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[Fork] Asuswrt-Merlin 374.43 LTS releases (V44EA)

Roy360360

Occasional Visitor
On Merlin and stock Txpower adjustment is a slider between performance and power saving. On this fork you can choose the actual value.
Is that the main differentiator between the two in terms of wifi performance?

I"m seeing lots of threads saying more tx power is bad or doesn't always help, but that's only true if you have interference issues right? I only plan on using the 5G band and my router is in the basement, so there aren't many foreign 5G signals anyways.

If I want strong wifi performance and jiffs support, this is the fork to use right?

I'm using a MIPS ACC66U
 

jrmwvu04

Very Senior Member
On Merlin and stock Txpower adjustment is a slider between performance and power saving. On this fork you can choose the actual value.
Is that the main differentiator between the two in terms of wifi performance?

I"m seeing lots of threads saying more tx power is bad or doesn't always help, but that's only true if you have interference issues right? I only plan on using the 5G band and my router is in the basement, so there aren't many foreign 5G signals anyways.

If I want strong wifi performance and jiffs support, this is the fork to use right?

I'm using a MIPS ACC66U
I've only ever used AC68 variants, so it's possible that my experiences don't translate, but generally what you have said I found to be true. The transmit power is capped at 200mW and I never saw any particular benefit to having it up that high anyway. Even more so if you're planning to keep to the 5GHz band. It used to be the case, though, that the fork gave you the option to use the DFS channels that weren't otherwise available and that was my main interest at the time because I lived in a very crowded complex. I can't recall if that was applicable on all models, though.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
If I want strong wifi performance and jiffs support, this is the fork to use right?

I'm using a MIPS ACC66U
This fork won't give you any more WiFi power but it will give you custom scripts and configs, like Merlin's. But unlike Merlin's firmware this fork still actively supports your old router.
 

Swingtop

Occasional Visitor
Quick question, does the wireless scheduler actually work? Not for me, it switches off my radio and never switches it on again. Had the same issue with a previous build (now running 44EA). Thanks.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Quick question, does the wireless scheduler actually work? Not for me, it switches off my radio and never switches it on again. Had the same issue with a previous build (now running 44EA). Thanks.
Seems to work for me, although it typically kicks in two or three minutes after the allotted time.

What dates/times do you have scheduled?
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
Quick question, does the wireless scheduler actually work? Not for me, it switches off my radio and never switches it on again. Had the same issue with a previous build (now running 44EA). Thanks.
Also works for me....kicked in right at the scheduled time. AC68P
 

Raul_77

Occasional Visitor
There was a similar discussion here. So that would be:

WAN Settings:
DNS 1 = 8.8.8.8
DNS 2 = empty

LAN - DHCP settings:
DNS 1 = PiholeIP
DNS 2 = empty
Advertise router's IP in addition to user-specified DNS = Yes (or set to No and put the router's address in LAN DNS 2)

DNSFilter:
Enable DNS-based Filtering = On
Global filter mode = Custom #1
Custom DNS #1 = router's IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1)
Client list: Pihole = No Filtering (Only necessary if you don't want the PiHole to forward through the router's DNS server.)
Hey bud, thanks for the reply.
Question so I can understand better.
Should I not put pihole DNS under WAN DNS1 and DNS 2 should be 8.8.8.8 ?

The reason I say this is, If I have DNS Filter ON , the reason is, some devices have hardcoded Google DNS, which I want them to still use Pihole, the setup you guys (If i understand it correct) it would point these devices to ROUTER, which since it has only 1 DNS under WAN, is going to fwd request to 8.8.8.8 as oppose to Pihole.

Am I missing something?
I think WAN should be DNS 1: Pihole // DNS 2: 8.8.8.8
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The reason I say this is, If I have DNS Filter ON , the reason is, some devices have hardcoded Google DNS, which I want them to still use Pihole, the setup you guys (If i understand it correct) it would point these devices to ROUTER, which since it has only 1 DNS under WAN, is going to fwd request to 8.8.8.8 as oppose to Pihole.
Yes this is a limitation of this method that I pointed out in my initial post in the other thread: "2. LAN clients that ignore the DHCP server's DNS list (e.g. Android devices) will be intercepted by DNSFilter and redirected to the router's DNS and then forwarded to 9.9.9.9 instead."

The problem comes from trying to make as many clients as possible go directly to the PiHole rather than via the router and ensure that everything doesn't break if the PiHole is offline.

John posted an alternative approach similar to what you're saying in this post. Although if you leave the LAN DNS servers blank as he suggests the PiHole will see all traffic as coming from the router. So maybe combine both methods. Just make sure you don't end up with your DNS requests going round in an endless loop. :D
 

punchsuckr

Senior Member
Hey John, just wanted to drop by and say thanks for the amount of work you put in to this firmware. My n66u really got a new breath of life for quite a few years with it. I've now changed to an 86u after some 5 years on the 66u.
Keep up the good work.

Cheers!
 

Raul_77

Occasional Visitor
Yes this is a limitation of this method that I pointed out in my initial post in the other thread: "2. LAN clients that ignore the DHCP server's DNS list (e.g. Android devices) will be intercepted by DNSFilter and redirected to the router's DNS and then forwarded to 9.9.9.9 instead."

