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GL AR750 in Nightly Builds

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AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
GL AR750 in Nightly Builds

The GL.iNet AR750 will be in the nightly built images from May 27, 2019.   Thanks to Don KE6BXT for providing the device.  This GL model boasts:

1) dual wireless - 2GHz (802.11n) and 5GHz (802.11ac) same as the hAP ac lite
2) 3 ports are configured:
    - WAN (untagged)
    - LAN (untagged)
    - DtDLink (vlan 2)
3) 128Mb of RAM
4) 16Mb of NOR flash
5) max 23dBm on 2GHz for mesh RF traffic
6) 5v mini-usb power port (thus no POE passthough options)
7) usb port (not configured in AREDN out-of-box)

This is another good travel mesh node.

Please keep an eye out for performance of the GL.iNet devices overall.   We are seeing in the forum and first hand some limitations:

1) wireless may not connect more the a few feet
2) SNR archive charts show noise floor at -85dBm

The cost of these devices is compelling, but these symptoms may be the trade off.  Jury is still out...

Joe AE6XE
 

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
For $7 more you can get the PoE version.

I have a couple of these AR750's laying around, some with PoE built in, some without. The PoE module is your standard 48V (802-3af) version, not the 24V version. But I still find it helpful in many situations.
You can order it directly from GL-iNet w/PoE built into it:
https://store.gl-inet.com/collections/travel-routers/products/gl-ar750-travel-ac-router?variant=4895127076891
 - or- 
You can install your own (into the AR150 or the AR750) here from Amazon:
https://amazon.com/802-3AF-Ethernet-GL-AR150-GL-MT300N-GL-AR750/dp/B07F2L4HCZ/

I hope to get the AR750 worked out as a valid AREDN platform because it has 3 LAN ports (which seems like the perfect amount for most of my implementations), it runs off 5V (or 48V PoE if installed), and its 2.4GHz test point connectors inside are easier change/solder to ufl connectors to install external RP-SMA connectors for external antennas than the hAP-ac-lite. Now, the hAP-ac-lite is higher quality and same price with 2 more LAN ports, but is also twice the size of the AR750 and won't run off 5V.
I still think the hAP-ac-lite is better for the money but the AR750 has some very valid uses that make it unique.

-Damon K9CQB
 

 

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Installing external 2.4GHz on the AR750 Creta

I opened up the GL-AR750 Creta to install external antennas. I removed the test point connectors on the 2.4GHz antenna traces and soldered .ufl (IPEX) connectors in their place. I also do this on most of my MikroTik hAP-ac-lite nodes as well - the AR750 happens to be easier, and unlike the MikroTik, the AR750 5GHz antenna already has a .ufl connector on it (although I didn't mess with it).  
So I drilled 1/4" holes in the case and crammed two .ufl to RP-SMA bulkhead cables into the holes and viola - I have external 2.4GHz antennas.
A quick suggestion, to remove the case you only need to remove 2 screws that are closest the the Ethernet connectors (front) of the device and use a spudger, guitar pick, or knife to pry the top of the lid off the enclosure.

By the way, if you buy the AR750 directly from GL-iNet you can opt to get the better POE adapter built-in.
 
Regular AR750 Creta with no POE on it ($45):
https://store.gl-inet.com/collections/travel-routers/products/gl-ar750-travel-ac-router?variant=3284105429019

AR750 Creta w/48V (af) POE module installed ($52):
https://store.gl-inet.com/collections/travel-routers/products/gl-ar750-travel-ac-router?variant=4895127076891

-Damon K9CQB


 

Image Attachments: 
KM6SLF
KM6SLF's picture
Any chance you can provide

Any chance you can provide the part number of the IPEX/u.fl connectors you used?

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
Here are a few links for buying ufl connectors

Here are some links to purchase IPEX/u.fl connectors that are used to replace the 'nearly same sized' test-point connectors on many of these devices:

https://www.amazon.com/IPX-UFL-Connector-Straight-Goldplated-Shipping/dp/B071JNGHWQ/

https://www.amazon.com/Oiyagai-Solder-Socket-Coaxial-Connector/dp/B085M9NXZM/

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10Pcs-IPX-u-fl-Male-Connector-SMD-SMT-Antenna-Solder-Socket-Mount-Element-Base/233649108216

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-U-FL-IPX-RF-SMD-SMT-Solder-PCB-Mount-Socket-Jack-Female-Connector-Ships-f/232299079806

My advice is to use an Exacto knife to scrape away some of the solder mask around the removed test-point connector and make the footprint a little bigger and easier to solder the ufl connector to. Also use a flux pen to hit the solder surfaces, and you'll appreciate a microscope (even a $20 USB microscope on a monitor/tablet) instead of a magnifying glass. Make sure you've got a decent fine-tip soldering iron that can hit as close to 700 degrees F as possible.

