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My new RT-AC86U and some Q's/Issues

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by JDB, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    So I've upgraded my RT-AC88U to an 86U for a few reasons.

    My network architecture at the moment is;
    RT-AC88U(Merlin) = Main Router connected to VDSL Modem (WiFi disabled)
    RT-AC5300(Stock) = AP/AiMesh Router
    RT-AC5300(Stock) = AiMesh Node

    All are connected via a Powerline ethernet backbone offering 1Gbps+ speeds between all sites.

    I have one spot where 5Ghz is not as good as it could be in the Conservatory/Garden and you sometimes get booted over to 2.4Ghz, so want to add another AiMesh node there (there is already a Powerline adaptor offering hardwire services to the TV/Apple TV etc in the room).

    So I'm replacing the 88U with 86U as then I get the quicker CPU for better VPN etc etc and the 88U can go back to stock and be the new AiMesh node.
    It also means I can use the 86U to properly support the NTP Daemon project that I'm looking after as the original developer has drifted away from AsusWRT and asked me if I'd like to keep the project alive.

    So far I've swapped the 86U in by flashing Merlin, factory reset and manually adding config back in (aside from the custom client names/DHCP reservations list which I did via an NVRAM get/set as it saved me about 2 hours doing via the GUI!).
    I also swapped the USB drive with Entware on it over and updated the JFFS scripts and to my surprise it all seems to just work despite the arch64 change.

    I do have a few questions/issues though.

    1. Would I be better starting fresh with Entware? Are the executables working by a bit of chance or only as 32bit rather than potentially 64bit?

    2. My Asterisk now gives slow/fast speech like the packets are getting held up every few seconds, even on local LAN only calls. This has always been rock solid. I just moved it to a Docker/Asterisk instance on my Synology NAS and it's perfect again (so pretty sure it's an issue with the 86U running Asterisk and not the LAN/QOS etc). Not sure if maybe related to point 1? I'm not to fussed as it's working on the NAS now anyway but just wondered if anyone had any ideas as it would save me having port forwards on my NAT to reach the NAS?

    3. Reported RAM usage in the GUI is almost maxed out! The 88U (also with 512Mb on board) would run below 300Mb all the time, even with web servers and asterisk etc running on it. The output of 'free' shows that actually 110Mb of that is cached by the system so can be considered free RAM, so I'm not too concerned, but it is still using more RAM than the 88U whilst doing the exact same thing (actually doing less as Asterisk is not running now). The 88U never seemed to cache very much, but I would suggest maybe the GUI should be updated to report the +/- buffer/cache free value so as not to scare users! @RMerlin - feature request for you there :)
    It's also worth noting the 86U reports only 440Mb of installed RAM, not sure where the other 72Mb is!? But again, is worth noting the GUI reports installed as 512Mb so not sure where it gets it's figures from (not 'free' I guess).


    As always, any inputs welcomed!

    Once I've run like this for a few days and got some confidence the 88U doesn't need swapping back, it'll be re-flashed and deployed as the extra AiMesh node.
     
    Marin likes this.
  2. paulbates

    paulbates Regular Contributor

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    Thanks. I’ve been thinking about the 86 as well and wondered how it did with Merlin .

    It has 8 ET ports as well? Can you confirm that it runs cooler than the 88? That’s always concerned me, though I’ve had it for 2 years with no signs other than the temp graph to indicate an actual problem.

    Thanks
    Paul


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  3. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    No it has 4 ports only. I don’t consider it a major upgrade to the 88U to be honest. I was tempted to just make it the new AiMesh Node, but as I do often VPN in I thought it was worth making the 86U the main router just for that gain (as VPN performance is significantly better and really the only big gain IMO).
    It’s running at 59’C CPU right now, the 88U was similar, around 60, but as it has no WiFi enabled I’m guess it runs slightly cooler than most users.


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  4. paulbates

    paulbates Regular Contributor

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    Ok, great, thank you
    Paul


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  5. Jack Yaz

    Jack Yaz Very Senior Member

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    I moved from 87U to 86U a couple of months ago, my input below:

    1. I originally avoided it, and ran into some weird issues. I wiped entware and started over, no issues since.

    2. Could be related to 1, but I don't run it so can't confirm.

    3. My RAM sits at 95% (according to network map, which is closed source remember - use Tools Sysinfo for sane output. Some RAM is reserved for internal functions iirc). I have an overkill 1GB swap file, but that rarely gets dipped in to.
     
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  6. Jack Yaz

    Jack Yaz Very Senior Member

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    Temps 2.4 GHz: 50°C - 5 GHz: 54°C - CPU: 66°C

    VPN utilisation is a breeze :D
     
  7. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    Thanks Jack - forgot about the Sys Info page, that reports cache and loads of other info as you say - still shows max 430Mb though. I might open a ticket with Asus to ask about the graph being next to useless due to cache being included.

    I feared that would be the case with Entware - not looking forward to working out all the stuff I've done in the last 2-3 years!!
     
  8. Jack Yaz

    Jack Yaz Very Senior Member

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    I took it as an opportunity to start fresh and drop any packages I didn't actually use anymore, the config files should be easy enough to backup from your USB and then compare to any new defaults that come down with the 64bit packages
     
    JDB likes this.
  9. Marin

    Marin Senior Member

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    Can’t wait to see an updated installation guide for NTP Daemon now @JDB!




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    JDB likes this.
  10. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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  11. Marin

    Marin Senior Member

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  12. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    I’ve not done any work on the NTP yet


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  13. Marin

    Marin Senior Member

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    Ok thank you!


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