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Problems with mesh on AC86U + AC68U + AC68U

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bgrattan

New Around Here
Hello,
New to this group, I'm having problems with these routers in a mesh configuration. The two AC68Us are connected by ethernet to the AC86U to form the mesh network. My speeds (Comcast) are great at the AC86U router but the wifi seems to go up and down from almost a crawl to very fast. Ethernet connections have no problems as best I can tell. Moving close to the mesh node doesn't seem to make any difference.
Not being a computer guru I can't seem to find the problem source here. I have several RPIs and servers on my LAN so something must be causing the interference in the wifi signal.
Any suggestions as to hoe I can troubleshoot will be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Bob
 
Hello,
New to this group, I'm having problems with these routers in a mesh configuration. The two AC68Us are connected by ethernet to the AC86U to form the mesh network. My speeds (Comcast) are great at the AC86U router but the wifi seems to go up and down from almost a crawl to very fast. Ethernet connections have no problems as best I can tell. Moving close to the mesh node doesn't seem to make any difference.
Not being a computer guru I can't seem to find the problem source here. I have several RPIs and servers on my LAN so something must be causing the interference in the wifi signal.
Any suggestions as to hoe I can troubleshoot will be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Bob

Did it ever work?

OE
 
Welcome to the forums @bgrattan.

Post a few screenshots of your Wireless setup.

A diagram of your home with the routers/nodes indicated and major obstacles will also be helpful.

How fast is your ISP connection (up/down)?

How many SqFt is the home?

Are all routers on the same firmware version?

When was the last time you performed a full reset on the main/nodes, without importing a saved backup config file to set up your network?

What other features, options or scripts are you using?
 
Did it ever work?

OE
Yes, it was working ok a couple of months ago. Here is the firmware. Thanks
AiMesh router
RT-AC86U
Current Version : 3.0.0.4.386_51915-g43629d2
Manual firmware update : Upload
AiMesh Node
RT-AC68U ( E0:3F:49:92:C8:28 )
Location : Living Room
Current Version : 3.0.0.4.386_51665-g8072e52
Manual firmware update : Upload
RT-AC68U ( 2C:FD:A1:3A:38:38 )
Location : Kitchen
Current Version : 3.0.0.4.386_51665-g8072e52
Manual firmware update : Upload
 
Hello,
New to this group, I'm having problems with these routers in a mesh configuration. The two AC68Us are connected by ethernet to the AC86U to form the mesh network. My speeds (Comcast) are great at the AC86U router but the wifi seems to go up and down from almost a crawl to very fast. Ethernet connections have no problems as best I can tell. Moving close to the mesh node doesn't seem to make any difference.
Not being a computer guru I can't seem to find the problem source here. I have several RPIs and servers on my LAN so something must be causing the interference in the wifi signal.
Any suggestions as to hoe I can troubleshoot will be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Bob
As you are using Ethernet backhaul, do not enable Ethernet Backhaul Mode in AiMesh/System settings. The Ethernet cables to the AiMesh nodes should be connected to the node WAN port. If the nodes are daisy chained the Ethernet shouldbe connected to the router LAN port to the node WAN port then the first node LAN port to the 2nd node WAN port. As for the WIFI, use the Dual Band Smart Connect on the AC86U with auto channel and auto bandwidth. If you want set the 2.4 GHz to 20 MHz and the 5 GHz to 80 MHz. However, the WIFI defaults are best. And leave WPS enabled.
 
Welcome to the forums @bgrattan.

Post a few screenshots of your Wireless setup.

A diagram of your home with the routers/nodes indicated and major obstacles will also be helpful.

How fast is your ISP connection (up/down)?

How many SqFt is the home?

Are all routers on the same firmware version?

When was the last time you performed a full reset on the main/nodes, without importing a saved backup config file to set up your network?

What other features, options or scripts are you using?
I have attached a file with a couple of screen shots. Let me know if you need more information.
To answer some of your questions.
Home size and obstacles aren't a problem since this worked before and I have moved within several yards of the router with no change.
I did reset everything, router and two nodes.
Latest firmware according to admin screen. See earlier post.
No additional scripts or options.

Actually it seems to be happening since I switched to the mesh setup. Before I had a router and two repeaters. Maybe this is the best way to go?

Anyway, maybe this will make sense to someone more skilled than I am.

Thanks for the help.
Cheers,
Bob
 

Attachments

  • AC86U.pdf
    420.7 KB · Views: 20
As you are using Ethernet backhaul, do not enable Ethernet Backhaul Mode in AiMesh/System settings. The Ethernet cables to the AiMesh nodes should be connected to the node WAN port. If the nodes are daisy chained the Ethernet shouldbe connected to the router LAN port to the node WAN port then the first node LAN port to the 2nd node WAN port. As for the WIFI, use the Dual Band Smart Connect on the AC86U with auto channel and auto bandwidth. If you want set the 2.4 GHz to 20 MHz and the 5 GHz to 80 MHz. However, the WIFI defaults are best. And leave WPS enabled.
Thanks @bbunge I have turned off Ethernet Backhaul in AiMesh as it was on. Other suggestions were already implemented. Not sure what WPS does but it's turned on. I'll see what happens with speed now.
Cheers,
Bob
 
Yes, it was working ok a couple of months ago.

Maybe the AC86U radio(s)/hardware is dying.

