RT-AC68U aimesh node dropped connections/ latency spikes with firmware 384.81049 and later

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

kakashisensei

New Around Here
I have two ac68u routers and have been using them in aimesh ever since merlin added this to his releases. I've been updating both the router and node sporadically with the latest merlin firmware over the last year. They were working fine until about a few months ago. Any device connected (wired or wireless) to the aimesh node would experienced random huge latency spikes or dropped connections. Took a while to find out it was the aimesh node causing the issues. Initially, I didn't think it would be the source of the problem. Using a continuous speed test tool, I can see download/upload speeds drop to zero and latency spike up immensely for a brief period of time, and it occurs randomly few times every 2 minutes.

After more investigation, I've found that it is firmware 384.81049 and anything after that is causing the problem for me. Its the last AC68U firmware release with listed changes to aimesh. I've already tried swapping the routers and both routers have the same issue on this firmware. The issue is only there when the router has this firmware or later and is configured as an aimesh node. If it is a router or ap mode, then it works fine. These are the release notes to that firmware.

ASUS RT-AC68U Firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.81049
Security fix
- Fixed a DDoS vulnerability. Thanks for Altin Thartori's contribution.

Bugfix
- Fixed EU 5GHz SSID disappear problems in EU model.
- Fixed Network map client list issues.
- Fixed block internet access problem when clients connected to AiMesh node
- Fixed Samba server compatibility issue.
- Fixed OpenVPN related bugs.
- Fixed schedule reboot bugs.
- Improved AiMesh compatibility.
- Improved system stability.

If I use the asus firmwares before this one, the connection stability/bandwidth/latency are fine. But if I use an asus firmware for the mesh node, it gets automatically updated to the latest asus firmware somehow whenever I add the aimesh node or reboot the node through the router phone app. I found that merlin firmware 384.13 is the last firmware before he merged it with the problematic asus firmware. Using that merlin firmware on the mesh node stops auto updates and now it works fine. The main router is using the latest merlin firmware.

To clarify, I always nvram reset after firmware updates and re-add the aimesh node. The mesh node has ethernet backhaul to the main router, and priority connection is set to ethernet. There should be no issue with the ethernet backhaul connection, it works fine on older firmwares.

However, I notice that more recent firmwares have much better handling of device handoff between router and node. I hope to find a fix to the above problem on the newer firmwares to have the better aimesh hopping. Is this a known problem or is it just me? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks.
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have two ac68u routers and have been using them in aimesh ever since merlin added this to his releases. I've been updating both the router and node sporadically with the latest merlin firmware over the last year. They were working fine until about a few months ago. Any device connected (wired or wireless) to the aimesh node would experienced random huge latency spikes or dropped connections. Took a while to find out it was the aimesh node causing the issues. Initially, I didn't think it would be the source of the problem. Using a continuous speed test tool, I can see download/upload speeds drop to zero and latency spike up immensely for a brief period of time, and it occurs randomly few times every 2 minutes.

After more investigation, I've found that it is firmware 384.81049 and anything after that is causing the problem for me. Its the last AC68U firmware release with listed changes to aimesh. I've already tried swapping the routers and both routers have the same issue on this firmware. The issue is only there when the router has this firmware or later and is configured as an aimesh node. If it is a router or ap mode, then it works fine. These are the release notes to that firmware.

ASUS RT-AC68U Firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.81049
Security fix
- Fixed a DDoS vulnerability. Thanks for Altin Thartori's contribution.

Bugfix
- Fixed EU 5GHz SSID disappear problems in EU model.
- Fixed Network map client list issues.
- Fixed block internet access problem when clients connected to AiMesh node
- Fixed Samba server compatibility issue.
- Fixed OpenVPN related bugs.
- Fixed schedule reboot bugs.
- Improved AiMesh compatibility.
- Improved system stability.

