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UKUser

join:2009-09-19

UK Firmware for 661H-D1

I have a 661H-D1 on which the current firmware is V3.40(API.0) dated 07/20/2006.

The Zyxel UK FTP site shows two firmware versions for this model: V3.4 (AHH.0)C0 and V3.4 (AHH.1)C0, the latter presumably being the latest version. For good measure the links on the UK web site take you to another version which is 3.40(AHH1)D0 In the Readme file for this version, it suggests you upload both the bin and rom files .

I'm thoroughly confused. Can anyone tell me which is the latest version? The modem was purchased through a UK dealer but I'm wondering if it is a grey import.



Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:10
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

1 edit

The C0 firmwares are generic firmwares release by ZyXel to generic public.
The D0 firmwares are modified version for specific provider or very specific non-standard feature (often you can't login to these because ISP changed the password, often some features are locked down).
--
When you do something, do it right!


UKUser

join:2009-09-19
reply to UKUser

Thanks Brano - that's the best explanation I've seen. All I've ever got from support when I've asked, is the stock answer that the latest firmware is on the ftp site.

Another question if I may How do the (API.0) codes work? If V3.4 is the version number ,do the letter sequences represent updates? Alternatively, do they stay the same and the update is indicated by the .0 In this case an update would be (API.1)

I have noticed that current versions of the 661H are advertised as having VPN termination whereas mine only has VPN passthrough. This suggests either modified firmware is available or, the internals have changed since this one was purchased.


JPedroT

join:2005-02-18
kudos:1

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to UKUser

Brano is right about the D0 and C0, but you can have D0 and C0 on the same firmware. C0 is first release to a customer. D0 is modifications done to the default settings for a project etc.

The numbers ie 3.40 is the major firmware version number, ie 3.41 is newer than 3.40 etc.
The letters AAH for example tells you which device its for, the number after the letters is which build/release version of the firmeware.

So in yout case

3.40(API.1) tells you its the 3.40 major firmware for a specific device which you can tell from API and .1 means that its the second release of this firmware, it a bug fix of feature has been added.

As for the AHH.1 working on the same device, it just means again its another project, that uses the same hardware platform, but it got major differences from the standard version.

Basically ZyXEL makes a device which they release as they product. Then a service provider can say, this is cool, but we need ABC for our needs, then ZyXEL creates another product by giving it a new part number and a special firmware.

Its a mess keeping track of it, nobody really knows how it works and whats in what firmware etc, unless you work for ZyXEL in Taiwan and then its barely known

And since we are in a sharing mode, the numbers after the name ie -61 etc also means something

The first digit means which chipset vendor

1x = Alcatel
2x = Connexant (Old usb devices and SHDSL CPE mainly)
3x = Alcatel/STI with a ZyXEL/Toshiba SoC chip (I worked a lot with these devices)
5x = Broadcom
6x/Dx = Texas Instruments
7x = Centillium
Fx = Infinion
Tx = Trendchip

The second digit tells you what annex

x1 = Annex A
x3 = Annex B
x7 = German type of Annex B, do not remember its name

And just to have more fun, they started to add some letters to the end ie P660H-F3z, nobody ever told me what the z is for, but it could be that it means the Amazon chipset from Infinion, since the other devices with Fx uses the older Danube chipset.

--
"Perl is executable line noise, Python is executable pseudo-code."


UKUser

join:2009-09-19

said by JPedroT:

Its a mess keeping track of it, nobody really knows how it works and whats in what firmware etc, unless you work for ZyXEL in Taiwan and then its barely known
Yes that's the impression I got Thanks for the lengthy explanation - I wonder that anyone can keep track of it all.

In theory the V3.4 (AHH.1)C0 firmware from the UK ftp site should install on my device. It doesn't as it simply produces an error msg. I've not tried the 3.40(AHH1)D0 firmware as that requires installing the bin and rom files and I'm a bit wary of bricking it.

Probably best left alone, although I was hoping that installing different firmware would enable its use as a VPN endpoint for an occasional VPN user. Current UK 661H models are advertised as providing 2 VPN tunnels, which would be adequate for a remote user requiring an occasional login to transfer data.


