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

bill888
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 901
Thanks: 132
Fixes: 24
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

BT HH5A finally turned up today.

 

Followed the instructions provided here and the wiki, and finally flashed openwrt onto the HH5A.

I didn't like the idea of leaving long fly leads attached to the HH5A, so I installed a connector near the RXD and TXD pins.  See connector1,jpg, connector2.jpg, connector3.jpg and connector4.jpg.

I used part of an old wire wrapping DIP socket.  One end of the wire soldered to the PCB pads, the other tinned end just pushed into the DIP socket.

 

I originally secured the connector to the PCB using a piece of double sided sticky tape, but the HH5A would not boot up correctly. The status LEDs would continually flash Green in colour.  It wouldn't turn Blue.   There is a capacitor underneath the connector and although the sticky tape was not touching the capacitor, the moulded plastic from the DIP socket was touching the capacitor.  I replaced the sticky tape with a sticky foam pad, and the HH5A booted up fine.

 

 

Just one typo error in core2lee's original instructions

 

Original text:

$ cp /mnt/openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-install-uImage-initramfs.tar /tmp

 

I think it should have read:

# cp /mnt/openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-ubifs-sysupgrade.tar /tmp

 

Other issues I encountered:

- Opening up the HH5A proved more difficult than anticipated.  There are clips on the left and right hand edges of the HH5A,  I ended up cracking 3 of them and breaking 1 of them. See attachments clip1.jpg & clip2.jpg.   The following youtube video gives some idea how to prise the HH5A apart:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhX5KbaNmQg

 

- When performing the nand dump, a load of ECC errors appeared.  I'm not planning to restore the original HH5A firmware, so no big deal.

 

- I had issues mounting the USB flash drive.  The HH5A didn't like the 8GB flash drive I was using.  I found a very ancient Sandisk Cruzer 2GB and it worked fine thereafter.

 

I couldn't get LUCI to load in web browser.  I'm assuming it isn't in the sysupgrade image file for now.

As I am new to configuring OpenWRT (and linux) using command line only, I used the PASSWD command in the serial terminal session to set a password for root.  

I then opened an SSH session and successfully logged into the HH5A with new password over ethernet.

Next, used vi to edit the /etc/config/network file:

config interface 'wan'
   option ifname 'ptm0.101'
   option proto 'pppoe'
   option username 'myusername@plusdsl.net'
   option password 'mypassword'
   option ipv6 'auto'

 

Finally, restarted the HH5A while connected to the VDSL line, and successfully got an internet connection via ethernet.

 

MikeCSmith
Hooked
Posts: 6
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Registered: ‎25-05-2016

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

Hey Bill,

Nice write up on it and a very tidy solution for the pins. If you pop over to http://openwrt.ebilan.co.uk there's a mini community with a lot of details on OpenWRT on the HH5a specifically. One of the forum members is working on fixing a bug and needs a few people with in place serial connections to test a new initramfs image he's building to help deal with HH5a's with bad memory blocks.

As you mentioned you've had ECC memory issues on the nanddump (I had them too) you're definitely in a position to help.

If you're happy to help out I can put you in touch.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

bill888
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 901
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Fixes: 24
Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

I had a look at the web page link you kindly provided, but I can't seem to find the thread referring to a new initramfs image which needs testing.

MikeCSmith
Hooked
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Registered: ‎25-05-2016

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

Ah - that was by email, from mkresin in the OpenWRT bad flash thread - I'll PM you with my contact details. 

bill888
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

I still can't seem to get LUCI to work.  HH5A successfully connects to internet.  I executed the following commands

  opkg update

  opkg install luci

  /etc/init.d/uhttpd start
  /etc/init.d/uhttpd enable

But still no LUCI.  Web browser just pauses before eventually returning an error.  I observed it always tried to connect to https://192.168.1.1

I wonder if I have a bad flash ?

 

Update:

I managed to get LUCI working.  I was using Chrome and it just would not work.  I then discovered Internet Explorer works but also reported a certificate error.

On closer examination of the /etc/config/uhttpd  file, I removed these two lines to fix the problem:

      list listen_https '0.0.0.0:443'

      list listen_https '[::]:443'

 

 

 

MikeCSmith
Hooked
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Registered: ‎25-05-2016

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

One of the guys over on Ebilan had trouble with LUCI. Try flashing this image if you can't get it to work - has LUCI built in.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jylhwsnr6d9rsre/openwrt-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-ubifs-sysupgrade.tar?dl...

I compiled that one and it's working fine on mine.

core2lee
Grafter
Posts: 34
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Registered: ‎21-04-2016

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

Very strange, i've flashed this exact firmware on 6 or 7 home hub/hub one's now without any major issues:
https://leehobson.xyz/index.php/s/BsHCtMTprdLlfMn

The only issue i had regarding Luci was after i updated all installed packages (which i would strongly recommend doing btw) I did need to recursively correct the permissions in the /www/ directory.

I've tested Luci in Chrome and Safari and works fine in both, might be worth flashing it again. 

bill888
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Have you encountered ECC errors when using nanddump to back up your six HH5As ?

 

I wonder if that may have been a factor.  ie. slightly bad flash caused my original LUCI problem.

core2lee
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Registered: ‎21-04-2016

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

No i never noticed any ECC errors when backing up the firmware on mine or any of the other Home Hub 5's. Although tbh I only did the backup on a couple of them, after that there was no need as I already had a backup. 

 

 

bill888
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Posts: 901
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Can this procedure be rerun on a HH5A which had been previously successfully flashed with OpenWRT, or does it only work if stock firmware is present ?

 

 

For curiosity, I ran through the whole flash procedure on my HH5A which already had OpenWRT, but skipped the steps for backing up the NAND and caldata.

