ZBT WG1608 How to get Added to OpenWrt

How do we get new hardware added to the official OpenWRT Github / build system? For example, I would like to get the ZBT WG1608 added. Its very similar to the ZBT 3526G that is already supported, but a bit different.

1 Like

There is an OpenSource build for this particular device:

https://ltehacks.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1172

I briefly looked a ltehacks as an alternative to the slow ADSL in my area, and if I recall correctly, GoldenOrb is an LEDE/OpenWrt derivative.

2 Likes

I am aware of the GoldenOrb LEDE/OpenWrt derivative for this router, but I am wondering how does a device make it into the mainstream github of openwrt, where its an actual target.

Someone generates the needed code in OpenWrt Master development branch followed by building and testing the code. Then a patch is generated from the new code and submitted to the project.

If you wish to undertake this, you may be able to use the GoldenOrb software to determine flash drive partitions and led gpios.

One problem is that this device can be fitted with a number of 4G/5G cards; each card needs code/firmware that supports that particular card. If you do not want a cell tower connection, the task becomes easier.

It must be awfully close because right now if you order the WG1608 factory direct, you can get it flashed with OpenWRT. I don't know how long they have been doing that, but I just bought a new one myself to augment or replace my WG3526 4G gigabit router and they offered to do so.

They are very similar, same main chip CPU, very similar 2.4 & 5.8 Mhz chips on board, mostly the only significant change is the ability to pick M.2 or mPCIe interface for your modem, and I have been told that you can get one with both at right angles, but I didn't ask (or notice - there are 3 distinct Zhibotong (ZBT) stores on alibaba.com and of course on aliexpress.com also. They want you to do minimum orders of $1000 per shipment, but you can get an 'engineering' sample at a really good price.

I paid $45 plus $22 shipping for my WG1608 and it will be here in under 10 days. Alibaba tends to have better shipping than aliexpress which is more geared toward consumers. I think you need to have a tax exemption / reseller license to use alibaba, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you can get away without it for a sample order.

Basically the only gotcha would be supporting the latest 5G modems - if OpenWRT doesn't already, and I suspect for the most part that it does. I have no need for 5G right now or near future, so I have not really done due diligence there yet. Quectel RM500Q-GL and 510 are their entries, and there is a Sierra Wireless 9xxx series modem for upwards of $500 or more. The RM500Q variants are around $300 if you get them at the right place.

RIght now I have a EC06-A in my WG3526 and already have a EM12-G for the WG1608. Those are pretty vanilla modems at this point. People are buying their EM20-G enough that it's basically unavailable at the moment.

Well I am open to doing this, but I am really not sure how to do so. My understanding is its almost identical to at WG3526 but as mentioned has different wifi chipset, and the addition of a M.2 Card.

Also, I don't think you have to worry about supporting the different 4G cards. Thats a function of the Linux Kernel and/or external packages and drivers like Modem Manager, etc.

ZBT said they can load OpenWRT on this router already, but because its not part of the standard OpenWRT build, I can't build a customer image.

That would be awesome! Is there anything I can do to help, since I have a WG1608 (16M ROM) with OpenWRT already flashed? I have not had time to play with it yet, it literally just got here today. They bested the shipping estimate by 6 days.

This one will be LTE enabled when I pop the top and add a Quectel EM12-G with some good thermal pads and an aluminum heat sink. Of course, if it works as I remember, I'll need to update the code as soon as I do, right? I guess I could pop the Sierra Wireless EM7455 in there instead if it makes any difference. I have both, both are CAT12.

1 Like

Any new updates to this process?
And does anyone have an ETA when the project will be finished?

1 Like

None that I am aware of, but it should be a one shot deal once it is done.

The "OpenWRT" that comes on it is a bastardized Chinese version that lacks a lot of the flexibility. I have not changed anything yet, but it might be worth looking at GoldenOrb firmware - like using the WG3526 version, but you are on your own for now. I did see a good (?) couple of YouTube videos about flashing & configuration on a WG1608, but I have not tried it myself yet.

Just be absolutely certain that you save the existing ROM in case you end up having to backtrack.

When you get down to brass tacks, there are essentially two differences, it has a newer chipset (MT7613AEN) for the 5Ghz wireless side and an M.2 interface slot as opposed to the old style mini PCIe slot on the WG3526. I am FAR from expert on the code, but you might be able to whack around after you flash that code and get it to work. Then again, don't forget to save the existing eeprom code just in case you need to get back where you are.

I am quite certain that somebody will jump in here and tell me if I don't know what I am talking about! As already noted, much of the hardware specifics should be handled by the low level Linux code, but it has been a long time since I did any hands on coding (we're talking 20+ years, and I was using COBOL. That's why I decided to go with network security and intrusion detection instead of relearning to code object oriented.

Check this out:


and "mo" WRT GoldenOrb firmware for the WG1608... Obviously (GO is based on OpenWRT) it can be done, but I suspect that Dairyman can tell you more about the nuts 'n' bolts as needed.

I just want to know if there is any openwrt firmware for the zbt WG1608 router?
I've searched and can't find anything :frowning:

Router WG1608

Use this image

https://firmware-selector.openwrt.org/?version=SNAPSHOT&target=ramips%2Fmt7621&id=zbtlink_zbt-wg1608-16m