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Possible solution to AiMesh wired backhaul network instability

Discussion in 'ASUSWRT - Official' started by Krusty, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:37 AM.

  1. Krusty

    Krusty Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2018
    Messages:
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    I have an AC5300 and 3x AC86U (only two plugged in atm because 3 was unstable, but going to try 3 again shortly with this new possible fix).

    I have about 50 bulbs and other home automation/security devices on 2.4Ghz band. These will somewhat randomly drop on/off wifi - sometimes everything works well, sometimes a large part of the network goes south.

    When the network is unstable, HomeKit really has issues (devices stuck "updating", devices which can report status but not be controlled or vice versa).

    I myself have roaming off (along with MIMO, fairness and universal beamforming) on 2.4GHz and I have backhaul set to "ethernet", but have seen reports of (and seen myself when I had roaming on), roamast considering or actually disconnecting AiMesh nodes off WiFi.

    Whilst playing around, I noticed things were much more stable if I used "wl down" to bring down the 2.4Ghz interface on the AiMesh main router. This got me thinking:

    1) Perhaps there was still WiFi traffic going from the nodes to the router
    2) Perhaps this is a routing bug in AiMesh with a wired connection (especially I can imagine that the network setup requiring WAN->LAN links between routers, might be unhappy if traffic is taking another path which doesn't perhaps honor whatever network partitioning they have implemented).
    3) HomeKit could plausibly act exactly the way it was if traffic on some of its (presumably more persistent) secure tunnels was getting lost in one direction or the other. It might believe the connections were good but be unable to communicate.

    Anyway, I am continuing to see how this works out. Based on my guess, I have allowed the wireless interface back up, but have simply added the AiMesh nodes' 2.4GHz MAC addresses to the MAC filters for 2.4Ghz on the GUI, since there is no reason for any 2.4Ghz traffic between any nodes or the router in this setup.

    Fingers crossed... please report back if you give this a try.

    P.S. if you bring the 2.4GHz interface down on the main router, the device list in the GUI is more useless than ever, just randomly changing every few seconds. Clearly they have a bit of a state merge bug there - though likely GUI only, since assoclists around the network are stable.
     
    HuskyHerder likes this.
  2. Krusty

    Krusty Occasional Visitor

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    Actually I guess the network map client list is just plain broken anyway.
     
  3. Grisu

    Grisu Very Senior Member

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    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,335
    did you try last 45149 firmwares?
     
  4. Krusty

    Krusty Occasional Visitor

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    Nov 24, 2018
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    Ah hah, I hadn't yet. Thanks for pointing out the new firmware! Will report back
     
    HuskyHerder likes this.
  5. Krusty

    Krusty Occasional Visitor

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    Nov 24, 2018
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    I upgraded the firmware, but left the MAC filtering in place... all was OK - a day later, I turned off the MAC filtering, and the problems came back. Therefore it seems this workaround is still needed. Next thing to try is to see if the MAC filter fixes the problem with my currently disabled (because it breaks the network) 3rd node.

    Note, on reflection, that there is no particular reason that you shouldn't have to filter out the 5Ghz MACs also. Again perhaps this is the issue with this particular problematic 3rd node - it is close enough to the main router for a good 5Ghz signal.
     
  6. Krusty

    Krusty Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2018
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    Actually I'm not 100% for sure that MAC filtering is required, it seems that whenever I change MAC filters in any way, i may need to let/help the network sort itself out again. I will risk again in the future trying it without MAC filtering, and giving it more of a chance to right itself afterwards. In the meanwhile, if anyone else tries this either way, please LMK.