Huawei SmartMX 5616 Crash Guide Part 1 – Initialisation

We recently managed to get hold of one of these units and the power supply unit for it. Although the power supply is pretty simple to get setup the DSLAM itself is a little bit more complex.

We have had issues and concerns with the older Versa DSLAMs we use. We simply aren’t getting the reach we are expecting even on brand new cable and though on paper these seem flexible the command interface is horrid and it seems getting them working is more dumb luck. On two events we have places that on paper, should not be an issue, but in practice we were struggling at the 1km mark to get anything where on paper we should have been around the 30Mbit range. We may have been able to work on this a bit by forcing the use of lower line speed profiles but the Versa dosnt make this easy. On top of this we found we had to disable 17a due to crosstalk issues. VDSL2 was ratified in 2005 which is pretty close to the manufacture date of these units which may mean there are protocol oddities here.

So in comes the Huawei SmartMX. We got this unit complete for a good price along with most of the kit. Because we are suspicious we checked the serial numbers with Huawei and all good. At this early juncture they were helpful and the documentation is concise and the staff helpful. Versa were right up to the point they realised they were not going to get any more sales. The support team walked me through a full factory reset to clear the passwords on the unit and they did ask me NOT to share this part, sorry guys. The info is out there though and if you ask the support team they will tell you. I’m guessing this is a result of the high retail value of these units and the fact there are thousands of these in poorly protected street cabinets.

Our unit came with the CCUE card, which is the top dog in terms of management cards and two H835VDSH cards and a DC PSU. We got the SMU01b unit with this which gives AC to DC, environment monitoring and support for 48V of battery power.

The H835VDSH cards are 24 channel VDSL2 boards. These have no on board splitter or pass through port so you’ll need to provide the splitter elsewhere. Annoyingly they use 64 way telco connectors rather than 50 and these can be a dog to find, expect to make up your own leads and note that the pairing is NOT the standard used on 50 ways! We wanted VDSL2 with Vectoring so a search found us two H83BVCLF boards for the right money. These don’t have splitters either but we can work round that.

Vectoring allows higher throughput as a result of less crosstalk. Draytek have a write up here : about what this is. In our case the environments are often VERY noisy electrically split accross phases, multiple generators and run in large copper backbones. Vectoring should help us here, a LOT.

So off we go and the first thing we run in to is that all the config guides are aimed at use in FTTC networks,. There is little or no allowance for using it as *just* a bridge in the examples. The unit can do it but everything is overly complicated. Connect up to the console port with a Cisco cable at 9600 baud. And now bring on the pain. This console is beyond awful. dont even think about using backspace 🙂 Its also slow and easy to out-type where it’ll just drop chars. So we want to improve this as fast as we can.

First up login and do the following. If your system is defaulted you might not want to do this but it cant hurt. The default user is root with the password mduadmin. Once logged in..

erase configuration

It will prompt you if this is right and then go on to reboot. Thsi means you have a nice clean canvas. This does NOT erase the management interface settings, this is possibly deliberate so the whole thing can still be setup remotely. Let’s get that management interface sorted, login again..

interface meth0
ip address <desired ip> 24

Obviously <desired ip> should match what you want to use IP address wise. Now if this is all you are doing then quit and save. Make sure the ‘ETH’ port is connected to your Lan and for simplicity connect the GE port too.

save configuration

If you find the interface is already setup you’ll need to change the settings/ after typing interface meth0 you can press ? for help with this. Once you get your head round how the system goes together its pretty easy. Now, logout of the console by typing quit till you get to a login prompt. this is important as it’ll only allow one session. You should be able to telnet into the unit at the IP you set and we are off. It doesn’t solve the awful terminal setup but it stops the dropped chars. There may be a solution for this via serial as Huawei do give some very specific serial settings that they suggest.

We have three boards, the two VCLF boards and one VDSH. The system organises things into frame/slot/port. We only have one frome here so thats always 0/. Slot wise, 0 is the CCUE, 1 is the top slot, 4 is the bottom and 5 is the PSU. So we have:

CCUE = 0/0
VCLF = 0/1
VCLF = 0/2
VDSH= 0/3
PDVA = 0/5

0/4 has nothing in it. This may be different depending on your cards. Each board must be confirmed except 0/0 to enable it, so we need to do this for each board we have

board confirm 0/1
board confirm 0/2
board confirm 0/3

Once you’ve done this try:

display board 0

You should see something like:

  SlotID  BoardName  Status           SubType0 SubType1  Online/Offline
  0       H831CCUE   Active_normal    UP2A
  1       H83BVCLF   Normal
  2       H83BVCLF   Normal
  3       H835VDSH   Normal
  5       H832PDVA   Normal

Now if all says normal we are good and we can start the setup. you’ll want part 2 for that..

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