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Pre-configured binary

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KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Pre-configured binary

Hi, everyone,

So, I have a strange situation and a question based on it. Here's my situation. I have a TP-Link CPE210 that's mounted on a tower about 263' up. I'm able to reset it and load the factory firmware on it and configure that. But, when I load the AREDN firmware and it reboots, I'm not able to connect to it via a web browser anymore. Most likely it's because I'm using older laptops with Windows 10, but I don't know. And, I'm not going to climb the tower to make sure it's not a hardware issue (not that I wouldn't, but I can't). 

So here's my question. Would it be possible to build the firmware from the source code, and have it preconfigured with the Callsign and new root password (node name, etc)? If so, what changes need to be made to do this? I realize that it would be a one-use binary. Truth is, the only changes we make are the node ID and password. Everything else is the default settings (or I can change after I'm able to log in via the mesh).

Have a great night and thank you. :)
Patrick.

K6CCC
K6CCC's picture
Are you connecting to it with

Are you connecting to it with your laptop via a wired connection?  If so, make sure you change the laptop over to DHCP and you can confirm that it is getting an IP address from the node after flashing it for AREDN.

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Tried but no success

Hi there,

Yes, I'm using a wired connection. I set it to DHCP and it doesn't get an address at all. Part of the issue is we ended up with 309' of Cat-5e cable between the node and the PoE adapters (and I can't shorten that up due to where the adapters are mounted in the tower building). So, I'll end up needing to create firmware that has the basic configurations out of box, so I can connect via another node and finish it.

Oddly enough, we have three nodes on the tower with the same length of cable. This one is the only one that's acting up. I would say it's the cable, except if I load the factory firmware, I can completely configure it without any issues. It's just when I load the AREDN firmware that I run into problems.

Thanks, and have a great night. :)
Patrick.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
Part of the issue is 309' of Cat-5e cable

"The physics of Ethernet allow a cable length of up to 100 m..."

CAT maximum length standard ia 100 meters or 328 feet.
The length of your cable should not be an issue.

"...I load the [TP-Link] factory firmware, I can completely configure it without any issues. "

 It seems that the cabling is not an/the issue.
 

VA2XJM
Once the firmware is uploaded

Once the firmware is uploaded, set your network interface to static ip in 192.168.1.XXX range and then try to connect to the node using http://192.168.1.1:8080.

Upload the sysupgrade package and then configure the node. When you reboot then node to apply the configuration, set you network interface back to DHCP.

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Tp-Link is a one step process

Hi there,

The TP-Link is a one step process. Once I upload the AREDN firmware and the node reboots, it generates an IP address in the 10.x.x.x subnet. I'm going to try one more laptop, just on the of-chance that it's a hardware issue in my computers.

**Edited because my phone has autocorrect that does massive drugs and alcohol and I didn't realize what it had put until way later.** :-)

nc8q
nc8q's picture
Tp-Link is a one step process

Tp-Link is a one step process

Patrick:

 Are you completing through step '6.' here:
https://arednmesh.readthedocs.io/en/latest/arednGettingStarted/installing_firmware.html#tp-link-first-install-process

If yes, at that point the TP-Link device should

  • have static address on 192.168.1.1 with or without a DHCP server or
  • have a static address on 10.x.x.x and be a DHCP server and issue an 10.x.x.x address to your laptop,
    provided your have released your laptop's static IP address and set your laptop to DHCP client on its ethernet connection.

I think.

Please confirm or edit your post:
"The TP-Link is a over step process. Once I dish the AREDN firmware, it generates an IP address in the 10.x.x.x subnet. "
'is over step' == 'is one step' and
'I dish the' == 'I ???? the'
When you say 'factory', do you mean 'TP-Link factory firmware' or AREDN's *-factory.bin ?

 You mention 3 nodes and 3 cables.
If these nodes are DtD connected and you can configure the AREDN firmware on first install,
can you reach the device via a DtD connection from the other 2 nodes?


Chuck
 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Ok, a little backstory and hopefully clears up some things.

Ok, I had set up all three nodes in my apartment and they worked perfectly. We took them to the Antenna tower at the local college and installed them (I wasn't there for this). Two nodes started up without any issues, but one appeared to be dead. I went to the tower and tried to configure it using a laptop with a wired ethernet cable (no luck). So, I went into the PXE reset procedure and uploaded the factory (TP-Link Pharos) firmware. When the node rebooted, I was able to connect using a static IP address and upload the AREDN firmware. Once it rebooted that firmware, I was no longer able to connect. 

