Linksys Media Center Extender WMCE54AG

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taffy44
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 19:05    Post subject: Linksys Media Center Extender WMCE54AG Reply with quote
I have a Linksys WRT54GS Router and have recently flashed the hardware with DD-WRT v23 SP1 Firmware. The router is working much better (faster) than before, but now I cannot access the media center computer from my Media Center Extender. The Media Center Extender was working fine before the Firmware upgrade. I am using Windows XP MCE SP2.
Do I need to change some settings on the router or on my PC?
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Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:22    Post subject: Re: Linksys Media Center Extender WMCE54AG Reply with quote
This is WAY old and may no longer apply, but there's been no answer on this, and I too have a WMCE54AG (actually 2 of them). I keep finding this when I do searches for WMCE54AG information and it's bothering me there is no answer.

Just verify or redo the SSID and Network name. I had the same problem, but all I did to get it working was change the Workgroup name on my PC to something else, and then change it back. Make sure your SSID is correct and you shouldn't have any issues.

I have 2 of these because I never got around to a project I wanted to work on, cracking one open and seeing if I can change the firmware. Handy units though. It's a shame they haven't made them compatible with Vista and Win7. Maybe I'll get some free time and change that.
barryware
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 12977
Location: Behind The Reset Button

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 13:35    Post subject: Reply with quote
I also own one of these little beauties. I have had no problems with it in regards to it's wireless connectivity. Indeed it is a shame there is no longer support. I think you need to watch out for linksys with these "off-the-wall" devices. They quit producing and supporting these in less than a year and they did the exact same thing with the DMA devices (2100, & 2200). Unfortunately, I own two of the DMA's also.

It is not unfortunate on my part because the don't work, it is unfortunate that there is no longer support. Things in the multi-media world change quickly and the device is left to fade away.

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Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:52    Post subject: Reply with quote
Are you willing to crack open your DMA device to see what chip is installed?

I opened up the WMCE54AG and this is what I found inside:



Under the heatsink is just an ATI graphics processor:
ATI Xilleon 225
215H25AGA13
GC7312.1
0433SS

1-
RTL8101L
48298Q1

2-
Atheros
AR5213A-00
A20254C
2304

3-
SAMSUNG 440
K4S281632F-TC75

4-
ANALOG DEVICES
ADSP-BF533
SKBCE10
559595.1 0.3
0445 SINGAPORE
BLACK

5-
HYNIX 430P
HY5DU281622ET-5

6-
SAMSUNG 440
K9F2808U0C
YCB0
UPH737DCC

7-
LT 0433
LTC1628CG
N27185

8-(sticker)
TWB1001
C01
(on chip under sticker)
MXJ043504
29LV040QC-70
1F9588

9-(sticker)
TWB1001
V1.10
040618
(on chip under sticker)
ATMEL
AT90SC3232CS
0443
4S5691


As you notice, a lot of this chassis is empty space. I'm half tempted to create a smaller and more space saving chassis. The faceplate contains just a few buttons, and the buttons it comes with are quite temperamental. I tested a different button and had no issues, so changing the look and style might be worth it. I have 2 of these so I'm not too worried about ripping one apart. I'm also not fond of the internal and external antennas not being detachable. Where I have one of these units, I really could use a higher gain antenna.
Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm also trying to find out if I can telnet or SSH into it. I know it uses port 3776 through the Media Extender service. Traditional ports for trying to connect into it aren't working. I didn't find any sort of serial point on the device either.

There are USB ports on the device, although they are non-functional. I'm wondering if they may be a way to connect to the system. And -if not- try and enable them with a revised firmware creation.

Honestly, at this point, I don't even know if this think runs anything Linux.

EDIT:
Well, I looked further into it. The ATI chip IS the processor and the unit runs a flavor of Windows CE for set top boxes. So if I can get a linux kernel to run on it, the code probably needs to be written from scratch. I would need some serious help on this. I'm not that detailed in Linux. I still gotta figure out a way to log into the device to do any type of re-installation of it's OS or firmware.

So this is more like hacking into a PDA. Good news is, if it can be done, the IR and USB ports can be turned on for use with external devices. Unfortunately, the ATI chip will probably only allow it to work in 480p. Might be possible to get it to run 720p, but highly doubtful.
Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:27    Post subject: Reply with quote
I decided to run a firmware update (Already had V1.01, but running the firmware update just overwrites) and capture the talk between the device and a PC. It wasn't working at first, so I had to remove network security and whatnot temporarily. Not sure why it had that problem, but I got it running. So if someone has wireshark or a program that can open .pcap the attached file can be reviewed and help discover a way to access the unit. I rar'd it to be accepted by the site.

However, this thing is not Broadcom. There isn't a Broadcom chip anywhere in it.



