Support for EMG3425-Q10A

I have an EMG3425-Q10A, locked down by an ISP (I bought it on EBay). Will it be possible to flash this? I don't have root on it, but can get to a firmware update page.

There is no current OpenWRT support. This is an ISP-only model. Would it make sense to wait for OpenWRT support, or should I just return it?

You can check this yourself, (as you'll notice, your device is not listed, which means it's not supported).

Device support doesn't materialize out of thin air, it all depends on someone experienced (which might be you) getting their hands on the device in question and wanting to work on it. For devices that are uncommon, expensive (especially relative to their similar competition), not interesting (slow, parts not supportable[0], etc.) or only regionally available, that might never happen.

[0] Currently OpenWrt doesn't support Quantenna QT3840BC wireless, while support for these chipsets of the Topaz family has been added to the mainline kernel recently, it's completely unknown to what extent this might be leveraged for OpenWrt, what's needed to extract the wireless calibration data - and where to get the required firmware

slh, thanks for the reply. I can be more specific:

  1. Is it possible to install OpenWRT without root permissions?
  2. Will I get root permissions by installing OpenWRT?
  3. Does it seem likely that a device sold directly only to ISPs would end up with OpenWRT support? Or does that make it less interesting? I see support for an earlier Zyxel model.

That's device specific and can only be answered by someone with the device at hand.


It depends on availability and the features the device can offer, the likelyness of such a device ending up in the hands of someone wanting to work on it. A prime example would be the BT Home Hub 5 Type A, an ISP branded device with a rather unique feature set (good wireless, vectoring capable VDSL modem, no glaring issues, but rather difficult to flash OpenWrt), while it's officially not sold to non-customers, the huge installation base and it being actively replaced by the ISP in favour of its newer/ faster (but not OpenWrt compatible) successor has resulted in a vivid second hand market for this device. It usually sells for really cheap (under 10 GBP plus shipping) considering its specifications, making it both attractive and easily obtainable.

To be very clear, there are no guarantees for a device gaining OpenWrt support at all. There is no central list off devices that 'must' be supported next, nor a budget to buy these devices, not even talking about developer resources that could be assigned at will. Device support depends on contributors scratching their own itch of wanting to use OpenWrt on their own devices, devices they bought with their own personal budget and with their own requirements in mind.

Aside from the Quantenna Topaz wireless, your device is a bog standard ath79 device - good specifications, slightly above the TP-Link Archer C7 (more RAM), but not exceptional. The unclear wireless situation probably disqualifies it as an option for any potential contributor who is looking to buy a new device - unless it's cheap enough (as in a real bargain[0]) for someone to take the gamble to accept the challenge of trying to get qtnfmac working[1].

[0] and ~150 USD is way too much (by more than a factor of two), considering the quite dated QCA9558 SOC, even if the wireless was known to be working on OpenWrt. You can get fully supported ipq806x (even from ZyXEL, e.g. the NBG6817) devices for around that amount of money, which run circles around any QCA9558.
[1] this would be tempting for devices with a more capable SOC, e.g. the ipq8064 based r7500 v1 or nbg6816, but taking that chance (considering time, effort and purchasing costs) for a 'boring' QCA9558 deviceā€¦?

Thanks so much! That gives a lot of good perspective on motivations for support.