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Asus AiMesh causes almost no 2.4GHz throughput

Discussion in 'ASUSWRT - Official' started by LD500, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    I have two new RT-AC86U. Setup as AiMesh with wireless backhaul. Latest firmware installed.
    5.0GHz works very well. 2.4GHz is horrible, sometimes the bandwidth drops down to almost zero, sometimes it works at about 50Mbps. I get almost 200Mbps on 5GHz.

    First noticed a problem with my 2.4GHz Homekit devices going NO RESPONSE. Now I think it was caused by the 2.4GHz wifi being so poor at times. When I run a Speedtest on the 2.4GHz wifi channel I noticed one of my Homekit devices temporarily loses connection, it reconnects after Speedtest is done.

    If I shutoff my AiMesh node (simply powering it down) and just run off the main router then the 2.4GHz signal seems ok, not as fast as the 5GHz but at least it shows 40Mbps on Speedtest upstairs. Once the AiMesh is on then things go really bad for the 2.4GHz, maybe 1Mbps upstairs.

    Tried various suggestions I read on the forums, like 20MHz bandwidth, beamforming off, MIMO off etc. None of them seem to be the fix.

    I should also note that previous to this I had an older RT-AC68U router with an RT-AC66U setup as a Media Gateway and generally the connections in the house were OK. Hoping AiMesh would improve things immensely I bought the two RT-86U. 5GHz is definitely better but 2.4GHz is virtually dead.

    What could it be? I'm stumped. Is the backhaul on the 2.4GHz and being totally overwhelmed?
    I don't know how to figure out the backhaul channel/frequency, but 5GHz seems perfect all the time.

    Thank You
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  3. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    You have likely discovered the issue I reported here:
    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/a...rt-ac86u_3-0-0-4-384-32797.48520/#post-427910

    ASUS is investigating this issue, so standby. Two 86Us make a nice AiMesh... we just need the firmware defect recently introduced fixed.

    Meanwhile, consider downgrading to 21140 if you need reliable node wireless client connections. I believe the wireless backhaul is not affected. And be sure to factory default reset each device after changing the firmware and re-configure from scratch.

    BTW, I only disable Airtime Fairness for each band. When I disabled Universal Beamforming, the wireless backhaul Tx/Rx rates dropped significantly. Me, I'd leave the Professional settings at defaults except for Airtime Fairness.

    OE
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  4. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks OzarkEdge.
    Good to know it’s not likely defective hardware but rather a firmware issue.

    I didn’t mention when I’m upstairs my 2.4Ghz Speedtest starts semi ok then dips to something like 1Mbps but upload is normal. Same issue for you? Sounded like you had issues with 5.0 and not 2.4

    It’s been years since my techy days.
    How do you revert to 21140 firmware?

    Do I download the file and am allowed to ‘update’ to an older version?
    What will I lose? AiMesh will still work?

    Factory reset means hold WPS, turn on while pressing, wait 5 secs???
    Firmware stays installed but all options revert to default right?

    THANKS
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  5. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Will I need to update the 21140 firmware twice or will it automatically update my AiMesh node router too? Thanks
     
  6. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Sorry, one more question. Can I tell what devices are on the node and which are on my main router? Seems like the client lists aren’t always clear.

    Side note peeve:
    Wish ASUS would fix the ability to click on the client and assign my own name. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t let you. Same for incomplete Roam Block pulldown list. Not complete. Oh well one fix at a time
     
  7. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Yes, that's the problem. Uploads are also unstable but more likely to reach max speed since it's less than the slow down speed. Although if you bang on it repeatedly with speedtest.net, you can make it fall down completely... upload will not complete.

    I've seen the issue on both bands. If you read my post/thread about it, you'll find the answer to these questions.

    To revert to 21140, download it to your PC, connect your PC to the router LAN, reset the router, access the router GUI, complete the setup Wizard, upgrade the firmware to 21140, reset/Initialize the router again... now you have a ready 21140 router. Repeat for the other router. Then rebuild your AiMesh from scratch.

    The client list is flaky; don't waste your time with it. The AiMesh node popup may show its clients. The Wireless Log may show useful info. But it's all imperfect.

    See my install notes... they can answer a lot of questions.

    OE
     
  8. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Do you recommend SmartConnect to be used in a AiMesh setup? Asus seems to recommend it to enable node switching but some of my Homekit devices won't setup if I'm on 5GHz so changing to the 2.4GHz band on my phone temporarily with SmartConnect off is more convenient. Wondering if I'm giving up significant advantages by not using SmartConnect.

    Thank You
     
  9. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Roaming Assistant is node steering... node switching as you put it.

    Smart Connect is node band steering... node band switching as you might put it.

    Smart Connect allows using the same SSID for both bands... so you only see one network ID and only have to configure wireless clients for one network ID. And hopefully, wireless clients connect quickly and seamlessly to the best band connection.

    You'll have to decide what you want and prefer and what works best for your clients/usage. Generally speaking, a mesh system is about simple, elegant, seamless roaming that works... so you should try to use RA and SC, imo.

    I don't understand the Homekit setup issue... you'll have to work around it or bend to it or ditch those devices. Note that you can setup a guest network per band with intranet/internal access even with SC enabled (broadcasts from router/root node only)... maybe that offers a workaround.

    OE
     
  10. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    It’s actually a relatively trivial advantage of not having Smart Connect. When setting up many of my HomeKit devices I need to put my phone onto 2.4 GHz, setup the HomeKit device, then can go back on 5GHz.

