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

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Update: Still available for a limited time. Be sure to read through the wiki if you're considering flashing this router.

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has ASUS TM-AC1900 Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router (Rebranded RT-AC68U) on sale for $99 - $40 w/ promo code WIFI40 = $59. Shipping is free. Thanks Cmoney100g, DanHoo & itzlikedat [Discuss]
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Editor's Notes & Price Research

Written by

For a review of this router, head over to PCMag and CNET. This router is also compatible with third party firmware such as DD-WRT, Tomato and Asuswrt-Merlin. This price matches our previous Frontpage Deal from August

Original Post

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Edited November 29, 2016 at 10:24 PM by
Deal is back again from T-Mobile...

Save $40 with promo code WIFI40

http://www.t-mobile.com/accessori...outer.html
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by travelnshot July 5, 2018 at 11:00 AM
How to flash from TM-AC1900 to Asus RT-AC68U

You can flash this router to an RT-AC68U: http://www.bayareatechpros.com/ac1900-to-ac68u/. There are few change/additions needed in the guide before the latest ASUS firmware can be flashed, though.
  • Avoid CFE 1.0.2.5 from the RT-AC68P, as the newest Asus firmwares (3.0.0.4.384.20624 and later) detect this on the TM-AC1900 and revert the mod. Instead, use CFE 1.0.2.0 US AiMesh; it was dumped from an actual RT-AC68U by user goggles99 at SNB. The CFE generator [pipeline.sh] by danielfeng has this version available.
  • Some TM-AC1900 ship with a firmware version that allows SSH access. If you get one of these, you can skip steps 5-10 of the guide. To check if you have SSH available, go to Administration > System in the router configuration interface. If your firmware permits SSH, there will be a setting to Enable SSH. If so, choose Yes, then Apply. Move on to step 11.
  • The T-Mobile certificates have to be wiped from the mtd5 partition. This can be done after all of the steps in the guide have been completed, but must be done before any newer version of ASUS firmware is flashed. As of this writing, the firmware included in the bayareatechpros guide is 3.0.0.4.376.3626, so the steps below should be performed when this version is running on your router.

Wiping T-Mobile certificates from the mtd5 partition

These instructions originally existed on SNB before that forum thread was shut down [snbforums.com]. Credit to XVortex and rdallen. After you've performed these steps, you can flash 3.0.0.4.384.21045 (and possibly newer) using the GUI.

Code:
# Backup MTD5 (dd produces identical bin)
cat /dev/mtd5 > /jffs/mtd5_backup.bin

# Copy mtd5_backup.bin from router using scp
# From host: scp admin@192.168.1.1:/jffs/mtd5_backup.bin ./

# Mount MTD5
mkdir /tmp/asus_jffs
mount -t jffs2 /dev/mtdblock5 /tmp/asus_jffs

# Copy mtd5 files from router using scp
# From host: scp admin@192.168.1.1:/tmp/asus_jffs/* ./

# Wipe mtd5 files and reboot
rm -rf /tmp/asus_jffs/*
sync && umount /tmp/asus_jffs
rm -rf /jffs/.sys/RT-AC68U
nvram unset fw_check && nvram commit && reboot


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

Note: SNB disallowed discussion about converting TM-AC1900 to RT-AC68U with AiMesh [snbforums.com]. Go to T-Mobile OEM to RT-AC68U [whirlpool.net.au] for further discussion.

Other Tips:

If you are having problems accessing the mini-CFE webserver this works:
  1. Power off the router using the power button
  2. Set your PC's IP to 192.168.29.2 (assuming the recovery mode is gateway is 192.168.29.1)
  3. Navigate to 192.168.29.1 using your browser -- the browser continue to try and access the page until it is available
  4. Press and hold the reset button while powering-on the router
  5. When the mini-CFE webpage appears on the browser, release the reset button
  6. As long as the browser status is still spinning -- looking for a webpage -- the mini CFE web page will load


==================================================================================================================

Top 4 questions now at the top:

Q: I'm being charged for shipping! It said free shipping.
A: Get to the final checkout page where you enter your CC #. The shipping charge will be removed there as it suggests on the initial item page's banner: "Buy over $20 of accessories, get FREE SHIPPING at checkout".
NOTE: Not only is shipping free (once you get to the end of checkout) - but OVERNIGHT SHIPPING is also free.

