[OpenWrt-Devel] [LEDE Project Forum] [Installing and Using LEDE] New Ubiquiti LOCO M2 XW

Eliezer Croitoru eliezer at ngtech.co.il
Fri Aug 25 06:01:57 EDT 2017

Hey Bill,

My next words are not directed towards you or a specific person or any company.
These come to clear very known things which some try to just ignore.

I want to clear up couple things since your words can be misleading.
First I want to let anyone that reads this post that I am not a RF or embedded or electronics certified expert but,
I'm in the field for a very long time(since 199x) and I have couple good mentors which are experts in these fields.

I have asked them more than once about  this matter and others.
They answered and cleared for me many practical doubts which led me to respond this post.

We can split the issue with RF transmission devices into couple:

The first is a natural physical phenomenon which is hard to overcome which is induction of waves.
This issue is the first to concern of the FCC and many other organizations around the world.
Many hardware components can form a wave in a certain frequency and in a specific length but,
it will always overlap a certain nearby frequency and also will 100% create a parallel wave then the desired.
It's possible to cancel some of the parallel and nearby "noises" that the transmission creates but.. it costs money.
Also when you go upper in the wave length and\or power it becomes much harder technically\physically to control the "noises".
There are many companies and home made and low quality and cheap transmitters which will be fine for usage in the
middle of a place where humans and communications gears are not operated like in the depth of a jungle or a desert.
But these devices can harm delicate electrical systems operations which are critical for human lives.
And also as upper you go into the frequency this task becomes much harder.
Many 2.4 devices already proved that there is a need to enforce a policy regarding the basic quality gears which creates RF.

Another issue is that the world of electrical parts such as communication gear chips became so advanced that the same gear
can be programmed to create either a specific desired frequency and also in a specific amplification\strength.
The most common device which can demonstrate this concept is the size and power of welding gears.
The simple and "old" welding power supply was a simple a transformer to either AC or DC.
These transformers are monsters in their size compared to the new electrical version which is lighter and smaller.
And yes, these devices are super dangerous for touch!!!(let alone the danger of usage without the proper eyes shielding)

These issues:
- Noises and interference reduction ie wave accuracy
- Software based frequency and amplification control(converting a 1000 mW device into a 5000 mW** by just adding the proper cooling or 5.xGhz to 20Ghz++ )

Are the main  concern of the FCC and many organizations around the globe.

And just to illustrate how many crazy things humans can do intentionally for the sake of Internet or money you can try to dig into youtube.
You can see documented installations of Microwave gears was on towers in a height of above 50 Meters without any safety gear.
These gears can save\spare or cost human lives!!(both the safety and the RF)

Once consumers (network engineers and integrators) will understand this and consider the risks and they will not be blinded by money or fame or other things which
are based only on lust and\or greed and\or the need to survive the next day in a crazy world, they will fold their tail between their legs and
will act much carefully and will not pull their joker winning card "GPL and Open Source compatibility".

All The Bests,

* Again I just wanted to clear things which are known but sometimes are forgotten.

Linux System Administrator
Mobile: +972-5-28704261
Email: eliezer at ngtech.co.il

From: openwrt-devel [mailto:openwrt-devel-bounces at lists.openwrt.org] On Behalf Of Bill Moffitt
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 07:56
To: LEDE Project Forum <forum+reply-b62df92780252ab820e71d5b896659ef at lede-project.org>; openwrt-devel at lists.openwrt.org
Subject: Re: [OpenWrt-Devel] [LEDE Project Forum] [Installing and Using LEDE] New Ubiquiti LOCO M2 XW

Fellow developers-
I wanted to follow up on this topic, as it pertains to anyone considering using OpenWRT/LEDE on Ubiquiti wireless gear (I can't speak to the EdgeRouter, etc. devices).
I have been speaking with one of the executives at Ubiquiti, and he disclosed that they have been feeling pressured by the FCC to deal with the perceived issue of firmware being able to alter the RF characteristics of the hardware, particularly in the 5 GHz. band. He pointed to this note from the FCC as evidence: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2339685/fcc-software-security-requirements.pdf
This is an interesting document - I really don't understand what legal standing it has - wasn't this the proposal that set us all to the web last year to try to make the FCC be sensible? In its First Review and Order of July 13 (https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-93A1.pdf) the FCC specifically mention in the footnotes that they are NOT addressing "...provisions to prevent the unauthorized modification of the software and firmware that ensure that and RF device complies with FCC rules that prevent harmful interference..."
So it appears, at this point, that the FCC's position is that the replacement of firmware on devices is perfectly legal, but, to have a U-NII (5 GHz) device authorized in the U.S., it must have its firmware locked so it cannot be modified.
Whatever the legality is, the folks at Ubiquiti have made the decision to lock the bootloader on all their models so that firmware that is not specifically "signed" by Ubiquiti cannot be flashed on to their products. Models with locked bootloaders are just being introduced now - my last batch of Loco M2 units (note that these are 2.4 GHz. radios) were very odd: on units running AirOS 5.6.12 (as they shipped) I could load LEDE via the Web UI, but I could not load it using tftp. I updated some units to AirOS 6.0.6 and could not load LEDE at all via any method. Even connecting to the serial port did not help - the console stops when the firmware starts booting.
The bottom line is this: effective in the very near future, we will not be able to load OpenWRT/LEDE on to Ubiquiti wireless gear, unless I'm missing something here.
And we should expect every vendor to follow suit.
This represents an interesting problem for getting commercial vendors to adopt and support OpenWRT/LEDE - if Ubiquiti is interpreting the FCC's notes correctly, any company that wants to use OpenWRT/LEDE will have to sign the images so they cannot be modified. This seems to contradict the real value of OpenWRT/LEDE - and how would that even work with opkg, etc?).
I wanted to report what I have found to this group and see if anyone has any brilliant ideas. I haven't any at the moment.

On 08/14/2017 10:46 AM, Adrian Draus wrote:

http://forum.lede-project.org/users/r43k3n http://forum.lede-project.org/users/r43k3n 
August 14 

Ubiquiti still refuses to release images for complete system recovery for EdgeRouter devices. So when your EdgeOS firmware gets corrupted beyond repair and your out of warranty then the only course of action is to install LEDE. No official restoration procedure for EdgeOS is available.
That is not understandable for me since most TP-Link devices and Netgear units too have a way to restore the entire firmware using TFTP.
http://forum.lede-project.org/t/new-ubiquiti-loco-m2-xw/5760/5 or reply to this email to respond.
In Reply To

http://forum.lede-project.org/users/bmoffitt http://forum.lede-project.org/users/bmoffitt 
August 14 

Yes, they are not being very friendly towards us...
http://forum.lede-project.org/t/new-ubiquiti-loco-m2-xw/5760/5 or reply to this email to respond.
To unsubscribe from these emails, http://forum.lede-project.org/email/unsubscribe/d77905e615393f4ac90fda533896470e252bc1a7f50554875dac5763ab8e4293.
openwrt-devel mailing list
openwrt-devel at lists.openwrt.org

More information about the openwrt-devel mailing list