But when I executed the /hh5a-uboot-install.sh command, it aborted with "The dumped caldata file has an incorrect size!".  (I did notice the hub lights turned blue so it could be I made a mistake somewhere)

 

Other unrelated observations for the two sysupgrade images posted by core2lee and MikeCSmith:

I also tried MikeCSmith's sysupgrade image - installed via LUCI.  It seemed to work until I noticed DHCP server wasn't working on the LAN ports (wifi seemed fine).  I did subsequently get DHCP on the LAN ports working by loading the sysuupgrade image again and deliberately unchecking the box for 'Keep Settings'.  

MikeCSmith's image has a 'Perform Reset' button in the 'Backup/Flash firmware' menu option within LUCI to restore to default settings, but sadly it doesn't seem to work.  (There is no 'Perform Reset' button in Core2Lee's image)

Also, pressing the reset button on the HH5A only seems to cause the status LED to blink rapidly, and doesn't appear to restore any settings to default.

On the 'Overview' page in LUCI, the TX rate isn't correctly displayed under 'Associated Stations' for 5GHz clients.

 

core2lee
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Registered: ‎21-04-2016

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

 

 

 

 

Hmm.. the calibration data is simply backed up incase you wish to restore the factory firmware or at least that is my understanding of it. Did you double check the UBI volumes were mounted correctly?

ubidetach -m 4

ubidetach -m 5

ubiattach -m 5

 

As you rightly said the image I am using does not have a working reset button, however I cannot imagine this would be 'too' hard to implement. Few bits of info on the OpenWRT Wiki pages; https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/hardware.button 

 

By the looks of it you can have the button call a variable which you can define. Easiest way would just be to write a script which creates a copy of the /etc/config/<file> file to the ~/ directory then deletes the original and reboots the router. The default /etc/config/<file> will then be restored when the system boots back up allowing you to connect.

 

As for the Luci issue with the data rate not being shown correct, might be worth checking your opkg sources list and updating all available packages, I have done this personally and improved the system overall I did however need to correct the permissions for the /www directory after Luci got upgraded. 

for pkg in `opkg list-upgradable | cut -d' ' -f1 | grep -v Multiple`; do opkg upgrade $pkg; done

 

P.s. Good work with the pin header addition on your HH5, just checked out the pics Smiley 

bill888
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Posts: 901
Thanks: 132
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

Just a heads up for anyone following this thread.  As mentioned by MikeCSmith earlier, there is an issue with the current method of installing openwrt.  Specifically, it seems to be blind to the existence of the Bad memory Block Table (BBT) stored on the 128MB flash memory within the HH5A.

A new initramfs and patches are currently being tested to address the issue by one of the ebilan forum members.

If you are considering installing openwrt for the very first time, you may wish to delay.  Hopefully, the new initramfs and new instructions will be published in next few weeks.

For those of us who already have openwrt running on HH5A, it is a bit more complicated to deal with the above BBT issue, but not impossible.  The preferred solution would be restore HH5A to stock BT firmware, and then install openwrt using the new instructions/patches.

 

 

bill888
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

 

I've been given a new sysupgrade file to test. It includes 'squashfs' which should solve the Reset problem.

 

The 'Perform Reset' button in the 'Backup/Flash firmware' menu option within LUCI now seems to work to return settings to factory defaults on brief testing.  

 

The Reset button on the back of the hub also works - long press to bring up rapidly blinking status light as it did in earlier images, then press and release the button again forces a Factory Reset. 

 

 

 

 

core2lee
Grafter
Posts: 34
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Registered: ‎21-04-2016

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

Is this the build MikeCSmith posted in an earlier post?

 

If so I am also now running this on a PN Hub One, and noticed LUCI looks to have a few more features included such as OpenVPN; plus things like sys logging work without the need to install additional packages. Not tested the reset functionality so far but its great to know this is now working. 

 

I've added the newer build to my owncloud share above. 

bill888
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 901
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Registered: ‎18-10-2008

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

No, it is not MikeCSmith's image.   I did try Mike's image, but the 'Perform Reset' function in LUCI didn't work.

 

The sysupgrade file is from LEDE Project, a fork of OpenWRT, supplied by one of the developers.

  

'Perform Reset' never seemed to work with sysupgrade.tar files with names like 

   lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-ubifs-sysupgrade.tar

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

 

The file I was given to confirm it addresses the Reset issues:

   lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-squashfs-sysupgrade.tar

 

'Perform Reset' in LUCI now works !

 

I notice Chaos Calmer images contain 'squashfs' in the filenames.  I have no idea why the current sysupgrade files for HH5A are not using squashfs.

 

Update:

I'm informed the Reset and Restart buttons are currently defined to send the same code and behave as described below:

During boot a few seconds after powering up, when the green LED flashes really fast, hitting the 
either button should trigger the 'failsafe' mode.

After the system is fully up and running, momentarily pressing the button triggers a Reboot.

After the system is fully up and running, holding down the button and then releasing when the main LEDs start to flash, is supposed to perform a Factory Reset.

However, it is proposed the 'Restart' button will be changed to a customised button in the future.

 

I've also been testing a new tftpboot file:

  lede-lantiq-xrx200-BTHOMEHUBV5A-install-uImage-initramfs

One really useful script included in the image, is the ability to restore stock BT firmware from original nanddump file and unlock the BT boot loader.  I've  had to use this a few times after accidentally hosing my HH5A during testing.

fyi, I learned the nanddump file created from the corresponding hub MUST be used during restore, because it contains calibration data unique to each hub, otherwise, there may be wireless performance issues, duplicate MAC addresses etc.