AiMesh with 7 RT-AC68U - a single node is constantly crashing/rebooting

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muddymind

Occasional Visitor
Hi!

I have 7 RT-AC68U in a AiMesh config with 5 nodes connected via ethernet and 1 node connected via WiFi:



I had a bit of trouble setting these up. Initially I tried flashing merlin firmware v386.3_2 on every router (both main router and nodes) but it always failed at 1% when adding a new node. Unfortunately the logs didn't have any information on why it failed.
I flashed the Asus v3.0.0.4.386_43129 into the main router but it still failed at 1%. I flashed v3.0.0.4.386_43129 into every node router and I finally managed to add them all.
(every flash was followed by settings reset with the WPS button press on boot)

Everything ok so far! It is unfortunate I can't use merlin's FW since it has some useful features but for know it is ok for my immediate needs.

The main problem started when I started to notice that "-1 Pilates" Node was dropping from time to time (it's the only one with wifi backhaul).

I tried dirty flashing merlin's v386.3_2 but still crashed (rebooted) after a while.
I tried dirty flashing the old Asus v3.0.0.4.386.41634 but still showed the same behavior.

Since the router is mounted to the ceiling and is upside down I thought it might be an issue of temperature but I put a 120mm fan stucked to its back to keep it cool and it still is crashing.

The way I can quickly force the crash (reboot) is to fetch a huge file from a NAS and it starts downloading it at around 110Mbps and after 2-10min it drops the speed to 10Mbps.
If I reconnect the client it gets back up to 110Mbps but if I don't renew the client's connection, and it stays at 10Mbps, it will crash (reboot) the router after 1min.

On the main router I don't have any relevant logs about this happening.
I looked at the node's /tmp/syslog.log and it doesn't seem to have any relevant info on why it rebooted:

Sep 6 17:06:06 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(536): wl0.1: ReAssoc 00:04:4B:2D:60:FF, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:08:23 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(526): wl0.1: Auth 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:08:23 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(536): wl0.1: ReAssoc 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:13:46 roamast: [EXAP]Deauth old sta in 0 1: 00:04:4B:2D:60:FF
Sep 6 17:13:46 roamast: wl0.1: disconnect weak signal strength station [00:04:4b:2d:60:ff]
Sep 6 17:13:46 roamast: wl0.1: remove client [00:04:4b:2d:60:ff] from monitor list
Sep 6 17:13:46 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(490): wl0.1: Deauth_ind 00:04:4B:2D:60:FF, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:16:40 roamast: [EXAP]Deauth old sta in 0 1: 74:15:75:74:66:6D
Sep 6 17:16:40 roamast: wl0.1: disconnect weak signal strength station [74:15:75:74:66:6d]
Sep 6 17:16:40 roamast: wl0.1: remove client [74:15:75:74:66:6d] from monitor list
Sep 6 17:16:41 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(490): wl0.1: Deauth_ind 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:16:43 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(526): wl0.1: Auth 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:16:43 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(536): wl0.1: ReAssoc 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:16:59 roamast: [EXAP]Deauth old sta in 0 1: 74:15:75:74:66:6D
Sep 6 17:16:59 roamast: wl0.1: disconnect weak signal strength station [74:15:75:74:66:6d]
Sep 6 17:16:59 roamast: wl0.1: remove client [74:15:75:74:66:6d] from monitor list
Sep 6 17:17:00 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(490): wl0.1: Deauth_ind 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:34:27 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(526): wl1.1: Auth D6:2D:0B:9C:15:C3, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:34:27 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(555): wl1.1: Assoc D6:2D:0B:9C:15:C3, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:34:36 roamast: [EXAP]Deauth old sta in 1 1: D6:2D:0B:9C:15:C3
Sep 6 17:34:36 roamast: wl1.1: disconnect weak signal strength station [d6:2d:0b:9c:15:c3]
Sep 6 17:34:36 roamast: wl1.1: remove client [d6:2d:0b:9c:15:c3] from monitor list
Sep 6 17:34:36 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(490): wl1.1: Deauth_ind D6:2D:0B:9C:15:C3, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:37:40 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(526): wl0.1: Auth 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:37:40 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(536): wl0.1: ReAssoc 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: Successful (0), rssi:0
Sep 6 17:39:04 roamast: [EXAP]Deauth old sta in 0 1: 74:15:75:74:66:6D
Sep 6 17:39:04 roamast: wl0.1: disconnect weak signal strength station [74:15:75:74:66:6d]
Sep 6 17:39:04 roamast: wl0.1: remove client [74:15:75:74:66:6d] from monitor list
Sep 6 17:39:05 syslog: wlceventd_proc_event(490): wl0.1: Deauth_ind 74:15:75:74:66:6D, status: 0, reason: Deauthenticated because sending station is leaving (or has left) IBSS or ESS (3), rssi:0
Sep 6 1May 5 06:05:02 kernel: klogd started: BusyBox v1.25.1 (2021-01-05 17:01:55 CST)
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Linux version 2.6.36.4brcmarm ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.5.3 (Buildroot 2012.02) ) #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Jan 5 17:08:14 CST 2021
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: CPU: ARMv7 Processor [413fc090] revision 0 (ARMv7), cr=10c53c7f
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: CPU: VIPT nonaliasing data cache, VIPT nonaliasing instruction cache
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Machine: Northstar Prototype
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Ignoring unrecognised tag 0x00000000
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Memory policy: ECC disabled, Data cache writealloc
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Built 1 zonelists in Zone order, mobility grouping on. Total pages: 60416
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Kernel command line: root=/dev/mtdblock2 console=ttyS0,115200 init=/sbin/preinit earlyprintk debug
May 5 06:05:02 kernel: Memory: 255496k/255496k available, 6648k reserved, 0K highmem

