AIMesh - Clients won't connect to the node

barbossa

New Around Here
Tried to set up an AIMesh system with a pair of Asus ZenWifi AX6600 (XT8) routers to improve a dead spot issue, but it seems no matter what I do the client insists connecting to the main router rather than the nearer node.

I have a two story house (2600 sf) but with a long shape. Before setting up the mesh, the main router is on upstairs but my office room is down stairs, they are about 30 ft apart but because of multiple walls/floor and staircase in between, the connection I am getting in the office room is at most 20-25Mbps and often drops signal (signal strength hovers around -70dBm). In addition, the office room is next to the garage where the signal is even poorer. Thought that a mesh network would help.

I don't have option for the placement of the main router - that is where it needs to connect to modem.

I placed the mesh node downstairs in between the main router and my office room (with direct line of sight). Used wireless backhaul. The node has a 'great' connection per the web UI (signal strength at around -40dBm) and the LED light on the node shows stable white (meaning a stable/good connection with main) with occasional flashing blue (meaning syching with main), so it all seems good. However the computer just won't connect to the node, but insists on connecting to the main router. Disconnect/reconnect/restarting etc. didn't help.

In the web UI I tried 'bind' the computer to the node, but was given a warning 'the device might lose connection if you do so because of weak connections', and viola, the computer won't connect anymore, until I removed the binding.

Tried adjusting the node to different locations (closer to main, closer to the computer) but none of them seem to change anything. Tried using my cellphone in the garage, hoping it would connect to the node (since the signal to the main is pretty much non-existent at this point), but nope, it won't either.

All the settings are default, all three bands share a single SSD. I am pretty puzzled - why the webUI shows everything is OK but the devices just won't connect to the node? Any advises of how to diagnose this?
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
You didn't mention which firmware version your XT8s are running?

Over in the sister forum "ASUSWRT - Official", there is a thread about each recent ASUS firmware release, and sad to say most of them have got problems for at least some people. You might try some other release(s) and see if things are any better for you. Another common recommendation is to do a hard factory reset on each node and reconfigure them from scratch --- rumor has it that this improves matters for some people, especially after switching to a different firmware version.

Also you might try investing in a WiFi scanner app for your phone or computer, so you can get a direct readout of what the signal strength in your office really is from each of the nodes. Without that core bit of data, you're mostly flying blind.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Thought that a mesh network would help.

What mesh network? In your case you have purchased a bundle of wireless router and repeater. AiMesh is a marketing name. You can play with different firmware, different router/node placement, Roaming Assistant setting, binding stationary clients to the router or node.
 

barbossa

New Around Here
You didn't mention which firmware version your XT8s are running?

Over in the sister forum "ASUSWRT - Official", there is a thread about each recent ASUS firmware release, and sad to say most of them have got problems for at least some people. You might try some other release(s) and see if things are any better for you. Another common recommendation is to do a hard factory reset on each node and reconfigure them from scratch --- rumor has it that this improves matters for some people, especially after switching to a different firmware version.

Also you might try investing in a WiFi scanner app for your phone or computer, so you can get a direct readout of what the signal strength in your office really is from each of the nodes. Without that core bit of data, you're mostly flying blind.
I am using the latest firmware version 3.0.0.4.386_48706. But I'll try looking at older firmware versions. Also will try wifi scanners.

I observed something new - the node has flashing blue light very frequently, and found the following that spammed the system log non stopping. The (redacted) mac_address corresponds to the mesh node. This happens even when the two routers sit in the same room.

May 15 19:04:34 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(491): eth6: Deauth_ind <mac_addr>, status: 0, reason: Unspecified reason (1), rssi:-27
May 15 19:04:34 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(527): eth6: Auth <mac_addr>, status: Successful (0), rssi:-27
May 15 19:04:34 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(556): eth6: Assoc <mac_addr>, status: Successful (0), rssi:-27
May 15 19:04:37 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(491): eth4: Deauth_ind <mac_addr>, status: 0, reason: Previous authentication no longer valid (2), rssi:-19
May 15 19:04:38 wlceventd: wlceventd_proc_event(491): eth4: Deauth_ind <mac_addr>, status: 0, reason: Previous authentication no longer valid (2), rssi:-19
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
I am using the latest firmware version 3.0.0.4.386_48706.

The thread about 48706 has some people reporting that it works to use that on the main router and 46061 on the node. If that doesn't help, roll both back to 46061. I'd definitely do a factory reset after downgrading a node's firmware, since otherwise you're relying on the old firmware version to understand config data from a later version.

I observed something new - the node has flashing blue light very frequently,

That should absolutely not be happening, if you have backhaul signal strength as high as -40dBm. Any backhaul connection drops at all are unacceptable in my book, and with a signal as solid as that, there is no excuse.
 

barbossa

New Around Here
The thread about 48706 has some people reporting that it works to use that on the main router and 46061 on the node. If that doesn't help, roll both back to 46061. I'd definitely do a factory reset after downgrading a node's firmware, since otherwise you're relying on the old firmware version to understand config data from a later version.



That should absolutely not be happening, if you have backhaul signal strength as high as -40dBm. Any backhaul connection drops at all are unacceptable in my book, and with a signal as solid as that, there is no excuse.
Thanks for the pointer! That thread looks promising - multiple people have the same symptom (flashing blue light), so I'm trying the older firmware first thing.
 

barbossa

New Around Here
Just to provide an update - my problem was solved by using the (beta) firmware that was just released today: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/a...n-version-9-0-0-4-386-48966-2022-05-27.79081/

As soon as I saw the change log I knew it was it:
ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 Firmware version 9.0.0.4.386.48966
Fixed the AiMesh node connection issue if the WPA Pre-Share key is over 32 characters.

And I was using a key longer than 32 characters... I never suspected this being the cause...
 

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