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Topic: Support for TP-Link Archer C2600

The content of this topic has been archived between 29 Mar 2018 and 6 May 2018. Unfortunately there are posts – most likely complete pages – missing.

!! Newbie questions !!

I'll receive a TP-Link Archer c2600 v1.1 in a day/two and want to upgrade it to LEDE as the stock TP-Link firmware (I believe) doesn't accommodate a client VPN.  I feel confident about the process but want to double check before proceeding.

Q: To upgrade the Archer c2600 v1.1 router running stock TP-Link firmware=>LEDE 17 firmware, is it a matter of doing this through the TP-Link GUI (*edit* this worked) or do I need to go through the tftp server process as described below?

    Disable windows firewall on PC used for this process
    Set PC (tftp server) to fixed IP address 192.168.0.66 mask 255.255.255.0
    Download firmware from OpenWRT/TP-Link and rename it to ArcherC2600_1.0_tp_recovery.bin
    Connect cable from PC port to LAN port on router
    Start the tftp server (using tftpd32/tftpd64) with the file ArcherC2600_1.0_tp_recovery.bin in its root directory
    Turn off the router
    Press and hold Reset button
    Turn on router with the reset button pressed and wait ~15 seconds
    Release the reset button and after a short time the firmware should be transferred from the PC (tftp server)
    Wait ~5 minutes to complete recovery
    Enable windows firewall

Q: Also from the LEDE firmware=>stock firmware is it using the same process?
Process described above worked

Q: I have downloaded various lede-17.01.4-ipq806x-C2600-squashfs-factory.bin files where I have noticed they have differing file sizes.  Is there any reason as to why they are not ALL the same file size, or is it because LEDE + the different packages per separate build are of different sizes?

(I have created builds for my older TP-Link mr3420 v2.4 with different packages included but they are all of the same byte size)

Thanks in advance.

(Last edited by otnert on 28 Mar 2018, 14:05)

Hello,
I tried tp-link GUI first and didn't succeed, so I suggest have ready tftp server and Wireshark. You can almost always rely on tftp to go back and forth. Maybe you need to cut original firmware to return to it. As for the size I also noticed what you say compared to other hardware. BTW I just built my own openwrt latest trunk firmware for c2600 and everything I need including both radios and openfortivpn work without a hitch for now.
Before that I used Eko 17.01.4.

Cheers

otnert wrote:

!! Newbie questions !!

I'll receive a TP-Link Archer c2600 v1.1 in a day/two and want to upgrade it to LEDE as the stock TP-Link firmware (I believe) doesn't accommodate a client VPN.  I feel confident about the process but want to double check before proceeding.

Q: To upgrade the Archer c2600 v1.1 router running stock TP-Link firmware=>LEDE 17 firmware, is it a matter of doing this through the TP-Link GUI or do I need to go through the tftp server process as described below?

    Set PC to fixed ip address 192.168.0.66
    Download firmware from OpenWRT/TP-Link and rename it to ArcherC2600_1.0_tp_recovery.bin
    Start a tftp server with the file ArcherC2600_1.0_tp_recovery.bin in its root directory
    Turn off the router
    Press and hold Reset button
    Turn on router with the reset button pressed and wait ~15 seconds
    Release the reset button and after a short time the firmware should be transferred from the tftp server
    Wait ~5 minute to complete recovery.

Q: Also from the LEDE firmware=>stock firmware is it using the same process?

Q: I have downloaded various lede-17.01.4-ipq806x-C2600-squashfs-factory.bin files where I have noticed they have differing file sizes.  Is there any reason as to why they are not ALL the same file size, or is it because LEDE + the different packages per separate build are of different sizes?

(I have created builds for my older TP-Link mr3420 v2.4 with different packages included but they are all of the same byte size)

Thanks in advance.

ttsherpa wrote:

Hello,
I tried tp-link GUI first and didn't succeed, so I suggest have ready tftp server and Wireshark. You can almost always rely on tftp to go back and forth.

So tftp seems the go for flashing both ways.  I take it your also using a c2600 v1.1? (NVM I've read you are!)

Call me paranoid ATM, but being able to go back and forth between firmwares is of great importance to me especially if I'm not happy with how LEDE runs on this router! 

Maybe you need to cut original firmware to return to it.

