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1109407-25-13 - WRT54 FIRMWARE UPGRADE

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  • David Bird
    Jul 25, 2013

      I have been watching the many threads on upgrading firmware and specifically the need to upgrade all nodes to support the upcoming Broadband-HAMnet. I am excited to see the development and expected services. Thanks to those involved in the development and the many hours contributed to its development.

      However, as I have reminded those with whom I operate, there are important installation concerns with any anticipated node firmware or patch change.

      In my experience, if I am mistaken please correct me, the MESH Administration firmware upgrade tab REQUIRES internet access to retrieve the available firmware updates and patches. This means that a physical connection to the internet is required. This is a particular problem in installations, such as my own, where the node hardware is located at a remote location or on a tower.

      The internet connection is made via the WRT54 WAN connector and then the node servers as an internet gateway. When I have attempted to connect the internet to one of the LAN ports, internet connectivity fails. This means the node may have to come down off the tower or must be brought back to the desk. If future upgrades are anticipated for a tower mounted installation, a spare CAT5 cable might be run to the tower and connected to the WAN port, not one of the LAN ports.

      I saw one post where the node was on a 900' tower. This is a real problem for such an installation. It may be possible to use a separate node in the shack and bridged to the tower node providing the internet access. I have not tried this and am not where I can test this configuration for a couple of weeks. I will appreciate any feedback on if this works.

      As noted above, this thread is based on my personal experience. If it is not correct, I will appreciate correction and suggested alternate solutions since I am also faced with this problem as soon as the new firmware is available.

      73, Dave