Re-transmitter has no IP address?

The question in the title is intentionally stupid. I'm likely missing something seriously here, so I need help.

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 v2 is my only router for home network. Because of signal issues in my home, I bought a TP-Link RE210 v1 re-transmitter. Been using it for some time until I thought I didn't need it anymore, so it was shelved.

After recently ditching my Archer C7's stock firmware in favor of OpenWRT, I'd wanted to give RE210 another try. Today, after plugging re-transmitter into an outlet ethernet port this happened:

  1. it came up online with its old wireless network settings,
  2. connecting to it via wireless from my laptop – works,
  3. pinging 1.1.1.1 from my laptop – works,
  4. pinging hostnames, e.g. google.com and such from laptop – doesn't work (likely due to old settings in the re-transmitter).

Item 4 was an issue, but I also wanted to install OpenWRT (as support landed recently) on this small device. So "Ok, no problem" I thought, "I will just connect to the re-transmitter via IP, will wipe all its settings by uploading OpenWRT image through the re-transmitter admin UI".

To my surprise, I do not see an IP of the re-transmitter in the list of leased IPs in LuCI. In fact, I can't find the re-transmitter listed anywhere in LuCI (of my Archer C7).

How is that re-transmitter works (almost) correctly with pinging and all, but I can't see it anywhere in LuCI as a device that is connected?

The repeater does bridging between ethernet and its wifi, so all traffic from hosts connected to it is transparent. But it doesn't have the correct settings apparently to communicate with the C7. You'll have to fix this either by remembering the settings it had or reset it and start from scratch.

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The repeater does bridging between ethernet and its wifi, so all traffic from hosts connected to it is transparent.

That makes sense, thanks. Is there any way to see in LuCI, anywhere, that re-transmitter exists in the network?

I guess my only option at this point is to disconnect & hard reset my re-transmitter then re-connect it to network so it refreshes it's config (somehow automatically, I assume)?

Btw, perhaps you know, is there a way to "merge" re-transmitter into existing network? E.g. make it so that it doesn't produce a new SSID on the list of available Wi-Fi networks, but merges & extends existing wireless network, provided by C7?

Not directly. You can see it as associated station with some mac address. Then use this mac address to filter the tcpdump for any packets that might include the IP address of the repeater.
But this is too complicated and the reset to factory defaults would be faster and cleaner solution.

I was under the impression that this was the default.

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You're right. It's like that if you select an option "Use the same SSID as your existing WiFi network" during initial re-transmitter setup, which I did.

Interestingly, WiFi Explorer on Mac shows two networks with this SSID, while system list of WiFi networks only shows one of them. The OS automatically lists the one with best signal?


image

The only thing left is to make re-transmitter somehow work off outlet ethernet and not WiFi, as logically it should be more reliable. I am not yet sure how to do it. But the plan is to first install OpenWRT on it.

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