Q: Will this work with [insert your cable provider name here]?
A: This is a router NOT a cable modem. It will work with ANY provider's cable modem.

Q: I just need a router -- do I need to worry about flashing this?
A: No! Do so only if you want: Newer/more frequent bug fixes, security patches, need features in the official or alternate firmware options. (See similar Q+A below for a more detailed answer)

Q: I've never upgraded firmware / a router before. Should I start with this one?
A: Probably not. It's more complex than most due to T-Mobile locking it down preventing 'simple' upgrades to alternate firmware. (See similar Q+A below for a more detailed answer)

==================================================================================================================

Q: What makes this so slick of a deal?
A: Even though it is 3 years old, the router is currently rated the #1 AC1900 router [N600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC1300 Mbps (5.0 GHz) speeds] available on at least one dedicated networking site review. The identical official ASUS router runs around $130, so this is less than half the price.

Q: What is missing with T-Mobile firmware? Can I use without flashing to ASUS/Merlin?
A: With stock T-Mobile firmware, you have default/forced Quality of service (QoS) optimized for T-Mobile and perhaps other carrier Wi-Fi calling. It is very stable and the performance is great. But you cannot use it as a repeater. (edit: port forwarding definitely works on T-Mobile stock firmware). If you need these features, you must flash other firmware.

Q: What's the difference between this and a N / 2.4 GHz router?
A: This router has 5GHz band which delivers much higher throughput, and less interference in WiFi crowded areas (apartments, tight housing area) since 5 GHz band has 23 non-overlapping channels (for comparison 2.4 GHz band has only 3).

Q: Why do I have horrible range on 5 GHz? Why is my 2.4 GHz network so slow? Is this router bad?
A: This happens to ALL 5GHz routers. The higher the frequency, the less it can penetrate solid objects such as walls, floors, carpet, furniture, TV's. Place your router in different locations [routerguide.net], and adjust the antenna orientation [macobserver.com].
2.4 GHz travels farther and through solid objects better, but is slower and gets a lot more interference from other routers and devices (remote control toys, microwaves, wireless speakers, baby monitors, etc..). If you have trouble with 2.4 GHz band, use tools like inSSIDer (Windows) or WiFi Analyzer (Android [google.com]) to find the least congested channel in your area. Stick to one of the three non-overlapping channels (1, 6 or 11) [metageek.com].

Q: My device only sees the 2.4 GHz SSID! Where is the 5 GHz AC?
A: Assuming 5GHz is still enabled in the Asus router (should have an indicator light), the client device probably does not have the right antenna + chipset to see or use 5GHz -- supporting only the older 2.4GHz standard. Many notebooks can have the WiFi module replaced with an upgraded card, but you'd want to research that particular model to make sure the antenna configuration supports 5GHz. Upgrade the wireless network card in your device or upgrade your device. Intel or NetGear cards run about $10-$20 on eBay and can sometimes upgrade a cheap laptop that only supported one band to others or upgrade from slower AC to faster AC. It's not just the router, it's the router + device that lets you get a certain level of speed.
Note: some devices can only connect to certain channels in 5GHz band so experiment with channels starting from 36 up to 165.

Q: Can I use this router with my current modem?
A: Yes. But make sure to turn off the modem routing functionality (if any) by switching it to "Bridge mode" to avoid conflicts [netgear.com].

Q: Can I reuse my old router to fill in Wi-Fi dead zones in my house/apt?
A: Yes. You can set it up as an Access Point (AP) per this guide [labnol.org].

Q: My T-Mobile order states that I'm receiving an ASKEY router. Isn't it supposed to be ASUS?
A: Askey is a subsidiary of ASUS. Everyone is receiving a T-Mobile branded ASUS RT-AC68U router.

Q: Mine worked for a few days now can't work even a few feet from the unit on one or both bands
A: You likely have a hardware failure especially if you've tried different settings, different devices and different firmware. Initiate a return or exchange. (Only a handful have experienced this and some have on other brands of routers too)

Q: Why do I need to worry about flashing this?
A: You don't. For many people the T-Mobile firmware will work fine. However it is known to have issues with certain functions in recent builds breaking compatibility with some devices (Xbox online gaming) and may be lacking in recent security fixes (hackers attacking the router itself not your computer). For those reasons it's suggested to consider going to the official ASUS firmware at a minimum, Merlin optionally or the many other open source ones listed below if you feel you are a power user and want extra functionality and tweaking ability.

