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T-Mobile Wi-Fi CellSpot Router $59.99

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ASUS RT-AC68U T-Mobile WiFi CellSpot Gigabit Router - $59.99

Please use this coupon: WIFI40

http://www.t-mobile.com/accessori...LC&irgwc=1
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by VorlonFrog November 14, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Please refer to this expired deal, same price, all the information in that post:
https://slickdeals.net/f/9071711-t-mobile-wi-fi-cellspot-router-59-99-tax-free-ship-asus-rt-ac68u?src=SiteSearchV2_SearchBarV2Algo1

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
0) Disconnect the router from the network/internet, only 1 wired Ethernet cable should be plugged into any LAN port, DO NOT do any firmware related flashing via WIRELESS
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
3) Set your router to Recovery/Restore Mode by:
Turn power off to the router by disconnecting the power cable
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) Perform a NVRAM RESET by:
Turn power off to the router by disconnecting the power cable
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
9) wait 5 mins
10) 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: https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895.
Please read though guide and post comments (both good and bad) in the thread. Thanks: 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)
2) Perform NVRAM RESET
Turn power off to the router by disconnecting the power cable
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 by disconnecting the power cable
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 by disconnecting the power cable
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. As long as 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 by disconnecting the power cable
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 by disconnecting the power cable
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:
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=71097168&postcount=2814

87 Comments

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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Sep 2011
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#3
Link?
I got mine for free from tmobile.
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Joined Jul 2005
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#4
Is this a good router? Link?
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Joined Apr 2004
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#5
Good deal . . . for a great router. The AC68 is one of the best AC1900 routers on the market.

Obligatory copy/paste of instructions in previous post to re-flash the T-Mobile firmware to Asus (or third party). Also has link to product page.

https://slickdeals.net/f/8680195-t-mobile-wifi-cellspot-ac-router-asus-rt-ac68u-99-for-non-t-mobile-customers-free-shipping?v=1
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Last edited by Dunkelstar November 14, 2016 at 08:34 AM.
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#6
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Last edited by rinque85 November 14, 2016 at 04:09 PM.
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Original Poster
#7
Quote from taterbug23
:
Link?
I got mine for free from tmobile.
Link added

Quote from falleng0d
:
Is this a good router? Link?
Link added. I have this one, and this is the best router I've used so far
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Last edited by itzlikedat November 14, 2016 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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#8
Great price. The Asus RT-AC-68U typically goes for around $140-150.
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#9
This is a good deal! I got one last time and flashed it to Tomato. It's been working great.
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Joined Dec 2009
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#10
have we confirmed TM has not done anything to prevent the reflash and upgrade to a "better" firmware?

shipping should be included to the price. I don't see a way to do store pickup. Still looking to see if there is a way to p/u at a store.

And of course, plus tax in Kalifornia.
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Last edited by DanHoo November 14, 2016 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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#11
Quote from taterbug23
:
Link?
I got mine for free from tmobile.
You got yours "free" on loan. If you do not return it when you terminate your service with T-Mobile, then you are paying the $249 original price..

I received mine the same way, but I tossed it when I moved. Not the best idea, since even if I purchased another at a cheaper price, the serial number does not match what they have in their system.
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#12
In For 1
Anybody have a video to show how to upgrade the firmware...for a newbie like me
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Joined Oct 2015
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#13
Quote from sfkn2
:
You got yours "free" on loan. If you do not return it when you terminate your service with T-Mobile, then you are paying the $249 original price..

I received mine the same way, but I tossed it when I moved. Not the best idea, since even if I purchased another at a cheaper price, the serial number does not match what they have in their system.
Tmobile should only be charging 99 plus tax not 250 that's what they charged me when I didn't return it
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#14
Got this on loan from T-mobile as well. Great router and the only issue I have is some times the 5ghz signal slows to a crawl. A reboot fixes it but can get annoying some times. Otherwise, great router with great wifi speeds.
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Joined Nov 2007
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#15
Quote from DanHoo
:
have we confirmed TM has not done anything to prevent the reflash and upgrade to a "better" firmware?

shipping should be included to the price. I don't see a way to do store pickup. Still looking to see if there is a way to p/u at a store.

And of course, plus tax in Kalifornia.
Shipping charges disappear on the final checkout page.

I already have the same router from TMobile - that is free but on loan. Its a very good router.
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