Brano
I hate Vogons
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-25
Burlington, ON
kudos:10
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Bell Fibe

1 edit

bin is the actual firmware.
rom0 is default config. You don't necessary need to load this. Loading it is the same as if you reset the unit to factory defaults via GUI/CLI or holding down the HW reset button for approx. 10 seconds.

--
When you do something, do it right!


UKUser

join:2009-09-19

Thanks for this. I'm guessing that the rom file contains just the basic UK config so I'll give it a go.


JPedroT

join:2005-02-18
kudos:1
reply to UKUser

I guess I should clarify the part about working on the same device.

API and AHH as in your case are not working with each other, because there is a check on the units to make sure you run the "correct" firmware.
This is due to the afore mentioned projects, ie ISP A pays extra to get extra features, ie ISP B should not get those for free etc.

So yes, they will work on unit that got the same exact hardware as your unit, but due to some software checks it will reject flashing of the "wrong" firmware.

There used to be a debug AT kommand to turn the check off, I do not remember it anymore, But it also meant that you could flash any ZyXEL fw on any ZyXEL device and basically make your device a pretty doorstop if it was the wrong firmware.

Usually the firmware is "bound" to a branch of boot modules, check the release notes of your API and AAH firmware and see if they use the same bootmodule.
--
"Perl is executable line noise, Python is executable pseudo-code."


UKUser

join:2009-09-19

You're right, the 3.40(AHH1)D0 won't work on my device.

Thanks for the info regarding the numbering scheme. Going by those, mine has a Texas Instruments chip - probably an AR7 and, is valid for Annex A in the UK. Actually I think Australia also uses Annex A so they might be valid there as well, albeit with different settings.

What I do find intriguing is the exact same model is now advertised in the UK as having VPN termination, rather than pass-through as in this one. This one is about 2/3 years old, so either the firmware in the current ones is completely different or, the platform has been modified, or maybe both.

Must be a nightmare being a Zyxel dealer....



jacksprat

@bethere.co.uk

said by UKUser:

You're right, the 3.40(AHH1)D0 won't work on my device.
I have the identical problem and the key seems to be the "API" platform or revision. It's just possible that equipment originally specified for an ISP has somehow found it's way into the retail chain perhaps? Someone knows what the "API" refers to of course, it's just not either of us.

I've seen some material on hacking at the ZyNOS CLI and referencing the "disable platform check", for loading appropriate firmware to the P-662H-D1. Maybe it would be good for the P-661H-D1 also.

UKUser

join:2009-09-19

Knowing where it came from I think it quite likely it's, 'found its way into the retail chain'. Some time ago, the same firm were selling a load of Draytek kit that were grey imports. I think there was something on the Draytek forum about the UK agents not supporting it.

I'm a bit doubtful about using the 'disable platform check' command, as it can quite easily brick the thing and at present it's a useful spare.

My main reason for the OP was that I need to install a single user VPN and, it occurred to me that a firmware update would make this 661 usable for that. If the setup worked OK then it could be replaced with an up to date model if required.

Still, at least I've learned a lot about the arcane nature of Zyxel firmware codes.....


jacksprat44

join:2009-12-02
france
reply to UKUser

Ha-ha we may have bought from the same place.

Agreed about not turning it into a brick, but the procedure doesn't assume knowing 'how not to' so I'll be doing it when I locate a suitable firmware or better yet the answer to just who or what 'API' is. (Anyone?)

Just can't break the habit of a lifetime's hacking, I also want the VPN functionality that you describe from my 'bargain' router. Currently running 2 x P-662's in multiple VPN's so totally agree about the ZyNOS ahem... system.


UKUser

join:2009-09-19

said by jacksprat44:

........I'll be doing it when I locate a suitable firmware or better yet the answer to just who or what 'API' is. (Anyone?)
I queried this with support and got the following reply: ".....this is a version that was specifically made for the UK (3.40(API.0) but this cannot be upgraded to the AHH versions as it has a different modem code however there is a dated firmware we can supply you which can upgrade the modem code for your router."

Not yet done the upgrade as I don't have the router at present, but I doubt this adds any more features.

jacksprat44

join:2009-12-02
france

Thanks for the info. I got the same answer from CS and have updated the firmware with the code mentioned. It all works well and has actually opened up some more menu choices. There's lot more fixes in the AHH code though.