Fix Some, Break Others

I noticed a strange but rather interesting problem the other night while working on one of my WVC54GCA cameras which was accidentally reset to defaults. But before I explain, I should back up a bit.

I mentioned in my previous post about ZoneMinder that I had not completely finished reviewing or evaluating the new V1.1 firmware that Linksys made available just recently. I now can, with a bit more certainty.

In the Linksys Release Notes, it states:

Version v1.1.00 build 02, Jun 15, 2008

- Support of Setup Wizard is temporarily disabled to address security issue

- Fix security issues

- Fix Camera stability issues

- Fix VLC multicast playback issues

- Update TZO DDNS client

- Change Firmware version format

- Enable HNAP protocol support

- Fix OCX stability issues

- Update valid value range of RTP Data Port. New range is even value of 1024~65514.

Version v1.00R24, Jan 7, 2008

- Updated TZO DDNS client code to resolve an issue with incorrect TZO server address being used to resolve the customers FQDN.

Now, this all sounds fine and dandy, but I think Linksys has fixed some issues and broken some others at the same time.

Concerned about the security issues (which are supposedly fixed in 1.1), I upgraded both cameras from my previous trusty (but somewhat unstable) V1.0 R24 build. At the time, everything worked. The cameras continued functioning over WiFi, all of my previous settings were preserved, everything seemed fine. However, I noticed that the wireless configuration page shows something a bit odd: “undefined.” Take a look:

Undefined? Nice.

Well, that’s odd. But WiFi worked. For the record, I’m using a Linksys WRT54G-TM running Tomato 1.27 with WPA/WPA2 AES and an alphanumeric key over 20 digits long.

The other night, my roommate inadvertently reset one of the cameras to default running the new V1.1 firmware. When I brought it back over ethernet and configured it to connect to WiFi, I noticed the configuration screen had changed, subtly:

1.00 build 24

1.1.00 build 02

The fields had changed. In addition to making the password field now the proper type (showing only bullets or whatever character your browser uses), there are two drop downs for which WPA version you’re using, as opposed to one. That seems fine, until after about a half hour of trying, I couldn’t make the 1.1 camera connect to my wireless. Arrgh.

Much tinkering, taking the thing apart, making sure the wireless card was seated, e.t.c. later, I tried something else. I remembered how much of a hassle the previous release was and how flashing to some strange German version of the firmware and then back made wireless magically work.

Amazingly, Linksys doesn’t keep a nice repo around (or, at least I couldn’t find one, perhaps there’s an FTP dump somewhere). I found the old 1.00 R24 build here, and for backup’s sake, here‘s a version I’ll host and keep around forever.

I flashed back to 1.00 R24, and immediately was able to connect. In addition, flashing back up to V1.1 after configuring wifi on 1.00 R24 makes everything work just fine. It’s a mess, but that’s the only way I can make it work.

I have a feeling that Linksys hasn’t completely nailed down the configuration settings/supplicant for that Ralink card they have in there, or that the open source drivers just aren’t that great. I strongly suspect this is partly the reason for the introduction of the WVC80N, although reviews do look promising. I’d like to get my hands on one of those!