My upstairs wifi access point died ... it just disappeared from the airwaves a few days ago. The router it sits on still works for other things, i.e. you can access the web interface, and the wired ethernet bits are fine, but there's no wifi. It's over 5 years old (maybe even more) so it's due for replacement.

It is getting harder to find reasonably priced decent openWRT capable routers locally. One of the better models for OpenWRT is the TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Ver 2. It's quite high spec, with 16MB flash, and 128MB RAM, and 2.4ghz & 5ghz dual-band wifi. Only the Ver 2 model works well with OpenWRT. If you can wait a few days to order online, Ookas has the Ver 2 going for MYR399 with free shipping, about MYR40 cheaper than most stores. But it's a long weekend so I went to PJ Digital Mall. Most shops didn't have the Ver 2, but I found one at AonePlus.


This model is much better than what I'm running as my ISP Router (A TP-Link WR-1043ND Ver 2). I'm torn between putting this downstairs, and bringing the old router upstairs, as the new one has more space for apps to run in the router. But that would mean a lot of configuration work, not to mention having my internet down during that time. In the end, I decided it would be better to have the better WiFi upstairs. I may throw some money and upgrade my downstairs router to another Archer C7 if I can justify it at some point, before the Ver 2 disappear form the shelves completely.
Initial Flash



  • wait a bit ...

  • Change the root password

... and we're done! The new router is now running on OpenWRT firmware!

Configuration

This device is to serve the upper floor of my apartment, as the wifi from the router downstairs is too weak to reach parts of it. I have a wired ethernet cable running from downstairs to upstairs to connect to this router. However, this cable carries a VLAN trunk with the following IDs:

  • 1 - my regular home LAN
  • 2 - A "IPTV" LAN, required for the set top box to access UniFi's HyppTV

This upstairs access point therefore needs to make the IPTV LAN available on a dedicated port for the set top box to connect to. The other ports should be bridged to my LAN so that my Smart TV and PS4 can have internet access. Finally I need to share my LAN out over WiFi.

The first step is to be able to connect the router to my LAN:

  • Network -> Interfaces -> LAN -> Edit
    • Set Protocol to Static Address
      • IP 192.168.4,
      • netmask 255.255.255.0
      • gateway 192.168.1.1
    • DHCP Server
      • General Setup
        • Ignore Inteface: Ticked
      • IPV6 Settings
        • RA Service : disabled
        • DHCPv6-Service: disabled
        • NDP-Proxy :Disabled

    • Save and Apply
  • Network -> Interfaces -> WAN -> Edit
    • Set Protocol Unmanaged.

Now we can connect this to my LAN and continue configuring from my desktop PC.

Configuring Network Switch and VLANs

The first is to set the VLANs on the built-in switch. By plugging in my laptop into the various port I was able to figure out the mapping between what OpenWRT calls a port with the physical ports on the back of the router:


OpenWRT
Port 1
Port 2
Port 3
Port 4
Port 5
Physical
WAN Port
LAN Port 1
Lan Port 2
Lan Port 3
LAN Port 4

I'm not sure what "port 6" in OpenWRT links to so I left that alone.

Since I want to use the WAN Port as the uplink to VLAN trunk line, I set Port 1 to be "tagged" for VLAN 1 and 2.

I plan to use Port 5 (Lan Port 4) to connect to my set top box, so this is set to Off for VLAN 1, and Untagged for VLAN 2.

The remaining physical ports 1-3 are for my regular LAN, so I set this to Untagged for VLAN 1, and Off for VLAN 2.

Here are the final settings:


Creating WIFI Network

Under Network WiFi, there are two radios, presumably "Qualcomm Atheros QCA9880 802.11nac (radio0)" runs on 5Ghz and "Generic MAC80211 802.11bgn (radio1)" runs on 2.4Ghz, A quick press of scan showed around 12 access points on 2.4Ghz, and no access points on 5Ghz in my neighbourhood.

  • Under radio 1:
    • Delete the default "OpenWRT" Wifi network
    • Press Add
      • Under General Setup:
        • Set ESSID "UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET"
        • Mode "Access Point"
        • Selected Network "LAN"
      • Under Wireless Security:
        • Set Encryption to:
          • WPA2-PSK
          • Entered my WiFi Password
      • Under Advanced Setting:
        • Country Code: MY - Malaysia
      • Under General Setup:
        • Enable

Under radio 0:
Repeated the same steps as above, but created two WIFI networks, one with the same name "UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET" and the other called "5G.UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET".


Configuring Network

The upstairs access point only really needs to be on my home LAN; the IPTV networking just passes through it. So under Network -> Interfaces -> LAN -> edit:

  • Physical Settings
    • Ticked "Bridge Interfaces"
    • Under Interfaces, untick all EXCEPT:
      • VLAN Interface eth0.1
      • Wireless Network: Master "UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET"
      •   Wireless Network: Master "5G.UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET"
      •   Wireless Network: Master "UP.MY.ABUBAKAR.NET"
    • Make sure DHCP Server is disabled.

I also deleted the WAN and WAN6 interfaces, since they are not being used.


That's All Folks!

And we're done ... mobile gadgets now work again when I'm upstairs!