Availability Field

There might be some confusion what the "Availability" field means.

At least one person was browsing the ToH and bought an "available" unit - but failed to notice the age of hardware design: FCC date / date first sold

the "age" plays a little role regarding speed on now more common Gigabit Internet

for some 802.11ac hardware that is still sold today but relies on 2014 design (FCC docs), first sold January 2015.


  • change available to : from - until ("now")
  • new FCC date - we already link to fcc
  • add some visible disclaimer for that date
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Who can provide this information for >1800 devices in the ToH?
Who will help to add this information to all devices?

From my experience over the past 6 years: Nobody can provide this information, and even less people are willing to update the dataentries.

Don't get me wrong: We can implement those datafields in the dataentries, but without input, those fields will be useless.

Another thought: Do we really want to bind performance to the "age" of the device?
Wouldn't it make more sense to bind performance to the chipsets used?

Exactly this, e.g. ath79 devices (just taking this as an example for a relatively low-end SOC) are still being produced - and it's quite likely to see various low-end vendors to throw new devices on the market as well.

Picking a good device takes a little more than just checking basic support and availability.

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I dont know if new datafields could be auto filled / scraped with fcc data or if FCC allows "scraping" or if other databases do that - or if there are some scraped fcc databases existing "in the wild"

adding a "FCC date" could provide a "first" date without clicking the fcc link : visitors (and/or non-US) dont necessarily know that behind an fcc link there is some date info - or what other info the FCC provides

also the other "indirect" date - the openwrt first version might not be "intuitive" that the first one like a 20xx year

because of regional differences and vendor policies "availability" can vary between regions too

Indeed the performance might be more chipset related

"old" chipsets are not necessarily bad - but for some consumers when they buy a brand new device and discover some more obscure stuff / feature "problems" or misinterpret the numbers because they are not exactly defined or "visible"

maybe make https://openwrt.org/meta/template_dataentry_background / "Conventions per characteristic" better "findable" / more prominent on the page ?

With the growing number of 802.11 addendums and tweaks and potential different feature sets between OpenWrt and vendor firmware the buying decision isnt getting any easier for "normal" users.

What would we gain by adding the FCC date?

As slh explained: ath79 devices can have FCC dates from years ago up to today. You can buy an old ath79 device and a new ath79 device, but the performance will not differ since it is still ath79, regardless of the FCC date.

Therefore the question: How does the FCC date help users in finding a device to buy?

The "Supported since" datafield is completely independant of the age of the device. There might be devices that got OpenWrt support 3 months after they showed up, and devices which got OpenWrt support 3 years after commercial availability.

We can think of moving the explanations to a more prominent place.
In order to use the available space more efficiently, I would favor #2