OpenWrt Forum Archive

Topic: A5-V11 3G/4G Router! New Clone?

The content of this topic has been archived on 6 May 2018. There are no obvious gaps in this topic, but there may still be some posts missing at the end.

I got some A5-V11 for a mesh project from AliExpress

https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/unbranded/a5-v11

On the Board itself is "MIFI"

details of my device so far:
WIFI: 3G-wifi-xxxx
PW: 12345678


English an Chinese GUI in the stock firmware.

The instruction from https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/unbranded/a5-v11

(As of 160201, my A5-V11, which came with English web interface, did not successfully flash the openwrt factory.bin firmware referenced at the head of this section. It downloaded the file, and then said it was flashing, but the original firmware remained unchanged. - fix: check this website http://my-embedded.blogspot.cz/2014/01/ … 350f.html)

OpenWrt started. But after change of the root passwd i lost telnet and ssh do not work. (one hour wait for key calculation)

I can ping the device

is there an other way to get OpenWrt on this A5-V11 3G/4G Router Clone?
I have 15 of them.

(For the bricked one i will try to solder UART)

Startup:
=== IMPORTANT ============================
  Use 'passwd' to set your login password
  this will disable telnet and enable SSH
------------------------------------------


BusyBox v1.19.4 (2013-12-29 15:07:06 UTC) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

  _______                     ________        __
|       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
|   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
|_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
-----------------------------------------------------
BARRIER BREAKER (Bleeding Edge, r35407) - RT5350F
-----------------------------------------------------
--             Cooked by pratanczuk                --
--                                                 --
--            my-embedded.blogspot.com             --
-----------------------------------------------------


BusyBox
Built-in commands:
------------------
        . : [ [[ alias bg break cd chdir command continue echo eval exec
        exit export false fg getopts hash help jobs kill let local printf
        pwd read readonly return set shift source test times trap true
        type ulimit umask unalias unset wait

hhoppler wrote:

...
English an Chinese GUI in the stock firmware.

The instruction from https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/unbranded/a5-v11

(As of 160201, my A5-V11, which came with English web interface, did not successfully flash the openwrt factory.bin firmware referenced at the head of this section. It downloaded the file, and then said it was flashing, but the original firmware remained unchanged. - fix: check this website http://my-embedded.blogspot.cz/2014/01/ … 350f.html)

OpenWrt started. But after change of the root passwd i lost telnet and ssh do not work. (one hour wait for key calculation)
...

I feel your pain. I set a password and was locked out of one of my routers as well. Bottom line, you don't want to set a password after following the instructions here since this firware does not appear to contain an ssh server. You want to use wget on the mini router to upgrade the firmware to Chaos Calmer and then you can set a password.

I updated the Wiki to hopefully provide clearer instructions if you get a mini router with the English factory firmware. The Chinese factory firmware can be upgraded from the web interface. I recently obtained one with the Chinese factory firmware from banggood.com so they seem to still be available. Note that just because these instructions worked for me does not mean they will work for you.

Good Luck!

Thank you so much!

I will train my soldering skills with the broken device...

Very tricky to use the firmwares capability to access a web file server.

I failed with telnets nc (netcat) file transfer.

hhoppler wrote:

...
Very tricky to use the firmwares capability to access a web file server.

I failed with telnets nc (netcat) file transfer.

It is tricky especially since the firmware here does not have an ssh or dhcp server. Therefore,  using your mini router's wget command is the only way to get the firmware on the mini router without opening the case. I believe that Python includes a rudimentary web server that you may be able to use on your laptop/PC to serve up the Chaos Calmer firmware to your mini router's wget command.

I believe this is the one I have as well.  So, the only way to get OpenWRT without bricking is to update the boot loader?

Mine has the same limited BusyBox commands, but the shell environment has more commands not listed.  If I do ls /bin ls /sbin and /ls/sbin  there are all sorts of utilities available.  It even has a Samba server on here, with USB automount, and FAT fs support (including makedosfs).  I can just put the files on a thumb drive, and it automounts to /media/sda1.  With that I can just copy to /tmp.

I haven't tried to update yet, in part because I'm not sure if this is the same unit.  I'm also curious to look around in this firmware, because they really packed quite a bit into this 3.something MB.

One thing that concerns me about trying to update is this message in the log:

Warning: un-recognized chip ID, please update SPI driver!
AT25DF321(1f 47000000) (4096 Kbytes)
mtd .name = raspi, .size = 0x00400000 (4M) .erasesize = 0x00010000 (64K) .numeraseregions = 0
Creating 5 MTD partitions on "raspi":
0x00000000-0x00400000 : "ALL"
0x00000000-0x00030000 : "Bootloader"
0x00030000-0x00040000 : "Config"
0x00040000-0x00050000 : "Factory"
0x00050000-0x01000000 : "Kernel"
mtd: partition "Kernel" extends beyond the end of device "raspi" -- size truncated to 0x3b0000

I don't know much about this, but before I flash it I would like to know if it matters if these memory allocations are different than what are listed in the wiki for this device.  Also, having the end of the kernel file truncated can't be real good for business.

For bricked units:  I think there may be a possibility for TFTP flash on these.  If I hold in the reset during power on,
it turns on both the red and blue LEDs but doesn't boot the kernel.

Another question I have is what about the similar MPRA1 OpenWrt firmware?  Maybe that will work from the web interface flash tool?

I took some pictures:

http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=1667b02
http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=d9b2a73

(Last edited by RoutyMcRouter on 20 Apr 2016, 03:37)

I went ahead and flashed following the directions on the wiki.  It went fine.  Here are some observations while they are fresh in my mind:

  • Check to make sure you have the 32MB RAM version before updating the bootloader.  See this reference: https://github.com/Squonk42/OpenWrt-RT5350

    In the wiki, sysupgrade -vn should be sysupgrade -v -n

    I highly recommend the Python web server.  In fact, I may do all my sysupgrades this way.  You just navigate to a folder and run: $ python -m SimpleHTTPServer    and you will see: Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 ...

    Finally, maybe this is a personal thing, but I sort of freaked out.  OpenWRT turns the LED to solid red when it is up and running.  So the boot goes from blinking red to solid red. I was trying to get it into TFTP mode (successfully I believe), then I remembered there is no DHCP server so I rebooted and set static IP addresses, and there was the BB splash screen on telnet.

I noticed the unit runs much cooler with OpenWRT 15.05.1 than it did with the stock firmware under similar CPU load and free memory

(Last edited by RoutyMcRouter on 21 Apr 2016, 15:22)

@hhoppler

Curious.  Did they leave the default reset button profile out of that build, too?  Holding the reset button in while OpenWRT is running, doesn't clear your password?

There is now an easier way to do this.  This u-boot will do a firmware flash from the USB drive

https://github.com/wertwert4pda/rt5350f-uboot

I tested it on a new unit using the guide listed above.  I had a USB drive attached to the router with a Chaos Calmer sysupgrade image renamed "firmware.bin"  After writing the mini.bin to the kernel partition and rebooting, I powered on with the reset button held down, and it flashed the firmware.

I managed to get Open WRT working on mine, and have lost it again. I either set an admin password in the Web UI or hard reset it at some point. Now when you turn it on the LED glows red. Holding the reset button for 10 seconds results in both the Blue and Red LEDs lighting up. But the router doesn't show up in the DHCP tables on my home router or respond to telnet over ethernet. Any ideas? I'd love to recover it.

(Last edited by square_eyes on 18 Jan 2018, 05:27)

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