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Old 06-18-2007, 04:08 AM   #1
Yuri_Rage
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If you've been following my adventures in making a music server, you know I've taken a vested interest in creating a decent home network.

Along those lines, I recently acquired a Linksys Paperweight (dead WRT54G v6 from a friend who swears he didn't do anything to it). So, after exhausting all of the non-invasive recovery hacks, I built an unbuffered JTAG cable, soldered a 12 pin header to the router board, and connected it to my computer according to the "http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hairydairymaid&btnG=Google+Search" instructions. I entered the -erase:nvram command, and whaddaya know? It came right back to life!!!

I know, you probably don't give a $hit, but I'm pretty excited that $5 in spare computer parts saved a $50 router from becoming next week's trash. It's now sporting the latest version of DD-WRT and providing wired network access to 4 rooms in my house.

Sweet!!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:26 AM   #2
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You lost me at JTAG cable, but that's ingenius! And very, very, pennypinching of you.

If you've worked with the default software of the Linksys (or as most of the public says it, Lynn Skis) and DD-WRT, which one do you think is better, if there's any difference at all?
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
eager_brewer
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Nice, I would like to see the design of the cable or would a simple roll over cable do the trick? (for non cisco folks a rollover cable is serial on 1 end and rj45 on the other).
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:20 PM   #4
Yuri_Rage
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JTAG is the acronym for "Joint Test Action Group," who designed a protocol for low level test access ports on printed circuit boards. A properly constructed cable can be connected to your computer's parallel port and a device utilizing the JTAG standard.

eager_brewer, I don't think a rollover cable would do it - the JTAG connector is a 12 pin header, not a standard 9 pin serial connector. Also, I don't think there are enough data lines enabled on a LAN card to properly interface with JTAG. I think it would be possible to use a serial port connection to JTAG with the proper software and cable, but the only examples I've seen use a parallel port (printer port).

I highly recommend the DD-WRT firmware. It offers far greater capability and flexibility than the stock Linksys firmware. QoS, multiple wireless encryption schemes, many Unix-style client/server processes, and a much more robust user interface are just a few advantages DD-WRT gives you.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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I use HyperWRT+tofu firmware on my WRT54GL, and it works great. This version has been superceded by HyperWRT with thibor's patches since tofu stopped working on it, but I haven't updated the router since last year.

It's similar to the stock firmware, and the web-based frontend looks very similar, but it adds extra features and the ability to ssh into the box and run startup scripts.
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