ASUS WL-500g Deluxe

The router is sometimes called Asus WL-500GX or Asus WL-500g Deluxe V. An evolution of the previous WL-500g superseded by the WL-500g Premium.

Supported Versions

There is a single hardware release. It's fully supported in White Russian (starting at least in RC4) and in Kamikaze 7.09-8.09 using the brcm-2.4 target. Starting from BackFire 10.03, it works with the brcm47xx target (2.6/3.x kernel and free b43 driver), however, wifi may be slow and unstable depending on your firmware version (see forum).

Hardware Highlights

CPU Ram Flash Network USB Serial JTag
Broadcom 5365 32MB 4MB 4 + 1 10/100 Mb/s 2 x 2.0 Yes No

Installation

This is a standard brcm47xx unit, so the usual Broadcom/WRT54GL procedure applies.

The boot_wait NVRAM variable is on by default.
Resetting to factory defaults via reset button or mtd erase nvram is safe on this unit.

The default IP address of this unit (and its bootloader) is 192.168.1.1

OEM easy installation

The standard openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx (2.4) or openwrt-brcm47xx-squashfs.trx (2.6) images can be loaded directly from the web interface of the original firmware.

OEM installation using the TFTP method

Enable Failure Mode: The WL-500gD has four LEDs on the front (named LAN1 through LAN4). If you press and hold the reset button, so that it's pressed during power-up, these four LEDs become alight right from the power-up. Now pay attention: some two/three seconds after power-up, these four LEDs turn dark. Release the reset button immediately when you observe this. The router should revert to the "Failure mode". Within a few seconds the PWR LED starts flashing slowly (once second on, one second off). If you keep the button pressed, the Failure mode might not activate.

This also happens automatically if the bootloader finds a corrupted firmware.

You should be able to ping the unit:

ping 192.168.1.1

(192.168.1.1 is the default used by the bootloader. If you changed the LAN ip using the original firmware or OpenWrt White Russian, try that address instead).

:!: If you can’t ping the unit retry enabling Failure Mode, even if the LED is blinking it sometimes does not respond. Turn it off and then on first. You can even do a factory reset.

Send image with TFTP:

tftp 192.168.1.1
tftp> binary
tftp> trace
tftp> put openwrt-xxx-x.x-xxx.trx

After this, wait for the PWR LED to stop flashing and the device to reboot and you should be set. If the automatic reboot doesn't work, wait 3-4 minutes and toggle the power.

ASUS firmware recovery

You can use the ASUS Firmware Restoration tool to send an image from a Windows PC to the router (including OpenWrt). The tool is on the supplied CD or available from the ASUS web site (For the WL-HDD: Go to www.asus.com, click on Download, search for WL-HDD, click on Utilities and download the program in the language of your choice. Part of the program is the Firmware Restoration tool)

:!: Before you start the Firmware Restoration tool, disable all interfaces on the PC except for the one connected to the Router. The software seems to pick an interface at random.

Put the Router into Failure Mode and start the Firmware Restoration program. Select the desired firmware and click on Upload. The software will search for the router - the status is Connect to the wireless device, it will do this for about 32 seconds.

:!: The software will only find the router if it is in recovery mode.

The tool provides status as it works:

  • Uploading (LAN interface LED blinks during transfer)
  • Recovery is in progress
  • Success

After this, you should be able to connect to the Router.

Upgrading OpenWRT

If you have already installed OpenWrt and like to reflash for e.g. upgrading to a new OpenWrt version you can upgrade using the mtd command line tool. It is important that you put the firmware image into the ramdisk (/tmp) before you start flashing.

LuCI Web Upgrade Process
Terminal Upgrade Process
  • Login as root via SSH on 192.168.1.1
  • Use the following commands to upgrade:
    cd /tmp/
    wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/brcm47xx/openwrt-brcm47xx-squashfs.trx
    mtd -r write /tmp/openwrt-brcm47xx-squashfs.trx linux

Hardware

Info

Architecture: MIPS (little endian)
Vendor: Broadcom
Bootloader: CFE
System-On-Chip: Broadcom 5365
CPU: BCM3302 V0.7
CPU Speed: 200 Mhz
Flash-Chip: MX 29LV320ABTC-90
Flash size: 4 MiB
RAM-Chip: 2 x Samsung K4S281632F
RAM: 32 MiB
Wireless: Broadcom BCM4306 802.11b/g rev 5
Ethernet: Switch in CPU
USB: 2 x 2.0 (VIA VT6212L)
Serial: Yes, 2
JTAG: No

Photos

Model Number

Front:

Photo of front

Back:

Photo of back

Opening the case

Note: This will void your warranty!

