Netgear EX6120 - Can image for EX6130 be used for EX6120?

I have a netgear ex6120. It was a cheap repeater to solve a deadspot. I've since moved to a netgear r7800 and hope that this will solve the deadspot.

As such i want to repurpose the ex6120 as a mesh node for the garden and as a wired bridge.

I've looking into some code changes and i see that there is a image for the ex6130 which is the same as the ex6120 (except for the socket on the front). The ex6120 image has not been tested due to a lack of testers. Is there some way for me to get the EX6120 image to put on this repeater as well as validate that the openwrt image works on this device?


If the boards are virtually identical (looks like they are both MT7620 SoCs at least), you might get away with a bit of 'cheating'.

The build recipe for the EX6130 has this code:

define Device/netgear_ex6130
  SOC := mt7620a
  IMAGE_SIZE := 7744k
  IMAGES += factory.chk
  IMAGE/factory.chk := $$(sysupgrade_bin) | check-size | \
  DEVICE_PACKAGES := kmod-mt76x2
TARGET_DEVICES += netgear_ex6130

The NETGEAR_BOARD_ID is what's important here, if all the other stuff is identical. Netgear will have set another ID probably to make sure unsuspecting users just don't flash just any image. So you'd need to find out what the value is for the EX6120, then edit the OpenWrt binary to replace that value (will be in the file header somewhere). That would be a quick hack to try and get it up and running.

Again, I'm going out on a limb here. If you try this, make sure you know how to recover; either through the recovery Netgear offers - they tend to have a robust TFTP recovery - or, worst case, with serial access.

I'm basing my assumption mainly on this thread:

What is the easiest way to find the NETGEAR_BOARD_ID?

Well did you see the author's last comment?

Looks like a tree or PR exists so better just try compiling that instead of tinkering with binary images.

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@Jstrike Are you dropping this? I'm a bit curious since you've made other posts but your topic here has gone silent.

Nope. I'm not dropping this at all. But I need to get the infrastructure in place first. Also, I just noticed I don't even ha e a PC with an Ethernet port anymore which is a bit essential for these things.

I am doubting how much use openwrt will have on this device, given that it will act as a dumb access point and the fact it has a 100mbit port (whoever thought that was a good idea on a modern product!?!)

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While the ethernet throughput limit is indeed an odd choice, the hardware itself[0] can do a quite decent job for its original purpose of being a (mostly-) wireless extender.

USB based ethernet cards are cheap (the cheap ones aren't necessarily fast, but for 100 MBit/s and administration purposes they don't need to be) and should serve you well for the initial setup and development.

[0] I wouldn't quite recommend to buy it new, as there are better options, e.g. the ex7500 or newer, but for existing devices OpenWrt could be a quite nice match.

Can someone please tell me why there is no 19.07.4 build for the EX6120? It's still only available as a snapshot and the final patch for device support has been committed in June.

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