EA8500 Install Advice

I inferred that much from OP:

That was my experience. In the end, I had to pry it open and solder wires to the serial port pads. Not only did my board not have headers there, but the holes were filled with something other than solder - I couldn't clear it, even with flux. So I tacked on tiny pigtails and got into the serial port. From there, no problems. LEDE works wonderfully on the device.

Second that, once you get LEDE installed, it's super-stable and everything works. Have been running it for 6-7 months.

Considering the price of EA8500 and the fact that newer units are being locked down, WRT1x00 or WRT3200 might be a better choice.

I have not figured out how to enable the 160 mhz channels. How do I accomplish this?

Found out that it uses Qualcomm Atheros QCA9980 which does not support 160 Mhz or 80 Mhz + 80 Mhz channels.

I have two of these routers. My first attempt to replace stock firmware had the same results as those of OP.

However, I managed to implement the instructions I found here on one of the two routers. It was a pain, and that was before I discovered LEDE, but I'm guessing the same procedure would work with the LEDE firmware instead of the DD-WRT firmware. I've not tried this yet (though I may soon). Hope this helps.

Myself, I'm now debating whether I should install LEDE or DD-WRT on the second router which is still running factory firmware. The fact that I've already successfully implemented mrjcd's instructions on one router argues in favor of me installing DD-WRT on the second router too, but I'm beginning to suspect that LEDE may offer more features than DD-WRT so I'm not sure. Maybe I should use LEDE firmware on the second router but just use mrjcd's instructions with LEDE firmware instead of DD-WRT. If I use LEDE on router2, then I'll probably overwrite DD-WRT on router1 with LEDE too, but I understand that carries significant risk of bricking the router. I want to use these routers with each other in WDS mode, and although I'm pretty sure that I could do this with one router running DD-WRT and the other running LEDE, my initial preference would be to have the same firmware running on both routers.

I'd enjoy reading others' thoughts on this decision.

@risole,

Please keep the same questions in one thread.

Earlier, you were asking about forum posting etiquette. That's one that's pretty common on any forum site.

The same applies to posting the same question on different forum sites at the same time (called "cross-posting"). In that case, providing a link on each forum showing where else you have posted helps prevent confusion and wasted time, since everyone knows what has been going on. Some sites don't allow it.

Your alternate threads...

Thanks.

A few things to consider:

  1. My (older) EA8500 came with the anti-tampering sticker.
  2. The tabs holding two halves of the housing together are prone to breaking.
  3. (From what I've heard) the newer EA8500 don't have serial headers soldered on.

So you may damage the anti-tampering sticker and potentially break away tabs only to discover there're no serial headers on the board and unless you're very good with soldering you'll end up with the unit which you can't return and out of warranty.

If you still can -- return your unmolested EA8500 for a refund and get something from the WRT1x00 series.

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I successfully converted the DD-wrt firmware to LEDE.

I followed http://mrjcd.com/EA8500_DD-WRT/ to install the DD-wrt firmware successfully.

I thought to give Lede a try.

In order to do this I had to reverse with the same instructions to the original firmware make sure you don't use Linksys firmware ver 1.1.4.170630 or newer!

http://cache-www.belkin.com/support/dl/FW_EA8500_1.1.4.168206_prod.img

You will not be able to install Lede with newer versions.

Than I installed Lede directly within the linksys interface.

Worked good for me

Hey guys, I need a bit of help: I was able to open my ea8500, solder some wires for the serial connection. The problem that I'm facing now is that I can't get my computer to understand the router over serial. I see garbled characters in the console window which makes me think that I did not use the correct serial settings on the computer. Can somebody share what settings worked for them?

Serial connection parameters: 115200 / 8N1

Make sure the GND connection is o.k. and never ever connect Vcc.

^^ It sounds like you have a loose connection on one of the wires.

Thank you for replying so quickly. I tried resoldering all the wires as carefully as I could and I checked GND connection by checking contact from the '-' at the power connector to my wire. I am not sure how could I check the RX and TX... I'm thinking that maybe default firmware is not so bad at this point...

Which serial adapter are you using?

hey folks. i followed the instructions over at mrjcd and even though it booted to DD-WRT the FIRST time, i cant get it to do it again! i booted into DD-WRT and then tried to flash a .BIN file from OpenWRT which did NOT work, and now im back to 1.1.7.192977 in Linksys and cant use the same trick to get to DD-WRT again. any ideas? i go through the flash procedure as outlined over there and it SAYS its erasing and flashing but when i boot its the same firmware.... forever.... like a ZOMBIE!

@risole
what did you end up doing with your EA8500? as you can see from my post right above this one, i got it to boot ONCE with DD-WRT and then stupidly tried to go directly to OpenWRT from there and now i cant get it to get into DD-WRT again. i cant even telet in so i cant try the other partition... any ideas?

well if i was dumber i would be REAL dumb. kept reading forums and realized i was booting into the same partition repeatedly. so i power cycled quick 3 times and it switched partitions and there is my DD-WRT installation. i tried to install an older LINKSYS firmware so i could get OpenWRT on there but that didnt work as expected so im going to hang it up for now.

Hello! I just wanted to put it out there that I have a device wired up with serial and can provide remote access (to anyone with history of openWRT contribution) if anyone needs to test/debug.

EDIT:

I've been having a lot of trouble resetting the router to stock, but I finally found an image that worked!
http://mrjcd.com/Malachi/EA8500/Linksys-FW/FW_EA8500_1.1.3.166845_prod.img worked like a charm for me. FW_EA8500_1.1.4_169978_prod.img didn't work, and neither did any of the other FW_EA8500_1.1.4*. I was able to flash OpenWRT just fine from the 1.1.3 image!

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Welcome to the forum ClaireDesu and thank you for your contribution!

Just in case, another link (official site):
http://cache-www.belkin.com/support/dl/FW_EA8500_1.1.3.166845_prod.img

sha-1 (613243ae4e9b6a936018b545d787254898660be2) correspond to @clairedesu's post.

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