Archer c50 v5 US

So looking into the differences between the TP-Link Archer C50 models.

The current US model is a v5, while EU is v4. Jumping into device wiki the v3 (EU) and v5 (only N America) seem to have roughly the same chip specs:

V3:
https://deviwiki.com/wiki/TP-LINK_Archer_C50_v3.x

V5:
https://deviwiki.com/wiki/TP-LINK_Archer_C50_v5.x

For certain the v1 and v4 used slightly different cpu chips and the v2 was drastically different.

So curious, I’m willing to give it a shot, what are the thoughts on how likely the v3 firmware would work on the v5 (I’d link to the openwrt page but it won’t let me)

The chances are higher, if the image is accepted in the first place, to brick and/ or permanently damage the device (it's very easy to destroy the router's wi-fi calibration data this way, which breaks the WLAN cards for good) that way. Embedded devices, like routers, aren't generic and auto-discoverable, there is no BIOS/ UEFI, no ACPI nor even a standardized bootloader. Even if the hardware of your device would be 100% identical, chances for a differing flash partitioning are high, which would not take flashing a wrong firmware image lightly.

Ok fair enough. Part of the reason to ask was to understand what manufacturers do across hw variations.

So if I understand this right. The main thing here is to be able to build a binary image but in a way that preserves part of the config:
https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer-c50

Is that as simple as preserving mtd5, mts6, mtd7, mtd8 in the binary file;

I’d be surprised if the boot loader itself writes the flash differently if the same chip is used as another rev, but I could be wrong.

I’m willing to do some of the legwork here and even try to do some of the work with a little guidance.

No, the OEM config doesn't matter - but stuff needed for OpenWrt (bootloader, bootloader environment and wi-fi calibration data) or fir potentially reverting back to the OEM firmware do.

No, not by far.

Be surprised, it's very common - in particular with TP-Link.

Maybe time to read through the developer documents and see what I can try out about the Archer v1, v3, v4 and start looking at the v5 modifications and whether I am able to do these reliably.

Thanks for the information.

I just got one of those v5 devices and hooked up a USB uart to it. Upon inspection, this looks to be exactly the same thing as a v4 device for which there is a OpenWRT build available.

I did some more digging and discovered that the partition layout is exactly the same, so I after some boot log reading, went ahead and flashed a v4 image, by doing the following:

  1. Get an up-to-date v5 firmware from tp-link, extract header and bootloader (first 128 KiB)
  2. Concatenate onto it the OpenWRT v4 build
  3. Flash through stock firmware upgrade page

Router boots and seems to be working normally, but I have to do some more testing to validate this. Steps 1-2 are necessary due to the fact that the OpenWRT build does not contain the bootloader (u-boot). Also, the hardware id, revision, etc is different for this router.

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Wow, that's huge if true. I'll await some more things you see once you use it a bit. Curious on the 2.4ghz and 5ghz, because I think they use different radio drivers, which should be the same as the v4 too from the HW spec sheet.

Both 2.4/5G working. However, there is something wrong with the 2.4G radio as reported here:

Do the LEDs work correctly ?

I've requested a device page be created for the C50 v5 so it can be added to the C50 wiki page.

Yes they do work correctly without any modifications.

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correction: dataentry page, not devicepage :slight_smile:

Dataentry: https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/tp-link/tp-link_archer_c50_v5
Devicepage: https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/archer-c50

Regarding the dataentry: I'm wondering if it should be v5 (US) instead of v5 only.

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It seems like the v5 is only sold in the USA ?
If there is another C50 v5 in another region that uses totally different hardware, then we would need to label them differently. In the mean time, I'll add a comment about US version in the data entry page.

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As far as I can tell, v5 is US (North America) only anyway. Current for EU is still v4.

I did some testing last night and can post numbers as well.

I can say that with stock TP-Link Firmware that the 2.4ghz wireless network is not stable. In fact, what I can see is that the speeds drop, range drops, and internally it looks like eventually the router restarts that radio/driver and everything comes back. This is routinely multiple times per day.

V5 is for US only. as they think us customer like that ID.
V4 is for EU, the difference from V3 is the antenna, the 2 antennas of V4 on side is shorter than the V3
don't ask why i know that...

Hi,

In another article, it is reported that the Archer A5 and Archer C50 v5 are the same hardware in the US.

I am in the UK and have an Archer A5 V4. Is it known if the European Archer A5 V4 will be the same as the European Archer C50 V4?

If not, is there a way to check?

The firmware image is "0.9.1 0.2 v0093.0 Build 190125 Rel.63783n(4555)", which has the same build number (190125) as mentioned on the OpenWRT page for the C50, which seems to be another suggestion that it may be the same device.

Hello, The Devices may be physically different but they may have the same CPU, if they are the same, you need to try to find from both OEM firmwares (UK A5 V4 and EU A5 V4) if they are the same, after checking, comparing and confirmed that you may be able to try to install at your own risk the prebuilt image for the Archer C50 V4 Via Tftp. for your Archer A5 V4 UK Version.
Mine was the US Version Sold by Amazon and worked very Well. Just the 2.4 Ghz Is still not fixed and that wasn't a problem for me since i use only 5Ghz and the Ethernet Ports.

The firmware may be old since the one who made the prebuiilt image did like 1 or 2 years before (For the C50 V4), and the last one, he made just one recently ( as i requested him via PM )so they may differ, and of course you can't use the prebuilt image for my A5 V5 for your A5 V4, So you may need to install the latest sysupgrade after sucessfully installing the C50 V4 Prebuilt image.

Any Doubts, please Let me Know.

Greetings.

Hi - did you mean comparing the TP-Link firmware for the UK A5 V4 and UK C50 V4?

The ZIP file for both the A5 V4 and C50 V4 has the same MD5 checksum, so I guess that means the routers must be the same.

231e50c9308067c9ed5858b8ab7ba30e Archer C50A5_V4_190125.zip
231e50c9308067c9ed5858b8ab7ba30e Archer C50(EU)_V4_190125.zip

The A5 file even also has C50 in the name

Yes, You should try then at your own risk, installing the prebuilt image for the c50 v4 via tftp. in the device link there are the instructions how to install via that method, read carefully and try. Good luck and let us know.