I got myself a TP-Link TL-WDR3500 since it boasts great hardware (see below for detailed info), and at the same time is supported by OpenWRT which I easily found out by searching in the OpenWRT forums.
Here’s the direct link to the firmware image (current “unstable” or “bleeding edge” OpenWRT release “Barrier Breaker” — i. e. not current stable one, which is Attitude Adjustment — build r36486) which you can use to upgrade a device with the factory firmware still installed. (Update: The link refers to the “trunk”, i. e. the development branch, where daily builds are available.)
Installing OpenWRT using the stock firmware’s “Firmware Upgrade” function worked smoothly. Less than 5 mins. after I started the upgrade I had OpenWRT running (thanks, folks!).
I collected a couple of facts which might be helpful for reference:
- CPU: MIPS 74Kc, CPU revision: 0001974c, clock: 560 MHz, 278.93 BogoMIPS
- SoC: Atheros AR9344 rev 2
- RAM: 128 MByte DDR @450.000MHz
- Flash: m25p80 spi0.0: en25q64 (8192 Kbytes)
- 5 MTD partitions on “spi0.0”:
0x000000000000-0x000000020000 : "u-boot"
0x000000020000-0x00000011ffec : "kernel"
0x00000011ffec-0x0000007f0000 : "rootfs"
0x0000002d0000-0x0000007f0000 : "rootfs_data"
0x0000007f0000-0x000000800000 : "art"
0x000000020000-0x0000007f0000 : "firmware"
The firmware image referred to above doesn’t come with LuCI, the web-based configuration tool. For those of you who are not that command-line savvy, you might want to install it. Here‘s a quick HOWTO that explains how to do it. Takes only a minute, and afterwards you have LuCI Trunk (svn-r9812) installed (as of today).
I’m now running OpenWRT on my new router since almost 2 hours. I haven’t noticed the slightest issue so far — everything runs very smoothly and is rock-solid. I might publish another article later if anything pops up, or in case of an OpenWRT update.
Finally here’s a link to OpenWRT’s page specific for this router.