Networking

How to install openwrt on Archer C7 v2 (Chaos Calmer)

Yesterday I purchased a TP-LINK Archer C7 V2, this wireless router has a good looking body with 3 detachable antennas, it is one candidate in our list of best wireless router under 100 dollars

Archer C7 V2

I decided to flash OpenWRT for some features that I need. After downloading the file from OpenWRT Chaos Calmer Repository, I try to flash and received this error:

Error code: 18005
Upgrade unsuccessfully because the version of the upgraded file was incorrect. Please check the file name.

Weird! Digging into this page, I found that I cannot install Chaos Calmer on to the new Archer C7 V2 directly.

 Recent versions (late 2015 and newer) of TP-Link routers sold in the United States will not upgrade firmware through the OEM firmware web interface unless the header includes the US region code. 

 

 As of r49217 trunk now includes the necessary US region header in the v2 firmware file, currently other regions accept this firmware as only the US region firmware is locked. Once trunk is installed you can install any firmware. You can also flash any firmware image using the TFTP Recovery method to install OpenWrt. 

 

That means the current OpenWrt development trunk supports this new router. I also found that LEDE-project support Archer C7 V2 too.

But I love Chaos Calmer for its stable,

How can I install OpenWRT on Archer C7 V2?

Here is how I did

  1. Because LEDE is more updated, I decided to use LEDE for flashing Archer C7 for the first time. This file from LEDE works fine.
  2. Download Chaos Calmer sysupgrade file
    Use WinSCP to upload Chaos Calmer sysupgrade file onto /tmp folder of the Archer C7
  3. Issue the command:
     ~#sysupgrade -v /tmp/openwrt-15.05.1-ar71xx-generic-archer-c7-v2-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin 
  4. Reboot and done. I’ve installed Chaos Calmer on Archer C7 V2.

Conclusion

Installing OpenWRT Chaos Calmer on Archer C7 is quite hard somtimes :). If you follow this guide you can find out that there are many way to install OpenWRT on Archer C7 V2.

Several guys has tried to reduce steps for you, I found this repository on Github that allow you install OpenWRT onto Archer C7 V2 directly. But I have never tried, please give it a try and let me know if you succeed!

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