Have you gone back to the TP-Link original firmware using a cut down (stripped) original firmware?  If you have is there a link you can post where I can find this stripped down v1.1 stock firmware?  It's just I've not come across any info regarding using stripped firmware for the c2600 v1.1
(I know for instance my other TL router required this method)

As for the size I also noticed what you say compared to other hardware.

Actually I'm referring to the various build sizes for the same c2600 v1.1 hardware.

BTW I just built my own openwrt latest trunk firmware for c2600 and everything I need including both radios and openfortivpn work without a hitch for now.
Before that I used Eko 17.01.4.

Wow good on you!  I'm new to this router, I'm going to receive the c2600 anytime now.   I was amazed that my first LEDE build using my older TP-Link mr3420 v2.4 worked out fine.  It was challenging to say the least especially working with 4MB flash, using ExtRoot (where I moved the root filesystem to a USB flash drive), simple DHCP client WAN build including OpenVPN!  I intend to hopefully create the same build except no ExtRoot for the c2600 v1.1.
I'm not familiar with openfortivpn, like me I suppose this is the reason you're using LEDE on the c2600 as the TP-Link firmware doesn't include VPN?

(Last edited by otnert on 26 Mar 2018, 07:13)

I really don't remember if it was c2600 or c7 that I went back to original firmware just to check both radios, but after that I returned to openwrt.
There should be no problem returning. If something goes terribly wrong you still can use the serial console but you would need some soldering and break warranty.
You have plenty of space for most packages in this router and also more CPU for heavy vpn traffic . With 8MB routers I didn't use extroot but placed the extra bigger packages and  libraries like Nmap in the USB.
That and openfortivpn (just an open sslvpn client for Fortinet firewalls) made me build my own firmware.
Now I need to try strongswan to use a site to site ipsec vpn.
Good luck, and don't panic

One thing I miss a bit is the LEDs in the C2600. They are less visible than in other routers and don't work in openwrt. Also I would like to use the hardware buttons to turn on and off the VPN...

(Last edited by ttsherpa on 26 Mar 2018, 17:12)

LED support for ath10k controlled GPIOs is emgerging, while not merged yet, patches are available.

ttsherpa wrote:

Good luck, and don't panic

Well successfully onto LEDE  Reboot 17.01.4 !!  I haven't checked all features out yet but initial thoughts are great!

In all my haste I forgot to do an initial clean slate back-up ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but I have made sure I have a final backup!

One thing I miss a bit is the LEDs in the C2600. They are less visible than in other routers and don't work in openwrt. Also I would like to use the hardware buttons to turn on and off the VPN...

Actually it was surprising that even on the stock firmware I noticed that none of the wireless/LAN ports flashed if there was any activity.   I haven't got round to checking the function of the USB ports yet but I gather they don't flash as well?

I have noticed that reboot seems to switch the c2600 off/in a dormant state (no LED's on)?  Having to manually power cycle to boot.  On one occurrence after powering on manually the the front most facing LED kept flashing consistently, where I powered off/then on manually to boot.

Another observation when running the stock TP-Link firmware was that even though the Australian sold c2600 is physically labelled as a Ver: 1.1 model, the GUI reports a Hardware Version: Archer C2600 v1.0

I'm intending to setup a system crontab with a single command to run a script to automatically apply the latest packages once a day, but I'm in two minds whether it's worthwhile as I don't know how often new packages are made available for the c2600?

Any thoughts on this, are there any packages/patches that MUST be used with the c2600?

slh wrote:

LED support for ath10k controlled GPIOs is emgerging, while not merged yet, patches are available.

Yes I wondered about this, how do you do about finding & installing these patches?

See the r7800 exploration thread in the LEDE forum.

Upgrading from the GUI works, but you have to use the factory flash file. If you use the TFTPD version, I believe you can use either. If you are upgrading from within LEDE/openwrt, you HAVE to use the sysupgrade version.

And remember, v1.1 hardware will NOT reboot form the command line or GUI. That feature is broken due to some flash addressing issue. It should work correctly in trunk. There are other posts on this thread where people list a build off of 17.x which includes this functionality.

Regarding packages, it's not really worth it apply new packages all that often. There are new things build, the but the stable builds don't get so much updating. If running trunk, that might be more important.

But remember, this is also a router -- you don't necessarily want the freshest stuff every day. Regressions get introduced.

