Support For TP-Link Archer AX1800 US version 4.6

Hi so recently after discussing with some people on the forum about installing openwrt on the router listed below (seen here):

They told me that this specific hardware revision of this router isn't supported. I was wondering if this could be worked on. I am attempting to open it (though am having some trouble as I am lacking the right tools) to see what type of hardware it has. If anyone can offer assistance that would be great.

Since you have the device, you can start the process of adding support by following the guide:

You'll need to do the vast majority of the legwork since you own one and are interested in adding OpenWrt support. The developer community will usually be happy to help if you have questions.

I can attempt to but the first step is opening the the thing to see the hardware which is difficult. The guide says there are some plastic nubs and two screws (I am able to take off the screws but the plastic nubs are difficult to take off even with small picks) If anyone has any experience doing that that would help.

Youtube videos might be a good place to look. If the 'nubs' you're talking about are the plastic clips that hold the case together, a spudger or guitar pick can be helpful to disengage them. If you don't have an appropriate toolkit, it's a worthwhile investment -- the ifixit kits are great.

some old credit card, or hotel door key could work too.

You can get both the 1.2 and 4.6 manuals here.

So I was able to get it open and took off the heat sink and then saw this silver encasing around what looks like both the chip and the memory. How am I supposed to take this off to see the chip type/memory or is the chip type already listed somewhere I can't see? Nothing is listed in either manual or hardware spec sheet alluding to the chip.

either that,

or dissect a firmware, using binwalk.
or connect to the serial console - the three (out of four) pins between the silver encasings.

if you really want to add the device to openwrt, you'll need serial access anyway.

Does the bottom sticker of your device say AX23 ? AX1800 ? or both ?

It says AX1800 but the FCC ID alludes to the AX23.

The silver casings are RF shields. Sometimes the lid of the shield can is a separate part that will pop off with a screwdriver, but those look like they may be a single part that is soldered down.

If you want to know what's under them, you need to be willing to further disassemble the device, possibly risking damage. This is the same risk that is sometimes necessary on any device, so it's a matter of risk-benefit analysis if things like serial or firmware deconstruction doesn't reveal the necessary info.

I'd remove the AX23 from the topic, what do you say @psherman ?

That would make sense.

@yeric1789 - Can you share a photo of the info label so we can make sure the title of this thread is fully accurate?

Note the FCC ID says ax23 at end

Is there anyway I can use a raspberry pi to get serial access to the router or would it be easier to buy a usb dongle?

the RPi should work

Ok thanks. This will take some time as there are some materials I will have to get just to get this setup.

That is the sloppiest heatsink design I think I have ever seen.
Those are heat spreaders that they put heatsinks on top of. The thermal pad does not even cover the entire spreader. And if you did not see them until you took off the heatsinks that means the heatsinks were as large as the spreaders but only partially wicking away heat.

If you put a pick under them and they wiggle they are, most likley, held in place with thermal pads and you can remove them with a heat gun. Just be reasonable; you are not trying to desolder anything.

Are they are going to need to insulate the prongs so they do not short out if they cannnot remove the spreaders to avoid accidently touching either of the heat spreaders?
And won't the boot log identify the chip used?

I soldered mine (AX23 EU) from the bottom, only some tin on the top side.

If it's available in the UI, it might.