Wmce54ag.rar
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  Wmce54ag.rar
 Filesize:  5.9 MB
 Downloaded:  1413 Time(s)

Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 0:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
I also took a look at the mini-PCI card. I yanked it out and tried it in an AirLink I had hacked that alsouses a mini-PCI card. I found the driver for the extender's card and had it working perfectly on the AirLink. So if I can do that, it might be possible to swap the mini-pci card on the extender. The AirLink had a Ralink 802.11n mini-pci card originally. I can find some drivers for it online. It's a RT2661T chip.

The 802.11n card doesn't work unless I can install a driver for it on the Extender. But If I can hack into extender, then it could be possible to install a different mini-pci card with better bandwidth capabilities. Maybe even a nice Broadcom mini-pci card. (wishful thinking)

Still need someone who might have knowledge or ability to hack the ATI Xilleon chip
LOM
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 7597

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:17    Post subject: Reply with quote
Doramius wrote:

Still need someone who might have knowledge or ability to hack the ATI Xilleon chip


The ADSP-BF53 (BlackFin series cpu) could also be the main cpu, if so then it is most likely running uCLinux.

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Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:48    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was initially thinking that as well, but I think it controls the the analog ports rather than process and streaming data. I also was leaning Windows CE because of the M$ media center connection. Usually you have to use a different Media Center software for Linux extenders to work. Of course, I don't have a way to find out for sure. I'm not sure how I would be able to connect to the device, just yet, to find out how to make the change.


Another reason why I don't think it's Linux is Linksys just had to release the full source code for anything that uses Linux according to GNU, and the WMCE54AG is not on the list.
Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just an update. I still haven't been able to hack into my WMC54AG. However, I did find a way to use it with my Win7.....in a way. I have Win7 64-bit, and my extender will not connect to it directly. It's a Gen1 extender, and the only extender that successfully crosses all platforms is the XBOX-360. However, my system supports virtualization. I am running VMware Workstation 7 and have installed my copy of XP MCE-2005 as a virtual OS. I have the network connection bridged, and I only need to run it when I'm using the extenders. All of my hardware works 100% in VM. So while I haven't hacked the unit (but would still like to) the need is not as pressing since it works great without hacking. There are some features that are not available that I want to unlock, such as the USB port and the ability to read other video formats without having to encode on-the-fly with a 3rd party program taking up precious CPU power.
Phreaker47
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 0:11    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey good luck with this... I also have a WMCE54AG. I wish I could help but I do not have the expertise. I would however be willing to test things if you ever made progress. Although I still use it with MCE2005 I do have a laptop already running Win7 Ultimate so it wouldn't be difficult to plug it into that and try things.
Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:05    Post subject: Reply with quote
This would require someone with some extensive programming background, especially in WinCE. I don't know if we'll be lucky enough to get that. I do recommend running MCE 2005 in a virtual mode if your system supports it. SO far I have had absolutely no issues with it. I would still like to play with the firmware on my extender, but as time passes the likelihood of that happening becomes less.
sbc279
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 16:11    Post subject: Lynksys WMCE54AG Reply with quote
June, 2012 - I realize this is an extremely old thread, but an unresolved one!
I'm a programmer for 25 years by profession and I'm going to devote some time to this flawed Media Extender. WHO makes a hardware device that can work with only ONE OS and version? What were (or weren't) they thinking?
Anyway, there are actually several ways I'm going to try to address the Media Extender's ability to communicate with Windows 7, and the first will most likely be in the form of an interface between Windows 7's Media Center and the Linksys (no hardware or OS hacking).
This driver (bridge) would run on the Windows 7 PC as a fake "XP Media Center" service "seeing" the Linksys as an Extender, and for what Windows 7's Media Center would "see" as an extender. This driver would not be the entire XP-Style Media Center, but rather just the portion that communicates with extenders. This would NOT require a valid XP Media Center license.

. Linksys <--> Bridge <--> Windows 7

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted

Steve
Doramius
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 19:44    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sounds good. let me know. I'll be more than happy to test it out. So far, the best alternative I've been using is have a virtual machine of MCE2005 running, which requires an OS license. But it does work very well.
rusl
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 22:58    Post subject: more info please Reply with quote
Doramius wrote:
Sounds good. let me know. I'll be more than happy to test it out. So far, the best alternative I've been using is have a virtual machine of MCE2005 running, which requires an OS license. But it does work very well.


Hi, could you please elaborate on this MCE2005 solution that works? Very exciting.

I've got a DMA2100 that is just collecting dust as I am an Ubuntu user at home. But, if I understand you correctly you are using a MCE2005 OS in a Virtual Machine on your networked computer (the host) which can then, through the network, see your Media Centre Extender, allowing you to use it to stream video.

So for instance I could use Virtualbox and a disc image of MCE2005 presumably from my Ubuntu machine to get this going?

Do you have any tips for setting up the network or MCE? I would be eternally grateful if you did because otherwise this thing is a door stop for me.

Thanks so much!

rusl
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