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NL-5354AP1-Aries2



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Official Details

Note: it is a Bridging device not routing so there is no router type services. No DHCP, No DNS, No Firewall. It does support AP, Client, P2P and P2MP modes as well as WDS.
External linkQuick Guide
External linkUser Manual

Pictures

what's in the box

External linkNL-5354AP1 Internals
External linkLarger Version

OEM Firmware

The OEM firmware is VXWorkes based.
External link Senao Firmware v 1.7

Alternate Firmware

There is a FreeBSD port that will run on this little device
External linkFreeBSD for mips

External linkOpenWrt port in progress for the Atheros processor.

I have this netbooting, had to tweak the kernel cmd line and also the kernel drivers to build in the appropriate packages.


Support Forum



Misc Notes & Links


This device has 3 interfaces, LAN, WLAN0, WLAN1. The interfaces are bridged in the box, it has a MAC address for each interface but only supports a single IP Address across all interfaces.
Can be configured to be a 802.11a or 802.11g client, bridge or repeater via the command line interface, web interface is for access point only modes.
External linkUser review
External linkAnother review

the CLI login is admin pw iktpw
in addition there is an admin mode ( enter admin password senao )

Modifications / Addon's

PoE support is mentioned in the data sheet, however on my machines the tracks have been cur from the RJ45 connector, there is some of the detection curcuitry but the 48 V capable powersupply is not populated on the board. Instead there is a small daughter board to take the 5V supply from the Jack.
The dinky antennas have to go... Perhaps a neat little 5.8 GHz Yagi ( 16 DBi in a 25 cm long antenna ) and a pannel for the 2.4 Ghz and wrap it in a nice little waterproof box.

Discussion


It's a constrained device, ( both flash, Memory & functionality ) but if you take it for what it is it could be pretty useful,especially as you get a 2 radio device for about $45.
I can see this being used as part of a Node, in conjunction with a routing device like an R100. I like the ability to set it up in WDS to make a bigger Node with multiple AP's, the powerfuly radios and the ability to use the 802.11a radio simultaneously. A pair of these for under $100 allows you to set up an 5.8 Ghz link to your node an has a built in AP at either end to boot.

netbooting OpenWrt

The Atheros port of OpenWrt supports this processor but there are a couple of traps.

kernel configuration


edit /build_mips/linux/.config to change the boot command line:
 CONFIG_CMDLINE="console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/nfs
 nfsroot=192.168.1.1:/export/senao/root ip=dhcp init=/etc/preinit "


You don't seem to have fine enough control over the kernel from the OpenWrt menuconfig. It looks like what it controls is building modules and packaging them. If they are configured directly in the kernel, it relies on the kernel .config that is copied into the build environment when the configure commands are run.

So, you need to tweak the same .config file:
 CONFIG_IIP_PNP=y
 CONFIG_IP_PNP_DHCP=y
 CONFIG_NFS_FS=y
 CONFIG_ROOT_NFS=y


userland

OpenWrt creates devices in /dev dynamicly, this messes up when you try to netboot the kernel. That'e the filesystem that you generate during the build and put it where you want to mount it /export/senao/root is what I'm using.

make a device for the console
 cd /export/senao/root/dev; mknod console c 5 0


The kernel will run /etc/preinit once it has loaded. You will find that it chokes either here or just past here when init runs /etc/init.d/rcS

rcS will run through the Snn* files listed in /etc/rc.d. Once it runs S10boot then you will be totally hosed. SO for now move that directory aside and create a blank one in it's place. Then init will run without doing the boot configuration and give you a shell to work in.

I'll go through the inssues here next update.

VxWorks bootloader config

You need to set up the VxWorks bootloader to boot from the net. It is able to find the kernel but not pass command line options.

The kernel you build will use DHCP to set up the network interface and mount the userland from the NFS server details returned in the DHCP response.

dhcp server config


I tried to use udhcpd or dnsmasq to return the DHCP parameters but they do not support netbooting machines with different parameters. DHCP is pretty robust though so if you have multiple DHCP servers running, then the client will accept the response that contains the best/ most information.

I ran dhcpd on the linux machine I was serving the userland from.

Problems


The first problem will be the device seeming to fail in the boot process. This is because the boot loader serial console is at 115200 baud while the default OpenWrt kernel will set the baud to 9600. This is so slow you will se no messages at all after the boot loader loads the kernel and jumps to the start address.

Fix this by either running your terminal at 9600 and ignoring the boot loader "junk" or changing the command line of the console.

Not found console - the default firmware has /dev empty, create the console device as described above.

errors when interacting with the NFS mounted root fs.
need to mount the FS rw earlier in the boot process.

Don't see all the mounts in /proc - haven't worked this one out. you can see the mounts with mount


Version 5 (current) modified Mon, 09 Jul 2007 16:01:32 +1000 by dna0xff
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