If I use the asus firmwares before this one, the connection stability/bandwidth/latency are fine. But if I use an asus firmware for the mesh node, it gets automatically updated to the latest asus firmware somehow whenever I add the aimesh node or reboot the node through the router phone app. I found that merlin firmware 384.13 is the last firmware before he merged it with the problematic asus firmware. Using that merlin firmware on the mesh node stops auto updates and now it works fine. The main router is using the latest merlin firmware.

To clarify, I always nvram reset after firmware updates and re-add the aimesh node. The mesh node has ethernet backhaul to the main router, and priority connection is set to ethernet. There should be no issue with the ethernet backhaul connection, it works fine on older firmwares.

However, I notice that more recent firmwares have much better handling of device handoff between router and node. I hope to find a fix to the above problem on the newer firmwares to have the better aimesh hopping. Is this a known problem or is it just me? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks.
You've covered many bases.... may need to think outside the box.

Generally speaking, your report is not common here for the 68U so there may still be a local cause.

Have you tried removing the wired backhaul to see how a wireless backhaul responds? You may need to move the node closer for a decent backhaul connection.

I notice that 86U 81039 introduced excessive Auto channel scanning and was royally dysfunctional and quickly pulled. 86U 81049 followed it with the same excessive Auto channel scanning. It was then that I stopped using Smart Connect since it forced Auto channels, and began using different SSIDs and fixed channels. There is no Smart Connect on the 68U but if you are using Auto channels in your environment, I would try fixed channels instead.

Note: 86U Smart Connect no longer forces Auto channels.... but I still don't use it.

OE
 

CaramelFries

New Around Here
I have the same latency and dropped connection issues. My setup is a AC86U as an AiMesh Router and two AC68Us as AiMesh Nodes on a wireless backhaul. I'm running Merlin 384.19 on all. I've been seeing these issues in the past month or so. I lose internet on a few devices (not all) and the issue gets corrected after waiting a couple of minutes. Thanks to the OP, I'm going to try downgrading to 384.13 to see if it fixes the issues.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I have the same latency and dropped connection issues. My setup is a AC86U as an AiMesh Router and two AC68Us as AiMesh Nodes on a wireless backhaul. I'm running Merlin 384.19 on all. I've been seeing these issues in the past month or so. I lose internet on a few devices (not all) and the issue gets corrected after waiting a couple of minutes. Thanks to the OP, I'm going to try downgrading to 384.13 to see if it fixes the issues.
What is the manufacture year and country on your 86U label?

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
2018 China
Beware 2018 China 86Us dying on you. Before they do, weird things happen. If you feel alone in your suspected firmware trouble, it could be failing 2018 86U China hardware. My two died.

OE
 

CaramelFries

New Around Here
Beware 2018 China 86Us dying on you. Before they do, weird things happen. If you feel alone in your suspected firmware trouble, it could be failing 2018 86U China hardware. My two died.

OE
I'll keep this in mind. However, I feel it could be a firmware issue. I dont have the disconnection issues when I run just the 86U with no AiMesh nodes.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
To rule out (as much as possible) if it is a hardware/firmware/configuration issue or not, you may want to try following all the suggestions in the link below.

 

CaramelFries

New Around Here
To rule out (as much as possible) if it is a hardware/firmware/configuration issue or not, you may want to try following all the suggestions in the link below.

Thank you for the pretty detailed instructions on doing a factory reset. I downgraded the firmware to Merlin 384.13 yesterday (on the router and the nodes) and the setup has been very stable for the past 24 hours. I'll try your reset recommendations if the problem comes back.
 

