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

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All Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 165
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

I've just inspected my spare Hub One with OpenWrt, made in middle of 2016.  It has same unbranded chip and looks similar to the markings as your photo.  Unlikely any other processor could be fitted without total redesign of the circuit board.

The 5GHz wifi is served by the Qualcomm chip on the circuit board btw.

The open source wifi drivers provided for free by the chip manufacturers will NEVER be as good as the 'paid for' closed source wifi drivers used by wifi router manufacturers.  I'm not the most demanding wifi user, but 5 GHz seems to work ok for me, but I have seen issues with 2.4 GHz wifi.    

Bear in mind some HH5A are up to 6 years old.  The surface mounted component soldering may be starting to fail on older 'well used' units if you have one of them.  I believe Plusnet is only ISP still supplying brand new units to customers.

 

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Rising Star
Posts: 263
Thanks: 33
Registered: ‎15-10-2016

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

Both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz ports seem to work fine here. I did have an issue with an IPcam which would regularly disconnect from the 2.4 port, but nothing else had a problem with its connection - I have made an assumption it was the cam. I'm using an actual BT HH5 on OpenWRT, rather than the Plusnet supplied one. I have kept the Plusnet one as original as a backup.

I have a Raspberry Pi serving weather station data 24/7, connected 24/7 for many months without a problem, to the 5Ghz port.

Might your problem be the item trying to connect to the port?   

 

 

 

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-09-2017

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

I have followed this guide previously and successfully flashed the Plusnet Hub One unit.

I wanted to do a second one, and this time it failed to install the lede-17.01.4-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin.

No worries I thought I will use my backup to restore stock firmware, which worked faultlessly.

However as I ran the restore overnight, it defaulted to N for the following question in the process:

 

Do you wish to unlock the u-boot prompt? This will allow use of tftpboot etc.

Unlock [y/N]: y

The router has the stock firmware running with no problem, but when I use, lede-lantiq-bthomehubv5a_ram-u-boot.asc – HH5a LEDE custom u-boot,  I can no longer run tftpboot for running: lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin

 Please can anyone help with how to unlock the device ?

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All Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 165
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Can you elaborate by what you mean by 'can no longer run tftpboot' ?

ie. post output from terminal session showing the error.

 

I presume you have studied both the short windows guide, and LEDE installation guide, linked from the ebilan forum?

https://openwrt.ebilan.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=266

 

(Restores normally only take 3 minutes or 1 hour depending how you booted the LEDE installation image)

 

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All Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 165
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Forgot to add that unlocking the U-boot prompt, just means you have the option to load the LEDE installimage.bin without having to load the LEDE*u-boot.asc custom u-boot file.  It also means the LEDE installimage.bin runs at full cpu speed.  Refer to previous linked documents for more details.  ie. it wouldn't prevent you from using tftpboot if u-boot is working.

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-09-2017

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

Certainly,  at the point in the guide where you issue the command: tftpboot 0x81000000 lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin; bootm 0x81000000

 

The output was limited to:

 

ltq_phy: addr 0, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 1, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 17, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 19, link 1, speed 1000, duplex 1
ltq_phy: addr 5, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
Using ltq-eth device
TFTP from server 192.168.1.2; our IP address is 192.168.1.1
Filename 'lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin'.
Load address: 0x81000000
Loading: *

Clearly when this is uploading properly there is output on the screen indicating progress.

A ctrl C, gave this output:

 

tftpboot 0x81000000 lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin; bootm 0x81000000
ltq_phy: addr 0, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 1, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 17, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 19, link 1, speed 1000, duplex 1
ltq_phy: addr 5, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
Using ltq-eth device
TFTP from server 192.168.1.2; our IP address is 192.168.1.1
Filename 'lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin'.
Load address: 0x81000000
Loading: *
Abort
Wrong Image Format for bootm command
ERROR: can't get kernel image!

 

So I then checked the server was available:

BTHOMEHUBV5A # ping 192.168.1.2
ltq_phy: addr 0, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 1, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 17, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
ltq_phy: addr 19, link 1, speed 1000, duplex 1
ltq_phy: addr 5, link 0, speed 10, duplex 0
Using ltq-eth device
host 192.168.1.2 is alive

 

I also validated the file was available as described here

 

I also have had a look at the scripts at:  scripts

 

Whilst these mean little to me, it has highlighted the section about known key's,  and I recall when trying to install the files before I tried to  restore the  stock system,  I remember  seeing the message :

echo "WARNING: U-Boot environment could not be decrypted!


This same message is included in the restore script along with what happens - its just over my head at the moment.

