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Bullet M5 won't flash

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Bullet M5 won't flash

I know the answer is probably in the forums somewhere, and I did search, but it is late and I am probably missing the obvious.

I have a Bullet M5HP that will not take the firmware.  It is running currently running AirOS XM.v6.1.7.
TFTP keeps giving me firmware checksum failed error.
I vaguely remember having issues with this on previous nodes, but it has been long enough that I don't remember what I did to get it to work.

What am I missing?

nc8q's picture
Bullet M5 won't flash
Finally Got it Loaded

This was an interesting jouney.

To recap:  Bullet M5 XM running AirOS 6.3.6 would not take any version of AREDN firmware that I gave it.

Early on in my search, I found this post: when released will be compatible with all versions of the currently released AirOS boot loaders.

I don't know if I have a corner case, but I found this to not be true, as every version I threw at it gave an error.  Reading that post did jog my memory about the  bootloader incompatability issue, and searches at the OpenWRT forum turned up many posts about it.  This gave me confidence that was the issue I was chasing, so I set out to downgrade the firmware.

Post AirOS 6.0.6, this is a difficult task.  After days of searching, I finally stumbled on this:

which led me here:

Here is the AirOS downgrade path I took, which was finally successful:  6.3.6 -> 6.1.7 -> 6.0.6 Beta -> 5.6.15 -> 5.5.10

I probably could have done:  6.3.6 -> 6.0.6 Beta -> 5.5.10.  If I have some time, I will blow it up, load 6.3.6, and try this again, and report my findings.

Also, as a side note: is not happy on the Bullet.  I assume it is related to this OpenWRT issue:
WARNING: On the Bullet M2 xw, OpenWrt 21.02.1 never turns the Ethernet port on. TFTP can be used to revert to OpenWrt 19.07. See

I ended up on

nc8q's picture
I found this post:

The first 3 posts you referenced are 4, 4, and 5 years old.
Those posts are obsolete.
To install current firmware, use current documentation.

The 4th post you referenced is about OpenWRT v21.02something.
I think current AREDN firmware is based on OpenWRT ~19.07.8.
I hope this helps,
You are missing the point.
You are missing the point.

Bullet M5 XM  +  AirOS 6.3.6  +   =  Firmware Check Failed

It does not matter how many times you tell me to follow the new instructions... they still do not work for my particular case.

What DID work was the process I describe above, using the obsolete posts.  That seems odd, does it not?  This is why I posted the steps that were required to get the latest AREDN firmware onto the device.

The reason for my OpenWRT reference is that the lastest AREDN firmware will not run on my device, and I thought the latest firmware was in sync with the latest version of OpenWRT, which is 21.01 something, and which has a known issue with my particular device.  Again, posting my findings in case they help the development of the AREDN firmware.

w6bi's picture
I hope you're not planning on putting a Bullet onto a production network?    The hardware available today cheaply is way better than what's in a Bullet.  And they're not MIMO, so won't play real well on a modern network.

Orv W6BI
The bullets were free, so
The bullets were free, so there is nothing cheaper than that, and they provide a versatile platform for experimentation.

In fact, the reason I was trying to get the AREDN firmware back onto a Bullet, is I used one to prototype a rapid deployment Part 15 access point for a project I am working on for a client.  The specs for this project were a perfect fit for one, and before I sold them on the system, I used mine to A-B OpenWRT and AirOS.

When I was finished, I wanted to flash them back to AREDN.  The node that had OpenWRT on it re-flashed to AREDN without issue, however the node that had the latest AirOS would not, hence the initial reason for my post.

Now they go back into my box of hardware, with all of my other hardware (Rockets, NanoStations, etc.) to wait for the next project.
Final Figured It Out!
I was updating my fleet to, and the same bullet was giving me issues... again!

This was the first time that I noticed it was a different model than the others.

After much MORE searching, I found a post about that suggested using the ar71xx target instead of the ath79.

Well, that was the magic.  It seems that this particular Bullet will take the ath79 target, but it never brings the ethernet port up.

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