ChoppedBroccoli

New Around Here
Thank you for the pretty detailed instructions on doing a factory reset. I downgraded the firmware to Merlin 384.13 yesterday (on the router and the nodes) and the setup has been very stable for the past 24 hours. I'll try your reset recommendations if the problem comes back.
After 4 months of guess and check around many issues, I also finally landed on 384.13 for stability. Installed that 72 hours ago and no problems yet. ASUS seems to have introduced either a wireless bug or a AiMesh bug in a build pulled in on 384.14. On my network any build after 384.13 has random wireless disconnects for clients on the main router or node router:

 
Last edited:

kakashisensei

New Around Here
Havent checked this thread back until now. Glad to hear some people have reported good results with 384.13.
Fyi both my ac68u routers are the tmobile one converted to ac68u. I have configured the jfss partition correctly i think.
Been running on 384.13 for the node and its been great. 384.19 on the main router is fine.
Wireless backhaul was alot more stable than wired with newer firmwares, but still had some moments of significant packet loss / connection slowdowns drops when testing.
 

ChoppedBroccoli

New Around Here
Havent checked this thread back until now. Glad to hear some people have reported good results with 384.13.
Fyi both my ac68u routers are the tmobile one converted to ac68u. I have configured the jfss partition correctly i think.
Been running on 384.13 for the node and its been great. 384.19 on the main router is fine.
Wireless backhaul was alot more stable than wired with newer firmwares, but still had some moments of significant packet loss / connection slowdowns drops when testing.
Interesting. I'd be inclined to try 384.19 on the main router and 384.13 on the node so I can get the latest features and security updates, but on my network even the main router was dropping wireless clients on 384.18 indicating that to me it was likely not a AiMesh bug but a wireless bug.
 

Ronald Schwerer

Very Senior Member
Havent checked this thread back until now. Glad to hear some people have reported good results with 384.13.
Fyi both my ac68u routers are the tmobile one converted to ac68u. I have configured the jfss partition correctly i think.
Been running on 384.13 for the node and its been great. 384.19 on the main router is fine.
Wireless backhaul was alot more stable than wired with newer firmwares, but still had some moments of significant packet loss / connection slowdowns drops when testing.
I suspect your help will quickly dry-up do to TMI.
 

darkgiants

New Around Here
I just wanted to say that I was having this very same issue. I have two AC-RT68U's (originally T-Mobile version flashed as AC-RT68U running Merlin-WRT), and at the time, both the AiMesh Node and Router were running the latest firmware of Merlin-WRT (384.19). I decided to only downgrade my AiMesh Node to 384.13, but keeping the main Router at 384.19, and boom, no more internet connectivity drops when connected to the AiMesh node. It has been stable for the last couple of days since applying this change.

I am therefore curious about what could be causing the issue where a downgrade resolved the issue, obviously it is likely a bug. If it helps, my AiMesh Node is connected via WiFi (no wired backhaul).
 

ChoppedBroccoli

New Around Here
I just wanted to say that I was having this very same issue. I have two AC-RT68U's (originally T-Mobile version flashed as AC-RT68U running Merlin-WRT), and at the time, both the AiMesh Node and Router were running the latest firmware of Merlin-WRT (384.19). I decided to only downgrade my AiMesh Node to 384.13, but keeping the main Router at 384.19, and boom, no more internet connectivity drops when connected to the AiMesh node. It has been stable for the last couple of days since applying this change.

I am therefore curious about what could be causing the issue where a downgrade resolved the issue, obviously it is likely a bug. If it helps, my AiMesh Node is connected via WiFi (no wired backhaul).
Interesting, you are the 2nd or 3rd person running the latest version on the main router with no issues. I *might* be inclined to go back to the latest build on the main node and see if its stable for me (and get another data point to support the 'its an newer AiMesh update' bug theory), but its been over a week for me with no problems running 384.13 on both nodes. It has been nice to not have to troubleshoot router issues for a full week for the first time in months
 

ecantona9

Occasional Visitor
Since it has been a month since the last post has using 384.13 on all parts on the main router and nodes worked for anyone? I have 384.19 on the main AC3100 and 384.13 on the node which is an AC68U but I get drops on the node about twice a day that I can tell. I am also using a wireless backhaul. I have not tried using 384.13 on the main router yet. I'm thinking of just changing the node to a media bridge since I just wanted to get coverage for my smart tv and xbox one in the basement. Any opinions?
 

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top