I got Plusnet Hub One off Ebay as a new unit, and I am just wondering it the known keys are not working any more, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing- but it may signpost a more experienced person.

 

The markings on the board are Rev - 4.10,  I don't want to open up the other unit I flashed as it is my main router.

 

I have ordered another unit from ebay as  I really do want to get access to LEDE and experiment further with tinc, which I currently have running on systems behind the router.

 

The main guide I have is 1.1-OpenWRT-LEDE Installation Guide for HH5A v1.74c.pdf, but have reviewed many.  To pick up and learn about the process.  I have spent some time on the ebilan forum, but when I tried to join, it didn't like my plusnet fixed ip, so I have emailed to clarify how to get access.

 

I have tried using both Windows and Linux (Ubuntu) flashing guides but they all fail as above when used with the router after running the recover script has been run.

 

For clarification the recover script with the hh5a.nanddump worked great at getting the stock image back, but appears to have me locked down now.

Oh, and my recover script was the 1 hour option, and at 2.00am this morning I left it running.

 

Thank you for any guidance you may be able to offer.

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-09-2017

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

Ah, that's helpful to know,  I would just be grateful to get the LEDE installimage.bin to run again !  I picked your recent message up after sending a reply to your original post.

Thank you again, and at least it feels like I haven't lost out because I didn't sit watching a screen for an hour.

I am still stuck of course - lets see how the next Plusnet Hub goes !

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All Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 165
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Your terminal outputs don't seem to show what happens when you allow the tftpboot command to complete the file transfer.  (ie. don't press Ctrl-C while ######## appear on screen) ?

 

TFTP from server 192.168.1.2; our IP address is 192.168.1.1
Filename 'lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin'.
Load address: 0x81000000
Loading: ###############################

 

Have you studied the short windows guide '2-BT HH5A Openwrt*** v3.63.pdf'  from same dropbox location which contains screen captures ?

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-09-2017

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

Okay,  only one * appears in linux and windows, i.e. loading:*

If you wait it then starts to put a T slowly  up to  maximum of 4 or 5,   i.e. T T T T T , and then it exits with an error saying maximum number of retry,

And whilst no I had not downloaded that copy from drop box I found the same (similar) version  here.

I now see your version references the  T T T T,  but when I retry the same thing happens.

Thank you again.

Paul

 

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All Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 165
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Pressing CTRL-C when you just see T T T T, and then immediately executing the tftpboot command usually works for me.  (I use Windows btw)

Otherwise, use a different computer. 

Also try installing an ethernet switch between the hub and your computer to see if it solves the connectivity issue.  (try any old router if you don't have an ethernet switch - make sure router IP address does not conflict with HH5A or PC)  I haven't personally had to use this 'ethernet switch' fix in more than two years with an old BT badged HH5A (I used an old Samsung/Dlink router).

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-09-2017

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

Tried the ethernet switch no joy.

Tried a new machine with Ubuntu, and you could have knocked me over with a feather - loaded lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-installimage.bin, but failed to do the full install.

But the VR9 prompt was in play :).   Once I reviewed the instructions and found the server address needed to be 192.168.1.10 rather than 192.168.1.2 life was much easier restoring and preparing.  Finally after  2 or 3 cycles I got LEDE ful version installed and working !

Interesting in that process I re-created the problem, but a re-boot cleared the hang at the VR9 prompt when issuing -

ftpboot 0x81000000 lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-
installimage.bin; bootm 0x81000000

Any way I have a third router on its way to flash so I have yet more valuable experience.

Thank you for your help and encouragement Bill.

Paul

 

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Hooked
Posts: 8
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎16-09-2015

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

Thanks for sharing this as I had a never used plusnet hub one... which is now useful 🙂

 

A lot of reading but I now have openwrt installed and can use it as a bridge to extend my network 🙂 only thing is I think I prefer it over my main router now... may have to find another router to flash...

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Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-01-2017

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

Hi, I have the following:

OpenWrt 19.07.1 r10911-c155900f66 / LuCI openwrt-19.07 branch git-20.029.45734-adbbd5c

 

How do I configure it to point all dns queries to a raspberry pi running pi-hole?

 

A Google search reveals:

enter "6,IP_of_Pi-hole" in Network / Interfaces / LAN / Advanced Settings / DHCP-Options...

 

...but my LuCi menu looks different. Where do I enter this in the gui, or config files?

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Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-04-2019

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

Hello,

 

Network -> Interfaces -> WAN ->Use custom DNS

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Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎03-04-2019

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

Hello everyone,

 

I think this playlist will help a lot with firmware re-flash for everybody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3ZDj2oOibc&list=PLRG0tMK8MgOnOAUdURM3mBNGU5WX51gcG