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Alfa Ap121U 64Mb Board's Compatibility With Open-Wrt


durk182
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Just got a new ALFA AP121U in the mail today from Data Alliance. It was DOA. I could not connect to the AP over wifi or ethernet. I connected to the TTL level serial console. I got this message :

VFS: Cannot open root device "(null)" or unknown-block(0,0)

Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available partitions:

Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)

I followed the instructions for a factory flash, but that didn't help. I own 3 AP121U and have flash them many times without any problems.

I emailed data-alliance and after called them. They told me they don't have online support and email was the best way to reach them. I just went to their website http://www.data-alli...2.11n-AP/Detail

and saw this little note:

Sept 20: We are halting shipments of this item for 1-2 weeks while we troubleshoot what appears to be a bug with the 64MB board's compatibility with Open-WRT

Anyone know what is going on wit the hardware? Anyone else have this issue? I can send the entire bootup message if anyone is interested.

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The 64mb hardware has already been discussed in another thread.

Basically, ALFA does not ship it with a modified version of UBOOT to allow flash sizes over 8mb.

That means that while you technically have 64mb of volatile+non volatile memory, it divides up as follows:

The 64mb version will have 8mb flash (volatile) and 32mb ram (non volatile).

The non 64mb version has 8mb flash and 16mb ram.

As you can see, while you do get increased size, it's usefulness is not that great. I personally have never run out of temporary storage. As this is all the 64mb version gives you, I reccomend keeping away from it for now.

Best Regards,

Sebkinne

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Looks like I bought the wrong AP121 model this time. I'll try to return it. Thanks for your help. I should have looked at the specs.

I wanted to buy this AP to use with Open-WRT and not the pineapple firmware. I travel a lot and stay in many hotels with open Wifi. I want to use the router to connect to Witopia.net. I have an ex-pinepapple configured with openvpn right now for this reason. I just wanted a replacement.

I received an email form Data-Alliance. they asked me to try to update the router with the lastest kernel. If it doesn't work I'll return it.

thanks for your response Sebkinne

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You just get more memory. Works fine. Yes you get double tmpfs space but what ever is not in use is still available to the system with a small overhead of course. If you use space and delete it, then it should free back up to the system. From my understanding anyways.

http://pastebin.com/7XwSKTnt

compared to

http://pastebin.com/KEf48V29

Edited by alextrebek
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You just get more memory. Works fine. Yes you get double tmpfs space but what ever is not in use is still available to the system with a small overhead of course. If you use space and delete it, then it should free back up to the system. From my understanding anyways.

http://pastebin.com/7XwSKTnt

compared to

http://pastebin.com/KEf48V29

Mine came from Data Alliance DOA. It would not boot. Can you point me to where I can download the latest kernel image? I put the factory images on the AP per Sebkinne's wiki. Those images will not work with the 64MB version.

I was just headed off to the post office to return the AP when I saw your post. Data Alliance's advice use the newest kernel. They sent me a link to Openwrt.com "how to compile OpenWrt". I asked if they have an factory image for this device, bu tthey don't. It would be great learning how to make openwrt work in this device, but I can do that with a working non64MB model.

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Mine came from Data Alliance DOA. It would not boot. Can you point me to where I can download the latest kernel image? I put the factory images on the AP per Sebkinne's wiki. Those images will not work with the 64MB version.

I was just headed off to the post office to return the AP when I saw your post. Data Alliance's advice use the newest kernel. They sent me a link to Openwrt.com "how to compile OpenWrt". I asked if they have an factory image for this device, bu tthey don't. It would be great learning how to make openwrt work in this device, but I can do that with a working non64MB model.

This is odd. The factory images supplied on cloud.wifipineapple.com work fine on our 64mb devices.

No need to compile anything. Flash those and then sysupgrade to the pineapple firmware.

I have two devices here that were flashed exactly like that.

Best Regards,

Sebkinne

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This is odd. The factory images supplied on cloud.wifipineapple.com work fine on our 64mb devices.

No need to compile anything. Flash those and then sysupgrade to the pineapple firmware.

I have two devices here that were flashed exactly like that.

Best Regards,

Sebkinne

WOW looks like I may have gotten a bad AP121. :( I followed the clean flash instructions several times. The AP would not boot same error message. I sent it back to Data Alliance.

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  • 2 months later...

I bought a 64mb version and it didnt comes with a boot loader or firmware, where can i get it

No bootloader? If that is true, you will need a JTAG flasher and get ALFAs proprietary bootloader. Doubt you will get that though - send it back and get a working one.

Firmware will need to be flashed over serial.

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  • 3 weeks later...

No bootloader? If that is true, you will need a JTAG flasher and get ALFAs proprietary bootloader. Doubt you will get that though - send it back and get a working one.

Firmware will need to be flashed over serial.

I returned the AP and got a new one. All is working fine now.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi,

I got my router from - http://store.jpgottech.com/shop/alpha-ap121u-64mb/ and it did ship without a bootloader or firmware. There is nothing but a blank chip in it. I am willing to desolder the chip, program it and solder it back to get it to work. But where do I get a firmware that is guaranteed to work? What format should I look for?

I shall really be glad to get any help.

Edited by lordloh
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