Can't find AiMesh nodes with new AX86 router

lighting

Regular Contributor
I just installed a new RT-AX86S as my main router, replacing an RT-AC86U. I want to use the older router as an AiMesh node. I also have an old RT-AC68U that's been in service as an AiMesh node. All three are running latest rMerlin firmware (386.7_2).

I've tried any number of times following the ASUS instructions. Reset the node, try and find it with and without a wired backhaul. I also explicitly set the node as an AiMesh node and then tried. I tried the button on the AiMesh page ("Add AiMesh Node") and the "Search" button you get to from the AiMesh node portion of the Network Map page. And I tried with both old routers. In all cases the main router fails to find any AiMesh nodes nearby. And none of the suggestions that come up are things I haven't tried.

I called ASUS support. Their only suggestion was to reset the main router to factory, which I tried, again to no avail. I can escalate the call at ASUS, but they'll undoubtedly tell me to go back to ASUS stock firmware (I didn't tell the low-level support folks I was using rMerlin). I wanted to first see if the rMerlin brain trust has any ideas?

Thank you!
 
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OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
(I didn't tell the low-level support folks I was using rMerlin).

Then you hid the problem from them. Advice circulating around here is to use current ASUSWRT to successfully add AiMesh nodes.

This issue is not an Asuswrt-Merlin add-on issue.

OE
 

jontalk

Regular Contributor
Not to shift from your inquiry, I'm curious to learn how you feel about the AX86S since I'm hunting for one myself. Regardless, I hope you resolve the problem
 

lighting

Regular Contributor
Then you hid the problem from them. Advice circulating around here is to use current ASUSWRT to successfully add AiMesh nodes.

This issue is not an Asuswrt-Merlin add-on issue.

OE
Does that mean one shouldn't mix Merlin and AIMesh? (I've done so in the past without problems.) Or could one use the stock ASUS firmware to get AiMesh set up and then switch to Merlin? Thank you.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Does that mean one shouldn't mix Merlin and AIMesh?

Wireless node discovery doesn't work in Asuswrt-Merlin. You have to use Ethernet backhaul for the setup process and then switch to wireless. The nodes will fail back to wireless when disconnected. It works, but not as described by Asus. If stable AiMesh is more important to you, use stock Asuswrt on all routers.

I find Asuswrt-Merlin 386.5_2 better and more stable than 386.7_2. The best for AX86U is stock 49599.
 

visortgw

Very Senior Member
Does that mean one shouldn't mix Merlin and AIMesh? (I've done so in the past without problems.) Or could one use the stock ASUS firmware to get AiMesh set up and then switch to Merlin? Thank you.
I have Merlin on GT-AX6000 with ASUS on mix of nodes. Configure with stock firmware and switch definitely an option, but I have never had to do it, even with RT-AX86U. ALWAYS initiate AiMesh connections using wired connection with node in close proximity to router — move to final location afterward.
 
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