New LEDE Install and New to LEDE

I have already installed it.

What should I know about LEDE?

What packages should I install?

What should I configure?

As a first step, you could read, and after that, come back with specific questions.

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That doesn't answer the type of questions I have. I wanted to know is there any particular package that allows it to perform as a router better then stock LEDE. I have seen how the smallest thing like having WMM checked gives almost an order of magnitude faster speed. I have seen that the automatic power setting does not work that well and you have to set wifi power manually to get far better performance. Between those two changes alone, my download speed is 10 times higher. What else like that have I not discovered?

There is no magic package called 'do-everything-Id-like', the defaults are usually fine for the normal uses cases (and WMM is default on, you'd have to disable it explicitly).

The fact that the default power setting limits bandwidth as much as it does makes me wonder what other settings need fixing.

Default power settings are unset, which falls back to the driver defaults, which in turn are the maximum allowed by hardware and regulatory domain. Setting a specific power level can only reduce the value, not increase it.

That actually makes since in the context of my test today. I found wifi speed dropped at max power. For the EA8500, I got faster speeds at 500 mW then I did at 1000 mW. My only guess as to why is that something about the hardware doesn't like 1000 mW and it effects the performance. I wonder if an amplifier became saturated since saturated amplifiers respond slower.

Even under the best circumstances, I don't believe that your hardware (any consumer hardware, actually) can really output 1 watt of tx power, regardless of what it displays.

The situation with ipq806x has only changed recently to properly take the precalibration data into account (I'm not sure if those have been backported to 17.01.x, that is fixed in the snapshots) - and there might still be additional improvements necessary to load model specific board-2.bin files (basically also calibration data; this is already done for ipq401x) instead of the upstream defaults from linux-firmware into the driver. However this would be a bug and not normal or expected behaviour (QCA hasn't provided clear suggestions about how to deal with this and the redistributability of device specific board-2.bin is also a bit shady; the correct files have to be extracted from the existing OEM firmware).

I would suggest to first install a snapshot build (warning, snapshot builds don't have luci/ the webinterface preinstalled - it can be installed at runtime though) and to check if that already helps (those already have the precalibration fixes and shouldn't require tuning down the tx power). If that helps, those changes (if still missing) could be backported to 17.01.x.

Without the pre-cal fixes and/ or without model specific board-2.bin data, it's very possible that the driver doesn't know about eventual amplifiers in the tx path (leading to too high output power, which can easily lead to unclear signal) or overheating of the PHY.

The router cannot know what poer levels and channels are avaialble in your
country, so until you tell it what country you are in, it defaults to settings
that are legal everywhere.

Once you tell it what country you are in, the available settings change

David Lang

Country is already set.