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Setup a new AC68U as AiMesh node

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by menaceinc, Mar 25, 2020 at 8:02 PM.

  1. menaceinc

    menaceinc Occasional Visitor

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    I'm currently running an AC68U with the latest Merlin firmware. I just ordered another AC68U and plan to use as AiMesh node, what is best way to set it up.

    1) Install the latest Merlin on the new AC68U and then set it up as AiMesh.
    2) Reinstall stock firmware on the old AC68U (the main router) and both routers will be running stock firmware.

    Thanks
     
  2. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Part of the Furniture

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    With Merlin on the router, you can run stock or Merlin on the node. If you run stock on the node, maybe it should be the same version Merlin is based on(?).

    OE
     
  3. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    1) I would install the same version of RMerlin as you have on your main router, and if you feel like testing, the latest 384.16 Beta 2 is very stable too while you're waiting for the new 'AC68U to arrive. :)

    2) Not an option! :)

    Note that the only thing needed to use it as an AiMesh node after flashing the RMerlin firmware you want to use and then doing a full reset to factory defaults is simply 'point' to the new router from the main router's GUI and it will be automatic from there. After doing a full reset on the new router with the firmware you want, don't touch it at all. ;)
     
  4. menaceinc

    menaceinc Occasional Visitor

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    A good tip.

    Thanks
     
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  5. cmkelley

    cmkelley Very Senior Member

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    I also just bought an AC68U to function as an AiMesh node ... My "new" (warranty replacement, a new shrink-wrapped unit) AC86U is of course running Merlin, but I simply don't see any advantage to running Merlin on the node. As far as I can tell, you can't ssh into the node, so you can't run custom scripts, the webui redirects to the main router, etc. The AiMesh software is close source so it's not like Eric is going to be able to enhance it. I'm running the latest stock on my node, I don't see any reason to do anything else.
     
  6. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    You can SSH to nodes and run custom scripts, I do it on all 4 of mine.
    If you add an SSH key to the main router it is even pushed to the node (but ONLY if the node is running Merlin).

    The other advantage of running Merlin on the node is you can be sure the Main and node(s) are based on the same GPL release and so are using the same version of AiMesh code. Myself and others have seen significantly better stability by ensuring the same GPL across the network (be it through careful selection of stock firmware on the nodes or running the same version of Merlin - the latter is much simpler and requires no brainpower!).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Elmer

    Elmer Regular Contributor

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    I have two devices in mesh and have been running Merlin on the main router and Asus on the two mesh units. I didn't realize there was any benefit to running Merlin on all, but after JDB's comment, I'll probably switch to Merlin on all. Thanks for the thread.
     
  8. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Part of the Furniture

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    Good point! However, I feel that the Asuswrt-Merlin/download should clearly state front and center which version of Asuswrt it is based on. Then the AiMesh user would not have to dig around to find out to be sure they are using the matching Asuswrt version on their remote nodes. This confusion and potential conflict arose once Asuswrt-Merlin began supporting the AiMesh system of more than one router, more than one firmware install.

    OE
     
  9. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    Yea I agree, having the latest GPL merged version included in the Merlin filename would be very handy!


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  10. cmkelley

    cmkelley Very Senior Member

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    Huh. Running stock on the node I couldn't ssh into it at all. Understood about running the same GPL release on the main and node, although since the AiMesh code is just a binary blob (unless that's changed), you can't know for certain that all models are on the same internal version. Still, worth checking out. Do the scripts auto-execute when the node boots or do you have to go in and hand-start them?
     
  11. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    Scripts all work as expected including auto running on boot yes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    It's always documented in the changelog.

    No. First of all, the filenames and version numbers are complex enough as it is, I'm not going to add more numbers to it. Also, the GPL version varies between models, so it will confuse a lot of people when they start getting different versions for every single model.

    And finally, the majority of models are hybrids of GPL code from one version and binary blobs from one version. I'm not going to release RT-AX88U version 384.16._2.7977.8235.
     
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  13. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Part of the Furniture

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    If it doesn't matter what stock firmware is installed on remote nodes, then no problem.

    But if it does, then it might be helpful to indicate this where it would be most readily useful to the user. If that is the change log, then that is where we shall tell them to go look.

    OE
     
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  14. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    I am glad my gut instinct was right to put RMerlin firmware on the second RT-AC86U used as a node in AiMesh for my customer. :)

    That setup was running without a reboot for almost 44 or 45 days. It just didn't seem 'right' to me to be running different firmware across them. Now I know why. :)
     
  15. Kingp1n

    Kingp1n Senior Member

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    What kind of custom scripts can you run on a node? I'm curious now :)
     
  16. JDB

    JDB Very Senior Member

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    So one of my nodes has my NAS attached and I wanted to take advantage of the link aggregation. Due to lack of GUI to set that the script sets it up under the hood on each boot.

    Another one I run on all of them in different forms periodically checks for connectivity to each of their connected ethernet devices as well as back to the main router.
    If anything is a miss it notifies me by email (if possible) and/or attempts to take remedial action (remote reboot of some devices or reboot itself).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Ronald Schwerer

    Ronald Schwerer Senior Member

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    I run a script every 30 min on my nodes to send the CPU and radio temps back to the router's syslog.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 9:08 AM
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