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Mesh router running Merlin with node on stock questions

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jorgsmash

Senior Member
Hi all,

I recently got a third router to add to my setup and had some questions regarding the firmware. Originally I had an AX88U running latest Merlin stable release as AI mesh router + AX58U running latest Merlin stable as an AI mesh node. I picked up an XT8 (H/W Ver: 2.0) and I kept it on stock firmware. I was able to add it to my mesh network wirelessly, and didn't have to use a LAN cable for the AX88U to be able to find it. All nodes are wireless backhaul. My guest network doesn't seem to have an Internet connection anymore. I'm using the leftmost 2.4 GHz guest network, and I'm not up to speed on the 3 different slots available in both 2.4/5 GHz guest network sections.

Now, my main question, could this be an issue since I'm running Merlin on the router and one other node, and stock firmware on the new XT8? Is this ever a good idea or should everything be on either stock or Merlin? If so, I see that there is a supported Merlin fork by Gnuton that I have considered installing to the XT8. It looks like I would install the 3004.388.7_1-gnuton1 release, for the "XT8 / RT-AX95Q v1" if I'm not mistaken. The "v1" is throwing me for a loop, if this matters at all that I have the XT8 H/W ver 2.

Additionally, is this the right or wrong place for support for the Gnuton builds? I've seen people post links to the firmware here, but unsure where I would go if I have an issue or question specific to those forked builds.

Thanks all.

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AiMesh is a closed source component, comes from Asuswrt unchanged. You can run stock Asuswrt on the nodes. Many folks around run Asuswrt-Merlin on the main router only and leave stock Asuswrt on the nodes. There is no routing on the nodes, work as access points (wired) or repeaters (wireless).
 
AiMesh is a closed source component, comes from Asuswrt unchanged. You can run stock Asuswrt on the nodes. Many folks around run Asuswrt-Merlin on the main router only and leave stock Asuswrt on the nodes. There is no routing on the nodes, work as access points (wired) or repeaters (wireless).
Awesome thanks for your reply. Is there any benefit to running Merlin on the nodes? If not, what should I do to try and diagnose my guest network since adding a new mesh node seems to be what brought the internet connection down for guest clients. Both mesh nodes are wireless backhaul, forgot to put that in my post.
 
Is there any benefit to running Merlin on the nodes?

Not really, you can't use any of the extra features there anyway.

try and diagnose my guest network

Your YazFi script doesn't work in AiMesh, it's main router only feature. What's the interaction with VLAN based GN propagation to AiMesh nodes - unclear. Your issue is around your custom configuration. You are kind of heavy on scripts and perhaps you don't need them all, some just replace built-in firmware features. If you followed someone else's advice what's better in general - don't do it. Go with simpler configuration and your troubleshooting process will be shorter. Start with clean Asuswrt-Merlin, add custom scripts one at at time and only the ones you really need.
 
Not really, you can't use any of the extra features there anyway.



Your YazFi script doesn't work in AiMesh, it's main router only feature. What's the interaction with VLAN based GN propagation to AiMesh nodes - unclear. Your issue is around your custom configuration. You are kind of heavy on scripts and perhaps you don't need them all, some just replace built-in firmware features. If you followed someone else's advice what's better in general - don't do it. Go with simpler configuration and your troubleshooting process will be shorter. Start with clean Asuswrt-Merlin, add custom scripts one at at time and only the ones you really need.
I am no longer running YazFi. I think I had issues with it in the past. I haven't updated my sig in a while. Here are the scripts I run:

1718645773261.png
 
Why do you run Diversion and AdGuard Home at the same time? They are both DNS-blockers, doing the same thing.

Unbound? What is exactly Unbound giving you more than lighter built-in Dnsmasq, especially if used as Forwarder?

Skynet? IP-blocker, if you have exposed to Internet services, want to limit yourself or can troubleshoot it yourself only.

scMerlin and YazDHCP are in "lazy user" category for me, most of what they do can be done with no extra scripts.

If this thing is using standard USB stick - your network is as reliable as the USB stick. They fail quite often with frequent r/w.
 
Diversion is disabled. I just haven't uninstalled it, but it's not running. Unbound I configured to be a caching resolver as upstream DNS for the AGH add-on. Haven't visited that in a while, so not even sure it's working anymore.

Skynet gives me peace of mind. I have OpenVPN server open to the Internet on a non-default udp port, but those don't respond as listening anyway from port scans I've ran. I used to port forward to my gaming computer but those would never show as open/listening either.

I have a WD HDD attached to the router (spinning disk) where everything is stored. It's not hosting anything via router SAMBA share, which is off.

I disabled the guest network and re-enabled it. I then connected my phone to the guest network and got assigned the IP 192.168.101.87. My phone says "connected without Internet." I see my phone in the Network map in the router. I tried to ping 192.168.101.1 (default gateway) from my phone and got not replies. If I need to, I'll have to get a laptop to connect to guest network for further diagnosing.
 
I would start fresh and go one add-on at a time.

Perhaps swap, disk check, needed Entware, lighter Diversion after, RTRMON if you like the Grumpy Cat 🤭, the rest... not really needed in your case. AGH looks nice, but can become quite heavy with larger blocklists, not really router optimized software. Your choice, of course - your router.
 

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