-Damon K9CQB
 

w8erw
w8erw's picture
AR750 Upgrade Error "Incorrect Firmware Format"

The mail delivered a pair of GL-iNET AR750 units this morning from Amazon.  I am seeing an error when I attempt to upgrade the firmware with the current AREDN Nightly Build.  The device reports "Incorrect Firmware Format".  Did I miss something?  These look like great little devices with some limitation on distance.  I am anxious to see what can be done with them.
 
Thanks,
 
Jim
W8ERW

w8erw
w8erw's picture
AR750 Additional

I should have mentioned I have a pair of AR750's, Slate version.  Look like I may have picked up something different than I should have.
 
Jim
W8ERW
 

K9CQB
K9CQB's picture
You need the regular AR750, not the AR750S version

Jim,
I feel bad because I know this was going to happen. You accidentally (although easy to understand) bought the AR750S Slate, not the regular AR750 Creta.
The AR750S is gray and has 2 'fixed' external antennas, one of which combines the 5.8GHz ac antenna with one of the 2.4GHz mimo antennas - not an ideal design for external antennas. Besides being much more expensive at $70, the AR750S chipset isn't the best for AREDN either. 

The CORRECT AR750 is the regular AR750 Creta, which is white in color, only $44, and has all internal antennas (although easy to modify and slap external antennas on it - I will post a tutorial in the future). Here is the proper Amazon link:
https://smile.amazon.com/GL-iNet-GL-AR750-300Mbps-pre-installed-Included/dp/B07712LKJM/

For $9 you can also get a 48V POE module that pops inside the AR750 case with very easy soldering skills:
https://smile.amazon.com/802-3AF-Ethernet-GL-AR150-GL-MT300N-GL-AR750/dp/B07F2L4HCZ/

These AR750 Creta nodes make okay AREDN devices, but at the same price you can get a Mikrotik hAP-ac-lite with 2 extra LAN ports and more reliability.
I have three AR750 Creta AREDN devices because their advantage is that they run off of 5V MicroUSB port or my 48V af-POE power, and their test point connectors on the internal 2.4GHz antennas are much easier to replace with ufl connectors than the hAP-ac-lite, thereby making it easier to affix external RP-SMA antenna connectors. But if forced to choose between the hAP and the AR750, I'll take the hAP.

-Damon K9CQB
 

w8erw
w8erw's picture
AR750 Slate

Aye, I figured as much.  Luckily, I do have another purpose for these slate unit.  I agree, the MikroTik hAP AC lite is a better choice, although I was looking for the ultimate in compactness and as you mentioned, the 5V USB power can be very handy.  
 
Thanks for the response,

Jim
W8ERW  

kg7mkw
Lan ports

Ok I have a mobile setup in my car, and I think i know this answer to this. But with this device I will need it to connect to 2 computers and another node will this work for that with out using a switch?

VK1MIC
2Gh or 5ghz on mesh?

Hi,

I just grabbed a couple of the AR750s, I flashed the nightly firmware on it after checking the hardware matrix confirming it is 5ghz capable.

 installed the firmware but it is only showing a 2ghz mesh option.

Can you confim is it 2 or 5 or both?

Cheers

Wade 
VK1MIC

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
Try the rb-nor-flash-16m-ac

Try the rb-nor-flash-16m-ac image.  the 5GHz radio is 802.11ac and only included in this image.    I don't expect the ports will all work correctly.  Can you upload a support data download file?   I need some information to complete the settings for everything to work.

Joe AE6XE

VK1MIC
I have flashed with the

I have flashed with the current nightly build, and am using it as a way to easily wireless connect to the main M5 using DTD. 

Hopefully, when it is fully integrated into the AREDN line of devices it will be 5Gig mesh capable.

Wade

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
Sorry about that, was running

Sorry about that, was running too fast and crossed images and vendors that doesn't make any sense.  I assume you flashed the ar750s with the gl-ar750 image from nightly build?  It's working, except 5GHz radio?  Can you upload back here a support download file from this device?

Joe AE6XE

 
VK1MIC
Hi Joe,

Hi Joe,

Confirmed I flashed the image as you state above - works as a 2G mesh, and a 5gh AP, ports allowed DTD connection to my other 5G node at home.

Happy to upload any fine you need (noting I am a noobs so need some specifics about what you want to see - I will be home on the 28th, travelling atm).

VK1MIC

nc8q
nc8q's picture
W L D or W D L ?

2) 3 ports are configured:
- WAN (untagged)
- LAN (untagged)
- DtDLink (vlan 2)

Joe:

I just flashed a newly purchased AR750.
Left to Right, my RJ45 jacks function as WAN, DtD, LAN.

