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Installing in a locoM2 XW - unable to tftp

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Installing in a locoM2 XW - unable to tftp

I acquired a Nanostation locoM2 XW which I would like to install the AREDN firmware on.  The supported hardware matrix lists this as a supported device (assuming that the bold white "M2" isn't relevant compared to devices with "M2" in black font).

The device runs the factory-installed airOS just fine, and I can ping the device at the default

I can get it into tftp mode by doing the hold-reset while plugging in LAN cable process to get the alternating pairs of lights.   But at that point I can't tftp the firmware in.  tftp indicates that the node is not available at the default address.  Pinging while the device is in tftp mode does not generate replies to pings. 

I just successfully converted a NSM3 this morning, so the process is pretty fresh in my mind.  I did disable my firewall which I found to be necessary while installing the firmware on my two NSM3's.  

Any ideas or suggestions on how to work around this inability to tftp in the firmware into the locoM2?

Thank you!

AE6XE's picture
I often use a dumb switch

I often use a dumb switch between a laptop and the Ubiquiti devices.   It seems if the Ethernet port link is not 'up' at the right timing, then the device does not respond. 

tftp firmware not completing flashing

Thank you for the suggestion about using the network switch.  The Ubiquiti support pages give a slightly different process to get the unit into tftp-ready state--granted that their description of the process to get it into tftp-ready state is IMHO actually *less* specific than the AREDN tftp instructions :-)   By doing the power application first, then holding the reset button down like the Ubiquiti support pages specify, i have been able to get the unit into the alternating pairs of lights mode and have the LAN jack working and responding to pings.

When I flash in the AREDN firmware into the NSM3's, I see the alternating pairs of lights change to a "Knightrider"-like sweeping light pattern, then some other active light behavior before it settles down to like the power and LAN LEDs, at which point I power-cycle the unit to bring it completely back up and configure the unit for AREDN..

But the locoM2 is being more stubborn.  When i have tried to tftp the latest AREDN firmware,into the locoM2, I'm getting different behavior which appears to indicate that the AREDN firmware flash update is not completing.  The resulting condition is a unit that powers up with a LAN connection indicator light, but the AREDN functionality is not there.  The difference in behavior while flashing in the AREDN firmware is that I do not see that "Knightrider"-like light pattern sweep, and the whole process seems to happen too quickly. When i use tftp2 that the Ubiquiti website refers me to, it fails, and tries three times, none of which are successful.   To back out of this, I flashed in airOS, which, using tftp2, works successfully, Knightrider lights and all, and boots to airOS.

Could it be that there is a newer version of the bootstrap firmware that supports tftp that is not compatible with the latest AREDN firmware?  Should I try the "old school" method of running the U-boot test and possibly backing out to an older version of airOS?  This is the process I used to install the AREDN firmware in the first two Rocket M3's I bought.

Thank you!

AE6XE's picture
let's check which version of

let's check which version of the bootloader is installed on the device.  Need basic linux command line ability...   can you telnet or ssh into the device when booted up with AirOS?   user = ubnt and default password = ubnt.   "ssh ubnt@" .  Once you have a command prompt from AirOS, what does the following return?   "cat /dev/mtd0 | grep -i u-boot"   

Alternatively, the uboot check program should also indicate which version.  

The ubnt instructions are: "Press the reset button on the device. While holding the reset button down, power the unit on. Wait 8 seconds then release the button (if you want to reset the unit to factory defaults, wait about 15 seconds or until the signal LEDs light up to indicate that the device is ready for recovery)."

Are you applying power first or holding the reset button first, then applying power?

Confirm you are tftp'ing one of the following images?: (or recently nightly build image)


Probably the wrong bin file...

Unfortunately I don't have the locoM2 handy today, but your references to the bin file likely revealed the issue.  

On the download page, i looked for the Nanostation locoM2 and immediately locked onto the first instance of it, which didn't specify whether it was the XM or XW version. So I have been trying to flash in aredn-   

i (now) see that *further* down the table, there is a separate locoM2 (XW) version--which I have now downloaded and will try.   I'm optimistic that this was the issue.

Thank you for your help--it is much appreciated!


A quick follow-up: I was using the incorrect .bin file.   Thank you, Joe, for the suggestions on what my issue might have been--one of your ideas turned out to be correct.

Getting the locoM2 into a state where I could ping it and tftp to it was a fight, but I managed to get the locoM2 to accept the AREDN firmware.

And the network switch suggestion does seem to work!

A follow-up to this topic: I have been trying to reload airOS back on this locoM2 since I don't have a use for it on AREDN at this time.   However I have been unable to get the locoM2 to respond on and gave up for a while.  In the meantime, i acquired some network switches for our AREDN nodes and, remembering this suggestion, tried to put the locoM2 in tftp mode again--this time connecting the PoE injector's LAN port to the network switch, and lo and behold, no issues getting tftp to work.

Thanks for the suggestion, Joe!

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