Updating an old TL-WR1043ND V1 as dumb access point

Hi All,

tldr; I've got an old TL-WR1043ND V1 running as an access point with OpenWrt 18.06.1. Has anyone tried flashing a 22.03.3 sysupgrade image to one of these?

The OpenWrt site claims that it's supported (https://openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr1043nd) for this hardware however, as an 8/32 device it falls under this warning: (https://openwrt.org/supported_devices/432_warning). I don't have a spare access point to swap in if it fails and because of how the place is wired my main router/access point is in the basement so there's not enough wireless coverage from it alone.

I'm also a little leary of making such a big jump in version numbers so would be interested to know if it'd be better to: a). not bother because the hardware is so limited, b). update sequentially through sysupgrades for versions 19.xx to the current one, or c). go ahead and jump right up to the current version.

Thanks in advance.

32MB of RAM is seriously marginal for OpenWrt 22.03, but it should probably be okay for an AP. You'll want to remove or disable all unnecessary packages such as the firewall (which isn't needed in a dumb AP) among other things.

You could create your own image for this, or just disable them if you're using the standard image.

Make a backup of your current config and you can always return to 18.06 if you have trouble with 22.03 (you should probably at least use 19.07 instead, and in fact 21.02 is worth a try as 19.07 is also EOL).

Interesting, so you don't see a problem making that big a version jump with sysupgrade?

I have running 22.03 on V1, but the 64 MB Ram upgrade was necessary. Fortunately I had a spare 64MB Hynix Ram chip from previous order on Ali. Desoldering the old chip and soldering a new one was a matter of approx. 2 hours.

Oh, sorry, I didn't actually address the sysupgrade side of this... You do have to do this in multiple steps. You'll be migrating from ar71xx > ath79 in the upgrade process, so this requires resetting to defaults and reconfiguring from scratch.

Upgrade from 18 > 19.07 ath79 and do not keep settings. You will get a warning about an incompatible or unsupported image... go ahead and force the upgrade, but verify that you have downloaded the correct image and that the checksum matches what you see on the downloads site.

Then you can do the upgrade from 19 > 22, but you must not keep settings here, either (this upgrade path is not supported insofar as the configurations, but as long as you don't keep settings, it's fine to do the jump).

Humm, the 64 MB Ram upgrade? Do you have a link to a tutorial? I'm not great with a soldering iron but have done a few projects.

To set expectations, these devices are surface mount with relatively fine-pitch leads. It is often easiest to use a hot-air rework station, but this can be done with a traditional iron provided that you have a very fine tip and a steady hand.

That said, for the money and time invested in an upgrade, you can probably get a device that already has 64 MB or more.

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Okay, cool. Thanks for the advice.

No problem.

When you're ready...

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Thanks! :slight_smile:

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