Flashing TM-AC1900 to RT-AC68U/P

COVID19 and Stay-at-Home orders make performing this moderately difficult and time consuming procedure make sense.

At the end of 2014, T-Mobile announced the TM-AC1900 Wireless Router as a solution for T-Mobile customers with poor or no cell coverage at their homes.  Although named  The T-Mobile Personal CellSpot, the device was not a cellular modem or fentocell.  It was a rebranded Asus RT-AC68U WiFi router that could be used with cell phones that supported “WiFi calling”  The Asus hardware was and still is a solid router and it was offered for a fraction of the price of the Asus branded model.  However the firmware that came with the TM-AC1900 lacked some of the features of the regular Asus firmware and quickly became insecure and obsolete when the T-Mobile firmware locked out simple firmware replacement and stopped providing updates.

Keeping network devices secure and up to date is critical for any installation – home or business.  Current owners of the TM-AC1900 with original firmware have two options:

  1. Send it to the electronic recycler
  2. Perform a moderately difficult update to current RT-AC68U firmware.

Considering the low purchase price and the time required to perform the update, option 1 would make the most sense.  The COVID19 pandemic and Stay-at-Home orders made option 2 a reasonable alternative.

I used the method described on the Bay Area Tech Pros website.  The procedure on the site uses Windows.  Mac users will need to modify some of the steps described in a video by lyingRich on YouTube.

I ran into a problem with the router supporting an older and no longer supported ssh encryption which I needed to allow –

-oKexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 admin@192.168.x.x

Worst case you can send it to the electronics recycler.

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