RT-Ac86U Mesh setup problems

johnmac1952

New Around Here
I bought a new RT-AC86 to setup as a mesh router. No matter how I try it won't install. It get to 50% the speed to 100% and give me the message that it was unsuccessful. I've tried with all the same firmware, resetting. and even wired. Nothing. Any suggestions????
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
AiMesh wireless node discovery doesn't work in Asuswrt-Merlin. Use stock Asuswrt on the node and add it to the Asuswrt-Merlin running router using wired connection. After the node is discovered and you see it in your AiMesh page, you can disconnect the wire and go wireless.
 

johnmac1952

New Around Here
AiMesh wireless node discovery doesn't work in Asuswrt-Merlin. Use stock Asuswrt on the node and add it to the Asuswrt-Merlin running router using wired connection. After the node is discovered and you see it in your AiMesh page, you can disconnect the wire and go wireless.
Tried that and it discovered it. After unplugging the cable and power I moved it to where it was needed.It show that it is part of the Mesh network but Offline even though the lights are on and it's plugged into a reliable source. It just isn't plugged into a cat5 wire.
 

OPR

Occasional Visitor
Tried that and it discovered it. After unplugging the cable and power I moved it to where it was needed.It show that it is part of the Mesh network but Offline even though the lights are on and it's plugged into a reliable source. It just isn't plugged into a cat5 wire.
I bought a new RT-AC86 to setup as a mesh router. No matter how I try it won't install. It get to 50% the speed to 100% and give me the message that it was unsuccessful. I've tried with all the same firmware, resetting. and even wired. Nothing. Any suggestions????
I had a very similar problem while recently setting up a mesh with 2x RT-AC88U:

1. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on both, by any combination of wireless or wired connection, the prospective node unit would be recognised as available, but when confirmed to join, the settings screen would get to 1% then abort with the "unable to add node" popup.

2. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on mesh root and latest stock AsusWRT 386_48260 on node, the exact same result was seen.

3. Only when I downgraded the mesh root to Merlin 386.5_2 and left the node as it was, did everything function perfectly smoothly, quickly and wirelessly. [am still testing long-term reliability of this setup, with wireless 5GHz backhaul, but so far it is looking great]

4. My interim conclusion [open to correction, ofc] is that Merlin 386.7_2 is borked for mesh, at least on my model and the same may well apply to your closely related one.

Good luck!
 

jata

Senior Member
I had a very similar problem while recently setting up a mesh with 2x RT-AC88U:

1. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on both, by any combination of wireless or wired connection, the prospective node unit would be recognised as available, but when confirmed to join, the settings screen would get to 1% then abort with the "unable to add node" popup.

2. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on mesh root and latest stock AsusWRT 386_48260 on node, the exact same result was seen.

3. Only when I downgraded the mesh root to Merlin 386.5_2 and left the node as it was, did everything function perfectly smoothly, quickly and wirelessly. [am still testing long-term reliability of this setup, with wireless 5GHz backhaul, but so far it is looking great]

4. My interim conclusion [open to correction, ofc] is that Merlin 386.7_2 is borked for mesh, at least on my model and the same may well apply to your closely related one.

Good luck!
I don't think/agree 386.7_2 is 'borked for mesh' as I have set it up as a clean install on my AX86S with 3 nodes (nodes all on stock). I agree with @Tech9 that you need to do the initial setup of each node connected directly to the router using a good cable from router lan to node wan port.
 

OPR

Occasional Visitor
I don't think/agree 386.7_2 is 'borked for mesh' as I have set it up as a clean install on my AX86S with 3 nodes (nodes all on stock). I agree with @Tech9 that you need to do the initial setup of each node connected directly to the router using a good cable from router lan to node wan port.

An AX86S is a whole different class of device than my (largely deprecated AFAIK) AC88U, and has presumably had more recent commits to the firmware. In any case rest assured it was quite impossible to establish a mesh using two AC88U on Merlin 386.7_2, and I did try with several known working cables from router lan to node wan, whereas dropping to the Merlin version from ~2 months earlier (or the latest stock AsusWRT) solved the problem immediately without any cable.

This user makes essentially the same comment, so it appears I am not alone in the experience:

  • radiorecon -- Edited 2022-09-07
    AI MESH broken in 386.7 2 final build for RT-AC88U Try as AIMESH master router ZEN ZD4R, Lyra Voice Then connect RT-AC88u as node. WPS on -- no connection can be DONE! Return to Asus official Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.386.48260 and it work!
 

jata

Senior Member
All good. Happy you have it working
 

johnmac1952

New Around Here
I had a very similar problem while recently setting up a mesh with 2x RT-AC88U:

1. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on both, by any combination of wireless or wired connection, the prospective node unit would be recognised as available, but when confirmed to join, the settings screen would get to 1% then abort with the "unable to add node" popup.

2. With latest Merlin 386.7_2 release on mesh root and latest stock AsusWRT 386_48260 on node, the exact same result was seen.

3. Only when I downgraded the mesh root to Merlin 386.5_2 and left the node as it was, did everything function perfectly smoothly, quickly and wirelessly. [am still testing long-term reliability of this setup, with wireless 5GHz backhaul, but so far it is looking great]

4. My interim conclusion [open to correction, ofc] is that Merlin 386.7_2 is borked for mesh, at least on my model and the same may well apply to your closely related one.

Good luck!
put the latest Asus releases on the rt-ac86u's and the mesh in stalled. as soon as moved them from the AX88 area they were still in Mesh mode but offline. ??? Tried rebooting the RT-Ax88 and lost both nodes. so much for Mesh routers!
 

OPR

Occasional Visitor
put the latest Asus releases on the rt-ac86u's and the mesh in stalled. as soon as moved them from the AX88 area they were still in Mesh mode but offline. ??? Tried rebooting the RT-Ax88 and lost both nodes. so much for Mesh routers!
Did you keep the 2.4GHz band activated in the nodes? It is needed to reestablish the wireless backhaul after a power cycle.

Otherwise, once the AC86U nodes are recognised beside the AX88, test in increments of <=10m how far away you can power one up again and have it still achieve wireless uplink. Thus you can determine where the limit lies for a useful placement.

Hope this helps!
 

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