Adding support for the EnGenius ews357ap (ipq6018)

I'd like to add support for the ews357ap v3 model (I believe the netgear WAX214 is the same device). Considering there is still active development of the ipq807x platform, this may take some time and I understand that. Here is the general rundown of the device specs:

  • uses ipq6018 chipset (so quad core ARM CPU, 2x2 802.11ax radios, etc.)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 128MiB flash
  • single ethernet port
  • can be powered by PoE (802.3af/at) or 12V power supply
  • wall or ceiling mount
  • Retails for $100 USD (no power supply included).

Some development details:

  • can easily get a root shell in the stock firmware
  • device has serial headers already installed (4 pin 1.25mm pitch JST connector)
  • uboot is accessible from the serial console
  • uses UBI for kernel and rootfs partitions (this is new to me)
  • I have GPL requested EnGenius and it looks like they may respond. I received the sources for the ens620ext and eap1300, so I think its possible I could get the GPL sources for this device in a month or two. That's about how long it took them to respond for the previous two devices.

Right now I'm trying to get QSDK to build for this device using the 8devices Mango build tree because the openwrt ipq807x development is still ongoing. I may also be willing to purchase a device and send it to a developer since I don't have much experience adding support for a new device to openwrt.

Thank you.

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Hey Keith any updates on the EWS357AP?
I already own one and I have stability issues where at least once or twice a day (that I know of) my devices connected to it will loose internet access temporarily. They don't disconnect from it just my phone stops having internet access and I'm not sure why.

Unfortunately not. There is still no progress on ipq6018 in mainline OpenWRT since the ipq807x development is still ongoing. I basically can't do any work with mainline until we get basic ipq6018 support.

As for the qualcomm SDK build, I can create builds, but the ews357ap's bootloader doesn't have the correct compression algorithm installed to work with the 8devices mango build's image, so I'll have to change the build tree to use a different compression algorithm for the image. Having said that, I can boot the device using an initramfs image I built with no compression, but networking (wireless or wired) does not work. I'm hoping I just need to adjust the device tree to get wired networking to work since that is implemented on the SoC, whereas wireless is on a different chip.

I have also extracted the stock firmware's device tree and can post that if it would help anyone. I've been working on other projects recently, so haven't had much time to work on this.

Good news. I received the GPL sources from EnGenius recently for the ews357ap and am building it to see if what they gave me actually works. Its a full openwrt buildroot with uboot package, so I'm optimistic that this has everything we need in the future to get mainline support working once the ipq6018 target is supported.

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