And just to check on my known issues list -- anyone had any problems keeping settings when upgrading lately? Should I move that to fixed?

(Last edited by TeutonJon78 on 27 Mar 2018, 04:26)

TeutonJon78 wrote:

And just to check on my known issues list -- anyone had any problems keeping settings when upgrading lately? Should I move that to fixed?

I have some services disabled that start automatically after upgrading, but it's no big deal. Most settings are kept.

Quickly sharing my personal experience so far: got my C2600 v1.1 a few days ago, and I could install the latest snapshots very easily through the stock firmware's update interface. (In fact, that's the only thing I used the original firmware for tongue.)

Running a permanent (outgoing) OpenVPN connection on the router through which all my internet traffic is routed, and it is just great. There's an option, a guide, a package or documentation for about anything I could think of doing on the router (setting up file servers, encrypting disks, ...). And the performance is awesome (especially compared to the cheap type of modem-router-wifi-switch provided by my ISP...).

We'll see how stable it is over time, but I'm very happy about everything so far.

(Also, using the April snapshot, if anyone is interested.)

ttsherpa wrote:
TeutonJon78 wrote:

And just to check on my known issues list -- anyone had any problems keeping settings when upgrading lately? Should I move that to fixed?

I have some services disabled that start automatically after upgrading, but it's no big deal. Most settings are kept.

Same feedback here. Most of my settings were preserved too.

TeutonJon78 wrote:

If you are upgrading from within LEDE/openwrt, you HAVE to use the sysupgrade version.

Yes I used the default factory install LEDE Reboot 17.01.4 r3560-79f57e422d / LuCI lede-17.01 branch (git-17.290.79498-d3f0685) to upgrade to the same version of squash file to see what happens.  I noticed that ALL my additional packages I installed had disappeared.

After the post-sysupgrade boot, the 2.4Ghz GUI settings were missing, namely the Operating Frequency, Mode, Band, Channel & Width were un-selectable (omit spaces in the following url) see...
s14. postimg. org/awtqo0rbl/LEDE_Sysupgrade.jpg
A subsequent reboot fixed this up though.

Regarding packages, it's not really worth it apply new packages all that often. There are new things build, the but the stable builds don't get so much updating

I decided to create a fresh build using imagebuilder, including the extra 46 packages I had installed prior to testing the sysupgrade process.  Again I used the sysupgrade process to upgrade to my new build.   This worked successfully, and credits go to the developers of Imagebuilder!

But remember, this is also a router -- you don't necessarily want the freshest stuff every day. Regressions get introduced.

I did notice that my build also upgraded the git version during the imagebuilder process, ie from the factory version listed on the c2600's factory firmware page, to LuCI lede-17.01 branch (git-18.061.17832-d092772)

And just to check on my known issues list -- anyone had any problems keeping settings when upgrading lately? Should I move that to fixed?

All my settings carried over after sysupgrade!   I also used 'Restore backup', and all my backed up settings restored successfully!

(Last edited by otnert on 6 Apr 2018, 03:16)

When trying to sysupgrade from a trunk version to a newer one, it did not reboot at all and could not access the router. I had to resort to tftp the newer trunk factory file and then restore the config. Does anybody know how to solve this?

Mmm, I haven't tried that but good to know!

Some other things I found out just recently....
Sysupgrade from release build => latest snapshot => back to release, will result in an error where the sysupgrade file was not compatible, so I had to tftp back to factory release and restore the config.

Also after upgrading to latest snapshot, the 'wan interface' changes from release eth0 => latest snapshot eth0.2.  I wonder if restoring from a release config to the latest snapshot will result in unexpected behaviour?

otnert wrote:

Mmm, I haven't tried that but good to know!

Some other things I found out just recently....
Sysupgrade from release build => latest snapshot => back to release, will result in an error where the sysupgrade file was not compatible, so I had to tftp back to factory release and restore the config.

Also after upgrading to latest snapshot, the 'wan interface' changes from release eth0 => latest snapshot eth0.2.  I wonder if restoring from a release config to the latest snapshot will result in unexpected behaviour?

If they changed the ethernet interface naming, restoring the old config will definitely cause some issues, as it won't know how to talk to the hardware anymore.

Restoring configs between major versions might be a bad idea in general. Probably one of the hazards of using trunk. I'd imagine keeping the config between dot releases of the stable release probably work as expected (although, I've seen them change some things even between those like the default firewall rules).

