Can't add RT-AC68U as AiMesh node

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bilged

New Around Here
I've got a very strange problem that I'm hoping someone can help me with troubleshooting. For my current setup, I'm using an RT-AC68P as my AiMesh router and a RT-AC68U for a node with a gigabit wired backhaul. Everything is working fine but I want to extend the range to a deadzone in my house by adding a second node, also using a wired backhaul. However, the router can't detect the new router no matter what I try.

All devices are running the same firmware (384.19) and I've reset the new node and tried adding it both wired and wireless. I also deleted the old node and re-added it just fine. Could this be a hardware issue? I've seen that there are a number of hardware revisions with slight differences for these routers but I don't know how to tell which ones I have. As far as I'm aware, the two RT-AC68Us are identical. The new router works in every other way, both wired and wireless. Any troubleshooting steps I could try to identify the fault? Is there a lower version of Merlin firmware that is better for doing the initial node setup or maybe the official firmware? Can you mix and match Merlin AiMesh router with official firmware node?

Thanks!
 

jorgsmash

Regular Contributor
I second this question. I was planning on getting the RP-AC1900 to use as a range extender and was wondering if it will work alongside my AX88U with Merlin firmware. I think the extender utilizes all of the features of the main router so installing the Merlin firmware on the RP-AC1900 may not be necessary (or possible, it's not on the supported device list so I assume it doesn't require the Merlin firmware). What are the benefits/drawbacks to getting a range extender like the RP-AC1900 instead of another ASUS router to use as an additional node? Not to take away from OPs question. Thanks all.
 

bilged

New Around Here
Actually I managed to get it working. Unfortunately I had to reset the router too and then re-setup my entire network config.

This is what I did for anyone else with the same problem:

- On the non-working node, I reflashed the latest Merlin, rebooted, did a restore factory defaults and rebooted twice more.
- On the router and other node, I did the factory reset
- Then got the router basic config re-established (SSID, WPA, admin username/password only).
- Then did NVRAM reset on each node in turn and added them through the GUI using wired backhaul for both.

Success!
 

Kiwipaul

Occasional Visitor
I ran for a while with Merlin on a node with a DSL AC68U and a RT AC86U running the standard firmware and they worked well together.

Just had to reset the AC68U and wait until it was recognised.

Before this I tried everything but couldn't get the AC68U to be recognised as a node using standard ASUSWRT firmware. .
 

ginny

Occasional Visitor
Actually I managed to get it working. Unfortunately I had to reset the router too and then re-setup my entire network config.

This is what I did for anyone else with the same problem:

- On the non-working node, I reflashed the latest Merlin, rebooted, did a restore factory defaults and rebooted twice more.
- On the router and other node, I did the factory reset
- Then got the router basic config re-established (SSID, WPA, admin username/password only).
- Then did NVRAM reset on each node in turn and added them through the GUI using wired backhaul for both.

Success!
Be aware while adding a new node the connection from the router to the node is established over WLAN first. After the node is connected, you can set within the node under "more config" to Ethernet first. So while setting up an AiMesh environment put the nodes near the router that a wireless connection is possible. After you have it finally configured to Ethernet first, you can move the nodes to their final location.
 

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