life-extension for Actiontec MI424RW Rev I router
December 18, 2020 04:29AM
Looking all over for good info on the Actiontec MI424RW Rev I, and while there wasn't much love shown to this unit, I was hoping to use it as an AP or backup router. My home has a foil-faced sheathing that blocks the wifi signal, and I found that putting an AP in my garage with a powerline ethernet extender kit works great. This is how I was keeping my doorbell cam and another cam connected. But that $15 no-name AP died. I've got it covered with an even older router for now.

I know it's running U-Boot, and OpenRG, but I'm hesitant to go forward. I used info from this site years ago to put Arch Linux ARM on a pair of bargain-bin GoFlex Net's and was hoping to leverage it to put DD-WRT or OpenWRT on this router, but nobody has checked in with any good guides for doing it, at least to this revision of the router. Most info is related to the "jungo" bootloader on earlier revisions. I don't care about keeping the coax interface, I'm just pleased it has USB3 and has two radios. Oh, and a UART serial port with pins.

Thanks.

Dave
Re: life-extension for Actiontec MI424RW Rev I router
December 19, 2020 12:33AM
Dave,

This one is a little bit time consuming to get it running with the latest kernel. It is the Marvell 88F6560 which is in the Marvell Avanta SoC series.

We have supports for Kirkwood and Armada SoCs, but nobody has done any works for Avanta. This is a ArmV5 SoC so it is possible to run the rootfs Debian-5.2.9-kirkwood-tld-1-rootfs-bodhi.tar.bz2. But a new kernel needs to be built. And to do it right, it is non-trivial (not too hard, but will take quite bit of time).

-bodhi
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Re: life-extension for Actiontec MI424RW Rev I router
December 19, 2020 04:55PM
Bodhi,

I greatly appreciate the response and the info.There's a chance I could help. I followed a guide to spin up a docker container and build the OpenRG kernel using Actiontec's source. But after I did it, I thought "why use that?"
Dave
I have also been looking for a way to extend the lifespan of this router. There's a Chinese fork of OpenWrt called PandoraBox that supports the MI424WR Rev. I, but they stopped releasing updates a couple years ago, the newest kernel they bundle is 3.14, and I'm not really sure I trust them. Their build does boot, though.

https://forum.openwrt.org/t/exploring-actiontec-mi424wr-rev-i/84662/2

Maybe you can help me port OpenWrt to this thing?
Re: life-extension for Actiontec MI424RW Rev I router
January 10, 2021 05:12PM
bkallus,

As I mentioned above, the Avanta SoC has not been mainline, so the whole infrastucture needs to be created like for the Armada SoCs, Kirkwood SoCs or Marvell Dove SoC. It is time consuming.

But first thing is to get the hold of the kernel source or patches for this box build that you mentioned that it can boot. Is there such a GPL source somewhere?

-bodhi
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Sort of. Actiontec's OpenRG sources are available here. I have built every one of them, and they all compile and boot fine, except the two most recent, which don't boot. They're all based on 2.6, though.

For the pandorabox stuff, I don't have the source, but I do have their imagebuilder which comes with a dts. It seems like they're using a modified version of the config for the linksys ea4500, which is kirkwood. Judging from this thread, it seems like others have had success getting avanta boards to partially boot on kirkwood images. Maybe the dts file I got from pandorabox is enough to get something booting further?
Re: life-extension for Actiontec MI424RW Rev I router
January 10, 2021 07:09PM
> Maybe the dts file I got from
> pandorabox is enough to get something booting
> further?

I suggest from now on we'll move the discussion to this thread. There were quite a few good info by by veriqster already there.

https://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,78499,78499#msg-78499

Yes. Please post that DTS.

-bodhi
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