I have got myself brand new TL-WR1043ND (rev. 1.7) for Christmas. One (and only one) reason was that ASUS WL-500gP has died on me after more than two years of uninterrupted service (just out of warranty).
I set up my build environment for TL-WR1043ND and planned to build same image as I did for WL-500gPv1. I have been doing this for more than two years, from trunk, using latest kernel and building complete set for OpenWrt-Builder, so I thought I am not complete newbie on this one :). My image has few differences from "standard" one.
- I do not use X-Wrt neither Luci
- I do not use "standard" firewall, instead I am using shorewall-lite.
- The configuration for net is almost the same to standard except that wlan is on separate segment (not visible from lan) and there is also openvpn point-to-point tunnel to another machine.
- There are some other packages thrown to the mix (ntpd instead of ntpclient, snmpd, full blown vim, usb-storage support etc.).
Using bleeding edge kernel 126.96.36.199 with ath5k driver (I replaced Broadcom miniPCI in WL-500gP with Atheros part) without any problem, gave me some confidence for the new platform. Also the fact that the image fit into ~7MB and all of this worked fine on ASUS.
So I changed the config for ar71xx target, chose generic subtarget and TL-WR1043ND flavor and rebuilt OpenWrt-Builder. After flashing virgin WR1043ND with new OpenWrt image I got stuck. I could not connect to the router using any port. The router sent only DHCP broadcast, but when served did not ack and repeated the broadcast. Failsafe saved me.
Then I rebuilt the image again and was successful. Unfortunately I cannot say whether it was because:
a) I changed slightly vlan config (I still do not understand what is difference between using '*' and 't' when defining the port list for vlan tag), or
b) I did distclean this time before rebuilding the complete trunk.
Anyway I had at least more or less running image. At that time I faced two major problems:
1) Intermittent lockup of ssh session, sometimes I could reconnect by starting new ssh session. Sometimes I could not.
2) When rebooting the router, at certain time in booting process it seemed that wan and lan ports are completely open and switching, so my machine connected to lan port get served by DHCP server running on wan.
On top of that, it seemed that once the DHCP address was obtained through router in "switch" mode during boot, something got stuck and router never served new DHCP request.
Both problems made the router unusable in real life. So I started to experiment a bit, but with omnipresent ssh lockups it was quite unstable. During one unstable session, when I was trying to flash new image from mounted usb flash drive, something happened - the session did not lock up, but I was disconnected from the router - and since then the router is dead, it does not even get into failsafe mode, neither broadcasts anything.
I assume the flash process has been interrupted so the image is corrupted. I do not know if such corruption will corrupt the whole flash, or I might still have u-boot working, but I cannot verify right now. I am waiting for my Nokia CA-42 cable :).
In my tests I was just trying to get correctly running system, so I did not put the machine to any stress tests. I have not even used wireless part much (except for checking it correctly associates my iPod with WPA2-PSK). I was surprised by overall instability - I hope I will learn more once I get access to serial console.
I am also not sure if the instability may come from the toolchain, since I was opting for this configuration:
x x Binutils Version (binutils 2.19.1+20090205 with CodeSourcery enhancements) ---> x x x x GCC compiler Version (gcc 4.4.1 with CodeSourcery enhancements) ---> x x x x [*] Compile in support for the new Graphite framework in GCC 4.4+ x x x x [*] Use the system versions of PPL and CLooG x x x x C Library implementation (Use uClibc) ---> x x x x uClibc Version (uClibc 0.9.32 (with nptl support)) ---> x x
During this adventure I also noticed there has been some changes to the system, which made me sometimes pull my hair.
A) new "rdate" option in /etc/config/system. It seemed the new rdate script woke up on every new interface, e.g. eth0.1, eth0.2, br-lan, wlan, vpn, stalling the boot for significant time, because it is default behavior for not having this option set. Why, is not "not setting" this option actually disabling this feature?
B) I noticed script /etc/rc.d/S99sysctl, which seems to setup some net.ipv4 sysctls (using /etc/sysctl.conf), but I am pretty sure, some (maybe many) of them are also configured by shorewall-lite which is executed before. I would expect this to be executed at the time network and/or firewall is initialized (depending on actual setting, e.g. tcp settings at network time, conntrack at firewall time).
C) /etc/config/wireless defaults use "radio0" as moniker for "wifi-device" and "option-device" in wifi-iface, but when I had it, executing wifi down reported error about non-existent device. When I changed it (back) to wlan0 as I had it before on WL-500gP, wifi down stopped complaining.
D) My original configuration for vlans on ASUS was:
config switch_vlan eth0_0 option device "eth0" option vlan 0 option ports "1 2 3 4 5*" config switch_vlan eth0_1 option device "eth0" option vlan 1 option ports "0 5"
while on TL-WR1043ND I had to: change vlan id 0->1, 1->2, because it seemed to not work with vlan id 0 and I also changed option 'ports' - though I cannot confirm it made difference - by changing '*' to 't' and adding 't' on wan vlan.
config 'switch_vlan' 'vlan1' option 'device' 'rtl8366rb' option 'vlan' '1' option 'ports' '1 2 3 4 5t' config 'switch_vlan' 'vlan2' option 'device' 'rtl8366rb' option 'vlan' '2' option 'ports' '0 5t'
It is also not clear to me, why option 'device' is set to 'rtl8366rb', when system then reports it as eth0, but changing 'rtl8366rb' to 'eth0' (which is what I used on ASUS) would not work.
I understand it is shooting in the dark, but if anyone sees something suspicious in my story and let me know, I will appreciate it.