Either build from source or download from above(todo). Firmware can be installed via:
- U-Boot / Serial Console using tftp, ftp, etc
- mtd ( upgrade from OpenWrt or any other distro supporting MTD )
- TP-Link Web Interface in original firmware
U-Boot / Serial Console
This requires soldering a serial connection. See serial console and see TL-WR1043ND page for specific soldering information. Getting the cover removed is somewhat a challenge and perfectly described. Please make sure to read this OpenWrt device page entirely. It contains a lot of information about the board, flashing, etc.
See bootloader page on boot loaders in general and U-Boot specific.
Setting up tftp server
Start a TFTP server on your build host or host where you downloaded the firmware. For example:
sudo /sbin/ifconfig eth0:1 192.168.0.5 chmod 777 /home/bitten/work/tlwr1043nd/bin/ar71xx-testing-2.1-1-default sudo /usr/sbin/atftpd --user root \ --daemon \ --no-fork \ --logfile - \ --bind-address 192.168.0.5 \ -v \ /home/bitten/work/tlwr1043nd/bin/ar71xx-testing-2.1-1-default
By default U-Boot bootloader will connect to a TFTP server on 192.168.0.5.
Start minicom before poweron the device. When the message "Autobooting in 1 seconds" is displayed, quickly type 'tpl' to interrupt the boot process. Next load the DebWrt firmware using TFTP and flash it.
tpl tftpboot 0x81000000 debwrt-firmware-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-factory.bin erase 0xbf020000 +7c0000 cp.b 0x81000000 0xbf020000 0x7c0000 bootm 0xbf020000
See DebWrt boot log on TP-Link WR1043ND. It shows the output of the entire re-flash and boot procedure.
If you have already have OpenWrt or another OS running with MTD support, flash a new firmware by:
scp user@host:debwrt-firmware-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-factory.bin . mtd -r write debwrt-firmware-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-factory.bin firmware
TP-Link Web Interface in original firmware
Theoretically it should be possible to load the the DebWrt firmware( debwrt-firmware-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-factory.bin ) via the firmware update page of the default manufacturer web interface. However I did not succeed. The OpenWrt firmware however loaded without problem. Once OpenWrt is on it, the MTD method above can be used to upgrade to a DebWrt firmware.
Note: I did not actually flash, but the interface accepted the bin file, instead of rejecting it like it rejected the DebWrt firmware I tried
DebWrt networking is fully supported. See /etc/network/interfaces.wr1043nd included in the rootfs. This will configure the router to be a wireless Access Point. And will configure the switch, setup a bridge, start hostapd and a simple firewall. Don't forget to enable dnsmasq (normally you want this) if you want to have DHCP enabled.