To be honest, I don't remember if I had to use a static IP address to connect to the factory firmware because DHCP failed, or if I just set it up to guarantee the connection.

As for the current setup, we have the three TP-Link nodes connected to three ports on a MikroTik hAP ac lite running the AREDN firmware. Two nodes can see and talk to each other, but neither one can "see" or talk to this node (they haven't been able to since it got put on the tower--even though I connected to all three via the mesh before I sent them out). I'm assuming (yes, I know all about assumptions) that it's because it still has the N0CALL configuration because I can't complete the first-boot process. This is why I'm asking if there's a way to build the firmware from the source with that completed. I do plan on adding a cheap switch to the mix so that we can have all three nodes directly connected to Port 5 on the MikroTik (right now, one is on Port 3, one on Port 4, and one on Port 5). Plus that frees up the other two ports for additional devices (like our DMR repeater).

Question... Am I mistaken that until I actually complete the first-boot process, we aren't able to access the node from the mesh at all?

One possible reason for all of this is my laptops are at least 8 years old. In fact, one of them will not load a Windows 10 driver at all for its Ethernet Port. I have one that runs Linux, which I may try on the off-hand that the NIC's in the other two are bad after this long. I say this because it's been hit or miss with my main two laptops recently on flashing any AREDN devices. I have two more that I can try before I drag a desktop computer, keyboard, and monitor out there.

I can't completely rule out a cable failure as I wasn't the one who put the ends on. Although, all three cables show the same result when I test them with our cable tester (309' and no load on the other end, since I'm not able to put the dummy load on). And, I'm able to upload and connect to the TP-Link Pharos firmware, so that makes me think the cable is wired correctly.

Hopefully this long-winded reply clears up a few things.

Have a great day. :)
Patrick.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
uploaded the factory (TP-Link Pharos)

Hi, Patrick:

"So, I went into the PXE reset procedure and uploaded the factory (TP-Link Pharos) firmware.
When the node rebooted, I was able to connect using a static IP address and upload the AREDN firmware.
Once it rebooted that firmware, I was no longer able to connect."

Did you reset your laptop to DHCP client?
Did it get an IP address from the device?

"After the Firmware Install

After the node reboots, it should have a default IP address of 192.168.1.1.
By default AREDN® devices provide DHCP on their LAN interface, so your computer will receive an IP address automatically from the node.
Ensure that your computer is set to obtain its IP address via DHCP.

You should be able to ping the node at 192.168.1.1. Don’t proceed until you can ping the node.
You may need to disconnect and reconnect your computer’s network cable to ensure that your IP address has been reset."

Are you able to ping the node at 192.168.1.1?
If your laptop does not get a 192.168.1.[2-254] address via DHCP,
set a static address and try to ping the device.

https://arednmesh.readthedocs.io/en/latest/arednGettingStarted/installing_firmware.html#tp-link-first-install-process ...

"If this process works then you will have AREDN® firmware installed on your device and you do not need to follow any of the steps described below.

If the process above does not work or if you choose not to use the PharOS web interface, then you can install AREDN® firmware on your device using steps similar to those described above for Mikrotik devices.
TP-LINK devices have a built-in PXE client which allows them to obtain new firmware from an external source.
Your computer must run a PXE Server (described below) to provide an IP address and boot image to the device."

Maybe you could try the PXE Server method.

Another option is to make a Linux Live DVD or Thumb-drive.
Then boot your old laptop(s) from a known good OS.

I hope this helps,
Chuck
 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
My answers....

I tried resetting it to DHCP, setting static IP's, disabling and reenabling the Network Adapter. Nothing worked. I even monitored it via Wireshark and saw my computer trying to get a lease, but never making the connection. That's why I'm thinking that my NIC might be going bad. Plus one of my laptops has a NIC that Windows no longer supports. So, it wouldn't surprise me if my other one has a NIC that's on its way out.

No on pinging any IP Address.

The only devices that I remember having a 192.168.1.x address at the beginning are the Ubiquit and MikroTik ones. If I remember right, the TP-Links (in the past at least) started up with their 10.x.x.x address. I say this, because they always have the last three octets in the node name and it never changes.

I've tried the PXE server method and it didn't work either. It took the firmware, but I couldn't get to the Node Status page. Once, I saw the redirect message, but it never completed the transition. I'll bew trying it again this weekend or next week.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
The only devices that I remember having a 192.168.1.x address

If you use the PXE method, then 'first boot' comes up with a DHCP server on 192.168.1.1.
I think.

