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(AmpiFli HD Mesh w/ RT-AC68U Merlin Tips?) + (Heads up on FCC Net Neutrality Public Comment Period)

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by Combat Goat, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Combat Goat

    Combat Goat New Around Here

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    First, to preempt the inevitable "nut up and run cable" comment, believe me, I have looked into that option thoroughly (as well as others) before arriving where I am. However, I am dealing a 1940's construction that has a lot of brick/masonry, and while the home mostly well restored, the wiring leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, I have observed a mix of old and new Romex, and even (legacy) knob and tube, and then I won't even get into the CableTV/DirectTV coax mess (prior owner). Salient points: Three levels, brick/masonry, and obstacles to optimal WiFi, despite that total square footage is relatively modest (perhaps 2500 or so).

    The fiber entry point is in the basement, which is also the nerve center for Linux Server, NAS, Workstation, switch, and (currently) RT-AC68U, and there are three levels total (basement, main/living, top/sleeping). The RT-AC68U does a commendable job, notwithstanding obstacles, of supplying weak 2ghz coverage from the basement to top floor. Also, I should add, the entire point of this is that my wife's office is up there, though I do have a PS4 and some other media devices there too, but the emphasis is wife's office. She is a resident physician, likes to walk around freely with a tablet or laptop while working, and when she inevitably experiences a dropped connection while in the middle of something, I hear about it, and I am rather over it. For my part, the nerve center is fully wired, so top floor WiFi saturation is just about getting her squared.

    As noted above, my wife is a medical resident, we bought this place always knowing we wouldn't own it long, and we will probably sell in about two years or so, so infrastructure investments really need to have a rather direct translation to equity if I am going to throw money at something, and while going fully wired with UniFi AP's in the proper locations like cute little light fixtures probably meets that description, there are serious obstacles due to the type of construction, the between the APs, a new switch to manage them, the wiring, labor, tools, and so forth, it's just a bigger project than I want to take on. Meanwhile, the AmpliFi does saturate the house with WiFi, it does so for about $300, and I can always cart it off or sell it if I want. However, I did do a double run of Cat6 cable (had 100 feet of it on hand already), from a central location in the house to the right of our TV (mounted above fireplace on our second level), down to the basement, then tacked along the baseboards over to the fiber entry point, which is where the shelf for the RT68U, switch, and NAS is, then terminated the endpoints into keystone boxes which match aesthetics. Modest project.

    Currently, I have the AmpliFi HD on a table that sits near/above the keystone box on the second level, and I have one Cat 6 patch cable connected to the WAN on the AmpliFi HD. If you are wondering why two cables, the reason is future proofing. If I am going to run cable, I may as well allow for the possibility that I may choose at some point to use the AmpliFi as the primary router and gateway provided the firmware and such matures to provide items I simply will not do without, e.g., client/server VPN support at a minimum. After talking to some folks at Ubiquiti, whom I have no reason to question as I have worked well with Ubiquiti in the past, such things are in the pipeline, but no ETA on when they may make it to release. Whatever the future may hold for AmpliFi firmware/software updates, we are not there yet, so the AC68U is staying put.

    Thus begets my question, which I now see is preceded by a novel (sorry): I would be grateful for any insights from members with experience or who otherwise have knowledge regarding optimal setups for running a mesh routing unit alongside Auswrt-Merlin, and if someone has specific experience with optimizing the AmpliFi HD and RT-AC68U (Merlin), all the better. This is not "I can't get it to work" question; rather, I have the AmpliFi in bridged mode and it "works" to the extent that WiFi clients connected to the AmpliFi get out through the WAN. Instead, I would just be interested to hear of any optimizations that I may want to consider for this type of setup based on the experience of anyone who may have done it already. Also, to the extent there is another good thread addressing this, just point me in that direction! Lastly, I realize I could likely just sit the AC68U where the AmpliFi currently sits, then apply same principle re one cable for wan and then one back down to the switch, but I have rambled on too much already, so I only add here that I did consider that option and decided against it.
     
  2. heysoundude

    heysoundude Regular Contributor

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    Hmmm.
    Literally yesterday on reddit, someone posted a link to github with an update (hack?)for the ubiquiti using cjdns; this may be how you get the asus to mesh, becoming a node. No expert here, but I know under entware on Merlin you can run cjdns.
    When I find the link, I'll post it here.

    Found it: https://github.com/neilalexander/vyatta-cjdns/releases/tag/v0.1.156

    HTH
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  3. Combat Goat

    Combat Goat New Around Here

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    Much appreciated! I hadn't considered this as an option to be honest, but it introduces a "fork" option so to speak that is interesting. I probably should be digging around Ubiquity's forums a also. At the end of the day, there is likely portable knowledge to be had over there, and Failure of due diligence on my part, but this is home, even if my post count doesn't indicate as much (#Lurker). An exercise in trying to have it both ways is what this amounts to: (1) keeping the advanced feature set of Merlin I am accustomed to; and (2) the convenience of managing, e.g., DHCP, through UniFi app.

    Thanks for the input though! It is just the sort of thing I was looking for, i.e., just general thoughts about these types of setups because, ultimately, I am not dead in the water over here, but rather just collecting ideas for means to optimize.
     
