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Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

starfry
Grafter
Posts: 234
Registered: 14-09-2007

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

U presume you're connected over the serial UART link.

That prompt is what you see if it powers on with the 'boot_sel2' connection grounded. It's waiting for you to `cat` the bootloader (something like this)

 

cat lede-lantiq-bthomehubv5a_ram-u-boot.asc > /dev/ttyUSB0

However if it's gettinng to that instead of doing a regular boot (and `boot_sel2` isn't grounded) then it sounds like something went wrong... I would expect you can start over with the above but I don't know. When I did it (as in my earlier post) I started from stock BT firmware. Whether that's different for you, or whether it makes any difference, I don't know.

 

Your point about the `hh5a` folder. That's just my example where I put the files in a subfolder of the usb stick to keep them together. As long as you use the right path in your commands it doesn't matter.

 

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

For information purposes I am connected over the serial UART link, and at the moment I'm trying to install OpenWRT Chaos Calmer Bleeding Edge r45594.

After a lot of tinkering this afternoon I've managed to get to the point of installing the sysupgrade file, however when I try to run the command I get the following:

Invalid sysupgrade file

Image check 'platform_check_image' failed

Why is this happening? I'm presuming I must have the incorrect file. Any chance someone could put me in the right direction of finding this file please? I'm sure if I had the right file I could get it to work.

Any thoughts / help on this would be much appreciated.

bill888
Pro
Posts: 734
Thanks: 80
Fixes: 15
Registered: 18-10-2008

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

openwrt r45594 is ancient (May 2015?) and probably does not even work.

r48886 and r49377 are documented working images.  Try these first 'if' the OpenWRT partition layout is still intact on your hub.

https://openwrt.ebilan.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=138&p=1130#p1130

tftpboot the openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-install-uImage-initramfs install image.

Transfer the ubifs file to /tmp folder,

and execute: sysupgrade /tmp/openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-ubifs-sysupgrade.tar

 

If above fails and you want to have a go at converting/installing LEDE again:

Earlier, when you were following the procedure in post '242' to install LEDE, you have to replace the 'prepare' script with the 'migrate' script in step '5' to convert the partition layout from openwrt to LEDE format,  as I advised in post '250' .  

If you indeed ran 'prepare' script by mistake, it doesn't execute properly because the 'prepare' script is only for stock to LEDE use, not for OpenWRT to LEDE use.  That's why the 'migrate' script was created.   Also, you may then need to refer to section 7.2 of the PDF guide to fix the uboot afterwards.

 

 ps. I forgot to add. Regarding the image you posted when you loaded LEDE uboot. That is perfectly normal. Simply TFTPboot the LEDE install image from the BTHOMEHUBV5A prompt if you haven't already worked it out.

 

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Thanks for the help Bill, much appreciated, I'll certainly take note and use the info you gave me.

One of the hardest parts I've experienced doing this whole procedure is finding the correct files to use. I have a couple of queries I need help with if you wouldn't mind.

Firstly, I'm presuming I still have to use the openwrt-lantiq-bthomehubv5a_ram-u-boot.asc to start the process (the hub will not do a normal boot at all).

Also, when I download the .tar sysupgrade file, it associates itself with WinRAR and therefore becomes a WinRAR archive file, is this ok or should I change it?

Finally, I really can't get around setting up a tftp server on Linux, so I've been using Putty on Windows to do the serial processes, and a tftp client to install the image file. I'm not sure if this is a valid way of doing the whole procedure, I could use my Raspberry Pi to do the serial work and my Windows PC to do the tftp stuff. Which would you recommend?

bill888
Pro
Posts: 734
Thanks: 80
Fixes: 15
Registered: 18-10-2008

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

sysupgrade image files can end in .TAR or .BIN.  The OpenWRT ones just happen to end in .TAR.  Do NOT extract  the .TAR files using WinRAR or other utilities.  ie. the command for OpenWRT is:

     sysupgrade /tmp/openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-ubifs-sysupgrade.tar

as documented in original OpenWRT wiki https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/bt/homehub_v5a, and Lee's instructions at the beginning of this very long Plusnet thread

 

I'm afraid I can't help you with TFTP server on linux as my knowledge of linux is very poor.  It is for this reason why my guides are written with Windows users in mind.

