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AiMesh working and updating working on AX88U

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by kronic_187, May 19, 2019.

  1. kronic_187

    kronic_187 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
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    1. Primary Router must be Merlin latest release. Download from the website. After flashing,
    Enable SSH in administration>system.
    Enable WAN+LAN option.
    Enable Allow password login,
    Enable Allow SSH password brute force protection.
    Save

    2. All Nodes (repeaters/AiMesh Nodes) must be stock ASUS firmware.

    3. Connect Ethernet from laptop/pc to primary router.
    Download PuTTy to SSH into router.
    IP = router.asus.com
    Port = 22.
    Then connect.
    Enter your username and password.

    4. Type to activate AiMesh on Primary Merlin Router. Press enter after every command
    nvram set amas_force=1
    nvram commit
    reboot

    Type to reverse AiMesh on Primary Merlin Router and hide it. Press enter after every command
    nvram set amas_force=0
    nvram commit
    reboot

    5. Setup the nodes one by one and connect them to the primary router.
    6. Your done. Once an update is available, you are able to update Primary's and Node's.
     
    Quoc Huynh and Gitsum like this.
  2. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    Try updating with the auto update then......
     
  3. JGrana

    JGrana Senior Member

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    May 31, 2013
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    But if an Asus update is available will it “update” the AX88U to stock?
     
  4. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    Yes, that is what I was trying to point out about one of the flaws in this setup.
    You can manually download any update for nodes, but you cannot use auto update feature and still have the Router stay on Asus Merlin, it will update to the stock instead.

    The other BIG flaw is that it relies on WPS function to be left turned on in order to maintain stability.

    WPS leaves a weak spot in your network that can be exploited.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    JGrana likes this.
  5. kronic_187

    kronic_187 New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
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    Aimesh nodes are updated on master router, added on update site for all routers.

    You can unmesh them for updates or change to asus stock for updating them.

    Nodes must be on stock to use them as mesh-nodes

    Having the node as standard ASUSWRT does not effect the additional Merlin options available by AiMesh Router (Prime)

    Leave the primary as Merlin and any node added as stock asus firmware since all the features come from the primary Merlin.
     
  6. Grisu

    Grisu Very Senior Member

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    1,884
    No, updates will only occour on AsusWRT-nodes.
    The main router with Merlin has to be uploaded same like since ever.
     
    JGrana likes this.
  7. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    Just don't hit auto update.
     
  8. Gitsum

    Gitsum Senior Member

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    This is good news. Thanks for figuring this out.
    I would like to see Merlin's take on this though. There must be a reason he doesn't support it.
     
  9. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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  10. Gitsum

    Gitsum Senior Member

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    Ok, maybe not support it, but include it.
    There is lots of other closed source code that still gets included in Merlin's firmware.
     
  11. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    The problem with including it would be anything that Merlin codes could conflict with it, and no real way to adjust conflicts without being able to access the source code.
     
    talon_262 and L&LD like this.
  12. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    By including it merlin would be opening the door to problems he cannot support since he doesn't have access to the source codes that is needed to fully make sure any changes he makes on his platform is supported. Also it should be noted that aimesh is a use at your own risk type of setup because it uses an outdated method to pair and maintain connectivity between nodes and router called wps. True you could just turn wps off but aimesh requires it to remain active to repair any connectivity issues between node and router. There are network security risk that occur when leaving wps active, that allows the potential risk of people gaining access to your network.
     
    Kingp1n likes this.
  13. talon_262

    talon_262 Occasional Visitor

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    Which is exactly why Merlin disabled AiMesh, because the AiMesh binaries do conflict with his optimizations; he didn't do that just for the fun of it.

    Believe me, I know because I tried re-enabling AiMesh in Merlin's FW for about a month when I first got my AC86U; it was cool in the beginning, but, as time went on, it also ran like crap, with some crashes and other issues I just couldn't or didn't want to sort out otherwise. I just wound up taking one of the two AC1750_B1s I bought to use as AiMesh nodes (both on stock FW) and turned it into an AiMesh router, with the other AC1750_B1 serving as its AiMesh node and the AC86U (running Merlin) serving only as a router with the WiFi turned off (since the AC1750_B1s are handling the wireless traffic) and handling wired traffic (including the wired backhaul for the AC1750_B1s) through a 24-port switch.

    The only trade-off I wish I didn't have to make in my current setup is losing WiFi Radar (site survey) since I disabled WiFi on the AC86U, but, since I want all of the wireless traffic running through the AiMesh router/node, I've just had to live with it; push comes to shove and I need to see what wireless devices are nearby and in what band, I just whip out my phone and use my WiFi Analyzer app or use my Win10 set-top box that has WiFi to run Acrylic.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    HuskyHerder likes this.
  14. talon_262

    talon_262 Occasional Visitor

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    I disabled WPS on my AiMesh setup once it was all set up, in-place, and running and I have had nary a problem in several months of service, and that's with at least 2-3 FW upgrades since.
     
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  15. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    What I would tell you to do is download an app on your phone and see if wps is still running on your nodes though. Also I suppose if you are running a wired backhaul you may not experience any issues.
    Note if wps is still running on any of your nodes, which is highly possible that it is, it still poses potential security risk on your network because it is like creating a backdoor for people to gain access. Apps can be used to detect of wps is enabled.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    L&LD likes this.
  16. talon_262

    talon_262 Occasional Visitor

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    In Acrylic, WPS is showing off in both modes on all nodes; I turned it back on to double-check, then turned it back off and checked again.
     
    Swistheater likes this.
  17. Gitsum

    Gitsum Senior Member

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    I didn't have much luck trying this with my AX88U and a brand new, latest firmware loaded AC68U.
    I can't even get them to mesh using stock firmware and full resets. I've wasted a lot of time on this....
     
  18. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    it is doable, but you have to set it up from bare bottom with no scripts etc. and reinstall everything from the ground up... The AX88U aimesh code may not be that strong yet though so you may experience issues unless you have dealt with setting this type of setup before. I ran Aimesh on stock setup for a short period of time after it had been out for a good couple of years and it work pretty good, but the catch is being able to set it up in your environment and doing it with only basic settings at first.
     
  19. talon_262

    talon_262 Occasional Visitor

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    Gitsum, how do you have the routers sitting in relation to each other when you try to pair them? You may have to, as I did, basically have them sitting side-by-side (within about 2-3 feet of each other) when you do the initial pairing and set them up using wireless to begin with, with no wired connection on the nodes initially (you can, if you wish, set the nodes up to use wired backhaul, but only after the node is paired).

    Like Swistheater said, all devices that you want to set up for AiMesh have to be out-of-the-box bone stock before you start pairing nodes to the AiMesh router; I'd make sure to put the latest stock Asus FW version available on and do a total factory reset.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  20. Swistheater

    Swistheater Very Senior Member

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    For the best directions I recommend first having the main router down to just basic settings with no scripts running---(you don't necessarily have to factory reset the main router). you can turn on the aimesh setup using the NVRAM options mentioned earlier. make sure your nodes have been cleanly reset after you have flashed the most current asus stock firmware on them. I recommend using the WPS method to force factory reset the nodes. once reset is done just leave them powered on and use the aimesh menu to search for the node, (if the node has no ethernet backhaul it may be best to pair it next to the router at first and then place it where you want it.) you can search for the node and pair it. it may take a couple of tries where you have to restart the node, or restart the router, but it should work pretty well.