D-Link DIR-846

Hi all!

I have recently buy a 6 antenna D-Link router (DIR-846) mainly to use it as a Wi-fi Dual Band repeater. Saddly I was surprised when I noticed that the product don't have this BASIC function (repeater mode).
Any chances OpenWrt team also include firmware support for this D-Link model?



This DIR-846 router was acquired on the Brazilian market so I couldn't find the FCC certification but only the Brazilian National Telecommunication Agency homologation number (ANATEL 02417-19-01931).
Anyway this D-Link DIR-846 is a 11AC 1200M Dual band WiFi Router.
The hardware version printed on the product is A1.
The stock firmware version is FW100A50DBR-Retail.

I have opened the product in order to see carefully for the chipsets used on the board. I could easilly find 3 of them, all manufactured by Realtek:


There currently is no support for any Realtek SOC or WLAN chipset.

Thanks for your quick answer!
I was really hopefull that I would solve this issue by flashing a custom firmware. Too bad Realtek isn't supported. Do you know the reason for that?

Originally, because Realtek SOCs were not using a full mips ISA, but had only licensed a subset of the ISA (search for "lexra" in this forum, this would have required patched toolchains (binutils, gcc, libc and more), I'm not sure if this still applies to the RTL8197F though. The very last generation of Realtek SOCs abandoned that nonsense, probably because some of the relevant mips patents expired.

Sadly there are more issues than 'just' the lexra part, while Realtek provides the (ancient) source for their SOCs, they haven't really pushed any of these changes back into the mainline kernel so far. As a result this means it would require a lot of effort to forward port them to contemporary kernels and to keep the patchset viable and functional. The WLAN side of isn't really much better, (mainline-)support for their WLAN chipsets is spotty at best - and often requires severely patched (ancient) hostapd forks to function.

On top of this, most of the Realtek based routers we've seen so far were very low-end (often below or at the minimum system requirements for OpenWrt) in terms of CPU performance, flash and RAM sizes - making this not a very attractive target to work on (considering the immense amount of efforts to beat it into shape - in contrast to the potential results of all that work).

That's more than sufficient for me to understand. I believe at least I can use this router as a paper weight.