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RT-AC86U using RT-N66U as repeater not working

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So I upgraded(?) from my not so trusty RT-N66U to a shiny new RT-AC86U in the hope of getting a little more wi-fi range. Unfortunately I occasionally need a little more than it can provide so decided to recycle the RT-N66U as a repeater.

However no matter how much I try I cannot get this arrangement to work as the the RT-N66U refuses to connect to the RT-AC86U.

All routers are running the latest official firmware although I have also tried Merlin on the RT-N66U.

I have also tried removing wi-fi MAC security from the RT-AC86U as well as adding the RT-N66U to the permitted list.

The other thing I have tried is making sure that the RT-N66U SSID's differ from the ones used on the RT-AC86U but ideally I'd like them to match.

Also the RT-AC86U is on ip and the RT-N66U is on but I did try it as as well with no success.

I am at the point of admitting defeat unless anyone out there has any ideas what the issue may be.


Try Asuswrt-Merlin 380.66 on your RT-N66U.
Never tried Repeater mode, but Media Bridge doesn't work right on 380.70.
My router is RT-AC66U, bit it's a same hardware device as RT-N66U, except for the radios.
Unfortunately Asuswrt-Merlin 380.66 made no difference

I even tried making my host network open rather than WPA but nothing can persuade it to connect
I have also tried removing wi-fi MAC security
RT-N66U is on

Are you sure everything is set properly?
MAC security is disabled by default, repeater IP is assigned by DHCP by default. RT-N66U is a N router, is 5GHz network on RT-AC86U set on Auto? Didn't you forget something preventing the connection? I switched my RT-AC66U to Repeater Mode for test purposes and it connects to RT-AC86U in seconds. Both RT-N66U and RT-AC66U have exactly the same BCM4706 CPU and the same BCM4331 2.4GHz radio. Can yours connect to 2.4GHz network?

Change some of your Wireless settings on RT-AC86U for maximum compatibility and test again:

Wireless mode - Auto
Protected Management Frames - Disabled
Bluetooth Coexistence - Disabled
Roaming Assistant - Disabled
Enable TX Bursting - Disabled
Modulation Scheme - up to N for 2.4GHz, up to AC for 5GHz
Airtime Fairness - Disabled
Multi-User MIMO - Disabled
Beamforming - Disabled (both options)

If RT-N66U still refuses to connect, something must be wrong with it.
I eventually got it working by reflashing latest official ASUS firmware and doing a factory reset. I did a few more tests and it appears that whenever I load the old config for when it was in router mode and go into admin and switch to repeater mode it never works. However doing a factory reset and configuring as repeater from there it seems to work.

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