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Any way to force AC66R in Repeater or Bridge mode to connect to a specific base station?

jef

New Around Here
Hi. I have an AC66R in Repeater mode acting as an ethernet bridge (I don't use the repeated wifi), but it consistently chooses a sub-optimal upstream router, and I'd like to force it to a particular one. The rest of my network is 3 routers in an aimesh setup, but the 66 does not support aimesh. A simplified diagram of the problem is below (one router omitted for simplicity):

Code:
   A-------------C--Internet
  /             /
 /             /
B-------------/
A is the 66R in question. Because A is so close to B, it usually chooses B to connect to. (It occasionally also chooses 2.4gHz, but that probably doesn't matter for this post.) However, B is actually farther from C (and the internet), so performance is much worse than if A connects directly to C. I've done some speed testing to confirm this. My question: is there any way to force A to connect to C (I'd guess by specifying C's MAC address)?

It's currently running John's fork of Merlin, but I have no compelling reason to do that and I'm happy to switch to stock or regular Merlin if that would help. [Edit: I do have shell access on all of the routers, so happy to try things that need to be done by command line/variables/etc.] [Edit 2: I've been meaning to try Media Bridge mode, as it's more what I want, but I suspect it's going to run into the same problem.]

Thanks for any assistance!

-Jef
 
Last edited:

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
How about setting up a dedicated Guest SSID on C for the AC66R ?
 

jef

New Around Here
How about setting up a dedicated Guest SSID on C for the AC66R ?
I like this! Unfortunately, because it's an aimesh setup, I believe any guest network I create appears across all of the aimesh routers, including B, and I think will land me in the same situation. But if there's a workaround for that, I'd love to hear it. (A little catch-22: if I had a way to force upstream connections, I might ditch aimesh altogether and just specify my preferred topology, and then the guest network would work, but then I wouldn't need the guest network.)

I'll also think about this a little more. Because of the layout, I could probably take B out of the mesh and then use a guest network inside the mesh to connect A (and B), which might work because B is much more likely to choose the right upstream router even without being a part of the mesh. It's not quite perfect, though, because (and I hid some of this complexity) B actually connects through an AC5300, which has 2 AC bands and aimesh actually is smart about using one for downstream and the other for upstream.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I don't have AiMesh so I'm not familiar with the options, but isn't there "Wireless - Roaming Block List"? That sounds like it might help. Maybe you could add the MAC address of the repeater somehow?
 

jef

New Around Here
I don't have AiMesh so I'm not familiar with the options, but isn't there "Wireless - Roaming Block List"? That sounds like it might help. Maybe you could add the MAC address of the repeater somehow?
I think I could add the MAC of the repeater (A), but I think that would just stop the aimesh routers from forcing A to switch between them--A probably would still choose B on its own based on signal strength. I'll give it a try though, because it should still reduce how often A switches to B after I've convinced it to talk to C.

AiMesh is an odd beast. One surprising thing about it is you lose the ability to individually configure the nodes--you only configure the primary router and it propagates the config to all the others. That's the source of the Guest network problem. Without it I could also probably block A's MAC on B and force A to connect to C that way.

You've given me another idea though--since A isn't part of the mesh, I can configure it. I wonder if I can just block B's MAC on A. [Goes and tries.] Doesn't look like the 66R has any such blocking options, at least not when in Repeater mode.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I like this! Unfortunately, because it's an aimesh setup, I believe any guest network I create appears across all of the aimesh routers, including B, and I think will land me in the same situation. But if there's a workaround for that, I'd love to hear it.
Current AiMesh 1.0 only broadcasts guest WLANs from the root node. Enable one and you will see this.

Beta AiMesh 2.0 has an option to broadcast a guest WLAN from all nodes.

OE
 

jef

New Around Here
Current AiMesh 1.0 only broadcasts guest WLANs from the root node. Enable one and you will see this.

Beta AiMesh 2.0 has an option to broadcast a guest WLAN from all nodes.

OE
So close! I'm willing to try the beta, but the way I simplified my topology hides why this probably won't work--there's actually a node D between the others and C. (It's the AC5300 I referenced.) So either B and D both have a guest network or neither does. I might _try_ to have A connect directly to C, but my guess is the performance will suffer badly.

Code:
   A-------------D----C--Internet
  /             /
 /             /
B-------------/
 

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