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ASUS TM-AC1900 Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router

tommyvelocity 1,127 307 April 19, 2016 at 05:52 PM in Routers (11) More T-Mobile Deals
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Promoted 04-19-2016 by persian_mafia at 07:04 PM View Original Post
T-Mobile.com has ASUS TM-AC1900 Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router (Rebranded RT-AC68U) on sale for $99. Shipping is free. Thanks tommyvelocity

Editor's Notes & Price Research

Written by persian_mafia

Head over to pcmag and CNET for their reviews. This router is also compatible with third party firmware such as DD-WRT, Tomato and Asuswrt-Merlin. ~ persian_mafia

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Edited April 19, 2016 at 06:12 PM by kh0rneflakes
T-Mobile is now making this AC-1900 router (Asus RT-AC68U) available on its website for non-customer at $99 with free shipping! Not bad for a solid router, straight purchase with free shipping. http://www.t-mobile.com/accessori...outer.html

Cheapest price on camel from amazon is $150.75 on December 11, 2015.

Current price for this is $186.88 directly from amazon.

Specs:

It's the Asus TM-AC1900 Dual Band, 3x3 Wireless-AC 1900 Router.

- Brand: ASUS
- Model: TM-AC1900 dual-band router
- 3×3 wireless-ac
- 1900 MEGAbits (1.9 Gigabits)
- 1x USB 2.0 port
- 1x USB 3.0 port
- 2 channels – 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- 4x LAN ports
- Works with most USB HDDs/Flash disks up to 2TB and supports read-write access for FAT16, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3 and NTFS
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by travelnshot September 23, 2016 at 04:59 PM
If you wish to update to custom firmware DO NOT connect it to internet until you've completed the update.

This TM-AC1900 router can be flashed over to a Asus RT-AC68U to support the following 3rd party firmware:
OFFICIAL ASUS FIRMWARE [asus.com]
ASUSWRT MERLIN FIRMWARE [lostrealm.ca]
JOHNS MERLIN FORK FIRMWARE [snbforums.com]
TOMATO BY SHIBBY [groov.pl]
ADVANCED TOMATO FIRMWARE [advancedtomato.com]
DD-WRT FIRMWARE [dd-wrt.com]
OPEN-WRT FIRMWARE [openwrt.org]

(One of the few routers that supports most major 3rd party firmwares)
Process summary below:
Do not flash if you do no have the need to do so.
Yes, it is possible to 'upgrade' the firmware, but if you don't know what the 'upgrades' and extra features are for then it is all useless. This router will works fine out of the box for the average person using Stock tmobile firmware Note that there is a chance of bricking the router if you do not follow the CFE changing instructions properly.
Note: Average time to do this. First time Novice but VERY literate & Patient: 2-3hrs
Regular user with no computer comprehension: Dont even attempt and have your "geek" friend do it.


OUTLINE OF PROCESS
1) If you are running Tmobile Firmware version 3.0.0.4.376_3108 or earlier you must DOWNGRADE the firmware to T-Mobile Firmware version .1703 (to enable Telnet)
2) Extract CFE bootloader and copy/paste MAC addresses and WPS code into Retail Asus CFE. (1.0.2.0 retail is probably the best one to use)
4) Flash Asus CFE
5) Then flash your choice of firmware using Aus Restore Utility or MiniCFE webpage



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This following method works as of April 2016 and works if you are running firmware version 3.0.0.4.376_3108 or earlier. NOTE: If the Guide tells you to press or wait for 20 seconds, it means 20 seconds, not 19 not 17, not 10...it tells you to wait for 5 minutes, its a FULL 5 minutes, not 3 minutes, not 4 minutes 30 seconds, it means 5 MINUTES! If you have NO patience or time and cant follow instructions this guide is not for you.

PROCESS1: DOWNGRADING FIRMWARE TO V3.0.0.4_376.1703
1) Restore FACTORY DEFAULTS of the Router, this should set the IP of the router to 192.168.29.1
2) Set your computer to use a static IP of 192.168.29.88
Set subnetmask to 255.255.255.0 (you can leave gateway and dns blank)
3) Set your router to Recovery/Restore Mode by:
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and Hold the Reset button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold Reset button
Continue to hold Reset button for 20 seconds then let go of the reset
4) Wait 180 seconds (for router to fully boot)
5)using the "Asus Firmware Restoration Tool" or "MiniCFE webpage" (MiniCFE webpage is using a web browser and going to the routers IP of 192.168.29.1)
6) Flash the Tmobile firmware version 3.0.0.4_376_1703 TRX file.
7) Wait 5 mins
8) Power off router by unplugging the power cable
9) Perform a NVRAM RESET by:
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold WPS button
Continue to hold WPS button for 20 seconds then let go
10) wait 5 mins
11) The firmware should now be downgraded and you can verify by longing into the router and checking the firmware version through the web browser interface.