Q: Why is it so hard to flash this unit? I've put open source firmware on other routers before in under 5 clicks/5 minutes..
A: The T-Mobile firmware disabled the emergency bootloader. That prevents you from putting any other firmware on it. Therefore the vast majority of the steps are about replacing the bootloader with an open one and increasing the size of the storage partition to accommodate newer firmware. Once you are through this part, putting other firmware on is going to be no different than any other router.

Q: Can you give a summary of what is being done by all of the steps documented below and throughout the thread by various people?
A: Sure:

1) Replace the bootloader with the one from a regular RT-AC68U. The purpose is to allow flashing other firmware.
* This involves cloning the hardware information from your current bootloader into the one being flashed. It requires running commands directly on your router and copying files to it's file system.

2) Flash a specific version of the official ASUS firmware (376.3626)
* This will increase the partition size from 32 to 64 MB which allows you to subsequently upload any newer version.
* You will need to enter recovery mode first: holding down the reset button while powering on and continuing to hold it until the firmware is uploaded by the emergency recovery page.

3) Wipe all NVRAM settings. This clears out stale data from all firmware that has been on the device before.
* Turn off the router, hold down the WPS button while turning it on and keep holding it for about 15 seconds after power up, then reboot again.

4) Flash to a preferred firmware.
* If official ASUS or Merlin, can be done directly from the router's upgrade page.
* If alternate such as OpenWRT, DD-WRT, Tomato (any flavor), then you must use the recovery mode.

5) Wipe all NVRAM settings again.

==================================================================================================

This TM-AC1900 router is one of the few routers that supports most major 3rd party firmware. It can be flashed over to a ASUS RT-AC68U to support the following 3rd party firmware:

Official ASUS [asus.com]
ASUS Merlin [lostrealm.ca]
John's Merlin Fork [snbforums.com]
Tomato by Shibby [groov.pl]
Advanced Tomato [advancedtomato.com]
DD-WRT [dd-wrt.com]
Open-WRT [openwrt.org] There is NO open source driver for Broadcom WiFi [openwrt.org] so Open-WRT cannot support Wi-Fi functionality at all.

DO NOT flash if you do not have the need to do so. This router will works FINE out of the box for the average person using stock T-Mobile firmware.
Note that there is a chance of bricking the router if you do not follow the CFE changing instructions properly.


VERY BASIC OUTLINE OF THE PROCESS

1) You will need to enable telnet or SSH on the router in order to send it commands. You probably can't enable them immediately on the firmware version it comes with. So you have the option of reverting to earlier firmware which lets you enable telnet or updating to the newest T-Mobile firmware which lets you enable SSH. (There is also a "quick trick" to enable telnet by editing HTML but it doesn't work on some versions trick [snbforums.com].) You will also need to copy files between router and PC, which can be done with a USB flash drive (explained in the telnet based instructions) or without a flash drive using the network connection with WinSCP (explained in the SSH based instructions).

2) Telnet or SSH into the router and extract a copy of your router's CFE bootloader. Download a copy of the Asus CFE bootloader (recommended version 1.0.2.0). (The crossed out portion is no longer necessary if using the online tool CFEditor for next step)

3) Upload your router's CFE bootloader to https://cfeditor.pipeline.sh to generate a customized Asus CFE bootloader containing your router's MAC addresses and secret code (new method - added 12/11/2016). Use a hex editor or the CFE.exe utility to insert the MAC addresses and secret code from your router's CFE bootloader into the Asus CFE bootloader.

4) Use mtd-write to flash the now customized Asus CFE bootloader to your router. (Note there are 2 versions of mtd-write (v2 & v3) with slightly different syntax.)

5) Flash your choice of firmware using the Asus Restore Utility or MiniCFE web interface, generally choosing to first flash Asus firmware 376.3626 because it expands the rootfs partition from 32MB to 64MB and this is a prerequisite for many firmware.

DETAILED FLASHING INSTRUCTIONS

--- User Bootymonger's instructions using SSH and WinSCP - LINK.
--> Additional steps using some ASUS software (sushiserv) - LINK

--- User Stratuscaster's instructions (updated 12/28/2016). Based on Bootymonger's steps, but in more detail - LINK

--- User jasonbuechler's screen recordings and instructions (updated 12/23/2016). Sorta based on Stratuscaster's and munchy_cool's guides. (OS X + no USB + no hex editing + no new apps) - LINK

--- User Engineer's instructions using Telnet and a USB flash drive (use next link to enable telnet first) - LINK.