  • To remove the cover simply unscrew four screws located underneath nubs under the case.
  • There are two screws holding the PCB to the bottom cover.

Main PCB

Serial

The WL-500g Deluxe has 2 serial ports. The pinout is marked on the PCB, so they should be pretty easy to find and use. UART0 is used for the terminal, by both the bootloader and OpenWRT. It is configured for 115200 baud using 8N1.
For more info, see http://wl500g.info/showthread.php?t=1993

As with most of the routers supported by OpenWrt, these serial ports work at "CMOS" levels (3.3v), so you'll need an adaptor to use them with the standard PC serial ports. Follow the Serial Console Howto.

JTAG

Unfortunately, this device doesn't have a JTAG port. Be careful not to overwrite the bootloader!

Specific Configuration

Interfaces

The default network configuration is:

Interface Name Description Default configuration
br-lan LAN & WiFi 192.168.1.1/24
vlan0 (eth0.0) LAN ports (1 to 4) None
vlan1 (eth0.1) WAN port DHCP
wl0 WiFi Disabled

Switch Ports (for VLANs)

The switch is configured in /etc/config/switch

On the back of the router, left to right:

Port Switch port
LAN 4 1
LAN 3 2
LAN 2 3
LAN 1 4
Internet (WAN) 0

The default configuration places:

  • ports 4-1 (LAN 1 - LAN 4) in eth0.0 (bridged into br-lan)
  • port 0 (WAN) in eth0.1

Failsafe mode

If you forgot your password, broken one of the startup scripts, firewalled yourself or corrupted the JFFS2 partition, you can get back in by using OpenWrt's failsafe mode.

Boot into failsafe mode

  • Unplug the router's power cord
  • Connect the router's LAN1 port directly to your PC
  • Configure your PC with a static IP address between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.254. E. g. 192.168.1.2 (gateway and DNS is not required)
  • Plug the power on and wait for the PWR LED to switch off
  • While the PWR LED is off immediately press the RESET button a few times
  • If done right the PWR LED goes fast-blinking (about 1 time per second)
  • You should be able to telnet to the router at 192.168.1.1 now (no username and password)

What to do in failsafe mode?

NOTE: The root file system in failsafe mode is the SquashFS partition mounted in readonly mode. To switch to the normal writable root file system run mount_root and make any changes.

  • Forgot/lost your password and you like to set a new one:
    passwd
  • Forgot the routers IP address:
    uci get network.lan.ipaddr
  • You accidentally run ipkg upgrade or filled up the flash by installing to big packages (clean the JFFS2 partition and start over):
    mtd -r erase rootfs_data

If you are done with failsafe mode power cycle the router and boot in normal mode.

Buttons

The WL-500g Deluxe has a single button, named Reset. It can be used at startup to force the bootloader into Failure Mode.

Basic configuration

Hardware mods

Other Info

NVRAM corruption

On this unit there is a (very) small risk of corrupting the NVRAM, usually due to sudden loss of power or voltage fluctuations.

In that case, the bootloader won't be able to initialize the switch and will load the firmware anyway. The kernel won't be able to reset the switch (sometimes even the wireless won't work), so the router will not be reachable by the outside world.

It can be usually diagnosed as the router will operate as a 5-port switch (WAN port included), no WLAN, and absolutely no way to reach the IP address of the router.

Failure mode (or the ASUS Firmware Recovery) won't work. The bootloader will also ignore the reset button.

The only way to debrick the router requires a (3.3V !) serial cable, resetting the NVRAM parameters by hand (if you're lucky and have a 2.4 kernel avaliable, "nvram erase" might do the job).

The ASUS firmware contains an (undocumented?) way to recover from this state: keep the reset button pressed for 30 seconds once the system has completed the boot process and it will reset the NVRAM to its default values.

Sources

This page has been assebled from a number of different pages from the oldwiki. See them for more (possibily outdated) informations.

ASUS WL-500g Deluxe
Flashing ASUS products

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toh/asus/wl500gd.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/16 14:14 by lorema