PROCESS 2: ENABLING "TELNET" AND FLASSHING "CFE":
1) Considering you are on Tmobile firmware version 1703, RESTORE FACTORY DEFAULTS
2) Login to the router using the web browser and navigate to the ADMINISTRATION > SYSTEM> ENABLE TELNET> YES (then apply and save settings)
3) Change the CFE using Engineers guide, i recommend using CFE 1.0.2.0 and MTD Write v2.
Engineer's New CFE Flashing Guide: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895.
Please read though guide and post comments (both good and bad) in the guide thread ---- Engineer

PROCESS 3: FLASHING YOUR CUSTOM FIRMWARE
(instructions below assume you are on tmobile firmware version 1703 with new moddified CFE) in other words...you followed the instructions above already. (If you are on new Asus CFE but different firmware you router IP address may be different, most likley 192.168.1.1)

1) Set Static ip of 192.168.29.88 for your PC if router is using tmobile firmware
(or Static IP of 192.168.1.88 if on retail asus firmware or custom firmware)
Set subnetmask to 255.255.255.0 (you can leave gateway and dns blank)
2) Perform NVRAM RESET
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold WPS button
Continue to hold WPS button for 20 seconds then let go
3) wait 5 mins for router to fully boot
4)Place router into Restore / Recovery mode
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the Reset button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold Reset button
Continue to hold Reset button for 20 seconds then let go
5) wait 180 seconds for router to enter recovery
6) using the "Asus Firmware Restoration Tool" or "MiniCFE webpage" MiniCFE webpage is using a web browser point or go to the routers IP of 192.168.29.1 (or 192.168.1.1 if you already are on custom firmware)
7) Flash your custom firmware and wait 5 mins
8) unplug the power from the router for 10 seconds
9) plug in the power and wait 180 seconds
10) Perform NVRAM RESET
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold WPS button
Continue to hold WPS button for 20 seconds then let go
11) Wait 5 mins
12) Set your computer IP from Static to DHCP
13) Login to the router and enjoy your new firmware, the routers ip is most likley at this point 192.168.1.1,



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Video how to install it right out of the box on Windows.

Update Sep 23, 2016: Concise, clear step-by-step video using Windows 10. Check comments if your T-Mobile CellSpot is on 3.0.0.4.376_3169.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_giMfTYIzI

Works with ALL the tmobile TM-AC1900 cellspot routers as of 4/15/2016. it had CFE 2.1.2.2 and was downgraded and installed 1.0.2.0 The video below shows to install and change CFE and Flash firmware right out of the box
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI6D0LMkm3s
NOTE: in this video the router enters recovery and the lights blink, HOWEVER on the newer models the router will enter recovery the same way but the LIGHTS DO NOT BLINK. do not worry, if you unplug and then re-plug the power to router while continuing to hold WPS button for 20 seconds you should be in recovery, do not worry if the lights are not blinking.

below is the list of utilities and file needed that were mentioned in the video
Mirror 1: http://www.filedropper.com/tmo2ac68u
Mirror 2: https://mega.co.nz/#!olRUzYZY!g7U...dG3_DvfWgc
tmo2ac68u.rar
MD5: ABDF6F5DF89DFE247C6C2491ABE27085
SHA1: 15AC7279D28FD78D2DDA7E901A92066E83833B71
CRC32: DC5622B4
SHA-256: 32E841579DE1CDBBF33433D266D004D7229579D658AB8C1B07E668453947AD86
FILE SIZE: 69,131,135


FILE DOWNLOADS
Asus pulled the restore utilities for the RT-AC68 series..here is a copy below:
http://www.filedropper.com/utrtac68u4292

ASUS has removed the firmware from their site. Use this link to download the firmware
Version: 3.0.0.4.376.1703
Description: TM-AC1900 First Firmware version 3.0.0.4.376.1703
File Size: 16,55 (MBytes)
Another link to the 1703 firmware: https://www.dropbox.com/s/o58wury...3.zip?dl=0 or http://www.filedropper.com/fwtmac190030043761703
MD5: 28a1e9558fbd6b297ccc296b4c6a3918
SHA1: 14d0bc5d66dcd27977a2fff540347a9fa58217da


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR FLASHING OPERATIONS
TELNET COMMANDS:

This command shows the board revision
nvram get boardrev

This command shows the hardware revision
nvram get HW_ver

This command shows the bootloader version (This checks the CFE version)
nvram get bl_version


Hardware NVRAM Reset:
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold WPS button
Continue to hold WPS button for 20 seconds