 

LEDE support for HH5A is far better than OpenWRT which ceased support almost 18 months ago. Have you read the windows PDF guide attach to 1st post in thread for background information?

https://openwrt.ebilan.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=138

I understand the developer of the original OpenWRT install image (openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-install-uImage-initramfs) may have deliberately removed the dropbox link from the OpenWRT wiki earlier this year, because he wanted readers to move to LEDE 17.x stable which has better support for HH5A going forward.

 

 

 

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Thanks so much for your help Bill.

I pretty sure I've got the right firmware files downloaded now, and the procedure seems a lot clearer to me. I give it a go again when I've got some spare time and I'll give you an update on how I get on.

Cheers again.

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

putty upgrade.jpg

Hi

Just thought I'd update you all on how my upgrading to LEDE is going.

Attached is a screenshot of the sysupgrade process on Putty. It states that sysupgrade was successful, but I can't get it to boot to the LEDE welcome banner. If I power cycle the router it should boot and load the welcome banner, but instead I just get the 'ROM VER: 1.1.4 / CFG 04 / UART' command, but I can't actually type anything into putty in this state.

Any ideas what has happened or what I should do next?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Krazeh
Grafter
Posts: 83
Registered: 06-02-2013

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

If you're getting the CFG 04 prompt every time you powercycle the router then it's probably bust. It unfortunately happens from time to time, not sure anyone has able to pin down the exact cause(s). It doesn't appear to be something that can be fixed, so the only thing you can do is get your hands on another HH5a and try again.

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Thanks for the reply, and probably confirming my fears.

Thing is I started a new Putty session connected to the hh5, booted the router with the bootloader file and let the hh5 run it's cycle, not doing anything else (eg, tftp the install image or install sysupgrade image), and I've got to the point where the putty session will show the LEDE banner and I can set a password for the router.

Any ideas what this means?

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Just to add the LEDs are blue and the hh5 comes up as an active network on my PC.

bill888
Pro
Posts: 734
Thanks: 80
Fixes: 15
Registered: 18-10-2008

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

What you describe is normal behaviour because the LEDE Uboot .asc file you loaded via PuTTY, is designed to automatically seeks out any LEDE installation stored on the NAND and boot it, albeit at significantly reduced clock speed.

@Krazeh is correct. There is unfortunately no known way recovering from this situation.  I think others have tried restoring to BT stock firmware to no avail.

 

 

Earlier, when you were installing LEDE, did you short Boot_Sel2 to Ground and load the LEDE Uboot file via PuTTY, prior to using TFTP to load the LEDE install image?   If yes, how quickly did you remove the Boot_Sel2 short after the hub started to power up?

My own theory is leaving Boot_Sel2 shorted to Ground for far too long causes damage to the circuit board, and the hub is then stuck in CFG04 mode when allowed to boot normally.

 

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

"Earlier, when you were installing LEDE, did you short Boot_Sel2 to Ground and load the LEDE Uboot file via PuTTY, prior to using TFTP to load the LEDE install image?   If yes, how quickly did you remove the Boot_Sel2 short after the hub started to power up?"

I did short the Boot_Sel2 to ground when I booted up the router and removed it within a few seconds, and before I loaded the LEDE uboot file. Was this correct?

bill888
Pro
Posts: 734
Thanks: 80
Fixes: 15
Registered: 18-10-2008

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Yes.  

I personally remove Boot_Sel2 the 'instant' I see anything appear in PuTTY after switching on the hub.

 

 

 

bigshorty40
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 23-06-2017

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

Well I'm totally stumped then, did everything by the book and still can't get it working.

I'll try and restore stock firmware tomorrow, that should give me a clearer picture on whether the router can be salvaged or if I've bricked it. If I have bricked it I'll probably give up trying to unlock one of these, shame as I was hoping to use it as a cheaper option for a bridge modem.

Highlighted
Krazeh
Grafter
Posts: 83
Registered: 06-02-2013

Re: Running OpenWRT on the Plusnet Hub One (& BT Home Hub 5a)

I wouldn't bother, plenty of others have tried with no success. It's bricked. But if it's a fairly rare occurrence, I had it in my first attempt but have successfully flashed 6 or 7 since then. It may be that I stopped soldering a wire to the Boot_sel2 point. Instead just hold a piece of wire between it and a ground point, then remove it as soon as you get CFG 06 on screen.