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The Mercury MAC1200R (TPLINK WR6300) is one of the cheapest AC based routers on the planet, as I have a few AC devices I thought I’d buy one to try out. They’re available for under RMB120 or so online.

Mercury hardware is TPLink hardware, albeit using a different name. Same stuff, same factory, different casing.

The router has 64M ram, and 8M flash. CPU / Wifi AR9344 / QCA9882

OpenWRT says it has support, so I had a quick go at taking a look at flashing one.

First steps:

Open up the unit (remove the 2 screws underneath, then use a spare credit card or similar to jam open the plastic case).

The serial headers are to the right of the SoC.
You’ll need a rs232 to ttl or usb to ttl adaptor.

pl2303

gnd, tx, rx

Pin 1 is GND
Pin 2 is TX (connect to rx)
Pin 3 is RX (connect to tx)
Pin 4 is VCC (don’t connect).

Port speeds are 115200,8,n,1

Connect up, and you should see a flurry of activity on boot.

To get into the bootloader (uBoot), you’ll need to type tpl
May take a few tries, so prepare to pull power and retry again, and again till you get in.

uboot

You’ll need a TFTPD server running on 192.168.1.100 to push files over. My Mac no haz ethernet (and Thunderbolt to Ethernet is crud), so I use my venerable X40 and tftpd software.

Firmware is up here. (Or you can compile your own) -> http://pan.baidu.com/s/1hqkVOfa

Firmware locations in flash (see below)
printenv
bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 root=31:02 rootfstype=jffs2 init=/sbin/init mtdparts=ath-nor0:256k(u-boot),64k(u-boot-env),6336k(rootfs),1408k(uImage),64k(mib0),64k(ART)
bootcmd=bootm 0x9f020000
bootdelay=1
baudrate=115200
ethaddr=0xba:0xbe:0xfa:0xce:0x08:0x41
ipaddr=192.168.1.111
serverip=192.168.1.100
dir=
lu=tftp 0x80060000 ${dir}u-boot.bin&&erase 0x9f000000 +$filesize&&cp.b $fileaddr 0x9f000000 $filesize
lf=tftp 0x80060000 ${dir}db12x${bc}-jffs2&&erase 0x9f050000 +0x630000&&cp.b $fileaddr 0x9f050000 $filesize
lk=tftp 0x80060000 ${dir}vmlinux${bc}.lzma.uImage&&erase 0x9f680000 +$filesize&&cp.b $fileaddr 0x9f680000 $filesize
stdin=serial
stdout=serial
stderr=serial
ethact=eth0

Environment size: 686/65532 bytes

Upload to the uBoot

U-Boot 1.1.4--LSDK-10.1.389 (Apr 9 2014 - 15:23:02)

U-Boot DB120
Wasp 1.2

DRAM: 64 MB
Flash Manuf Id 0xef, DeviceId0 0x40, DeviceId1 0x17
flash size 8MB, sector count = 128
Flash: 8 MB
Using default environment

In: serial
Out: serial
Err: serial
Net: ag934x_enet_initialize...
No valid address in Flash. Using fixed address
No valid address in Flash. Using fixed address
wasp reset mask:c02200
WASP ----> S27 PHY
s27 reg init
: cfg1 0x80000000 cfg2 0x7114
eth0: ba:be:fa:ce:08:41
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_CONTROL 4 :1000
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_SPEC_STAUS 4 :10
eth0 up
WASP ----> S27 PHY
s27 reg init lan
ATHRS27: resetting s27
ATHRS27: s27 reset done
: cfg1 0x800c0000 cfg2 0x7214
eth1: ba:be:fa:ce:08:41
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_CONTROL 0 :1000
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_SPEC_STAUS 0 :10
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_CONTROL 1 :1000
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_SPEC_STAUS 1 :10
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_CONTROL 2 :1000
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_SPEC_STAUS 2 :10
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_CONTROL 3 :1000
athrs27_phy_setup ATHR_PHY_SPEC_STAUS 3 :10
eth1 up
eth0, eth1
Setting 0xb8116290 to 0x30602d0f
Autobooting in 1 seconds
db12x>

db12x> tftpboot 0x81000000 image.bin
eth1 link down
enet0 port4 up
dup 1 speed 100
Using eth0 device
TFTP from server 192.168.1.100; our IP address is 192.168.1.111
Filename 'image.bin'.
Load address: 0x81000000
Loading: #################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
#################################################################
##############################
done
Bytes transferred = 3145732 (300004 hex)
db12x> erase 0x9f020000 +0x3c0000
Erasing flash... ............................................................
Erased 60 sectors
db12x> cp.b 0x81000000 0x9f020000 0x3c0000
Copy to Flash... ............................................................done
db12x> bootm 9f020000

It should boot into OpenWRT, you can flash from there.


