Table of Hardware - field discussion: "Availability" field + missing field "custom firmware process true/false"

  1. "Availability"
    I just found out that I have misinterpreted the "availability" field in the table of hardware so far. So far I thought this means "whether the manufacturer still lists it and provides support". But I was wrong. What you mean is if "it's available in regular shops to buy".

Now the big deal with this field is: you are using it to filter devices in the "I want to buy a router which is supported" page. If this field is set to "discontinued*", then such a device will become invisible in the buy-list, preventing people from obtaining otherwise still suitable hardware.

I found for example the D-Link Dir 810L B1. it can still be bought regularly and has 8MB flash, see shop listings on
But it's LEDE ToH entry is currently set to "Discontinued", which makes it invisible in the buy-recommendation:

My recommendation:

  • I would vote renaming this field name from "Availability" to "Availablity in stores"
  • and especially rename the value "discontinued" to "out of stock". I think other people as well as me otherwise easily confuse "discontinued" with the manufacturer support status of "discontinued", which I think is not what you have intended with this field.
  • I would also update the filter definition such that such "out of stock" devices still get listed. Simply because often you can often easily get such out-of-stock items on ebay as previously owned devices. So it is helpful if a device is still listed, even if it is "out of stock" in regular shops.
  1. Missing "Special case" flag
    Since the 810L B1 and it's missing factory-bin-ability just catched my eye: I think the ToH could need something like a "firmware upgrade special case" true/false flag attribute. With this flag, the user would be pointed to pay attention to the comment field, to find out, what is special about this device. A bit flag would be very helpful, as it could be used for filtering and it could be displayed on lists, such that you easily distinct regular LEDE-usable devices from those devices that need some kind of special attention.
    For example the D-Link 810L B1 could be marked as special case= true, because it only supports an upgrade.bin firmware, but no factory.bin.

Apparently, it's a mix.

  1. If OEM has a device on his EoL list -> Discontinued
  • If OEM lists newer version (ToH shows v3, but OEM lists already v4) -> Discontinued
  • If device can not be found on the net at the usual suspects -> Discontinued

[Data-Entry] Discontinued 11.01.2016 acc. OEM website

This device is out of production since more than 1,5 years, which I would call discontinued by OEM.

What does the majority of $users want? Buy an old device that is no longer manufactured, or get an up to date device that is still manufactured and supported?

I tend to stick to the wikidevi naming (for a reason), which simply is "Availability".

That would mean to remove this filter completely.
"Dear user, from now on you have to find out yourself if a device is available or not. Have fun finding out that the ones you are interested in are all no longer available. Don't get frustrated by devices that are listed but unavailable since years...."

Uhmm.... is that what you have in mind?

Number of devices with filter for availability: 288
Number of devices without filter for availability: 448

-> High noise level, high frustration @$user

I admit, the Availability field is the hardest one to update and keep updated.
However, it has it's meaning and use.

He needs to see the devicepage anyways to get installation instructions, therefore no need for a special flag.

What would be more helpful: Dropdown field with a choice of modular installation instructions. Man devices share the same instructions, but they are repeated over and over again on each and every devicepage. The wheel is invented new a thousand times.

A dropdown with a predefined list of installation methods would avoid this and at the same time provide a link to just thi modular instructions.

Problem with this:

  1. It needs pages with modular installation instructions (which need to be created)
  2. The dataentries need to be filled with this information, i.e each and every device needs to be checked and entered into the dataentries.
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I disagree.
If a user wants vendor support, he would stick with vendor firmware.
If a user wants a device with good price/value ration, a discontinued (but still sold) device could become very interesting.

There is no value in getting a vendor supported device and applying LEDE. There is no advantage for this, as the vendor does not support devices, once LEDE is on it..

The mentioned D-Link 810L might not have the best price/value ratio, but you named it: 160 capable devices are currently hidden from users due to this flag, some of the could be devices which could mark a hell of a good deal.

Me for myself could be the best example for this:
To start, I took a list of all router devices from 2 shops and looked up each of them against the recommended list of LEDE.

  • I kicked everything from this list >100€
  • I kicked everything that was without WiFi AC, without USB and <16M flash.
  • I had a preference for some manufacturer names.
    Then had like 5 left on my list, then kept an eye on ebay for 2 weeks and was lucky: I hit a 35€-offer for an 860L B1 (that is still sold as new in shops for up to 80€).

And now the fun fact: This 860L by coincidence is already marked "phased out" by the vendor D-Link since Juli 2017. So if the availability flag on the ToH would have been already been set right in the ToH according to your definition, I would have missed this deal.

The noise level could be a valuable pool where a user can fish for reasonable devices. I think its wrong to see that as a basis for frustration.

I have first browsed both the best and cheap device thead on this forum only to find that all posts either end up like this:

  • the best devices easily exceeds 150€
  • and the cheapest are often weird devices or 100Mbit devices that have to be ordered in china
  • or if the post is older than 4 weeks, it's links aren't available any more and point to 404's.
    For me, failing on those thread recommendations is what had me frustrated. But having a larger choice isn't frustrated (to me at least).

I tried to bringt this up, because I think it's ridiculous in the case of the 860L - If your definition of "discontinued" is correct then the 860L must be marked as discontinued, making it invisible for people looking for devices. But is it a bad recommendation because of that?

The vendor deprecating status isn't a good basis for that choice in my eyes.

If you think that something against frustration for device selection should be done, I think some moderated lists including amazon-reference-prices might be better:

  • best value AC WiFi access point devices/repeaters (1-2 LAN)
  • best value AC router devices (4 LAN)
  • best high end devices (WiFi range, USB, MIMO or other cool stuff...)
  • best value device for IoT mini host usage

Someone started a manually maintined list:

From my experience over the past 5 years: Will not work.
At least not until there is a named (!) maintainer that will volunteer to keep this list updated for $some_years.

