WARNING: Do NOT flash the openwrt-19.07.2-ramips-mt76x8-tplink_c50-v3-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin from the “Downloads” section to the C50 v3 via the TPlink firmware's web GUI. It will brick the router!v.3
Installation is not so trival as the before short mentioned procedures suggest. Flash via WebGUI will not work because the OpenWrt firmware is not accepted by the router. But you can flash between different official firmwares. Unfortunately the smaller sysupgrade firmware is accepted by the stock router firmware but will brick the device. In this case you must use the TFTP recover method as described below. This is also the prefered way to flash the first OpenWrt firmware. Just use this image: https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/18.06.8/targets/ramips/mt76x8/openwrt-18.06.8-ramips-mt76x8-tplink_c50-v3-squashfs-tftp-recovery.bin (check the hash!) rename it to tp_recovery.bin and put it in your tftpboot directory.
To trigger the TFTP flashing just restart (on/off) the router and shortly after it turns on press the small reset button for a while. If everything is set up correct the router will load the image and restarts with a working OpenWrt firmware.
One big problem is the 19.07.2 OpenWrt release. The performance in the 2.4 GHZ range is degraded/buggy. Instead of e.g. 10 Mbit you will get 0.5 Mbit. I cross checked this with different firmwares and clients. This is not tolerable and the problem not solved. But you can use instead the 18.06.8 release. It is even faster than the latest stock firmware.
v4 installation instructions
WARNING: Do NOT flash the tplink_C50-v4-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin from the “Downloads” section to the C50 v4 via the TPlink firmware's web GUI. It will brick the router!
KNOWN ISSUE (Jan 2020): Reports of poor 2.4 GHz range. OpenWrt forum
Note: The OEM .bin firmware file for EU version 'Archer C50(EU)_V4_190125' has same checksum as the Brazil version 'Archer C50(BR)_V4_190125'. The Canadian version uses EU firmware .bin file as well. It is believed the C50 v4 hardware (except for AC power adapter) is the same for all regions.
Support for Archer C50 v4 was added with this commit (Please do not remove the link). A tp_recovery.bin TFTP installation image is not currently available. The commit notes describe in detail how to modify the sysupgrade.bin image (linked above, on the “Downloads” section) to create a image file for the TPlink web GUI or TFTP installation.
To create a sysupgrade image to revert from OpenWrt to stock TPlink firmware follow the procedure described here here.
Using a pre-built image for v4 (at your own risk)
WARNING: The pre-built images are NOT for use with v5
If you do not want to create an OpenWRT image from the Factory firmware yourself, pre-built (albeit possibly older) 19.07 snapshot images are available. The images were built by the forum user bill888 and announced here.
Download and extract the contents of the zip file in this dropbox folder. The file contains Open Wrt image files, an image file to revert from OpenWrt to the TPlink stock firmware and detailed instructions for installation via Web GUI and TFTP and .
To install using TPlink Web GUI:
Log into the TPlink's stock firmware Web GUI at 192.168.0.1;
Flash the router with 'boot.bin';
After the router restarts, log into LuCI at 192.168.1.1;
Download the latest stable release: tplink_C50-v4-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin (linked above, in the “Downloads” section). Use LuCI to install the sysupgrade file, untick the 'Keep Settings' check box.
If you are okay with using a image made by a third party, make sure that the patched image is named ArcherC50V1_tp_recovery.bin (non-windows users, ensure that the case match, specifically that V1 is capitalized in the filename) and follow the generic TFTP installation procedure.
To build a image yourself, you need to concatenate u-boot (128 KiB) and a Open Wrt image. The steps to do so are explained below in the v4 instructions section.
v4 and v5 instructions
Update Jan 2020: It has been reported the C50 v4 sysupgrade image also works with C50 v5 (US version).
The C50 v5 appears to be only sold in the USA.
You need to build your own image. The instructions were made available on the commit that added support for the v4.
Download a TP-Link image (tpl.bin) from their Website and a OpenWRT sysupgrade (owrt.bin) image for the device. On a Linux or BSD system run the following commands:
This section describes actions that might damage your device or firmware. Proceed with care!
Recovery mode write u-Boot and firmware to adress 0x00000000 on flash.
The serial-less TFTP recovery method for the TP-LinkTL-WDR4300 also works for the Archer C50.
To prepare the recovery file cut the first 0x200 (that is 512) bytes from original stock image. If you fail to follow this step you will brick your device, see.
dd if=orig.bin of=tplink.bin skip=1 bs=512
The router looks for the address 192.168.0.66 and a file named ArcherC50V1_tp_recovery.bin (non-windows users, ensure that the case match, specifically that V1 is capitalized in the filename). For the v3 EU version the file name is: tp_recovery.bin. So the dd-command is e.g.:
→ Basic configuration After flashing, proceed with this.
Set up your Internet connection, configure wireless, configure USB port, etc.
The default network configuration is:
LAN & WiFi
LAN ports (1 to 4)
WiFi 5 GHz
WiFi 2,4 GHz
Switch Ports (for VLANs)
Numbers 1-4 are Ports 1-4 as labeled on the unit, number 0 is the Internet (WAN) on the unit, 6 is the internal connection to the router itself. Don't be fooled: Port 1 on the unit is number 3 when configuring VLANs. vlan0 = eth0.0, vlan1 = eth0.1 and so on.
→ hardware.button on howto use and configure the hardware button(s).
Here, we merely name the buttons, so we can use them in the above Howto.
The case of the Archer C50 is composed of 2 pieces:
Top cover (bluish)
Bottom cover (gray)
Remove the two screws on the bottom cover.
Use a thin object to release the top cover from the bottom cover
Putting it back together
Put the top cover back on
Press until it clicks back nicely to the bottom cover.
Put back the screws
→ port.serial general information about the serial port, serial port cable, etc.
Solder a header as shown in the picture or wires with a connector directly. The device uses TTL @ 3.3V and not a standard RS-232 Serial that operates between 3 and 15V, so do not try to connect it to a common serial adapter: you will certainly fry the serial circuit or even the whole board. There are plenty of USB to TTL and RS-232 to TTL available on the market, just be careful with the voltage: the standard is 5V and it may also damage your board. Look for the ones with 3.3V or with both voltages and a way to switch between them.
Don’t forget that the TX pin of the serial port must linked to the RX pin of the router and the RX to TX!
How to connect to the Serial Port of this specific device:
Resistor R600 and R601 are missing.
Serial connection parameters
for TP-Link Archer C50 v1
Serial connection parameters
for TP-Link Archer C50 v3
toh/tp-link/archer-c50.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/10 10:15 by bill888