    It’s easy to do with no SmartConnect but with SC on I would need to turn off the 5GHz band at the router to force 2.4GHz use. If it was only one time setup it might be ok but recently I’ve had to reset a few HomeKit devices a couple times per week because of the ‘disappearing’ 2.4GHz bandwidth issue on my RT-AC86U AiMesh step likely caused by a firmware issue as you’ve described in another thread and connected it to my issue
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  11. oscarcpa

    oscarcpa New Around Here

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    LD500, I am following your issue with great interest since for the last week I've been having exactly the same issue with my HomeKit devices. Items behind hubs wired to my router (Phillips Hue and Lutron Caseta) works fine all the time. Anything connected directly to the 2.4GHz band (VOCOLinc lights and Ecobee thermos) drops every few hours. My printer is also connected to 2.4 and I have to restart it after every single print, even if the print jobs are just a few minutes apart. Waiting for some internet downtime (probably late tonight, kids are all over the Xbox right now) to re-flash to earlier firmware. I couldn't tell if my issues were created by the router firmware update or the recent iOS 12/Mojave upgrades.

    If you do yours today I would be very interested to hear if it solves your HomeKit issues.

    My set-up: primary router RT-86U
    RT-68U Aimesh node, wired backhaul
    No Smart Connect (I like to use a separate HomeKit network as you do)

    Speedtest on 5 GHz: 600+ Mbps down/41 up (on Comcast Gig down/40 up)
    on 2.4 GHz: 50-120 down/35 up (fluctuates widely; maybe due to 2.4 instability?)
     
  12. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    First of all, would like to thank OzarkEdge for his assistance

    Oscarpa:
    I was hoping Asus would issue a firmware update that would fix this so I wouldn't have to revert to an older firmware and then do it all again when Asus issued a new firmware that fixes this. However, had too many situations where my lights were left on at night or wouldn't turn on at sunset so followed OzarkEdge's advice to install firmware 21140. The updates since 21140 didn't offer too many features that I thought were critical to me at this time compared to lights not turning on/off properly.

    12 hours after reverting to the older firmware, it seems to be fixed. Lights turning on and off properly. 2.4GHz band works fine with Speedtest, it doesn't crash down to <1Mbps, fairly stable around 40-50Mbps. 5GHz running normally, not affected.

    I followed OzarkEdge's install guide mostly except I adjusted as few items as possible to start.
    For the Wireless\Professional settings I only disabled Airtime Fairness on the 2.4GHz band. Left it Enabled on 5GHz.
    Didn't adjust any of the beamforming or other settings.

    Very hopeful that my issues are fixed for now. The current firmware doesn't have roaming blocklists and some other features that I thought I would use but if my Homekit features work fine then I don't need those features. Might wait a version or two of firmware to ensure it works before I 'upgrade'. As simple as it is, I don't want to go through the whole factory reset and setup only to find out it broke my network again.

    One more thing, factory reset my old RT-AC68U (which I though could be broken because I had issues before I upgraded to two RT-AC86U), left it at firmware 21140, and added it as a 2nd AiMesh node. Works fine. I now have wifi reaching my garage which is exactly what I was hoping to get so I could add a Ring Flood Cam down the road.
     
    OzarkEdge likes this.
  13. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    The ASUS rep here and team are working on this 2x86U AiMesh node slow down/crap out issue. No word yet on any progress.

    OE
     
  14. oscarcpa

    oscarcpa New Around Here

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    Thank you, that's all very helpful information. I feel bad for blaming Apple!

    I'll do full factory resets to re-install 21140. Kind of frustrating since that's exactly what I did in July when I got the 86 and moved my 68 to be the Aimesh node. But everything was working back then, so I guess the process will be worth it.

    Thanks again, all, and good luck.
     
  15. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    To be clear, reset after upgrading the firmware.

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/faq-nvram-and-factory-default-reset.22822/

    OE
     
  16. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Does anyone know if the Save and Restore settings Cfg file will restore the custom names I give my devices? That seems to be the biggest pain as they’re not always visible on the device list
     
  17. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Don’t celebrate so fast, two lamps didn’t come on as expected tonight. The HomeKit devices are still connected, looking into it
     
  18. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Keep in mind... 21140 does not have the AiMesh node wireless client slow down/crap out issue introduced in 32797, and 32799 does not have the WiFi instability issue. :rolleyes:

    If your Homekit devices use the 5.0 band, and even if they don't, I would disable Airtime Fairness.

    Here's to the next release!

    What controls/actions the Homekit device scheduling?

    OE
     
  19. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    OE: I'm not a Homekit expert. Just a newbie. Homekit loads the automations schedule onto the cloud and my Homepod acts as the bridge. You can use an iPad, AppleTV, or Homepod. After noticing two lights didn't turn on yesterday I reset our Homepod. It is possible, although unlikely, something got messed up after all the router resets.
    Tested the automations and they seemed to turn off the lights correctly. We'll see if things continue working. However, when I originally started having problems I found one lamp wouldn't turn on, but would turn off. Weird. Fingers crossed that it's corrected itself now but if it doesn't I'll probably delete and add those devices again

    I just disabled 5GHz Airtime Fairness now. Thanks.
     
  20. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

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    Got it... holy-moly, your home automation control in their cloud... it's a brave new world, indeed. I look forward to News that the bad guys turned off the lights and alarms, let the dog out, and opened the garage door as they drove up the driveway to park inside. :)

    OE
     
  21. LD500

    LD500 Occasional Visitor

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    Well, that’s how I think it works, easily could be wrong.

    I’m also not that trusting so only have about 6 lights setup for now. Definitely no locks or garage doors
     
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