Using the PharOS upload 'new firmware' feature, yes the node reboots with a 10.x.x.x address.
I think.

 

K6CCC
K6CCC's picture
on the MikroTik (right now,

on the MikroTik (right now, one is on Port 3, one on Port 4, and one on Port 5).


Flag on the play.  If you are trying to have these nodes DtD connected, they all MUST connect to port 5 of the hAP (by way of an external switch).  Unless set up in a very non-normal method, two AREDN nodes plugged into ports 3 and 4 of a hAP will not be able to communicate (IP ranges wrong), and will not route traffic through that connection at all.

You did not say which node was plugged into the hAP port 5.  That one should be reachable from the hAP.

 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
That's what I was thinking

If I remember right (since it's been a few weeks), the trouble node is on Port 3 or 4 The other two nodes communicate through the mesh, but not DtD I'm going to get a switch this weekend and put it in Assuming that the nodes are all three active, should I be able to connect to the trouble node even though I haven't done the first-boot?

KG7GDB
If you tried to flash via the Mikrotik, that is a problem.

Just to clarify, the Mikrotik is already an AREDN device, and it being a router, will try to give an address to any device plugged into ports 2,3,4.
Port 5 is VLAN2, so you can access another AREDN radio via DtD there.

I don't think (please correct me if I am wrong) it is possible to use the hAP ac to flash a new device, especially if that device is operating as a DHCP host. You will get DNS conflicts; the new device won't be on the same subnet as the Mikrotik.

So make sure to use a dumb switch to flash your new device, turn off wifi on the PC and connect the two together via Ethernet patch cables. Follow the basic instructions others mentioned. If you use tftp or PXE methods, with static IPs, you need to go back to a DHCP  address on the network adapter settings after the AREDN firmware loads and reboots.
You can check you have an DHCP address in the Windows CMD terminal using IPCONFIG command.
Use the http://localhost.local.mesh or http://192.168.1.1 to bring up the first boot page. It seems like you are able to get this far on your own.
After the first boot screen comes up, you are going to Basic Setup page with the default password. Take a screenshot showing this page, as it should show the Host IP address and netmask under the LAN section in the middle. For this Basic Setup, just enter your Node Name with your Callsign and only letters, numbers and dashes, (e.g., KE0RSX-TPLK-XXXX) then enter your new password twice. I suggest you don't add other information yet.
When the new node reboots (2-3 min), it will be the DHCP host for your PC on the new AREDN LAN and subnet; you may need to unplug and  replug your cable to the PC to get the new 10.X.X.X address. Sometimes Windows also stops you here and makes you confirm that you really want to join this new network and asks what kind of network it is.
Use ipconfig in the CMD terminal window to see if you have a new address. It should show the LAN host address in the 10.X.X.X unique to your node matching your screenshot.  Normally, you get to the new node using http://localnode.local.mesh:8080, but you could type the host IP address, too. The browser may also not like that it is not a secure page, so you need to go agree to go forward.
After just the password phase, you can go back into setup and configure the thing with your power, channel, distance, location, etc., and reboot again. It should come back in 1-2 min.
It is interesting, on my Windows 7 Pro PC, I have better success flashing and upgrading with Chrome than Firefox.
Also the node won't reboot if you entered a piece of information wrong-typically I make the mistake of entering the grid square in the wrong format. This is why I suggest you enter minimum information in the first boot step.
Good luck and 73,
Brett, KG7GDB

 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
More clarification...

Hi, everyone, 

No, I'm not going through the MikroTik. I've been going PC to PoE adapter to Lightning Arrestor to CPE210 (and I've also tried PC to PoE adapter to CPE210 in case the lightning arrestor was the issue). I never see the basic setup screen, or I wouldn't need to build this with a configuration. Once or twice, I've seen the first page, that says "Redirecting to Status..." and then I get "Page Cannot be Found." 

A couple of other points to clarify, I've flashed probably ten CPE210's, three WBS210's, at least three MikroTik hAP's, and three MikroTik dish antennas. This one is the only problem child. Also, I should have explained that I know something about networking, so we could get past the explanations about DHCP and finding an IP Address (by something, I mean I'm certified to teach Cisco Networking I at a college level). I'm hoping that taking the computer that I've been using lately to flash the devices will be the solution. If not, then I need to figure a way to either SSH into the node before running first-boot or compiling the firmware with the configuration in it.