Any ideas why this keeps happening?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Try different Control Channels to fix the issue you're having.

But, being curious, how many SqFt is the area you're covering with these routers?\

I believe you have too much Wi-Fi unless you're providing wireless internet access to a small/medium apartment building.
 

muddymind

Occasional Visitor
I found a solution to my issue. I have a bunch of different revisions of the RT-AC68U from the 1st ones available to the latest V3 revision.

I had a revision A1 in the trouble spot as the wireless backhaul node. I switched it with a newer V3 from another node and now everything works as intended :D

This proves there's some issue with the FW in the initial versions of this model.

Try different Control Channels to fix the issue you're having.

Can I do that with AiMesh? I think it forces every node to the same control channel unless I switch it to AP mode. Unfortunately I really really need a guest network so my only option for now is to use them in AiMesh mode.

But, being curious, how many SqFt is the area you're covering with these routers?

I believe you have too much Wi-Fi unless you're providing wireless internet access to a small/medium apartment building.

I don't know how many sq meters are but it's a lot! It's a very large 3 floors villa and also covers a bit of outdoor area.

I have 3 nodes per floor except for 1 that only has the single wireless backhaul.

The floor and walls are made in such a way that very little 5GHz signal can pass trough them and each floor has many small divisions so I require a lot of devices to provide proper coverage. Even using this many nodes I still have a single dark spot in the house which I'll cover with an older rt-n66U in AP mode just to provide wireless connectivity to a single tv-box and a smartphone.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Different Control Channels (period). Not different Control Channels per AiMesh node. :)
 

muddymind

Occasional Visitor
Different Control Channels (period). Not different Control Channels per AiMesh node. :)
Ah! Lol

This is in the country side with no other houses nearby that could generate noise so I doubt it would make too much of a difference (unless there's some other device generating interference in the 5GHz channel.... Unlikely but always possible).
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Whether it's non-Wi-Fi related interference or not, I find that routers have their own 'best' Control Channel that they work optimally on.

Glad you found a workable solution!
 

RangerZ

Regular Contributor
I tried flashing merlin firmware v386.3_2 on every router (both main router and nodes) but it always failed at 1% when adding a new node.
There are some issues with the RT-AC68U being able to form an AIMesh config as you describe. See this post. This began with 386.2_6.

LSS, it appears that you should be able to configure AIMesh by connecting the Routers LAN to the Nodes WAN via Ethernet and then Adding a node. This is NOT the process suggested by ASUS. There also is a post by Merlin in which he basically suggests there is no benefit to running Merlin on the nodes. Unclear if this will work as I suggest in an environment as complex as yours.
 

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