Your intentions are good, however: Who will maintain this information for long time? People come and go, and the one who starts all these manually maintained lists might lose interest in this subject after 3 months, leaving the list unmaintained, rendering it more and more useless over time.

Availability is the hardest to maintain field, because

  • it needs regular maintenance
  • official OEM information is scarce
  • unofficial information (where can I buy it?) means LOTS of work.

If you know a way to ease the maintenance of this field: Please let me know.

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Its about the consequences associated with the current "availability" flag:

The current state relying on this flag takes out potential of the project, as it hides a reasonable amount of suitable devices from the "I want to buy a router" list.

The current situation effectively splits all devices into 3 categories:

  1. devices that should be avoided (<=4MB flash)
  2. devices that are LEDE-suitable, but that are mostly hidden due to the flag
  3. devices that are LEDE-suitable and are on the visible list

I just think it's wrong to remove devices from the "i want to buy a router" list, based on vendor firmware support discontinuity statements, if consumer stores are still loaded with these devices. The flag removes choices for interested people without providing a value.

There are a lot of those currently hidden, discontinued devices out there in stores, cheap and perfectly able to run LEDE (>=8MB flash and with other decent hardware specs). And most of them are rather cheap because they are manufactorer-firmware-support-discontinued.

If you'd ask me, either one of the following options would be a positive aspect for the project:

  • change the "availability" flag to "available in stores" (removing the "discontinued" aspect)
  • remove the "availability" flag entirely
  • remove the "availability" flag from the filter definition of "I want to buy a router"

The result would give people more options to buy decent cheap hardware for LEDE.
Most current visitors do not get it that there is this 3rd hidden option available at this time.

People are interested in things like "has USB3", "has WiFi-AC", "I can choose from several cheap options", "device is available in a national shop or on ebay". If they would be interested in "has vendor continuity support" they might not be interested in applying LEDE.

I would not point this out, if this flag would not influence the "I want to buy a router" list so much.

I revisited the DIR-860L and changed availability back to "Available 2017", since it is available at

Which ones can still be purchased despite them being listed as "Discontinued"?

I picked out around ~20 of that list, mostly larger brands, mostly 16MB flash.
Result: Yes, several are out-of-stock. But also several of them have of current on-stock-shops:
ASUS ac56u
D-Link DAP-2695
TP Link Archer C5
TP Link TD-W8970
TP Link TD-W8980
TP Link TL-WDR4900

Of course these are the results for the german market only. This may not representative for all markets.

So I might have convinced you that "out of stock" and "discontinued" does not mean the same thing.

I understand the original LEDE design intention of the word "discontinued" and you might have the same good intentions of helping people to not get frustrated by large lists of devices that are out of stock..
But the word "discontinued" may have let some users to the wrong impression, as above devices are clearly flagged the wrong way - they are flagged as discontinued, but you can still buy them in regular shops.

Important: My intention is NOT complaining about the current data quality of the 1.000 device records. My intention of this thread is to only convince you to get a better naming instead of "discontinued", as this helps the community to better understand how to use this tag. And that might overall lead to a better device data quality.

That's 6 out of 1222 devices / 6 out of 161 recommended but marked "Discontinued" devices.
That's 0,5% / 3,7% devices with possibly wrong data, which is a quite low error rate, IMO.


  • not listed as EoL at asus website -> the "discontinued" is based on a search for a source, not on OEM info
  • N/A at
  • only 2 left in stock, missing the usual "more is on the way"
  • 442,77 Euro (!) -> no serious offer
  • N/A at
  • google shopping search: 4 sellers - one with no ratings at all, one refurbished, two sell used ones

=> This device is NOT widely available, in quantities, in new condition, hence marked discontinued.

D-Link DAP-2695
Discontinued status is c/o from OpenWrt wiki. Unclear, why this status has been set back then. Available at amazon and others -> Updated to "Available 2017"

Archer C5 v1.20
Discontinued (there's already v2 listed at OEM website)
The likelyhood to get this old device instead of the current, new one, is going down each day.

TP Link TD-W8970 v1
Discontinued (there's already v3 listed at OEM website)
The likelyhood to get this old device instead of the current, new one, is going down each day. Even more than with the C5, because here we deal with v1 vs. v3.

TP Link TD-W8980 v1

  • Discontinued acc. OEM website
  • "available from these sellers" - 1x new for 763,75 (!), 3 used
  • "available from these sellers" - 1x new
  • one supplier in australia, in stock
  • one supplier in brazil - out of stock
    => This device is NOT widely available, in quantities, in new condition, hence marked discontinued.

TP Link TL-WDR4900 v1
c/o from OpenWrt wiki. Unclear, why this status has been set back then.

6 devices in total, thereof

  • 3x not widely available
  • 2x newer model is available
  • 1x real error, device is widely available

That's 1 out of 1222 / 1 out of 161 devices. Not too bad, I think.

I might have convinced you that the "Discontinued" status represents "out of stock" quite well. :wink:

One was flagged wrong.
There is a reason why I prefer standard google search over google shopping search: The latter delivers a lot of shit. Sorry to say, but I made this experience in the past, and it's still the same today, see RT-AC56U above. I didn't even take the effort to check google shopping for the other models...

Honestly, given that the current use of "Discontinued" represents "not in stock" quite well and with a very low error rate, I see no reason to change it at this time.

Sidenote: I really do take more time for checking availability status than just a google shopping search.
I remember one device which was available at with only 2 devices, for months (!). I did not change the status to "discontinued".

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BTW: Just stumbled over this:

Please note the "Stock: discontinued".

I have seen "discontinued" also at other sellers. It is not unusual to see "discontinued" in places where it means "out of stock".