Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cracking Singnet issued Thomson ST536V6 modem to work in M'sia

Gotten a second hand Singtel issued Thomson ST536V6 modem from the local forum for S$20. Purpose is act as backup for my mum's ADSL connection in M'sia. M'sian generally stays in terrace houses which has poorer lightning protection on the phone line. So, burning of telephone wires or modem by lightning stike happen to my mum's home once every couple of years. Telephone line surge-protector helps. Getting a cheap second hand modem sounds like a good idea also.

However, I was immediately met with problem that the modem came with a customed firmware from Singapore Singnet & the settings cannot be changed the 'usual way'.

Here is how I flashed it with the "international" version of firmware such that one can change the VPI & VCI settings to 0 & 35 for use in Malaysia.

My sources of information are from the threads/sites below:

After the successful firmware upgrade,

The default gateway address changed from to

I can set the VPI/VCI to Malaysia's 0.35. Or on some other modem, it's 0 & 35 respectively. Of course, I can't test it here right now when I'm in Singapore, but I assumed things will be easy from now, when I can change all the settings on the modem.

Singnet's firmware served to
1. Make things simpler for people using Singnet
with 1~2 computers.
2. Make things difficult for people to use it as 'bridge mode'. The need to burn a 'residential
cd is ridiculous & make things unnecessarily complicated.
3, Make things complicated for people trying to configure it for use in other countries.
The need to burn a 'residential cd' to change VPI/VCI is again ridiculous.
4, Setting the administrator password with the 'residential cd' is also too complicated.
The default 'user' without password does not confirm with what the modem's manual says & took me so long to figure out.

Let's hope the international firmware will make all things simple for this modem.

Last but no least, the administrator's account name & password is case sensitive.
The user name is actually 'Administrator' & NOT 'administrator'. Again, took me a while
to figure that out.

Side note:

1. The sole purpose of the 'residential cd' is to change the modem settings with the ISP specific firmware, where many settings are intentionally omitted to avoid tempering. The cd works only in windows where some of the autostart.inf files are automatically loaded. Linux did not detect those files at all & so the cd does not work in linux.

2. Since the 'residential cd' is 'windows only', I ran the firmware upgrade software in windows also. I did not test whether it will work in linux via vmware or wine. Do so at your own risk.