Also, just to be clear, I appreciate all of the efforts in explaining how to flash these and the explanations on DHCP and how to find an IP Address because I'm a realist. I know that someone who doesn't understand these things will stumble on this thread. And the explanations will help them.

Finally, a quick question. In your post, you say before doing the first-boot, I have to go to either http://localnode.local.mesh or http://192.168.1.1 and after doing it, I have to go to http://localnode.local.mesh:8080. Did they change that? I could swear that I've always gone to http://localnode.local.mesh:8080 after flashing the firmware. I'll try it without the 8080 and see if that was the problem all along (and then feel really, really, really stupid for such a simple mistake LOL)

Have a great day. :)
Patrick.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
before doing the first-boot, I have to go to either

Not before, but after or during the first boot...
-----

'localnode.local.mesh' should resolve to an IP address.
If not, then you may try an IP address.
The (recent) AREDN firmware web server 'Listens' on both port 80 and port 8080.
 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
An update

Hi, everyone,
So I went back to the college where the tower is. Here's the latest. First things first, I connected a switch to Port 5 on the MikroTik and plugged the nodes in. The two working ones are seeing each other via DtD as well as the mesh. The problem child is not visible at all. The rest of this comment is from me connecting my computer directly to the PoE adapter and leaving the MikroTik and other nodes out of the picture..

Using PXE, I reset the node to the Pharos software. I changed my IP Address to DHCP and immediately connected to the node. I uploaded the AREDN firmware.The node rebooted...

Watching my network adapter, it went from "NEtwork Cable Unplugged" to "Identifying" to Unidentified Network" and back through the entire cycle repeatedly.In the few instances that it was able to stay at Unidentified Network, I checked my IP Address. It was a 169.254.x.x (APIPA) address. So, it wasn't getting anything via DHCP.

I switched to a Static IP Address of 192.168.1.3. Then, I tried pinging 192.168.1.1 and it worked one time. Never again. Meanwhile, the Adapter was still cycling through the cable unplugged through Unidentified Network. I tried going to localnode.local.mesh at one point when it was staying connected. It brought up the message about redirecting to the status page, and then I got error Name Not Resolved messages. As for the mesh, it doesn't see this node at all (because it's not configured).

I should add,that I also tried uploading the AREDN factory firmware via PXE server. Same thing happens that happened when I uploaded it via the Pharos software. The only thing I haven't tried is uploading the sysupgrade versioin via PXE (and I highly doubt that it will work).

So, I'm back to my original question because I'm at the point that I'd be climbing the tower and ripping the node off right now if I weren't 50 years old.

Can I build the firmware with the configuration (at least the basic setup of node name, channel and bandwidth, and password baked in? And if so, where do I make the changes at?

Have a great day everyone. :)
Patrick.

nc8q
nc8q's picture
"NEtwork Cable Unplugged" to "Identifying" to Unidentified Netwo

"NEtwork Cable Unplugged" to "Identifying" to Unidentified Network" and back through the entire cycle repeatedly.

Hi, Patrick:

That ain't right. That is a huge problem. That must be rectified before moving forward.

It seems that your PharOS .bin file is good. But,...
Does the  AREDN factory.bin you have been using pass the md5 checksum test?
Maybe try another factory.bin; Current stable, past stable, Nightly build,...

Best wishes,
Chuck

 

KE0RSX
KE0RSX's picture
Checksums checked out

Hi there,

I re-downloaded the files and used a checksum comparison tool to verify them. They checked out (as did the ones I had downloaded previously). My next step is going to be to download the stable version and try that. If it works, I'll wait until the next stable version is available and install it.

Side note. We had another node (separate location) that started acting the same way yesterday. I took it down (as it was only 6' up) and connected it to my laptop. It worked fine and I upgraded it to the newest build without problem (using the files I downloaded yesterday). When I put it back up, it was fine.It's making me wonder if the problem isn't the cable--which makes no sense as it loads the Pharos OS without a problem.

Questions....

1. If I were to go out and reset the problem node, would I upload the Pharos OS (and go through the website), the Factory bin that I downloaded yesterday, or the sysupgrade bin (since it's technically flashed already).
2. If this fails, what are my options? I hate to keep circling back to my original question, but that would solve the problems (at least for me). I understand that it's not a feasible solution overall, as that would create a lot of complexity if everyone started wanting to do this. There's no guarantee about when a tower climber will be going back up, and we can't afford the $900+ to have one go up just for this issue--assuming it would cost that much again. So I have to try to find a software solution, if possible.

Thanks again for everyone's help in this. It's greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend. :)
Patrick.

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