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Heads Up: New Mikrotik BaseBox board revision breaks AREDN/OpenWRT

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kd8drx
kd8drx's picture
Heads Up: New Mikrotik BaseBox board revision breaks AREDN/OpenWRT

Hello All,

The SFWEM team have sadly discovered that MikroTik's Basebox has been updated to a new board revision (r2) which breaks compatibility with AREDN firmware. Until this compatibility issue is resolved, do not order a MikroTik BaseBox 5 - you won't be able to use it.

There's an OpenWRT thread tracking the issue here - if affects both the 2GHz and 5GHz models: https://forum.openwrt.org/t/add-support-for-mikrotik-rb912uag-2hpnd-r2/4...

The TL;DR is that the new unit appears to add a GPIO or other mechanism that keeps the WiFi radio powered off until it's flipped - and no one can find it, yet. There are also some minor changes to the flash layout as well.

Here's hoping it's fixed soon - we just ordered a bunch of these and it would suck to have to return and pay restocking fees on them.

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
I'd speculate the problem is

I'd speculate the problem is the r2 board can't find information the ath9k wireless driver needs to properly start up.  Mikrotik might have shifted this on flash to a different location.   The comparison of system logs in the openwrt forum thread shows the ath9k driver is not getting to the step after finding the 'ART' (Atheros Radio Test) data it needs.  This is data determined in the manufacturing process used to calibrate and ensure a quality signal for each individual device.  For those interested, some details here:
 
https://archive.org/stream/AR93xxART2ReferenceGuideMKG15527/AR93xx_ART2_Reference_Guide_MKG-15527_djvu.txt 

After it finds this data, we see the driver reporting this information in system log (which is not showing on the r2 boot up logs):

[ 9.956025] ath: EEPROM regdomain: 0x0
[ 9.956036] ath: EEPROM indicates default country code should be used
[ 9.956040] ath: doing EEPROM country->regdmn map search
[ 9.956057] ath: country maps to regdmn code: 0x3a
[ 9.956063] ath: Country alpha2 being used: US
[ 9.956066] ath: Regpair used: 0x3a
[ 9.969793] ieee80211 phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'minstrel_ht'
[ 9.974704] ieee80211 phy0: Atheros AR9340 Rev:3 mem=0xb8100000, irq=47

I'll put the idea in the openwrt forum post...

Joe AE6XE

KR6CV
How can you tell which board you have (without opening the node?

As per subject. I don't know how to tell which board version I have. Can anyone offer advice?
Thanks
Stan KR6CV

kd8drx
kd8drx's picture
From my experience, the

From my experience, the easiest method is to TFTP boot the node and see if the radio interfaces show up. If they do, great! You have a V1. If not, you have a V2 and are gonna have a bad day.

kd8drx
kd8drx's picture
I should have a BaseBox 5 in

I should have a BaseBox 5 in my hands on Wednesday, assuming UPS delivers on schedule. Once that's arrived I'll see if I can't get you a full boot log, if that'd help?

AE6XE
AE6XE's picture
The openwrt forum post had

The openwrt forum post had the dmesg boot log captured on a basebox with both r1 and r2 devices -- this available log should be sufficient. 

Joe AE6XE

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