  4. heysoundude

    heysoundude Regular Contributor

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    You're most welcome.
    I am in no way knowledgable about IT or networking, but from my "research," cjdns is an interesting way to make consumer infrastructure-type stuff talk to each other to strengthen connections and speed up LANs/WANs. I like the prospect of doing it within my abode, and then connecting it in my neighbourhood and creating a ubiquitous matrix/meshnet that benefits everyone participating and takes a whack out of the media monopoly powerhouses and their "control."
    If any of this appeals, I encourage you to crawl a bit deeper down the rabbit hole and look into hyperboria and MaidSafe and Golem. Now if we can only get all of this powered by renewables (solar, wind)...
     
  5. Combat Goat

    Combat Goat New Around Here

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    I'm with you. Count me as one that left a scathing public comment re proposed net neutrality rules. This will do nothing in the short term of course and may well do nothing in the long run as you can rest assured that the FCC has charted its coursed and will go forward as planned. The real significance is when this gets to Court, and I assure you that it will, and the FCC has to explain itself, which it cannot do, or at least cannot do reasonably or sufficiently to meet its burden. I do not expect the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them any slack, and they are coloring outside the lines here, and that's where public comments help. The FCC, among another things, has to be able to represent that it has given thoughtful consideration to comments filed during the rule making notice and comment period, which I might add has been extended. See this article for details re extension.

    If you have not left a comment and if this is something that you care about, which I take it you do based on your previous comments, then I would urge you to comment. However, stuff like "I think it/you sucks," is of no help and if anything only gives the FCC cover. Instead, comments should be thoughtful, avoid any hint of vitriol, and address the merits, or lack thereof. For example, the FCC has advanced, on one or more occasions, as a rationale for the rule change, that if internet service providers are unable to prioritize the content of those who are willing to pay for it, i.e., to have this as a tool for generating additional revenue/profit, then we will in turn see a decline in internet infrastructure investment. This, of course, does not hold up under scrutiny, but I will leave you to your own judgment. The information is around. Secondarily, basic logic is enough, for me at least, to dismiss what the FCC is doing as against the public interest. As anyone here well knows, I would think, bandwidth (generally) does not have infinite supply, which means end result of what the FCC is proposing to do would be to create a zero sum game for consumers, i.e., the public interest the FCC is intended to guard. To flesh out what I mean by zero sum game, consider that if content providers are working within a pay to play regime, and if we make the quite reasonable assumption, which is also, I am sure, borne out by data, that generic Consumer A and generic Consumer B have different content tastes, then it only requires application of basic, deductive logic to see that Consumer A and Consumer B will be subject to disparate treatment based on an arbitrary factor, i.e., their taste in content.

    Anyway, got very off topic here, and he FCC is going to do what it is going to do, but thoughtful public comments will hurt their case immensely, in particular before the D.C. Court of Appeals, which I expect will crush them on this, and while I am not quite sure what sure how SCOTUS might behave, the FCC is on very, very shoddy ground here based on past precedent, and SCOTUS has to think of the long game, not just the short game. There is a conservative majority on the Court right now, but this subject does not fall cleanly along political/ideological lines, and I question that the Court would want to risk softening past precedent reigning in regulatory agencies just to do the FCC a solid.
     
  6. heysoundude

    heysoundude Regular Contributor

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    It's happening outside the US as well, and rest assured I've made my opinion known here in Canada. Anyone reading this should look into net neutrality in their jurisdiction and weigh in as a citizen as they see fit. But they should also make a backup plan and work towards enacting it quickly if decisions contrary to freedom are enacted. It will be interesting to see how quickly meshing takes hold...
    #damntheman and #buyandusebitcoin
     
  7. Combat Goat

    Combat Goat New Around Here

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    Glad to hear it. Agree or disagree, the more of us that weigh in on matters of public concern the better. Also, apologies. Did not realize that you hailed from Canada. I have often joked in the past among friends at happy hour and similar such circumstances that if matters got any worse, then I would buy a heavier coat and head for Canada. Emphasis on joked. However, based on what I have been hearing of late, I am not sure if that "joke" really holds up anymore. It recently came to my attention that Canada, or perhaps some portion(s) of Canada, I cannot say for sure, recently enacted some rather draconian policies re usage of gender pronouns consistent with how the referenced individual self-identifies.

    On one hand, my natural tendency is toward promoting individual rights and, where necessary, protective policies for ethnic groups or other populations that are or have historically been subjected to unfair, if not outright brutal treatment, but on the other hand, that can also go to far. Assuming I understand the Canadian legislation I am referencing correctly, which is rather unlikely, it either does or could criminalize the mere act of referring to someone with a gender pronoun that is not consistent with how that person self-identifies. No offense intended, but that is absurd. What is going on? Not only is it easy to see how this could "criminalize" innocent behavior, it appears to be so poorly thought out that it is also easy to envision how it could create a backlash toward the very population(s) that it purports to protect/benefit. This is not the proper venue for hashing out such things, but I would welcome a PM w/your insight.

    Unless you are curious about Canadian domestic policy unrelated to tech, don't bother reading.
     
  8. heysoundude

    heysoundude Regular Contributor

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    I seem to recall the portion of Canada you're referencing is a particular university, and the rule or policy they've enacted is for anyone within that organization, whether student, faculty, staff etc. being permitted to identify as they please. Disciplinary actions were part of the policy to ensure people's right to self identify within the organization. Outside of the walls of that particular institution, we don't go quite that far.
     

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