If this is an error
http://downloads.arednmesh.org/snapshots/trunk/readme.md
needs updating too. :-|

Thank you for your work.

Chuck

SupportData attached.

/sysinfo
node: NC8Q-AR750
model: GL.iNet GL-AR750

br-lan E4:95:6E:46:D0:B6
eth0 E4:95:6E:45:D0:B6
eth1 E4:95:6E:46:D0:B6
eth1.0 E4:95:6E:46:D0:B6
eth1.2 E4:95:6E:46:D0:B6
tunl0 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
wlan0 E4:95:6E:45:D0:B7
wlan1 E4:95:6E:45:D0:B6
wlan1-1 E6-95-6E-45-D0-B6-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00

/proc/cpuinfo
system type : Qualcomm Atheros QCA9533 ver 2 rev 0
machine : GL.iNet GL-AR750
processor : 0
cpu model : MIPS 24Kc V7.4
BogoMIPS : 432.53
wait instruction : yes
microsecond timers : yes
tlb_entries : 16
extra interrupt vector : yes
hardware watchpoint : yes, count: 4, address/irw mask: [0x0ffc, 0x0ffc, 0x0ffb, 0x0ffb]
isa : mips1 mips2 mips32r1 mips32r2
ASEs implemented : mips16
shadow register sets : 1
kscratch registers : 0
package : 0
core : 0
VCED exceptions : not available
VCEI exceptions : not available

nvram
hsmmmesh.settings=settings
hsmmmesh.settings.wifimac='e4:95:6e:45:d0:b7'
hsmmmesh.settings.mac2='69.208.183'
hsmmmesh.settings.dtdmac='69.208.182'
hsmmmesh.settings.node='NC8Q-AR750'
hsmmmesh.settings.config='mesh'

Support File Attachments: 
AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
The vlan configuration from

The vlan configuration from the data download says:

LAN is on internal port  #1
DtDLink is on internal port #2

I think I have an ar750 somewhere, let me check.  The external port often has different number labeling than internal port #s.    It's also possible the positions are reversed on different hardware REVs.  The WAN is on a different interface from the cpu on eth0.   The above 2 ports are on eth1, an internal switch chip.
 
Joe AE6XE

AA7AU
AA7AU's picture
Install help

Just got one of these on-sale AR750 units (might need an NRA sticker for anything "AR") but now can't find the special instructions for loading the nightly build into a virgin box.

Edited to add: Oops!  Sorry, found it in the most obvious place:
https://arednmesh.readthedocs.io/en/latest/arednGettingStarted/installing_firmware.html

So far I like the footprint and like the potential possibility offered by the USB and TF card options.

- Don - AA7AU

ps: item is no longer on super sale at Amazon - 25% off coupon expired (edited: 01-Jan-2020)

AB7PA
Same experience as Chuck NC8Q

New GL.iNet AR750 flashed with NB aredn-1234.  Only port 3 is usable as a LAN port (numbered 1-3 from front left).  Port 1 is WAN (eth0) and port 2 is DtD (eth1.2).  It would be nice to at least be able to use ports 2 & 3 as LAN ports if DtD isn't needed -- maybe an option to remove vlan 2 from the switch config?

k1ky
k1ky's picture
SWCONFIG

You should be able to modify the swconfig file to change the DTD port back to Normal VLAN0. Otherwise might be easier to add an external ethernet switch/hub (possibly a good use for all those WRT54G's lying around?)

AB7PA
Latest AR750 port numbering

Thanks, Tom K1KY.  Mainly I was confirming what Chuck NC8Q noticed, that the order of port numbering seems different on the latest AR750 models.  It's not too important, unless you're wondering which port has vlan2 for DtD-ing an existing node. For my use case I needed a node with a 2-port self-contained switch -- low draw due to limited battery power at a solar site where it would not work to power an extra Ethernet switch. Commented out (#) the dtdlink interface section in /etc/config/network, as well as the switch_vlan1 & switch_vlan2 sections, then added port 2 to the port list for switch_vlan0. A quick /etc/init.d/network restart & both eth1 ports are now LAN ports.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
node with a 2-port self-contained switch

I have an IP Phone without an internal 2 port switch.
I could hook up my laptop and Phone to the GL-750!
:-)
More information please.

Chuck

KM6SLF
KM6SLF's picture
Joe, is it possible to

Joe, is it possible to configure the USB port on this device to function as an Ethernet over USB port? I just put Meshchat on a Pi Zero W with a USB Add-on board. I think it would be neat to have this small but capable node running a full version of Meshchat from a single 5v power source. Is it possible to do this or is the hardware not capable?

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