Password corruption? EdgeRouter XSFP ramips mt7621

Hey all,

Thank you to @dingbatca for the instructions on how to get started with these..

I have a twelve site network all connected with EdgeRouters. I got an extra unit and put OpenWRT on it a few days ago.

Took a while but I got vlans working, cake, option252 in dnsmasq, and a few other things; Cake and the newer 4.x kernel series was what got me interested in removing the Ubiquiti firmware; Wonderful..

Along the way I would run into this problem where I couldn't login anymore, I would have to reset the unit, would lose all my work and have to start over.. (very not exciting)

Always running the 18.06.1 build from August; (thinking that's the problem)

I've been running the unit for a few days now, with no changes to speak of with no password.. I just took a backup and set a password.. now I can't login again..

openwrt-18.06.1-ramips-mt7621-ubnt-erx-squashfs-sysupgrade.tar listed on the device page is what I used..

Is there something that I can do to get back into failsafe mode on this unit?

I did the tcpdump -Ani command and can see the message: press button now to enter failsafe mode

When I press the reset, I can no longer ping the unit ( from eth1), I've tried other ports, etc..

I can't effectively deploy these if I can't ever recover them..

Looking for suggestions..

Thanks in advance.

Here are my "go to" when I loose access/control of any OpenWRT device, in no particular order.

nmap to walk the net and try to find it
tcpdump on a crossover cable to see what is chatting
Serial console off the circuit board

After all those fail, I fall back to TFTP boot with Serial console... If I cant get that to work... Trashcan.