help needed with setup of aimesh - AX68U + AC68U

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TheRavenster

Occasional Visitor
I have a RT-AX68U (w/ merlin 386.3_2, setup as main router) and want to put RT-AC68U (w/ merlin 386.3_2) as node. Both of these routers are now on the latest merlin firmware.

Tried the aimesh connection details as per the instructions on https://www.asus.com/us/support/FAQ/1035087 and cant connect.

I even tried connecting with the LAN cables from/to PC and node/router, no dice. Did a factory reset on AC68U and then
rebooted AX68U, still cant find it.

Then i logged into AC68U and tried to change it from wireless router to node mode, and it does go thru the motions, but when i disconnect from AC68U to connect to AX68U wifi connection, it searches and then says nothing found. I have tried leaving one of the LAN cables in when doing this also and nothing.

However, I did at one point get a popup that it found the MAC addresses of both networks and was adding them, but again it failed when it went to aimesh search. It seemed like trying to force the AC68U into node mode (by logging into that device via GUI) almost got it working...

I have no idea what to try next, but if i put the AC68U into bridge mode that works ok, but i can only see the 2ghz (on AX68U) and cant see 5ghz.

help appreciated guys, i honestly dont know what to try next. thank you.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Is WPS enabled on the main router? Is the Ethernet Backhaul Mode enabled on the main router (disable it, and reboot). How did you do a reset to factory defaults on the RT-AC68U?

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global

When was the last time you did a full reset to factory defaults on the main router without importing old backup config files?

Fully Reset Router and Network

What differences in the default configuration have you made past the suggestions in the link below?

Best Practice Update/Setup Router/AiMesh Node(s) 2021

The following link(s) may be of help too.

[Wireless] ASUS router Hard Factory Reset | Official Support | ASUS Global
 

TheRavenster

Occasional Visitor
Is WPS enabled on the main router? - Yes
Is the Ethernet Backhaul Mode enabled on the main router - no

How did you do a reset to factory defaults on the RT-AC68U? - held down the reset button for 10 seconds, logged into the gui and did a factory reset, even held the wps button down while turning on the device.

When was the last time you did a full reset to factory defaults on the main router without importing old backup config files?
about 2 days ago. its brand new, so i upgraded it to merlin latest build, then did a factory reset (via GUI) and i didnt copy over any previous settings.


i have attached what happens below when i try to force the AC68U into node mode via gui... it sees it but then doesnt add it....
 

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Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Based on screenshot your main router is RT-AX86U, not RT-AX68U. RT-AC68U has many variants and some just refuse to connect when using Merlin firmware. See this thread for more information. All routers connect using stock Asuswrt (older and newer than Merlin base) and this makes me believe recent changes in Merlin interfere somehow with AiMesh functionality in specific scenarios.
 

TheRavenster

Occasional Visitor
thanks for the replies guys... i tried everything you mentioned, changed firmware's on both to original, back to merlin ,etc but still no dice. now it could be because the AC68U was originally the tmobile hotspot and was converted to allow merlin. i have instead setup as an access point with an Ethernet cable instead of a node. this works perfectly for what i needed and i can see connection on the main router. thank you.
 

TheRavenster

Occasional Visitor
hey buddy, i didn't mean to waster anyone's time... is that the reason it wont connect? i wish i would have known that a lot earlier, i wasted a day trying to get the damn thing connected.
 

TheRavenster

Occasional Visitor
sure thing dude. thanks for all the help guys, really appreciate it. the amount of settings in them blasted routers is so confusing... and i also went off on a tangent and learnt about being able to update the DNS with different services like cloudflare, quad9, other than google. thanks!
 

Volkis

New Around Here
To make this thread alive again.
I have also had this problem but with real Asus routers. I'm using four routers; two RT-AX68U, one RT-AC68U and one RT-AC66U B1 (running AC68 firmware as it should). All routers are flashed with the latest Merlin 386.3_2. I've started off with resetting all routers to factory settings after flashing them, then I've prepared the both AC routers by selecting operation mode to AImesh node. The AX router finds both the AC68 and the AC66, but when trying to connect to them and incorparate them as nodes (it's a time consuming process) I'll get an error message stating something like 'cannot create a node' and gives five statements what to do. Of course nothing works. I even tried to talk to Asus telephone support with no luck.
But when I tried connecting an AX to the other AX there where no problems at all. As I see it there could be some incompability when trying to connect AC routers as nodes to an AX router. I can't tell if it's hardware or software issues that preventing this.
 

Volkis

New Around Here
I've tried connect the RT-AC66U B1 to my RT-AX88U at home with the exact same result - failure. I've made a screen print, unfortunately in swedish but the text translates like this:
I'ts not possible to add your AiMesh node RT-AC66U B1 to the AiMesh system due to following situations. Check and retry.
1. Someone else tries to install an AiMesh system. Wait 1 minute and try again.
2. your AiMesh router and node should be 3-3 meters from each other during the installation procedure.
3. Control that your AiMesh node is on.
4. Your AiMesh node have been upgraded to a firmware that supports AiMesh.
5. Your AiMesh node have been reset.
Try to find another AiMesh node nearby by clicking "Search".
 

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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You're adding the AiMesh nodes incorrectly.
 

Volkis

New Around Here
I made a test, even if it's after bedtime, got up, started my computer and tried. This time I've tested connecting the WAN port on my RT-AC66U B1 to the LAN of RT-AX88U, still same firmware, Merlin 386.3_2 and voila it worked. When searching for a node, the node found had an ethernet icon in the list. After a succesful installation I disconnected the node and placed it further away from the router and fired it up, this time without ethernet connection and after a while the mesh were (was?) reestablished.
I will test this method trying to connect the WAN port on the RT-AC68U to a LAN port of the RT-AX68U on sunday. I will report the results. Thanks to @RangerZ for pointing out a thread with some really good information.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Glad you got it working. Sorry I couldn't attach a link (fast enough) to be of help.
 

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