Problems connecting node to main AiMesh router using Merlin firmware. Should I go back to Asus stock?

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Terrance Curry

Occasional Visitor
Connecting AiMesh: I am having difficulty connecting a node using Merlin firmware. Do I need to revert back to Asus stock firmwares to connect AiMesh?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No.

Is WPS enabled?

Did you fully reset the router you want to use as an AiMesh node?

What router model and what was the previous firmware version?
 

JohnD5000

Senior Member
Use the latest Merlin on your router, you can use Merlin or stock on your node (note, rMerlin recommends using stock on your node)

 
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Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
I tried pairing 3 different RT-AC68U routers as nodes to my main router (RT-AX3000). All were running 386.3. I already had one RT-AC68 node and had just updated it to 386.3 so it was OK. . Tried many times to get one of the others paired but failed each time (wired & wifi). Each time resetting the prospective node. So I took one and installed my previous Merlin f/w (384.19). After the reset it paired perfectly. For the hell-of-it I tried falling back on the others and they also paired first time. I then upgraded the nodes to 386.3 and now I've got everything working perfectly on 386.3.
 
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Sanna1967

Senior Member
Same thing happened here.
My solution is to connect the Node directly with a wire on the AP for the set-up, and then you can move it where you want after
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
Wired and wireless failed continuously for me when trying to pair 386.3 parent to 386.3 RT-AC68U node(s). That's why I re-flashed older firmware on the nodes. Since it had this behavior on all 3 of my node candidates, I have to assume some sort of incomparability. I even tried factory reset my parent RT-Ax3000. No change. I didn't try ASUS firmware on the nodes. As I said, many failures trying with 386.3 and each worked first time on 384.19. So it wasn't a fluke. I'm offering this suggestion for anyone who is about to give up any toss them in the garbage.
 
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Terrance Curry

Occasional Visitor
Connecting AiMesh: I am having difficulty connecting a node using Merlin firmware. Do I need to revert back to Asus stock firmwares to connect AiMesh?

Well, I got exhausted trying to link the routers via AiMesh with Merlin firmware
so I went back to Asus stock firmware and the routers connected fine without
me doing anything differently than I had done before (like moving the routers
closer together-- I left them where they were and the AiMesh linking went well).
Oh the other router that had problems or mysteriously AiMesh unlinked was
the RT-AC66U B1. Maybe there is some compatibility issues with this one
that Asus has to address?

I realized or think I saw that using Merlin firmware may have offered no
extra benefit for the RT-AX88U (now my main) router with regard to the
# of entries for the IP Reservations over DHCP... it seemed as if it was
64 entries and not the 128 I had expected when I used merlin firmware
on the RT-AC88U in the past.

Maybe in the future I will go back to Merlin firmware as it seemed as it
is more up to date than the stock firmware on the Asus website.
I think Asus' latest release was like May or even July 2021 for the various
routers in my AiMesh network; whereas Merlin Firmware was updated
as late as August 5th? 2021.

Thank you for your support and look forward to returning in the future.
 
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RangerZ

Regular Contributor
There is a small number of folks with RT-AC68u variants (I have the RT-AC1900P) receiving the "Unable to add your AIMesh node" message while attempting to pair. It appears to occur if the device is either a router or a node, when at least one is on Merlin 386.2_6 or higher, but more data is needed to confirm. Merlin 386.2_4 seems to work fine on my (2) RT-AC1900Ps. Please see my testing here (first link below, page 2)

Please see these other posts on the subject:

AiMesh not working anymore on 2 latest Merlin firmwares ()

Unable to add your AIMesh node - RT-AC1900P (RT-AC68U) Merlin 386.3

RT-AC86U AiMemsh router, can't add RT-AC68U AiMesh node

Asuswrt-Merlin 386.2_6 is now available

I will suggest detailing your hardware config to the first post and include as much device data as possible, especially if you still have the box (Model, revision, data of mfg., original FW, first 6 of both MAC and SN (this will anonymize your device, but still may help ID products produced at the same time or locations). ASUS has done a lousy job of identifying revisions on most of the AC68 family of products on the device itself, but my manufacturing background suggests that we may be able to derive a pattern to the failures with enough good data.

@Terrance Curry , @L&LD , @JohnD5000
@Ronald Schwerer Please detail your process for updating the nodes from 384.19 to 386.3 (ie upgrade from Admin section or a clean upgrade on the device)
@Sanna1967 Thanks, but Ethernet did not work for me
 

Mike S

Regular Contributor
Today, I purchased two RT-AC68U routers and upgraded both to Asus Merlin Ver 386.3_2. I setup one as an AIMesh Router, and the other one as an AIMesh Node. Tried everything, but couldn't get the Node to connect. See attached screen shot.
 

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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
RT-AC66Us?

Did you do a full reset to factory defaults afterward?

 

Mike S

Regular Contributor
RT-AC66Us?

Did you do a full reset to factory defaults afterward?

Sorry. I have two RT-AC68Us. Did a factory reset when I loaded the Merlin firmware. Gave up and went back to the latest Asus Stock firmware and everything works great.
 

Krism

Occasional Visitor
I also reverted my slave-nodes back to the stock firmware. When merlin was installed on the nodes, aimesh was not stable. Now running Merlin only on my main router and stock firmware on the slave nodes and this is rock stable
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Mike S, I don't see any issues with RMerlin firmware for myself (2x RT-AX86U's) or my customers (from RT-AC66U_B1's to RT-AX88U's, including many 'mixed' AiMesh setups and more than a few in Media Bridge mode).

Right now though, RMerlin firmware is based on older GPL drops, so that may change when RMerlin finally gets those changes too (there have been delays for months now).

Glad it's working for you with stock firmware.
 

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