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ASUS router in Access Point (AP) mode is interfering with master router

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jeffmeister

New Around Here
This is the setup I have:

Main ASUS router is located in the Main house, and directly connected to cable modem from ISP. This main router is in the default Wireless router mode, and its WiFi signal is used by people in the main house.

There is an ethernet backhaul line that runs from the Main house (about 100 feet) to the Guest house.

There is a Guest ASUS router in the Guest house, which is connected to the ethernet backhaul line from the main house. This Guest ASUS router is running in Access Point (AP) mode.

Both routers have the exact same WiFi settings (both have the same SSID and same password, both are using 2.4 and 5 Ghz).

Ever since I've done this, people in the Main house have a really bad WiFi signal from the Main router, to the point where they cannot connect to WiFi at all for several hours. It seems to come and go at random times. People in the Guest house don't have any problems at all.

I even turned on Roaming Assistant on both routers, but to no avail. When the people in the Main house have a very weak WiFi signal, I verified (using WiFi Sweet Spot and WiFi Explorer apps) that they are in fact trying to connect to the Main router, it's just that the signal is incredibly weak. They are NOT trying to connect to the Guest router, so that's not the issue.

The problem went away once I turned off the radios (both 2.4 and 5 Ghz) in the Guest router.

Clearly the Guest router signal is causing interference with the Main router. I'm very surprised by this, especially since roaming assistant is turned on, so devices should know which signal is closer -- they should not accidentally be connecting to the more remote one. What can I do?
 
Are you using different Control Channels for each band/router? Make sure you are not using Auto Control Channel mode.

As a test, can you use different SSID's in the Guest (password can be the same)?

Which routers do you have as Main and AP? What firmware version are you running on them?
 
Are you using different Control Channels for each band/router? Make sure you are not using Auto Control Channel mode.

As a test, can you use different SSID's in the Guest (password can be the same)?

Which routers do you have as Main and AP? What firmware version are you running on them?

Main house router is RT-AC88U running ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 380.70
Guest house router is RT-AC68U running ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 384.6

They are both using Auto Control Channel mode. I thought that this mode would be smart enough not to cause interference? Maybe I was wrong?

I didn't try different SSID's, because from the WiFi Sweetspot and WiFi Explorer apps I could see that the clients were, in fact, connecting to the correct (the closest) access points all the time, but were just getting a horrible WiFi signal. I also have Roaming Assistant turned on. So trying to connect to the wrong router did NOT seem to be the problem.

You think it's the Control Channel that's the problem?
 
Main house router is RT-AC88U running ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 380.70
Guest house router is RT-AC68U running ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 384.6

They are both using Auto Control Channel mode. I thought that this mode would be smart enough not to cause interference? Maybe I was wrong?

I didn't try different SSID's, because from the WiFi Sweetspot and WiFi Explorer apps I could see that the clients were, in fact, connecting to the correct (the closest) access points all the time, but were just getting a horrible WiFi signal. I also have Roaming Assistant turned on. So trying to connect to the wrong router did NOT seem to be the problem.

You think it's the Control Channel that's the problem?

You can try setting different Control Channels, but I think the glaring issue here is that the newer router (main) is running very old firmware. :)

Not that the AP is running anything appropriately current either. :)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/

I think it's time you upgrade both to current images and then do a full and proper reset to factory defaults too.

The M&M Config link in my signature below may be of help to get your routers and network to a good/known state. :)
 
You can try setting different Control Channels, but I think the glaring issue here is that the newer router (main) is running very old firmware. :)

Not that the AP is running anything appropriately current either. :)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/asuswrt-merlin/files/

I think it's time you upgrade both to current images and then do a full and proper reset to factory defaults too.

The M&M Config link in my signature below may be of help to get your routers and network to a good/known state. :)

So the scary thing is I'm located about 3000 miles away from this main router (ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 380.70). I could do a remote firmware upgrade to 384.11, but if it fails it will be very bad. And I can't do a full reset, I can only do an upgrade and hope the existing settings will carry over. If this fails, I would literally have to fly to 3000 miles and drive 2 hours (one way) to fix it.
 
So the scary thing is I'm located about 3000 miles away from this main router (ASUS WRT-Merlin Firmware Version: 380.70). I could do a remote firmware upgrade to 384.11, but if it fails it will be very bad. And I can't do a full reset, I can only do an upgrade and hope the existing settings will carry over. If this fails, I would literally have to fly to 3000 miles and drive 2 hours (one way) to fix it.

I could see how that could be an issue. :)

You'll need to get someone on the phone that could follow directions then. Sure, it will be much longer than doing it yourself, but I believe this to be the main issue here if the manual assignment of Control Channels doesn't fix this immediate issue for you otherwise.
 
And you can try using Aimesh after you did the firmware updates.
In that case you can still use Merlin on main router (even its unsupported some here have it running well) but mesh-node has to be on AsusWRT stock firmware for Aimesh. On main router you would have to SSH and activate Aimesh (only one command and commit).
 
I am currently running one AP, and this weekend setting up my second AP (for backyard). I have not had any issues while using a Main and APs. FYI, my "outside" AP is an R7000 using the stock Netgear fw, which I haven't dealt with since removing the R7000 from my network at the end of summer 2018.
Edit: APs are hardwired.
 

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