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AC86U - Need troubleshooting ideas

Captain Walrus

New Around Here
Hi - I've been having odd issues with my AC86U mesh setup, and I'm not even sure where to start troubleshooting or searching for how to fix the problem, so I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions. (I'm a noob and know just enough to be dangerous, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious or not providing enough info below.)

I've got Xfinity's xFI gigabit modem (I used to use my own Netgear, but after a series of problems with bringing my own equipment, I gave up) with two AC86U routers set up in AiMesh mode. The second router is set up as an access point hardwired with Cat5e to the main router. I'm using upgraded Asus firmware with no modifications.

The problem: I have Sonos speakers in the house. At what appears to be random times, one of my devices will suddenly be unable to "see" any of our Sonos speakers. It could be my PC, Mac, iPhone, or iPad. The only way to "fix" the problem is to go through a maddening series/combination of rebooting the device, changing between 2.4 and 5 signals, turning on/off wifi, etc., until the speakers appear again. There is no single series of actions I have determined always works -- it's a just-keep-trying-until-it-works situation. Notably, however, when I cannot see Sonos, I am still connected to my router and the internet. If I do a speedtest, I don't see a reduction in internet speed. And, when one device can't see Sonos, another device usually can see Sonos -- so it's not Sonos that is losing connection to the network.

I thought this was an issue specific to Sonos (and was trying to fix that specific issue), but then I noticed that, when I was not able to see my Sonos speakers, I was having other connectivity issues with my devices. For example, when I could not see Sonos, I would have a terrible connection for Zoom calls. Or, if my kid was playing some app games, those games would lose connection every few minutes for approx. 10 seconds, disrupting play. If, however, I went through the reboot process and could see Sonos again, the other connectivity issues would resolve.

I have tried isolating the routers to see if the issue is particular to one device, but it happens with both (also happens on both 2.4 and 5). I'm at a loss as to where to begin addressing this issue, as I don't even have a guess as to what is happening (see noob status above). Any thoughts or suggested issues / threads I can research? These routers are supposed to be great (and probably are in the right hands), but I'm about ready to scrap it all and start over. Thanks very much for any ideas.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi - I've been having odd issues with my AC86U mesh setup, and I'm not even sure where to start troubleshooting or searching for how to fix the problem, so I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions. (I'm a noob and know just enough to be dangerous, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious or not providing enough info below.)

I've got Xfinity's xFI gigabit modem (I used to use my own Netgear, but after a series of problems with bringing my own equipment, I gave up) with two AC86U routers set up in AiMesh mode. The second router is set up as an access point hardwired with Cat5e to the main router. I'm using upgraded Asus firmware with no modifications.

The problem: I have Sonos speakers in the house. At what appears to be random times, one of my devices will suddenly be unable to "see" any of our Sonos speakers. It could be my PC, Mac, iPhone, or iPad. The only way to "fix" the problem is to go through a maddening series/combination of rebooting the device, changing between 2.4 and 5 signals, turning on/off wifi, etc., until the speakers appear again. There is no single series of actions I have determined always works -- it's a just-keep-trying-until-it-works situation. Notably, however, when I cannot see Sonos, I am still connected to my router and the internet. If I do a speedtest, I don't see a reduction in internet speed. And, when one device can't see Sonos, another device usually can see Sonos -- so it's not Sonos that is losing connection to the network.

I thought this was an issue specific to Sonos (and was trying to fix that specific issue), but then I noticed that, when I was not able to see my Sonos speakers, I was having other connectivity issues with my devices. For example, when I could not see Sonos, I would have a terrible connection for Zoom calls. Or, if my kid was playing some app games, those games would lose connection every few minutes for approx. 10 seconds, disrupting play. If, however, I went through the reboot process and could see Sonos again, the other connectivity issues would resolve.

I have tried isolating the routers to see if the issue is particular to one device, but it happens with both (also happens on both 2.4 and 5). I'm at a loss as to where to begin addressing this issue, as I don't even have a guess as to what is happening (see noob status above). Any thoughts or suggested issues / threads I can research? These routers are supposed to be great (and probably are in the right hands), but I'm about ready to scrap it all and start over. Thanks very much for any ideas.
My install notes might help. A factory default reset and configuration from scratch is a good starting point.

I would repeat your test of each router standalone to again rule out hardware. Might even do similar for the Sonos speakers, if that makes any sense, but it sounds like the issue is greater than the speakers.

Get a router (and clients) working first before adding an AiMesh node. Build the network up gradually over a few days so that you have a chance to associate cause and affect.

The second router is set up as an access point hardwired with Cat5e to the main router.
For AiMesh, the remote 86U node should be reset before being added as an AiMesh node... no configuration required. You can also set its connection priority to wired/Ethernet to be sure the cable is being used as a wired backhaul. But maybe you should try a wireless backhaul first to leave the Ethernet link out of the equation... since 99% of all networking issues are cabling. :)

OE
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
There's lots of posts on the Sonos forums about "Sonos killed my network". Apparently they create their own mesh network that can cause broadcast storms on the LAN. There's some information here that may be relevant. Check your routers' LAN > Switch Control settings and see if STP is enabled (if you have that option). Another thing to experiment with is multicast snooping under LAN > IPTV (again, if your router has that option).
 

calvin tran

Occasional Visitor
What is the link speed between your router and aimesh node? was your Sono connecting to the mesh node or the router ? I would set the second router as an AP to see if the problem still occurs.
 

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