--- Old thread with telnet instructions in Wiki - LINK.

--- munchy_cool wrote an OS X CFE guide (thanks munchy_cool): https://mega.nz/#!rUdSDbRK!dmbnhk...KhLU1UMAhA

--- Step-by-step video using Windows 10 and Telnet. Check comments if your T-Mobile CellSpot is on 3.0.0.4.376_3169. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_giMfTYIzI
Note 1: In the video the person doesn't transfer/copy over the WPS "secret" code, so don't forget to do that. Same process as transferring/copying mac except you search for "secret" which should be the WPS code on the back of the router.
Note 2: It's safer and faster to use the "cfe.exe" file which transfers the MAC addresses for you.

--- Another (original but outdated) guide by JSquare here: https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=71097168&postcount=2814

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR FLASHING OPERATIONS

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 (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

Different logins might be needed depending on FW
Default T-mobile Router IP is 192.168.29.1
Default Asus Router IP is 192.168.1.1
admin/admin; admin/password; root/admin

Different versions of mtd-write require different commands:
mtd-write version 2: ./mtd-write -i new_cfe.bin -d boot
mtd-write version 3: ./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot

If you get a permission denied error when running mtd-write, run the following command and try again:
chmod u+x mtd-write

Link to CFE.exe utility which will copy and paste the MAC address and WPS code for you
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=89204367&postcount=5698

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To check your order status, click the "View Order" link in the top right of your email, or use:
https://explore.t-mobile.com/order-status
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WARNING:
If you are planning to use USB 3.0 device simultaneously with 2.4ghz devices keep in mind your range and speed may be reduced due to interference.
Reference below whitepaper from Intel for more details.
USB 3.0* Radio Frequency Interference on 2.4 GHz Devices
http://www.intel.com/content/www/...paper.html

Overclocking Information
This router can be easily overclocked if you are using Asuswrt-Merlin. I think it can be done with TomatoUSB and other custom firmwares.

Step 1. Log into router via SSH

Step 2. get current clock settings (for your information only)
command: nvram get clkfreq

This will return two numbers. These are cpu clock freq and ram clock freq. Default is 800 for CPU and 666 for RAM.

Step 3. Set overclocked values
command: nvram set clkfreq=x,y

x is CPU freq: I went in steps to 1000, 1200, 1400. I hit instability like lost connections, reboot etc at 1400. I am running stable at 1200.

y is RAM freq: If you have upgraded the CFE during the unlock process, you should be able to go to 800 MHz

Step 4: Commit to nvram
command: nvram commit && reboot

Step 5: Login back into router after reboot and check clk settings as described in Step 2.

Heat warning:
For those noting that the CPU and power amps are running hot -- they do, a lot hotter than most smaller routers. The fix that can drop the CPU temp by 60*F (190* to 130*) and the amps by 25*F (130* to 105*) is to plug in a USB fan meant for cooling laptops and place it against the back of the router. See this post for an image showing the reduction in temps in just 10-20 minutes: https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=93212632&postcount=3657

If you chose to overclock pay attention to the change in temperatures and compensate accordingly.

Note: Its temperature is perfectly normal so don't worry too much about the slightly high temperature!

No MU-MIMO support! (Note it's not just the router that needs MU-MIMO support, but the client needs it as well. While there are quite a few routers that support MU-MIMO, there are few client devices that currently implement the technology.)

Fine-prints on back of the router:
Property of T-Mobile USA, Inc. Not For Resale

5,723 Comments

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Featured Comments

My suggestions to simplify the guides...

General Information:
Default T-mobile Router IP is 192.168.29.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is password

Once you switch to ASUS CFE and firmware
Default ASUS Router IP is 192.168.1.1
Default Username is admin
Default Password is admin


#1 YOU DON'T NEED TELNET (if you let the router update itself to 3.0.0.4.376_3169 it includes SSH, so no need to downgrade firmware or play with html)

Web interface Administration -> System -> Enable SSH (then Apply)

Telnet is just an insecure version of ssh. Use ssh to log into the router.

