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README.md
backpanel.JPG
openwrt_login.jpg
openwrt_working.jpg
revision_labels.JPG
stock_login.jpg
stock_update.jpg
stock_updating.jpg
theunit.JPG
unboxed.JPG

README.md

tplink-archer-c7-openwrt

tl;dr This is a guide which steps through installing OpenWRT to TP-Link Archer C7

You will need

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Ver:2.0: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/cat-9_Archer-C7.html

OpenWRT: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer-c5-c7-wdr7500

Direct firmware download link: https://downloads.openwrt.org/latest/ar71xx/generic/openwrt-15.05.1-ar71xx-generic-archer-c7-v2-squashfs-factory.bin

UPDATE Nov 17:

There seems to be a bug in ath10k kernel module causing connection drops becuse of no ack received from wireless station (eg. your laptop) to AP (the router).

Mar 27 08:13:56 xxxxxx daemon.info hostapd: wlan0: STA xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
IEEE 802.11: disconnected due to excessive missing ACKs

https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=43188

Ack's are sent correctly but bug in ath10k causes them to disappear and low_ack is fired causing station auto-disassociation. Workaround for this is to disable 'disassoc_low_ack' feature (with a value of '0') to /etc/config/wireless under desired wifi-iface configuration.

# cat /etc/config/wireless
config wifi-iface
  option device 'radio0'
  option network 'lan'
  option mode 'ap'
  option disassoc_low_ack '0'
  ...

Retail box

unboxed

Labels at box

Labels telling the SN and HW revision. Check that the revision is:

Ver:2.0

revision_labels

The unit itself and the backpanel

theunit backpanel

Stock firmware login

Connect unit's LAN1 (yellow) port to your computer with a RJ45 cable. Do not use a static ip address at your computer, use DHCP instead. Power up the device, wait 60secs and then navigate to http://192.168.0.1/ and login with admin:admin

stock_login

Stock firmware update

Navigate to System Tools -> Firmware Upgrade and select downloaded *-factory.bin file. Then click Upgrade.

stock_update

Upgrade process

It takes ~2mins to complete. After the update the unit reboots. stock_updating

OpenWRT login

After the unit's reboot you need to unplug and then re-plug RJ45 cable, this causes the DHCP to renew the ip address which is now changed to http://192.168.1.1/ Now navigate there and login with root:root

openwrt_login

Further reading

In fact OpenWRT is designed to be used through a command line interface but someone has developed a very decent web interface called LuCI.

OpenWRT LuCI web interface tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLLtZH2Bc0w openwrt_login