The problem comes from trying to make as many clients as possible go directly to the PiHole rather than via the router and ensure that everything doesn't break if the PiHole is offline.

John posted an alternative approach similar to what you're saying in this post. Although if you leave the LAN DNS servers blank as he suggests the PiHole will see all traffic as coming from the router. So maybe combine both methods. Just make sure you don't end up with your DNS requests going round in an endless loop. :D
Thanks! Just an update for anyone reading this. This is my current setup and I tested it for 2 days now , taking PiHole offline and so on, and it seems to be working great
LAN DHCP:
DNS 1: PiHole IP
DNS 2: Router IP

WAN:
DNS 1: PiHole IP
DNS 2: 9.9.9.9

DNS Filtering Custom #1
DNS 1 Custom: Router IP
Exception: PiHole (No Filter)

I have NOT done what John suggested, adding strict-order to dnsmasq.conf.add file yet, however, when I tested it, everything seem to work, so not sure if I want to add it, unless someone thinks I should.
ALL traffic goes to PiHole (even those with hardcoded DNS) and if I take out PiHole, everything goes through (9.9.9.9)

FYI: if a client has hardcoded DNS, it still goes though PiHole, however it will show it under requests coming from your Router IP as oppose to client hostname (which is what I was expecting anyway).
Thanks for all the help folks.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for the update. Good to know the theory works in practice. :D

I have NOT done what John suggested, adding strict-order to dnsmasq.conf.add file yet, however, when I tested it, everything seem to work, so not sure if I want to add it, unless someone thinks I should.
I'd still be tempted to add strict-order given its description. I would imagine that in most, if not all, circumstances it would go to the PiHole by preference. But in the case of un-cached requests it might occasionally go to 9.9.9.9 and you probably wouldn't be aware (not that that's a big deal in the scheme of things). You can check this actually by issuing the following commands and checking the number queries sent to 9.9.9.9.
Code:
killall -s USR1 dnsmasq
tail -6 /tmp/syslog.log
 

dave14305

Part of the Furniture
@Raul_77
IIRC without strict-order it will try an alternate server after some number of requests to make sure it's still favoring the 'best' server.
I think it’s every 50 queries or 20 seconds, whichever comes first.


 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
IIRC without strict-order it will try an alternate server after some number of requests to make sure it's still favouring the 'best' server.
I think it’s every 50 queries or 20 seconds, whichever comes first.
This does appear to be the case. I've just tested this by sending ~1000 un-cached queries to pairs of DNS servers with differing response times and dnsmasq does seem to aggressively favour faster servers.

@Raul_77 John is correct so you should add strict-order to your config file.

Slow server & fast server
Code:
server 24.113.32.30#53: queries sent 35, retried or failed 0
server 208.67.222.222#53: queries sent 989, retried or failed 0
Two similar servers but one is quicker :eek:
Code:
server 1.1.1.1#53: queries sent 71, retried or failed 0
server 9.9.9.9#53: queries sent 955, retried or failed 0
Two almost identical servers.
Code:
server 8.8.4.4#53: queries sent 632, retried or failed 0
server 8.8.8.8#53: queries sent 393, retried or failed 0
My ISP's servers. I'm pretty sure this is actually one server with two IP addresses.
Code:
server 194.168.4.100#53: queries sent 554, retried or failed 0
server 194.168.8.100#53: queries sent 479, retried or failed 0
strict-order
Code:
server 8.8.4.4#53: queries sent 1008, retried or failed 0
server 8.8.8.8#53: queries sent 0, retried or failed 0
 

Raul_77

Occasional Visitor
Thanks @ColinTaylor , So this is getting interesting.
In my /jffs/configs I created a file "dnsmasq.conf.add" and added just 1 line on it, "strict-order" saved and reboot the router, ssh back to ensure the file and content there.

Then I ran the commands you told me:
Code:
killall -s USR1 dnsmasq
tail -6 /tmp/syslog.log
and here is the result:
Aug 12 10:41:39 dnsmasq[359]: server 192.168.1.2#53: queries sent 8204, retried or failed 7
Aug 12 10:41:39 dnsmasq[359]: server 9.9.9.9#53: queries sent 5051, retried or failed 23
could that 5051 queries be the ones sent in the past?
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
In my /jffs/configs I created a file "dnsmasq.conf.add" and added just 1 line on it, "strict-order" saved and reboot the router
You need to restart dnsmasq after this change...for ssh session
service restart_dnsmasq
or
reboot the router
 

Raul_77

Occasional Visitor
No, those stats are since dnsmasq was last started.

Check that /etc/dnsmasq.conf actually contains strict-order.
@ColinTaylor
I do NOT have strict-order in this file, I just checked, I have it on /jffs/configs in a file "dnsmasq.conf.add"

You need to restart dnsmasq after this change...for ssh session
service restart_dnsmasq
or
reboot the router
@john9527
I SSH and did Service restart_dnsmas
here is the output now: Seems to still be sending it to 9.9.9.9
Code:
Aug 12 11:36:38 dnsmasq[2429]: server 192.168.1.2#53: queries sent 75, retried or failed 0
Aug 12 11:36:38 dnsmasq[2429]: server 9.9.9.9#53: queries sent 10, retried or failed 0
 

Raul_77

Occasional Visitor

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