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hAP AC Lite Bricked

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w8erw
w8erw's picture
hAP AC Lite Bricked

Has anyone been successful in unbricking a hAP AC Lite?
I surely have one thatg refuses to talk to me now.
 
Thanks,
 
Jim
W8ERW

KG7GDB
Connection and Ports problem vs Brick?

Hi Jim,
We need some more info here as to what happened. How far did you get in the install process?
What do you mean it refuses to talk to you now? 
Sorry for the long response, but I want to review the firmware loading steps to make sure you (and others) succeed in connecting.
The hAP AC Lite is a little tricky. It will go through 3 network changes in firmware loading and you must change ports you will use to connect the PC to the device. After flashing, you can't reach the device on Port 1. I suspect this is your problem and the node is OK.
I will review the procedure here:
First, on newer Mikrotik devices, the factory address is on 192.168.88.1, not 192.168.1.1 [as shown in the read the docs Mikrotik install example].
Use a simple Ethernet switch connecting the PC with one cable and a separate cable going to the Mikrotik. Which port?
I always make sure to open the factory home page on 192.168.88.1 for Mikrotik before starting. 
The hAP is running a DHCP server. It wants to assign addresses to devices connecting to ports 2, 3, or 4.
Per install instructions, I usually set a static IP address for 192.168.88.100 on my PC. Turn off your wireless card on the PC. You actually can't open the home page on 192.168.88.1 from Port 1-that is reserved for WAN. 
Connect to switch on Port 2-Now your browser should work to get to the home page. I have had firmware upgrades fail due to the wrong firmware upgrade.
But the Mikrotik should just reboot back to factory settings. You might check this now.
So you check the factory settings, set country, agree to EULA, then log out and power down. But you can't upload firmware on Port 2.
Before using the PXE server to boot the .elf file, you do move your cable to the Port 1. 

If you got this far, powered up, loaded the elf file, released the button, and clicked offline, your node rebooted and goes to Factory Image in DHCP mode. Wait until all the lights have stopped flashing.
Now, you have to change your PC address back to obtain address automatically, AND move your cable from Port 1 to Port 2 on the hAP. The hAP lights flash showing it sees your PC. It will refuse to talk to you otherwise.

On Port 2, you should get a new address on the PC. Check it using ipconfig in the cmd terminal. It should be in the 192.168.1.XXX range and show a host address of 192.168.1.1 If not, unplug and replug the PC cable. 
Now you type 192.168.1.1 to reach the firstboot setup page, administration tab->upgrade/upload the proper 3.20.3.1 sysupgrade image (aredn-3.20.3.1-ar71xx-mikrotik-rb-nor-flash-16M-ac-sysupgrade.bin), uncheck save settings, and don't change anything else. The node actually writes the upgrade image at this point and reboots again.
You type the same 192.168.1.1 address to get back to the real firstboot page.
Type 192.168.1.1 in a browser, and now the AREDN first boot page appears again.
Go to setup entering stock password again, then put new callsign-node name and your new password. 
Finally, the node reboots, it will be on a totally new 10.x.x.x network under AREDN. You may need to unplug /replug the PC again to get the new address. Windows probably will stop and ask you what this new network is (Choose private or work). If you check ipconfig, the new host IP and your PC address will appear.
You will get a host not found error in the browser if you aren't on the same network or windows hasn't let you join the network yet.
Finally on the network, in a new browser tab, type localnode.local.mesh:8080 and you can configure the rest of your settings.
Lots of steps, but I hope this has helped you.
73,
Brett
-->Another Mikrotik tip new firmware tip is that if you use a nightly build for the sysupgrade file, boot from the matching nightly build .elf file on the PXE server.
We had a new LHG-5HP-XL that refused to upgrade the 3.20.3.1 firmware-we saw the unsupported hardware message on the factory image step. But it also wouldn't load the nightly build from the 3.20.3.1 factory elf.image. 



 

w8erw
w8erw's picture
hAP AC Lite Bricked Additional Info

Hi Brett,

The node was working fine and somehow now is no longer responsive.  I cannot get into it although it lights up and appears to be cycling something.  It goes red as though it is loading and then returns with no port lights indicating.  It will repeat this continually after a pause of a couple of minutes.  I get no indication that it is connected to my PC either.  No IP and my network connection shows not connected.  I suspect it has just failed.  Bricked perhaps was not the best way to describe it.  No amount of resetting makes any difference.
 
Thanks,

Jim
W8ERW

w8erw
w8erw's picture
hAP AC Lite Again

Brett,
 
Your directions are perfect and a great tutorial for anyone flashing the device.  I've set up quite a few of these exactly as you describe with only one glitch when I failed to wait long enough for it to complete.  Some seem to go faster than others and I got in a hurry thinking it had completed and was ready to load the final step.

Thanks,
 
Jim
W8ERW

KG7GDB
Opportunity Cost

Hi Jim,
I read through some of your older posts. It sounds like you have several of these and had some mixed results.
Is this the same hAP ac node which gave you problems in the past? If so, maybe it is a "lemon."
Most people have great success with new hAP AC devices using newer firmware, and flashing procedures are followed.
New devices are about $49, so consider your opportunity cost. How much is your time worth?

If you are like me, maybe you hate to give up...
One last attempt here, maybe trying another power source.
Perhaps the device has a failing power injector (wall wart) or port. Low voltage can cause the device to not boot properly.
We had this happen with a corroded PoE injector port recently.
If you have another working node, can you borrow its power plug and use the barrel connector? Any luck?
You can try also try powering the node via Port1 from another 24V PoE injector using a CAT cable. I suppose that one hAP might just power another one from Port 5, but I have never tried it.
Does it boot?
Last try, considering now a possible corrupted file system.
You can try the PXE server again to try to boot the factory .elf image while holding the reset button? Any response?
If it loads the factory image, I would reinstall AREDN.
Even if that fixes the problem, you not be able to trust the device to work properly in a time of need.
I would only use this device in a non-critical setting.
73,
Brett, KG7GDB



 

w8erw
w8erw's picture
Aye, I think it will be a paper weight

Brett,
 
Indeed, I think this one is toast and destined for the heap with the other relics in my basement. 
I've tried every trick I know of to breathe new life into it and it's unresponsive.  On a long shot, the threat of
disposal once in a great while provides the magic required to effect new life in dead hardware.  I'll not toss it in
the dumpster just yet.
 
Thanks for your assessment and suggestions,

Jim
W8ERW
 

K6CCC
K6CCC's picture
Have you tried to use

Have you tried to use NetInstall to restore the Mikrotik firmware?
 

w8erw
w8erw's picture
NetInstall

Thanks Jim,
 
No, I have not yet tried NetInstall.  However, I will have a go with it and see if I can produce any positive results.
 
Thanks,
 
Jim
W8ERW

K6CCC
K6CCC's picture
BTW, Netinstall is rather

BTW, Netinstall is rather picky.  If it does not work, try several more times before giving up on that.
 

KD1HA
KD1HA's picture
Jim this came up a short time

Jim this came up a short time ago, read this thread Revert MikroTik hAP back to RouterOS | Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (arednmesh.org)  will also help you. Download the WinBox program from the Mikro Tik site as well. 

Denis 

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