I use OpenWrt SNAPSHOT, r5496-905bbc9.

My wifi setting from /etc/config/wireless:

config wifi-device 'radio0'
        option type 'mac80211'
        option hwmode '11a'
        option path 'soc/1b500000.pci/pci0000:00/0000:00:00.0/0000:01:00.0'
        option country 'HU'
        option channel '100'
        option htmode 'VHT80'
        option txpower '27'
        option bursting '1'
        option ff '1'
        option compression '1'
        option turbo '1'
        option noscan '1'

I have changed the mobile phone and the new phone's link speed is less than the old one.
The old is a Samsung Galaxy S5, the new is a Samsung Galaxy S7.
The two phones are next to each other on the table eqaul far from the router.  Why different link speed?

https://prohardver.hu/dl/upc/2018-04/7559_2018-04-18_06_17_08-wifis5.png
https://prohardver.hu/dl/upc/2018-04/7559_2018-04-18_06_17_22-wifis7.png

Since you are getting half of the link speed, it seems like the newer phone just has a worse AC radio in it. For my current phone, the Axon 7, even though they have the same chip in it, the US model is limited to 433 while the international model gets the full 866. Based on your language, I'm guessing not in the US, so for the Exynos chipset models, they may have limited it for some reason.

So, unfortunately, it happens. They advertise 5 GHz AC and you got that. Only thing to debug would be to go back to stock and see what results you get. I'd expect you'll get the same.

On the 2.4GHz Band I'm only managing to see a maximum data rate of 600Mbps (using inSSIDer to check).  I thought the c2600 should max out at 800Mbps?

I have listed the 2.4GHz section of the /etc/config/wireless file:

config wifi-device 'radio1'
    option type 'mac80211'
    option hwmode '11g'
    option path 'soc/1b700000.pci/pci0001:00/0001:00:00.0/0001:01:00.0'
    option country 'AU'
    option noscan '1'
    option htmode 'HT40'
    option channel '11'

config wifi-iface 'default_radio1'
    option device 'radio1'
    option mode 'ap'
    option ssid 'LEDE'
    option key '12345678'
    option encryption 'psk2'
    option network 'lan'

I did add option noscan '1' to get to 600Mbps (prior to this was 300Mbps).  Is there another setting to add/tweak to attain 800Mbps?

Do you really want noscan on there though? According to the openWRT wireless config wiki, turning that option on violated regulatory agencies. So, be aware of that.

And really, use 40 MHz bands for 2.4 GHz is generally frowned upon, unless you don't have a lot of network in the area, as if any old devices are found, the router drops back to 20 GHz function anyway, so you're just putting more noise out there for little benefit.

I normally use 5GHz of which I'm seeing the full 1733.3Mbps rate without any tweaks.

I was under-whelmed when I saw 600Mbps, instead of 800Mbps when I used option noscan '1'.   I was just putting it out here to see if there's a magical wireless option that fulfills the advertised TP-Link maximum data rate of 800Mbps / does LEDE only support a max 600Mbps rate on 2.4GHz?

otnert wrote:

I normally use 5GHz of which I'm seeing the full 1733.3Mbps rate without any tweaks.

I was under-whelmed when I saw 600Mbps, instead of 800Mbps when I used option noscan '1'.   I was just putting it out here to see if there's a magical wireless option that fulfills the advertised TP-Link maximum data rate of 800Mbps / does LEDE only support a max 600Mbps rate on 2.4GHz?

Another issue is how many MIMO streams your device has. I believe to hit 800 you need 4x4:4 clients. Most phone are 2x2 or 3x3 at best (which be the 600 Mbps @ 40 MHz). It could also be a QAM limit as well.

https://forums.ruckuswireless.com/rucku … on-2-4-ghz

(Last edited by TeutonJon78 on 28 Apr 2018, 11:44)

Yes I understand, I'm not trying to achieve these speeds.

The 600Mbps & 1733.3Mbps c2600 rates I'm referring to are derived from using inSSIDer 4.2.

Irrespective of what wireless hardware I'm using, my current wi-fi devices are not capable of these speeds anyway, but inSSIDer is reporting the capabilities of the LEDE c2600 setup as 600Mbps & 1733.3Mbps.

The discussion might have continued from here.