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AIMesh broke some parts of HomeKit

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by Wreck, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Dec 9, 2019
    Messages:
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    Hi,

    I've been using an AC68U together with some HomeKit devices for quite some time, and it has been performing well. However, some weeks ago I bought two IKEA Trådfri bookshelf speakers, and since they have sh*t WiFi antenna the one in the kitchen made the two IKEA/Sonos speakers not really working (stuttering, not responding, going silent etc.).

    That made me thinking of AIMesh. So, yesterday I got another AC68U. I updated it to the latest software, reset it and then added it as a AIMesh node through the admin GUI on my AIMesh router.

    Well, after that half (or so) of my HomeKit went FUBAR. I got a lot of "NO RESPONSE" in the Home app on my iPhone, and after some investigation it seems that the devices can't really handle being connected to a different router/node (AP?) than the two Apple TVs I have. For example; my two Apple TVs are connected to the main router (which is also weird, since both of them are closer to the AIMesh node than the router), but two HomeKit devices connected themselves to the AIMesh node which made them go "NO RESPONSE". For a while everything was connected to the AIMesh router and it seemed to work flawlessly, but then things started to switch over to the node again, and gave a "NO RESPONSE" once again.

    I have tried with the roaming block list, but even though I have added ALL my HomeKit devices there they still switch between the router and the node (which ultimately breaks HomeKit for those devices). Note that some HomeKit stuff is still working, for example those that have a hub that connects to the router via a cable or devices using bluetooth to connect to one of the Apple TVs. It seems like the wifi HomeKit devices are those that have a hard time with this.

    And my Sonos didn't really get better either since both of the speakers connect to the AIMesh router (the original one which couldn't reach one of the speakers)) even though I put the AIMesh node next to the speaker in the kitchen...

    Any suggestions? I am a novice, so I do not know what to tinker with.
    I've been googling a lot, and it seems like I want to do the following settings (NOTE: I have NOT yet made the changes) - are these correct?
    • WPS = ON
    • Smart connect = OFF
    • Airtime fairness = OFF
    • Roaming assistant = OFF? / or enter 65 db (2,4 GHz) and 70 db (5 GHz)
    • Multi user MIMO = OFF
    • Band steering = OFF
    • Explicit Beamforming = OFF for both 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz
    • 802.11ac Beamforming = ON (only for 5 GHz)
    • Universal Beamforming = OFF for both 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz
    • IGMP Snooping = ON
    • WMM = ON?
    • Bluetooth Coexistence = OFF
    • Tx power adjustment = MAX (Performance)
    • Modulation Scheme = Up to MCS 9 (802.11ac)
    • Multicast Rate(Mbps): Auto
    • Nitro/Turbo-QAM = OFF
    • Enable multicast routing (IGMP Proxy) = ON (LAN > IPTV > Special Applications)
    • Enable efficient multicast forwarding (IGMP Snooping) = ON (LAN > IPTV > Special Applications)
    • Choose a static channel on both 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz
    • Look for anything containing "multicast/mDNS/Bonjour" and turn it ON
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  2. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    959
    I have 70+ HomeKit devices including 2 Apple TV’s hanging off different nodes (either one can be the Apple home master or standby depending on last one to happen to reboot etc) and a 5 node AiMesh with no issues at all...
    So thinking AiMesh isn’t necessarily your issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Do all of these have a hub to connect to, or do they use WiFi?

    Well, since it was working perfectly before I installed AIMesh that is my culprit at the moment. I think it is too early to rule out AIMesh just yet. If you could share your router settings I would be grateful, might be something I'm missing.
     
  4. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    Messages:
    959
    I have smart connect and roaming assist on - that’s the stand out difference from your list

    Do you have separate SSID’s for your bands? Wondering if some of the devices can’t work out what do to.

    I also have dedicated 5Ghz backhaul as I have tri band routers (5300) so that may cause the Wi-fi to present differently from yours. Worth noting I don’t use it as I have Ethernet backhaul but you can’t disable AiMesh from doing it (major gripe of mine and many others with tri band routers and ethernet backhaul!).

    When the devices stop responding to HomeKit have you tried setting up a ping from the router to them or from your phone/pc connected to the main router. See if there is a solid basic IP link...

    I’m suspecting it’s more likely to be a multicast issue, but I’ve not heard of anyone having issues like that between AiMesh nodes to date.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Ah, I wasn't very clear with my original post. I have not yet made the changes presented there, right now they're kinda default and thus not necessarily as I wrote above. So if I understand you correct you have the settings I wrote above, but have enabled smart connect and roaming assist.

    Yes, I have different SSIDs for my bands.

    Yes, might be a multicast issue. I have not made any changes to that yet, so any default settings are still there.

