 port of OpenWRT...  Alas, I also think it works well with the base ZyOS.

Have you found anyone else on the net who has these precise DHCP issues with this router?

802.11n is a lot more complex than G.  Do you run more than one router at the same time on same network/  Channels clear of interference?  Are you using WPA2+AES encryption?  What chipsets are all the connected devices?  What OS and drivers?

I wish it were simple, but it is still all beta Draft 2.0 status here... things are new.  The same kind of mess happened with 802.11G evolved to 802.11G years and years ago.

I've seen faulty client drivers change MAC so that dhcp goes into a reissue storm.  And it can be some specific combo of chipsets or drivers only.  EVERY driver or chipset has imperfect behavior under certain situations wink

I haven't found any with similar problems so far. If I google it, I get back to my own post here.

The HP laptop is running some Broadcom nic on XP SP3 with latest drivers, but it doesn't belong to me, so not overly worried. The two Lenovos are a different matter. Both are T61's: one running XP SP3 with newest firmware and drivers with an Intel 4965AGN nic and the other one running Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) with latest firmware and drivers with an Intel 3945ABG nic.

I only have one router and I am aware of possible interference problems (I can currently see 23 Wlans excluding my own, busy block of flats). It is interesting that both laptops work fine connecting with 130 mbps and 54 mbps respectively on the D-Link DIR-615.

I have two x60 and T61 with the same 4965AGN.  I will look again.

Amazon.com has these routers on rebate for next 10 days.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001987OHO/  The price is OK considering the Planex trades USB for Gigabit, but is a little cheaper and more likely to have better future OpenWRT results.

If anyone locates a hidden JTAG, on these, let me know!

Hi RoundSparrow,

Buy.com has the ZyXEL X550N on sale for $70 (after $30 rebate) + FREE shipping  :)
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=208079555

Also

Buy.com has the ZyXEL X550NH on sale for $88.99 (after $40 rebate) + FREE shipping
NOTE: this is the identical model, except includes a high gain antenna tower instead of standard dipole antennas...which means the high performance antenna is only costing $18.99, which is a great deal if you price it seperately.
http://www.buy.com/prod/zyxel-x550nh-80 … 41754.html

DeskJockey wrote:

I haven't found any with similar problems so far. If I google it, I get back to my own post here.

I just ordered a 550N.  I will give my T61 and simultaneous G/N connections a try and see if I can replicate your problem.

I am interested in openWrt for this router so will be keeping an eye on this thread.


-Chris

According to Zyxel support they're releasing a new firmware for the 460 (and presumbaly all varities) "some time this month". They couldn't say anything about contents, fixes or a more accurate date. Just thought I'd share the info. The Danish website have had some documentation updated, perhaps in preparation for the firmware.

DJ

Hey guys

according to zyxel UserGuide for nbg460n the router should support WDS, but I do not see it on the Network->Wireless Lan for x550n, but i thought they are supposed to be same hardware.
even after changing the SysOp to AP, still no WDS
i did buy the x550n, two of them, and i need to have WDS running.

Does any of you have nbg460n? can you look at the WirelessLan, the last tab should be WDS after "Scheduling" tab.
Im wondering if there is a change/difference between these two(nbg460n and x550n) afterall.

Thanks
-martin

(Last edited by adammar on 22 Feb 2009, 08:13)

adammar wrote:

Hey guys

according to zyxel UserGuide for nbg460n the router should support WDS, but I do not see it on the Network->Wireless Lan for x550n,

Hey,
no WDS on my 460.

I just found on one of their off country ftp sites a hot new beta version of firmware built2/10/2009 posted on 2/24/2009 that HAS among others --- WDS!!!!, the firmware is for nbg460n not x550n but it loaded just fine on my x550n, im off to testing that WDS.

One of some other diffs I see on this beta firmware:
•there is an IPTV PORT option with selection of LAN ports, interesting
•On the bandwidth MGMNT screen there is a speed limiter for LAN/WAN/WLAN and expanded Status page with throuput meter for all types of different priority trafic
•On Tools - there is a NEW tab called green, which i think is for their power saving mode - turn of TX when no trafic exists.
Thats it, Oh Boy do I feel like a kid in candy store,
*in the tune of HiHo from 7 dwarfs*
.....hiho hiho off to test WDS we go.....

where is it smile ?

Do share!

Hi,
I just installed the beta firmware and it solved my problem! I'm now happily surfing internally @ 130 mbps connected to the network with 1 gbps with the other one connected @ 54 mbps. One note of caution, it enabled "autobridge mode" which had me a bit stumped. I kept getting the wrong IP addresses, but disabling that got me the right range.

DJ.

I am still hoping for OpenWRT though. Still too many things I can't adjust...

DJ,
glad it fixed your prob.

unfortunately the WDS is not working for me well.
it doesnt matter which mode I put it in, it cant get above 5Mbps and after about 3-4 hours of operation the routers just stop. cant ping, cant telnet, they just seize up. Im hoping that once the official firmware comes out this wont be a prob.
very disapointed.

one wild thing is that I get end to end connections, but the telnet console status of "wlan wds" prints disconnected lol.
*sigh*

Is this the same as the ZyXEL X-550NH Wireless N High Gain Gigabit Router
Manufacturer Part# X550NH ?

Two other questions: 

1.  Do they do jumbo frames?

2.  Is the -NH 'High Power' moniker simply the difference in antennae?  or does the -NH unit actually put out more milliwatts?

Thanks!

argh...closer examination seems like it only supports 2.4GHz, but not 5GHz.  Is this true?

JeauxBleaux wrote:

argh...closer examination seems like it only supports 2.4GHz, but not 5GHz.  Is this true?

Absolutely true, almost all N devices are 2.4Ghz only at this point.  Only the higher-end and more expensive devices support 5Ghz or dual-band (2.4/5 at same time).

ar9132/ar9103 is 2.4Ghz only.

The only difference in NH is the antennas.  at least based on my own direct observation.  And so we are crystal clear, these don't work yet with OpenWrt as no way to flash them at this time.

(Last edited by RoundSparrow on 8 Mar 2009, 14:44)

The discussion might have continued from here.