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ASUS RT-AC68U T-Mobile WiFi CellSpot Gigabit Router EXPIRED

dcurve 225 1,004 September 2, 2016 at 03:39 AM in Routers (7) More T-Mobile Deals
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Promoted 09-02-2016 by Discombobulated at 04:31 AM View Original Post
T-Mobile.com has their ASUS RT-AC68U T-Mobile WiFi CellSpot Gigabit Router on sale $99 - $40 off promo code WIFI40 (apply at checkout) = $59. Shipping is free. Thanks dcurve

Note, this router is the same as the ASUS RT-AC68U just T-Mobile branded.

Editor's Notes & Price Research

Written by Discombobulated

This product is available for purchase by both T-Mobile and non T-Mobile customers. Limited quantities available - Discombobulated

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Original Post

Edited September 2, 2016 at 05:35 AM by wuzzy
T-Mobile has their branded ASUS router on sale today for 59.99 with promo code: WIFI40
http://www.t-mobile.com/accessori...outer.html


ASUS T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpot Router, Save $40 with promo code WIFI40

Expected to ship 09/02 - 09/07

802.11ac dual-band Wireless Gigabit router supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels.
Prioritizes T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling voice traffic over other internet traffic for the best voice quality.

Covers at least 3000 sq feet

Up to 1300 Mbps at 5.0GHz and up to 600 Mbps at 2.4GHz

Advanced T-Mobile security features.

The T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpotâ„¢ Router has patented Wi-Fi technology built to prioritize your Wi-Fi calls. The Router also covers 3000+ sq. ft., this premium range gives your home a large footprint of Wi-Fi which means less dropped calls. The CellSpot supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, allowing for more Wi-Fi capable devices to connect, such as tablets and laptops, all while giving precedence to your Wi-Fi calls. This product is available for purchase by both T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers.
If you purchase something through a post on our site, Slickdeals may get a small share of the sale.
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by travelnshot September 23, 2016 at 05:03 PM
Previous post with firmware flashing :

http://slickdeals.net/f/7193262-t-mobile-personal-cellspot-ac-router-by-asus-free-for-postpaid-25-deposit

Note that the above thread is from the original deal two years ago and still has the most up to date flashing information to date. Also, many questions have been asked and answered in that thread....(Engineer)


Also 10% back from TCB for T-Mobile Accessories (which this falls under) and approved to work with this coupon.

Cut and paste from previous Wiki posts from the other thread...(Engineer)

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

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)

NOTE: If you are flashing later versions of Asus or Merlin 376.xxxx or ANY version of 378.xxxx or 380.xxxx (Asus or Merlin), you must flash to a firmware that will expand your rootfs partition from 32M to 64M first. Asus 376.3626 is recommended. Flash Asus 376.3626 and after installation, reset NVRAM. This will expand your rootfs partition and allow the new firmwares to install correctly!

Download for 376.3626: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...1473784618

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

Asus 376.3626 firmware link: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...1473784618
This firmware is needed after upgrading your CFE to expand your rootfs partition from 32M to 64M. Later 376.xxxx and all 378 and 380 firmwares need this 64M rootfs partition. They will not load otherwise.



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.

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

671 Comments

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Featured Comments

people who expect 5ghz to have the same range and obstacle penetration as 2.4ghz will post bad reviews.
PetSpy 9

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#4
Thank you. Had missed the deal last time
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#5
Quote from microwavepopcorn View Post :
Thank you. Had missed the deal last time
Most welcome!
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#6
just grabbed one, WTH. this post broke SD last time. This is sure FP. guys go grab one! Thanks OP.
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#7
can't process order online?
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#8
Quote from tiger_liem View Post :
can't process order online?
My credit card had a fraud hit, so I needed to clear it before it would process ... took an additional email with login .... fyi
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 1
#9
Quite a few Amazon reviews stating the 5ghz band craps out, with 14% one stars, any remedies?
Reply Helpful Comment? 3 1
#10
grabbed one, thanks
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#11
Quote from hmx View Post :
Quite a few Amazon reviews stating the 5ghz band craps out, with 14% one stars, any remedies?
i had one on free rental from tmo for 3 years... 5ghz been fine. however all my intel wifi chips hates its 2.4ghz, never connects
Reply Helpful Comment? 2 0
#12
this uses my phone for the service or
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 3
#13
I've had this thing for couple years from tmobile. works great.
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#14
will this work with verizon fios?
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#15
T-mobile never lets me place orders online... from $1 sim cards to this...
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
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