    Also, I have had my original AC68U for several years and IIRC I've never reset it. Perhaps that's a thing to do as well. But now comes a noob question; if I reset it and then set it up again with the same SSIDs and WiFi passwords, will all my devices be able to connect again seamlessly? (I said I'm a novice :D)
     
  6. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    Aug 28, 2016
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    Ok cool.

    So yes. I’d be tempted to flash to latest (and would also suggest using Merlin’s firmware which is a security and feature enhanced version of Asus’s own firmware), reset to factory and then re configure just the bare minimum.

    Yes, if you use the same SSID/password then devices will all be happy and re connect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Awesome, I think I'll flash to the latest FW (which is done already), reset and then reconfigure. I'll consider Merlin as well.

    What would you consider being bare minimum? Using the settings in my original post, or rather keep everything default and see if it works? If not, any suggestions what I should start changing before I go bananas on every setting?

    Awesome - thanks. I changed SSID once, and it was a PITA to add everything again.
     
  8. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    I’d leave as much default as possible.
    Generally these routers pretty much do it right out of the box.
    First things to change if you still have issues would be disabling airtime fairness - lots of small/low spec Wi-fi devices don’t like it. NB By low spec I mean smart devices like plugs/bulbs that don’t care/need and so don’t have high throughput Wi-fi.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Location:
    USA
    Without knowing what the issue is... I would re-build the network using the new 68U as the router to confirm its health; then add the old 68U as node later on.

    I would use the router defaults except disable Airtime Fairness, use separate SSIDs (there is no Smart Connect on 68Us), and set fixed WiFi channels (2.4 GHz n-only, 20 MHz, ch 1,6,11; 5.0 GHz n/ac mixed, 80 MHz, ch 149 or above). See my notes for the few other non-default settings I use. Generally speaking, I would not change a default setting unless it solves a client issue or offers more security. Avoid bells and whistle router configuration until your network is healthy and stable for some time.

    Start with factory default reset routers and make client observations as you go. Save the IoT clients until last since they can be more problematic than phones and computers.

    I appreciate that this advice is not a magic bullet but it may prove the routers and AiMesh and might reveal a difficult client or other condition.

    How far apart are your nodes?

    OE
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  10. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Thanks for your answer. I'll try that in a while. However, I think I've got everything to work by changing the IPTV settings (and some other stuff I just randomly tried in the list above). Though, it only works if I'm connected to the WiFi. If I disconnect and try to access my HomeKit things nothing is accessible (except the few things that connect via Bluetooth). This is both better and worse than before. Better in the sense that everything seems to work when I'm on the WiFi, but worse in the sense that NO HomeKit devices are accessible if not on the WiFi (this was not the case before - then I just had trouble with a few).

    The nodes are approx. 10-15 meters in between them (some thick walls in between).

    BTW - I currently have the bandwidth set to 20/40 MHz and 20/40/80 MHz. What difference would it make to change to the settings you suggested?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  11. Grisu

    Grisu Part of the Furniture

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    I think he is rather from Europe or is Ikea sold in US too?
    So no ch. >149 and better use 1/5/9/13 for 2,4GHz.
    And there is no need for different SSID, you could set guest SSID for only 2.4G and another one for 5GHz for testing or to use it on special clients.
     
  12. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    Yeah, I'm located in Europe. I currently use channel 11 for 2,4.
     
  13. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    Access outside of your own Wi-fi relies solely on the Apple TV <> iCloud connection. I’d double check the master Apple TV can access the internet and has HomeKit enabled (disable/enable it if it is already).
    I’ve had exactly what you have once when I accidentally removed both ATV and my iPad from my HomeKit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Wreck

    Wreck New Around Here

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    I checked that but it seemed to have internet connection and also connected to HomeKit. However, I restarted (yes, I should've done that before anything else :p) both my ATVs and now it seems to be working.

    I'll keep monitoring how everything runs during the night.

    I've been changing so many things right now so I have no clue what actually (hopefully) fixed the issues. My bet is on the IPTV settings, but I do not know. Anyone care to take a look on my settings and see if anything should be changed?

    2,4 GHz general settings:
    • Wireless mode = Auto (with b/g protection)
    • Channel bandwidth = 20/40 MHz
    • Control channel = 11
    • Extension channel = below
    2,4 GHz professional settings:
    upload_2019-12-9_18-40-43.png
    upload_2019-12-9_18-41-6.png

    5 GHz general settings:
    • Wireless mode = Auto
    • Channel bandwidth = 20/40/80 MHz
    • Control channel = 44
    • Extension channel = Auto
    5 GHz professional settings:
    upload_2019-12-9_18-42-11.png
    upload_2019-12-9_18-42-30.png

    IPTV settings:
    • Enable multicast routing (IGMP Proxy) = Enable
    • Enable efficient multicast forwarding (IGMP Snooping) = Enable
    Roaming block list empty (I tried to use it before).
     
  15. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    I agree, IPTV/Multicast sounded like the issue from the start.
    Glad it seems all to be working. Enjoy!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk