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ASUS AI mesh network

Discussion in 'ASUSWRT - Official' started by lbranco, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. lbranco

    lbranco New Around Here

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    Dec 9, 2019
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    First and foremost i want to give a thank you to everyone who will read/help me with my ai mesh network. I truly appreciate your patience as i am not so savy when it comes to networking. Here is my run down:

    I have a 3 floor townhome (basement, second floor and third floor). In the basement i have a Asus RT-AC88U. On the second floor ( maybe about 70 ft from router) i have my first node RT-AC86U and in bedroom i have another RT-AC86U. From day one (just shy of a year) i have not gone longer than 1 week without having either one of my nodes drop from 5g to 2.4ghz and sometimes completely offline. Spent a year resetting routers to finally get to the point that i feel i spent $700 on hardware for pure crap service. I have called ASUS but they are not helpful. They told me to take off smart connect which i did and that helped for 2 weeks. Now everyday i keep losing the connection to the nodes. It seems that my main router is losing the wifi signal to the nodes or soemthing of the sort. I have tired changing the channels etc but nothing works. I am willing to throw this entire system in the garbage and go get a new setup from a different manufacturer. I know i am not the only one who is dealing with this based on searches here. Is there hope for me to get this system setup correctly? My buddy set mine up since he works in IT and has done this at other peoples houses without issues. I find it hard to believe it's only my house that has problems. Router and nodes are all on the new firmware. ANy and all help would truly be appreciated.

    Once again i am sorry for the noob questions but i finally gave in and need help :(
     
  2. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    USA
    Did your buddy reset all routers to factory defaults before configuration?

    I would use an app like WiFi Analyzer Classic to watch your WiFi signals to see if any radios are dropping out.

    I would have used an 86U for the router. Then add an 86U node. Then see how that works before adding another node.

    See my notes if you want to try setting up an 86U router while leaving your network as it is, minus one 86U node. If that works, you can easily add nodes. This would enable you to 'own' your network... and allow you to observe/verify its operation as you build it up over time... if hardware is misbehaving, you'll be more likely to notice when this happens.

    OE
     
  3. lbranco

    lbranco New Around Here

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    Dec 9, 2019
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    Thanks OE! So yes we have already tried twice to restore to factory and reset.... nothing changes... right now my second floor is showing 2.5ghz and my 3rd floor as well.... should I add another node in basement closer to my stairs that go to 2nd floor? Will that keep my strength for wifi better? Why would you not use the 86U? I bought it do to the strength in signal thinking that would help. Maybe my main router is broken hence why the wifi drops?
     
  4. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    I don't think you need more WiFi. I think you need to assess the WiFi signals you have. A WiFi analyzer app can help you to do this. You want to determine signal availability, strength, and stability where you need it... looking at the WiFi SSIDs in the app can help do this.

    I did not say to not use the 86Us. They are newer and stronger hardware than the 88U... and a 2x86U AiMesh may be enough WiFi for a townhouse. Again, use a WiFi analyzer app to assess your WiFi signal coverage.

    Yes, defective WiFi hardware could cause issues. Again, use a WiFi analyzer app to assess your WiFi signal presence and stability. Also, building up your network one piece at a time and observing performance over time as you go vs. having a buddy set it all up in 30 minutes and leave... is a good way to ensure that you have installed working hardware. For example, install the router and use it for a few days to observe it working well with your clients. Then add a node and observe that. If a problem arises, you are more likely to observe cause and affect.

    OE
     
  5. lbranco

    lbranco New Around Here

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    Awesome... ok I will download it and I'm assuming its straight forward to use (wifi analyzer). I was actually thinking of bringing my 2nd floor node down close to main router and hope itll reach the 3rd floor node... got some work to do I guess lol
     
  6. lbranco

    lbranco New Around Here

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    Dec 9, 2019
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    Should I have smart connect enabled or disabled? Asus said to disable but jottings changed

    Last question (for now :)) I saw a link on this forum about making sure node connections are set to ethernet and not auto... any insight into that
     
  7. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    The 86Us likely have the best WiFi range. So, I would first setup a 2x86U AiMesh and add the 88U node later, if necessary, putting it where you need 8 LAN ports (if you don't use it as a node, you can still use it as an 8-port switch).

    To use the WiFi analyzer app, select/swipe to the channel graph view to display the WiFi signals/SSIDs around you... you should be able to ID the 2 bands/SSIDs broadcasting from each router/node. Tap the hidden 'band toggle control' in the upper left margin to switch from 2.4 to 5.0 GHz signals (install app on a dual band device!). Drag the frequency tab across the top of the 5.0 GHz graph to see the full frequency range of this graph. See bottom of Settings to hide ads for awhile.

    OE
     
  8. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,800
    Location:
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    These recommendations are in my notes...

    - disable Smart Connect (use separate SSIDs and fixed channels for more stable/predictable WiFi)
    If using Smart Connect, then the SSIDs are the same and wireless mode, ch bandwidth, control ch, and extension ch will be adjusted automatically.

    - set 2.4 GHz WLAN to OE-24, n-only, 20 MHz, ch 1,6,11 or 1,5,9,13 (non-overlapping; use least congested), WPA2-Personal AES*

    - set 5.0 GHz WLAN to OE, n/ac mixed, 80 MHz, ch 149 or above (US, non-radar, highest Tx power), WPA2-Personal AES*

    - do not hide SSIDs (to speed client connection)

    o If possible, install a wired backhaul from router LAN to node WAN for 1 Gbps full-duplex link.

    o If necessary, configure node connection priority to force using a wired backhaul (required with some LAN switches that defeat Auto sensing of connection type).

    If you are using wired Ethernet backhauls and Auto sensing appears to be working, then I would not worry about it... or you could set the node connection priority to wired/Ethernet.

    Are you using wired Ethernet backhauls to connect router and nodes? If so, then these cables/connectors become another suspect in your troubleshooting.

    If using wireless backhauls, you can find the MACs for these in the Wireless Log and inspect their Tx and Rx rates to give you some idea of wireless backhaul performance for their given distance and obstacles. For example, my 77' 2.4 GHz backhaul is currently -66 dBm with Tx/Rx at 216/216 Mbps; 5.0 GHz backhaul is -66 dBm with Tx/Rx at 790/351 Mbps... they fluctuate... they are very much stronger when the node is sitting near the router!

    OE