If you have the nodes wired, you can leave Ethernet Backhaul Mode enabled to disable the wireless backhauls... saves WiFi for client use.

OE
 
RT-AC86U - the worst reliability record router with multiple issues
RT-AC68U - 10+ years old router Asus is actively trying to kill lately*

In other words - good luck. You may need more than reboot and reset. Replacement perhaps.

* - bad ASD update recently and now TM, ASD, NT_ etc. components crashing. It doesn't support Smart Connect, skip that advice.
 
Maybe the AC86U radio(s)/hardware is dying.

If you have the nodes wired, you can leave Ethernet Backhaul Mode enabled to disable the wireless backhauls... saves WiFi for client use.

OE
Actually, I've found that enabling Ethernet Backhaul mode can cause problems. Better to let the router/nodes do it automatically.
 
Both "nodes" are wired, I would try AP Mode instead. More control, can reduce interference on different channels. If it still doesn't work - replace. RT-AC68U is the worst choice router for AiMesh and the one with most issues reported in AiMesh configurations, both wired and wireless. BCM4360 perhaps had no new drivers for years. All routers above are on life support facing End-Of-Life soon.
 
Thanks for the pdf, but those don't show your wireless setup screens.

The old RT-AC68U is a poor match for the superior RT-AC86U for AiMesh use.

Turn off in easily hackable WPS.

Use the old routers as wired AP's.
 
Actually, I've found that enabling Ethernet Backhaul mode can cause problems. Better to let the router/nodes do it automatically.

There is not a trend of such reports here.

OE
 
Thanks for the pdf, but those don't show your wireless setup screens.

The old RT-AC68U is a poor match for the superior RT-AC86U for AiMesh use.

Turn off in easily hackable WPS.

Use the old routers as wired AP's.
Thanks. I’ll try going back to APs. Can anyone suggest replacements? I have a large house (3000 ft2) and lots of clients, both wifi and ethernet. Don’t have a fortune to spend but do need reliability since Comcast is fast coming into the router. Thanks for suggestions.
cheers,
bob
 
What is 'lots of clients' (wireless) for you?

Is that 3,000 SqFt on a single floor? If it is, don't count it so. WiFi RF radiates in 3D.

The RT-AX88U Pro or the GT-AX6000 are your best bang for the buck buys today (with the former considered to be the better option, today).
 
What is 'lots of clients' (wireless) for you?

Is that 3,000 SqFt on a single floor? If it is, don't count it so. WiFi RF radiates in 3D.

The RT-AX88U Pro or the GT-AX6000 are your best bang for the buck buys today (with the former considered to be the better option, today).
I have things like a Geiger counter, video cam, thermostats, RPIs—30+ clients including ethernet connected servers. There are periods when everything works fine.
I’ve ordered an RT-AX88U Pro on your advice and reviews read so we’ll see if that changes things.
What is the Merlin software? Can you mix Asus firmware with Merlin? Thanks.
Cheers,
Bob
 
If you're splitting those ~30+ clients between the two bands/radios, a single router should be more than sufficient. Note that consumer routers can handle/support ~32 clients per radio.



Many here will suggest using RMerlin firmware on the main router, and stock Asus on the AiMesh nodes, but I don't find that to be the best setup for the best long-term, trouble-free, network experience. RMerlin firmware on all routers (no matter what mode they're used in) gives the most stable network. I also recommend identical routers for main/nodes if/when possible.

If you can order two identical routers, leave one in the box, and only open it if your testing shows it is necessary in your use/environment.


I hope you see the same difference as the customer did in the link below when upgrading from AC class routers to AX class routers, I am looking forward to your experience.


And note, that a single RT-AX68U was superior to 2x RT-AC86Us (even if the customer insisted on having a second RT-AX68U (as a node) installed in the end).
 
What is the Merlin software?

Based on this question alone - you perhaps don't need 3rd party firmware Asuswrt-Merlin on your routers.

You already have wires. Break free from consumer AIO routers and get a switch (managed/unmanaged) with PoE and 2-3 PoE powered business class access points. Zyxel AX1800 class APs are $70, AX3000 class are $85 on Amazon. TP-Link Omada* APs in similar class are similar prices. Use the router you want or currently have (your RT-AC86U will do), but upgrade later to something with native VLAN support to match your APs. Clean setup with no power adapters opening more configuration possibilities. Increased reliability, better software, better expandability, better looks.

Why buy disposable hardware again?

Some ideas:

1701473928492.png


1701473953022.png


1701473985954.png

1701474045338.png


Your system- your choice. On this forum you'll be steered towards AIO routers. This is the best most guys around know. Good luck.

* - not to be confused with TP-Link consumer products. Very different product, perhaps the best price/performance in SMB class.

Also, read this very carefully:


Do you still want AiMesh?
 
Based on this question alone - you perhaps don't need 3rd party firmware Asuswrt-Merlin on your routers.

You already have wires. Break free from consumer AIO routers and get a switch (managed/unmanaged) with PoE and 2-3 PoE powered business class access points.

Can't he just run the Asus routers in AP mode, disabling AIMesh?

Yes, one can buy new AP's, but if one already has devices, AP mode can save a bit of money, and should work fine...

that being said - probably time to let the AC-68U go, while a decent device, it's well beyond the use by date if trying to mesh them with AX class devices...
 

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