Switching between OpenWrt firmware on Zyxel GS1900-8hp v2

First of all, is it even possible to switch between OpenWrt and OEM firmware on the device after flashing the main partition with OpenWrt. The only way I know that could possibly switch firmware is via the OEM web UI but, since flashing the OpenWrt firmware, I am no longer able to access it.
If yes to the above, is it possible to flash both partitions with OpenWrt firmware and still be able to switch between them?
I am trying to figure out what I can do with the rest of the flash memory instead of wasting it while restricting what I can install. If switching is not possible, would it be possible to merge the partitions?

Sure it is. You should have uboot-envtools installed (I believe it is part of the default package set). I believe OpenWrt is hardcoded to boot off the first partition, so that would imply you cannot boot OpenWrt from the second one if you were to flash it to that partition.

root@OpenWrt:~# fw_printsys

To boot off the second partition:

# fw_setsys bootpartition=1

I'm not sure how many extra packages you would like to install (or that would be useful on a weak MIPS device), best way is to rebuild your image to include any packages you'd need.

best way is to rebuild your image to include any packages you'd need

Is there a performance difference between building into the image and installing after the fact?

Image and everything in it is compressed, anything you install afterwards is not, so you'll lose more space in comparison. Also, every firmware upgrade means installing all your packages again, if you don't include them in your image.

See the wiki:

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