How to use SSH with your Asus Router:

Log into your router's web interface as usual (web browser to 192.168.29.1 if you are on T-mobile firmware or 192.168.1.1 if you are on Asus firmware, both assuming you haven't changed the default IP).

Once in web interface click Administration on lower left and then the System tab toward the top. One option should be to enable SSH. Set that to yes or on and press Apply at the bottom.

Run putty.exe to open an ssh terminal. Get putty.exe here:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk...nload.html

Run putty.exe, type the IP of your router, username admin, password is password, admin, or whatever you changed it to. You are now logged into the router and have terminal access without needing telnet. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.


#2 YOU DON'T NEED A USB STICK TO GET FILES ON OR OFF YOUR ROUTER
You can copy files back and forth to the router with a simple drag and drop interface with WinSCP, a windows GUI for the secure copy command, scp.

Download and run WinSCP from here:
https://winscp.net/eng/download.php

When you open WinSCP, it will have a setting at the top for File Protocol. Set this away from SFTP and switch it to SCP. Type your router's IP into the Host name box. It will ask username and password. It may ask you about storing a host key, you can say yes or no, it doesn't matter.

You now have drag and drop access to your router. It defaults to the /tmp/home/root, which is perfect for us.

#3 YOU DON'T NEED TO UNPLUG THE ROUTER
There is a power switch button on the back of the router. It's easy to use with one hand and saves you the hassle of unplugging and replugging the power adapter. The reset button, which requires a pen or some poking tool, is a little above this power button. To reboot router, press power button once to turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, then press it again to power it on.

#4 YOU DON'T NEED A HEX EDITOR
As is pointed out in Engineer's guide, there's a cfe.exe which copies the MAC addresses for you, and you can use his provided grep commands the verify the correctness. You don't need to use a hex editor to do this.

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

I had used the router for a few days with T-mobile firmware and had allowed it to upgrade to 3.0.0.4.376_3169. Since I used SSH instead of telnet, allowing this T-mobile firmware update didn't end up being a bad thing or adding any hassle. In other words, don't worry about connecting the router to the internet or upgrading it when you get it if you want to try the T-mobile firmware.

Here are my shortened/simplified instructions from whatever T-mobile firmware you have (if you are on older firmware than 3.0.0.4.376_3169 that has Telnet, you can use that instead of SSH, but if you are on firmware that doesn't have SSH or Telnet, you can use the Web Interface to allow the router to update itself to 3.0.0.4.376_3169, which has SSH, before you continue).

1. Enable SSH in the Web interface
Administration -> System -> Enable SSH

2. Download and run Putty.exe and WinSCP.exe to log into your router from both programs.

3. Slightly modified version from Engineer's excellent guide:
https://slickdeals.net/forums/showpost.php?p=73690012&postcount=3895
- From Putty type:
cat /dev/mtd0 > original_cfe.bin
- From WinSCP click refresh on right side and see that original_cfe.bin has now appeared
- Make New Folder on your PC (left side of WinSCP) and drag original_cfe.bin from right side to left side (from router to the new empty folder on your PC)
- Download ASUS CFE 1.0.2.0:
https://mega.nz/#!IxZTAbDZ!Rardt8...tByYIvWYgY
- Unrar that file into the same New Folder as original_cfe.bin
(If you don't already have WinRAR, get that here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm)
-Rename that CFE file from rt-ac68u_1.0.2.0_us.bin to new_cfe.bin (right click, rename)
-Download cfe.exe and unrar into your New Folder on your PC.
https://mega.nz/#!9kZjGS6C!tTOddF...uCshw0qx-Q
-On your PC, use the normal windows explorer folder browser (not WinSCP) to navigate to your New Folder that contains these three files (original_cfe.bin, new_cfe.bin, and cfe.exe).
-Double click cfe.exe. Say yes you trust it to run.
-If it worked, a new_cfe.bin.bak file will appear. You don't need this file, but it shows cfe.exe did something.
-In WinSCP, drag new_cfe.bin in the left window (your New Folder) to the right window (your router).
**************************IMPORTANT CHECK*************************
-In Putty, check that cfe.exe worked and you copied things correctly by typing (copy here, right click in Putty to paste, then press Enter):
grep mac ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
grep secret ./original_cfe.bin ./new_cfe.bin
(again, if the results don't match, STOP and recheck your work).
***************************************************************************

**********IMPORTANT (while you still have internet access)***********
-Download this ASUS firmware version 376.3626 and save it on your PC for later:
http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/...763626.zip

It's important that you have that exact firmware version downloaded before you disconnect from the internet. It will expand your rootfs partition from 32MB to 64MB to allow for modern firmware. You can unzip it into your New Folder or an easy to find place like your desktop. The file is named FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx after you unzip it.