...[long kernel bootlogs redacted]

- init complete -

BusyBox v1.22.1 (2014-12-15 18:46:26 CST) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

_______ ________ __
| |.-----.-----.-----.| | | |.----.| |_
| - || _ | -__| || | | || _|| _|
|_______|| __|_____|__|__||________||__| |____|
|__| W I R E L E S S F R E E D O M
-----------------------------------------------------
BARRIER BREAKER (14.07, r42625)
-----------------------------------------------------
* 1/2 oz Galliano Pour all ingredients into
* 4 oz cold Coffee an irish coffee mug filled
* 1 1/2 oz Dark Rum with crushed ice. Stir.
* 2 tsp. Creme de Cacao
-----------------------------------------------------

cat /proc/mtd
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00020000 00010000 "u-boot"
mtd1: 0010206c 00010000 "kernel"
mtd2: 006cdf94 00010000 "rootfs"
mtd3: 004d0000 00010000 "rootfs_data"
mtd4: 00010000 00010000 "art"
mtd5: 007d0000 00010000 "firmware"

I highly recommend replacing the bootloader with an unlocked one.
i.e. this one – https://github.com/pepe2k/u-boot_mod

Bootloader sits at 0x9f000000 and is 64kb in size.
Suggest load in ram at 0x80060000 like they do, and flash from there.

eg from the bootloader –

tfpboot 0x80060000 uboot.bin
erase 0x9f000000 +0x20000
cp.b 0x80060000 0x9f000000 0x20000

Pray that it didn’t mess up (or you need an spi flasher…), and reboot!

Other bits n bobs –

You’ll need to adjust the opkg.conf file

ssh into the router @ 192.168.1.1 / root / root

mv /etc/opkg.conf /etc/opkg.conf.orig

echo 'dest root /
dest ram /tmp
lists_dir ext /var/opkg-lists
option overlay_root /overlay
src/gz barrier_breaker_base http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/base
src/gz barrier_breaker_management http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/management
src/gz barrier_breaker_oldpackages http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/oldpackages
src/gz barrier_breaker_packages http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/packages
src/gz barrier_breaker_routing http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/routing
src/gz barrier_breaker_telephony http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/telephony
src/gz barrier_breaker_luci http://downloads.openwrt.org/barrier_breaker/14.07/ar71xx/generic/packages/luci

#src/gz barrier_breaker_base http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/base
#src/gz barrier_breaker_management http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/management
#src/gz barrier_breaker_oldpackages http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/oldpackages
#src/gz barrier_breaker_packages http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/packages
#src/gz barrier_breaker_routing http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/routing
#src/gz barrier_breaker_telephony http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/ar71xx/packages/telephony' >> /etc/opkg.conf

…and install Luci (the openwrt webui)

opkg update
opkg install luci

You should be able to visit http://192.168.1.1 and start changing settings.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.32.24 AM

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.32.34 AM

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While it is the season to be jolly, its also apparently the season for us to move datacenters!

Our network provider has told us (on rather short notice!) that we need to vacate our current datacentre, and move to a newer larger centre. Its not all bad news though, as it means a chance to refresh equipment, and upgrade services.

We’ll be moving equipment to a newer Shanghai Telecom datacenter in Waigaoqiao on Saturday 27th December. Most of the work has already been done as we’ve setup new equipment for servers, and tested migrating some clients already.

Moving servers does mean we will incur some downtime for some clients on Saturday though.
We will need to change DNS records for you to point to the new location, and migrate some data to new servers.

We anticipate this taking a few hours.

Please bear with us while we migrate services on Saturday 27th December.

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