Place router into Restore / Recovery mode:
Turn power off to the router
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the Reset button
Restore power to router while continuing to hold Reset button
Continue to hold Reset button for 20 seconds


Another (original but outdated) guide by JSquare here:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=71097168&postcount=2814
(Originall Thread and being able to get this router for $25 http://slickdeals.net/f/7193262-t-mobile-personal-cellspot-ac-router-by-asus-free-for-postpaid-25-deposit?v=1


this [Obsolete TIP] worked for me
============================================
[Obsolete TIP]: Tip: If changing to an Asus CFE while still on a TMobile firmware and the router CANNOT flash to another firmware at all, try reverting back to TMobile CFE 2.1.2.1, resetting NVRAM, changing your firmware to a full Asus version (older than 376.3626), resetting NVRAM and finally, going to an Asus CFE. Seems that there are difficulties going from to an Asus CFE alongside a TMobile firmware. Please post if this thread if this has happened during your flash attempts and if chaning to CFE 2.1.2.1, then changing to an Asus firmware and finally changing the CFE back to an Asus after the firmware change.
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395 Comments

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Featured Comments

Let me help out a few confused folks about this router and T-Mobile's products as I have worked with all three in my home.

First, this is simply a rebranded Asus router that is running T-mobile flavored firmware. This router WILL NOT increase your T-Mobile signal. This router is simply setup to favor VoIP calls over other internet traffic in your home. To use this as a "personal cellspot" you MUST have a T-Mobile phone that 1) is wifi calling capable, 2) has wifi calling turned on, and 3) is connected to your wifi network. This means friends and family that are T-Mobile customers who visit but do not connect to your wifi network will not benefit from this being in your home at all.

If your area has a few bars but those bars drop when you go inside your home, T-Mobile offers a second product called the Cel-Fi Signal Booster, which oddly is packaged as a personal cellspot when you receive it. The Cel-Fi Signal Booster is a device that is placed in an area of your home (near a window preferably) that gets a T-Mobile signal. Then, the box amplifies the signal and rebroadcasts it throughout your house. You need at least 1 bar outside your home for this product to work.

Finally, if you have NO signal in your area, T-Mobile offers their 4G LTE Cellspot. This device plugs into your router and generates a 3G/4G signal that ANYONE on T-Mobile can use (I believe it supports up to 10 devices at once). On order to use the 4G LET Cellspot you must 1) place the GPS dongle in an area that gets a GPS signal (for 911), and 2) you must TURN OFF wifi calling as wifi calling and the signal generated by the 4G LTE Cellspot conflict.

Currently, I have both the Cellspot Router and the 4G LTE Cellspot in my house. I received the router first and it worked great so long as you had a phone that worked with wifi calling and were connected to my wireless network. When I purchased an unlocked phone, I lost the capabilty to use T-Mobile's wifi calling and was limited to routing my calls through Google Voice. Later, when the 4G LTE Cellspot was released, I was able to grab one of the first ones and it has worked beautifully.

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Joined Jan 2009
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#4
I have this device and planning to move out of Tmobile as there coverage sucks in the area I live. Is it good option to buy this off from them ?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#5
Huh. New way to get subscriber numbers up?
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 5
Joined Aug 2003
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#6
Quote from rsveteran View Post :
Huh. New way to get subscriber numbers up?
How so? There is no signing up with new accounts or any ties to new wireless accounts.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#7
Quote from tommyvelocity View Post :
How so? There is no signing up with new accounts or any ties to new wireless accounts.
I just can't wrap my head around why T-Mobile would be doing this for non-customers (people not getting service through them.) The manufacturer...sure, but what's in it for T-Mobile?
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 1
#8
Is no one going to correct the 1900 Gigabits (1.9 Terabits)?
Should be 1900 MEGAbits (1.9 Gigabits)
Reply Helpful Comment? 3 3
#9
Is it difficult to flash RMerlin FW in this?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#10
I can't seem to get the link to work.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

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#11
Quote from sylentz View Post :
Is no one going to correct the 1900 Gigabits (1.9 Terabits)?
Should be 1900 MEGAbits (1.9 Gigabits)
Thanks done.
Reply Helpful Comment? 2 0
#12
deleted
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#13
in 4 1, hope flash back to asus stock rom and work with time machine backup feature.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by dedezu April 20, 2016 at 08:20 AM
#14
Quote from UnkKnown View Post :
I have this device and planning to move out of Tmobile as there coverage sucks in the area I live. Is it good option to buy this off from them ?
This would be a better option to keep them so you can use VoLTE/Wifi Calling etc on this router. It turns your Wifi into your Cell coverage. I needed this where I lived a few months ago.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
#15
You can buy on Craigslist for$25. I have gotten 2 so far
Reply Helpful Comment? 7 10
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