----- Begin Optional/Educational ------

In Putty, you can check your current partition size using the command:
df -h

If you have a 32MB partition, jffs will also be around 32MB. If you have upgraded to 64MB, jffs will show something closer to 64MB.

Example of 32MB partition with T-mobile firmware:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 13.9M 13.9M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 256.0K 124.6M 0% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock6 30.8M 1.1M 29.7M 3% /jffs
/dev/mtdblock7 1.3M 388.0K 892.0K 30% /T-Mobile

Example with 64MB partition after updating to Asus firmware (which we will do later):
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root 37.0M 37.0M 0 100% /
devtmpfs 124.8M 0 124.8M 0% /dev
tmpfs 124.9M 1.3M 123.6M 1% /tmp
/dev/mtdblock4 62.8M 1.7M 61.0M 3% /jffs


You can check your CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

With the T-mobile firmware that I allowed to upgrade, the output looked like:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
2.1.2.6

After I completed the switch to the ASUS CFE, the output looks like:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get bl_version
1.0.2.0


You can check your hardware revision by typing:
nvram get HW_ver

Mine is hardware revision 1.7 as shown by this output:
admin@(none):/# nvram get HW_ver
170

You can check your router's CPU and RAM speed by typing:
nvram get clkfreq

Mine is the default 800MHz CPU and 666MHz RAM as shown in this output:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# nvram get clkfreq
800,666

------- End Optional/Educational ------

-Download the CFE flashing utility:
https://mega.nz/#!RxhHxY6C!VYkscS...ZLpdb_SVSk
-Unrar mtd-write and use WinSCP to copy it onto your router (the right WinSCP window).
-In Putty, test if you have everything you need by typing:
ls -l (that's LS -L but in lower case)

Output should look like this showing the three files:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ls -l
-rwxr--r-- 1 admin root 523364 Nov 4 2014 mtd-write
-rw-r--r-- 1 admin root 231923 Nov 27 14:32 new_cfe.bin
-rw-rw-rw- 1 admin root 524288 Nov 27 11:20 original_cfe.bin

-See if mtd-write will work by typing:
./mtd-write

Output should be:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part

You will probably get permission denied like this:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
-sh: ./mtd-write: Permission denied

You just need to type this:
chmod u+x mtd-write (this will make the file executable)

If you get an error about not found like this:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# mtd-write
-sh: mtd-write: not found

You need to make sure the ./ is in front when you type ./mtd-write

So, if your output is like this, you are ready to use the command to update your CFE:
admin@(none):/tmp/home/root# ./mtd-write
Usage: ./mtd-write -i file -d part


-Actually write the ASUS CFE version and overwrite the T-mobile one by typing:
./mtd-write new_cfe.bin boot

-Reboot the router by typing:
reboot

WinSCP and Putty will lose connection. You can close WinSCP since you are done with that. You should also close putty because it will be unresponsive.

-After router is done booting (a minute or two) SSH into router and check CFE version by typing:
nvram get bl_version

If I remember correctly, it already displayed 1.0.2.0 at this point in the process.

-Reset NVRAM by the hardware method:
Power router off using power button on the back
Wait 10 seconds
Press and hold the WPS button
Power the router back on while continuing to hold the WPS button for 15-20 seconds

For me, at this point having uploaded and installed the ASUS CFE version 1.0.2.0 and reset the NVRAM, the router's IP switched by itself from 192.168.29.1 to 192.168.1.1. This was a bit of guess and check over several tries because the guides didn't work until I realized this. So, for me, the next set was to enter recovery mode as follows:

