Thursday, November 20, 2014

Buffalo WLAE-AG300N, OpenWrt Barrier Breaker and auto power on

While looking for something else I spotted Buffalo WLAE-AG300N "range extender" in our IT "treasure room". Noticing it's OpenWrt supported decided to give it try.


- Download OpenWrt
- Power-on Buffalo
- Wait few minutes
- Press and hold reset button until status led turns red and flashes
- Wait few minutes
- Set IP of PC to 192.168.11.99, mask 255.255.255.0, no gateway, no DNS
- Connect PC to left Ethernet port on Buffalo (looking from connector side with shiny side facing up)
- Ping 192.168.11.100 - if it doesn't answer you failed
  (Manual claims default IP is 192.168.11.1, but actually it's 192.168.11.100)
- Open 192.168.11.100 in browser and login as "root" without password
- Click Update AirStation firmware
- Upload OpenWrt image just downloaded
- Wait few minutes until Status led turns solid green
- Change network settings on PC to DHCP client
- Ping 192.168.1.1 - if it doesn't ansver you failed AGAIN!
- Open 192.168.1.1 in browser and login as "root" without password
- Rest is as with any other OpenWrt device
- With OpenWrt left ethernet port is LAN, right is WAN. You can of course change this - unless you keep failing ONCE AGAIN!

By far DUMBEST thing with this device is it defaults to power off state. Meaning if you want to use it you must press power button and wait for it to start. What kind of moron engineered that? Maybe someone who's big fan of Linksys NSLU2 that suffered from same problem ten years ago.

No worries as there's workaround - all you need to do is somehow ensure power button is always pressed down. Simply put couple drops of superglue on sides of power button, wiggle it a bit so glue wicks between frame and button and then keep button pressed down until dry. Now device is in permanently powered on state which isn't bad idea especially since with OpenWrt it's not possible to shutdown this device by pressing power button. Instead kernel will hang while device stays powered up.


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