> I would amend that to say that the dhcp server usually gives out the same
> address. Occasionally, most often because of a long machine not on period
> the address will be different. This occasional changing is why I have
> considered using static addresses for important items rather than 'fixed'
> addresses, as you describe just post.

Yes, dhcp servers do try to give out the same IP address when
dynamically allocating. But it can be annoying when an address does
change. So you get a more reliable, robust and predictable setup with
fixed addresses.

I tend to spit the address range in 2. Dynamic is X.X.X.100-255, fixed
it X.X.X.2-99. OpenWRT makes it easy to give a device a fixed address,
because it will give a drop-down list of all MAC addresses it knows,
along with the current assigned IP address.

> I am loath to fiddle with working and necessary equipment so changes
> will happen when I purchase the second router and a spare.

Ideally, you should be upgrading the OpenWRT installation every so
often. There are security implications when you don't. Also, over the
last year or two, buffer bloat workarounds have got a lot better. So
you can see significant improvements in latency under heavy load with
newer OpenWRT.

> I like to carry a spare as I'm rural and getting items always seems
> to be a challenge when there is non-trivial distance and all too
> often that need happens at very inconvenient times - - - like friday
> evening or early saturday morning on a holiday long weekend when
> nothing is too readily available.

It can also be nice having two when doing upgrades. It can be really
inconvenient when an upgrade fails, and you loose internet access, so
cannot search for a fix. Generally, you can plug a laptop directly
into the WAN cable and it will work, but good old RJ-45 Ethernet is
slowly going the way of the parallel printer port, floppy driver, DB-9
serial port, on laptops.