Poor wireless connection between RT-AC86U and RT-AC66U B1 for AiMesh

jsabin

New Around Here
I have been using 2 AC66u routers connected wirelessly as an AiMess network. The connection between the two has been strong and the mesh has worked flawlessly. One was located in the basement and the other on the upper floor. Moving them to the edges of the home, the connections were still strong.

I just recently purchased a AC86U router and made this the primary router. I had a lot of trouble getting the AC86U to see the other two routers as mesh nodes. I eventually got them to connect but, the connection between each of them and the AC86U is weak. I have tried moving these to various places in the house including having them in the same room as the primary, but the connection is weak. Note that the connection between clients and the primary router is strong and I don't have any issues with the clients. The only problem is between the routers.

The mesh nodes have the following settings:
  • Backhaul Connection Priority = auto
  • Preferred WIFI uplink AP = auto
  • Both radios are enabled
I have played a little with the backhaul priority without success.

Does anyone know why the connection between the routers is so weak and hopefully a way to improve the connection quality? I feel like there's some setting I'm missing here.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have been using 2 AC66u routers connected wirelessly as an AiMess network. The connection between the two has been strong and the mesh has worked flawlessly. One was located in the basement and the other on the upper floor. Moving them to the edges of the home, the connections were still strong.

I just recently purchased a AC86U router and made this the primary router. I had a lot of trouble getting the AC86U to see the other two routers as mesh nodes. I eventually got them to connect but, the connection between each of them and the AC86U is weak. I have tried moving these to various places in the house including having them in the same room as the primary, but the connection is weak. Note that the connection between clients and the primary router is strong and I don't have any issues with the clients. The only problem is between the routers.

The mesh nodes have the following settings:
  • Backhaul Connection Priority = auto
  • Preferred WIFI uplink AP = auto
  • Both radios are enabled
I have played a little with the backhaul priority without success.

Does anyone know why the connection between the routers is so weak and hopefully a way to improve the connection quality? I feel like there's some setting I'm missing here.

Find the 2.4/5.0 node/MAC connection details in the Wireless Log... what sort of backhaul connections are you getting?

How big an area are you covering with 3 APs?

OE
 

jsabin

New Around Here
Find the 2.4/5.0 node/MAC connection details in the Wireless Log... what sort of backhaul connections are you getting?

How big an area are you covering with 3 APs?

OE
The stats for the mesh in the UI don't show any data (all values are 0) even when clients are connected to one of the mesh nodes. I ssh'd to one of the mesh nodes and could find any logs that had relevant information on them and looking at the WIFI logs in the UI didn't show any data about the mesh nodes. The system log on the primary router did not contain any error messages that were relevant.

I updated the firmware on both the primary and the mesh nodes and I reinstalled one of the mesh nodes. Neither of these changes helped.

Any other suggestions would be helpful.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
The stats for the mesh in the UI don't show any data (all values are 0) even when clients are connected to one of the mesh nodes. I ssh'd to one of the mesh nodes and could find any logs that had relevant information on them and looking at the WIFI logs in the UI didn't show any data about the mesh nodes. The system log on the primary router did not contain any error messages that were relevant.

I updated the firmware on both the primary and the mesh nodes and I reinstalled one of the mesh nodes. Neither of these changes helped.

Any other suggestions would be helpful.

Install current firmware and if you have not reset the AC86U firmware, do that first. Then configure the AC86U for no Smart Connect and different SSIDs per band (the AC66U does not support SC). Then reset each AC66U_B1 firmware and add them to the AiMesh from the AC86U's webUI. Then check the AC86U's Wireless Log for the 2.4/5.0 node MACs for their backhaul connection details. Then deploy the nodes 40-80ft away from each other and keep their backhauls >-66dBm RSSI. If three APs won't fit in your space, power OFF one.

OE
 
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jsabin

New Around Here
Thanks for the quick response. What do you mean by "reset the firmware"? Does this mean update to the latest firmware?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for the quick response. What do you mean by "reset the firmware"? Does this mean update to the latest firmware?

Firmware includes its own default settings. When confronted with unusual behavior and/or when a firmware update is a signficant change, it's advisable to reset the firmware first before configuring it from scratch, to be sure it is using its defaults settings.

Reset FAQ
Reset via Reset button/webUI Restore/node removal (automatic) - clears settings in NVRAM; reboot restores fw defaults from CFE (fw defaults)
Hard Reset via WPS button/webUI Restore+Initialize - also clears data logged in /jffs partition (fw defaults+clear logs)
Restoration - uploads fw in Rescue Mode

I prefer using webUI Restore+Initialize... more certain than holding buttons... install the current firmware, reset it, and then configure it from scratch. You don't configure nodes... just reset them and add them to the AiMesh from within the router webUI. You might find other clues in my install notes.

OE
 
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jsabin

New Around Here
Thanks so much for your help. I was able to get a "great" connection between the primary router and the mesh node by removing the mesh node, doing a "hard reset" on it, and then adding it back into the mesh. Clients connecting to the mesh node are running well.

Your instructions and links above were extremely helpful. I didn't realize there was a "soft" and "hard" reset.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Your instructions and links above were extremely helpful. I didn't realize there was a "soft" and "hard" reset.

It's Reset and Hard Reset... no soft reset.

Either reset would have likely done it. In the future, removing a node from the AiMesh will automatically reset it; then just add it back... after you Restore+Initialize reset the router firmware and configure it from scratch for a 'clean install'.

It's all a bit too finicky for home users, but we have to go with the program dealt.

OE
 
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