*** Enter Recovery Mode to install stock Asus firmware 376.3626 that you downloaded before ***
-Set PC's IP address to static 192.168.1.2 (not sure if this is needed, but oh well)
-Unplug all other ethernet cables except the one to your PC which is in yellow port 1 (again, not sure if this ended up mattering but I did it)
-Turn off router with power button
-In a browser (I can't remember it only worked with IE or also other browsers) type 192.168.1.1 and watch it spin to look for it
-Press and hold reset button with pen
-Power on router with power button
-Continue to hold reset button for 20-30 seconds
-If you win, a Mini-CFE web page will appear in your web browser (if you can't get into the Mini-CFE, try to ping 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.29.1 to see which one your router is using then keep trying Smilie
-Once it works, use the Mini-CFE web page to install FW_RT_AC68U_30043763626.trx

-After it installs and reboots itself, you are free to log into 192.168.1.1 with admin/admin and do whatever you want for other firmware. Your jffs should now be around 64MB (see above to check), so any firmware will work. I let the web interface update me to stock Asus 3.0.0.4.380_4118. I'll probably go Merlin soon.

Thanks to Engineer and others for the guides. I just thought I'd share/update with my experience to give others hope and motivation to try as well. The newer Asus firmware has several other new features over the newest T-mobile firmware and also works with the Asus Router app: https://www.asus.com/asus-router-app/

Good luck!
32 Helpful?
The AC1900 from T-Mobile is a rebranded Asus RT-AC68U (or RT-AC68R if buying from Best Buy). It has a custom firmware load that prioritizes WiFi calling, but that can be replaced with the standard firmware or other custom firmware.

FYI, it will show $5.99 for standard shipping when you add it to cart, but that goes away when you are on the final checkout page.
12 Helpful?
WOW awesome deal.

I have this router it is AMAZING!!!
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11-14-2016 at 08:28 AM
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#5
It's back!

T-Mobile has ASUS TM-AC1900 Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router (Rebranded RT-AC68U) on sale for $99- $40 off with promo code WIFI40= $59. Shipping is free.

Link: http://www.t-mobile.com/accessori...outer.html

These sell out fast - so don't wait! Last time it was this price it was FP

Link to previous deal (with extensive WIKI for flashing)
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#6
WOW awesome deal.

I have this router it is AMAZING!!!
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#7
Does anyone have amazon link of this same router ? Want to check model# and more description.

Is this the same one selling for $153 on amazon ? I am planning to buy Netgear R6400 (AC1750) or R7000 (AC1900) this blackfriday ? Better to get this instead ?
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Last edited by rak007 November 14, 2016 at 08:38 AM.
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#8
Quote from rak007
:
Does anyone have amazon link of this same router ? Want to check model# and more description.

Is this the same one selling for $153 on amazon ? I am planning to buy Netgear R6400 (AC1750) or R7000 (AC1900) this blackfriday ? Better to get this instead ?
https://slickdeals.net/f/8680195-t-mobile-wifi-cellspot-ac-router-asus-rt-ac68u-99-for-non-t-mobile-customers-free-shipping
Quote from rak007
:
Does anyone have amazon link of this same router ? Want to check model# and more description.

Is this the same one selling for $153 on amazon ? I am planning to buy Netgear R6400 (AC1750) or R7000 (AC1900) this blackfriday ? Better to get this instead ?
http://www.amazon.com/RT-AC68U-Wi...B00FB45SI4
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#9
How to get free shipping? its trying to charge me for shipping...

Edit: NM, it drops off at last checkout window.
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Last edited by EffinAhole November 14, 2016 at 08:46 AM.
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#10
I bought it for $80 last week...
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#11
Quote from rak007
:
Does anyone have amazon link of this same router ? Want to check model# and more description.

Is this the same one selling for $153 on amazon ? I am planning to buy Netgear R6400 (AC1750) or R7000 (AC1900) this blackfriday ? Better to get this instead ?
The AC1900 from T-Mobile is a rebranded Asus RT-AC68U (or RT-AC68R if buying from Best Buy). It has a custom firmware load that prioritizes WiFi calling, but that can be replaced with the standard firmware or other custom firmware.

FYI, it will show $5.99 for standard shipping when you add it to cart, but that goes away when you are on the final checkout page.
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#12
Quote from falleng0d
:
How to get free shipping? its trying to charge me for shipping...
It'll go away as your proceed through checkout.
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#13
Quote from PhilipJ
:
It'll go away as your proceed through checkout.
Ya I figured it out lol. : /
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#14
Is this router better than the Linksys WRT1900ACS? I'm thinking about picking up the Linksys.
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#15
Can you buy it without being a T Mobile Customer.
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