Some AIMesh Advice needed

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Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
Hi, I have an RT-AC68P and an RT-AC68U. Currently, I have the RT-AC68U set up as the main mesh router and the RT-AC68P as the Node. They are connected via wifi. It show 2.4G under the AiMesh column under Network Map tab. Is that right?

1. Having learned the P is better hardware than the U, should I swap their duties?
2. If I look at the Network Map I can see the AiMesh Node: go from 1 to 0 every ten seconds or so. Does that mean it is disconnecting/reconnecting?
3. I have noticed, all my 5G capable devices only connect to the main router. Shouldn't they roam to the Node when they are far from the router and closer to the node?
4. Should I use the same or different SSIDs for the two bands? I currently have different SSIds for different bands.
5. Use Roaming Helper or not?
6. After a few days the connections start to fail, so I set up a daily reboot. Does the router and the Node reboot on schedule or just the main router? Does it even matter?
7. The routers are approximately 15 ft apart with clear line of sight. Too close?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi, I have an RT-AC68P and an RT-AC68U. Currently, I have the RT-AC68U set up as the main mesh router and the RT-AC68P as the Node. They are connected via wifi. It show 2.4G under the AiMesh column under Network Map tab. Is that right?

1. Having learned the P is better hardware than the U, should I swap their duties?
2. If I look at the Network Map I can see the AiMesh Node: go from 1 to 0 every ten seconds or so. Does that mean it is disconnecting/reconnecting?
3. I have noticed, all my 5G capable devices only connect to the main router. Shouldn't they roam to the Node when they are far from the router and closer to the node?
4. Should I use the same or different SSIDs for the two bands? I currently have different SSIds for different bands.
5. Use Roaming Helper or not?
6. After a few days the connections start to fail, so I set up a daily reboot. Does the router and the Node reboot on schedule or just the main router? Does it even matter?
7. The routers are approximately 15 ft apart with clear line of sight. Too close?

The wireless backhaul should use the 5.0 GHz band for a better connection. Maybe the node is not right... is it broadcasting a 5.0 GHz signal? Did you factory default reset all routers before configuration?

1. Perhaps... I'm not familiar with their differences.

2. Does not sound stable. I would set it up again.

3. Is the node broadcasting a 5.0 GHz signal? A WiFi Analyzer app helps to see signals around you.

4. The 68Us/AC1900s do not support Smart Connect node band steering, so use separate SSIDs.

5. Leave Roaming Assistant node steering at defaults until your network is working and needs this tweaked, depending on the backhaul distance/signal overlap.

6. Something is not right. Make sure you reset to factory defaults before configuring the router from scratch. See my notes for clues.

7. Why do you need a second WiFi AP/node if your backhaul is only 15'? Setup just the router and walk around with a WiFi Analyzer app to assess you signal range.

OE
 

Grisu

Part of the Furniture
would be slightly better to swap them to have 1.4GHz (P) as main router and 1.0GHz (U) as ordinary AP.
In a mesh scenario you should use same SSID on 2 and 5G.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
In a mesh scenario you should use same SSID on 2 and 5G.

Ideally. But by my experience without Smart Connect, wireless clients will connect more definitively to the preferred band when using separate SSIDs.

OE
 

Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
Thanks guy, I am rebuilding my network now. Using the 68p as the main router. The reason I bought a secondary router for mesh is that my Ring
Ideally. But by my experience without Smart Connect, wireless clients will connect more definitively to the preferred band when using separate SSIDs.

OE

doorbell was slightly out of range. With the 68P, it has 1 bar signal strength. Everything else looks good without mesh so far.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks guy, I am rebuilding my network now. Using the 68p as the main router. The reason I bought a secondary router for mesh is that my Ring doorbell was slightly out of range. With the 68P, it has 1 bar signal strength. Everything else looks good without mesh so far.

Swapping the router roles can also help reveal a hardware issue by moving it around. Get the router working first and then layer on the node.

I understand your range need. I replaced a 2x68U AiMesh with a 2x86U AiMesh to reach my detached garage for a VoIP phone and driveway cam... and for Smart Connect support for using same SSIDs (which I currently have disabled due to a suspected defect in firmware 45717... AiMesh is slick but ASUS has been struggling with the firmware complexity, imo... I'm trusting they will work things through like good engineers do).

Your 15' backhaul may be on the short side. Before you wrestle with excessive signal/overlap, review your node placement... you might find it easier to stretch the wireless backhaul a bit to resolve any related client connection issues.

OE
 

Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
Swapping the router roles can also help reveal a hardware issue by moving it around. Get the router working first and then layer on the node.

I understand your range need. I replaced a 2x68U AiMesh with a 2x86U AiMesh to reach my detached garage for a VoIP phone and driveway cam... and for Smart Connect support for using same SSIDs (which I currently have disabled due to a suspected defect in firmware 45717... AiMesh is slick but ASUS has been struggling with the firmware complexity, imo... I'm trusting they will work things through like good engineers do).

Your 15' backhaul may be on the short side. Before you wrestle with excessive signal/overlap, review your node placement... you might find it easier to stretch the wireless backhaul a bit to resolve any related client connection issues.


I am not 100% certain I know what Smart connect is. Is that a setting in the router?

For the 15' backhaul. I used 15' to set up the AIMesh, but never moved the second router. :rolleyes: I was having issues in the beginning and just never got around to moving it once they were done.

Currently, only running my one 68P router and things are working fine so far. May not need the mesh after all. we'll see.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I am not 100% certain I know what Smart connect is. Is that a setting in the router?

For the 15' backhaul. I used 15' to set up the AIMesh, but never moved the second router. :rolleyes: I was having issues in the beginning and just never got around to moving it once they were done.

Currently, only running my one 68P router and things are working fine so far. May not need the mesh after all. we'll see.

Smart Connect node band steering is a router feature that encourages wireless clients to connect to the better band/signal/SSID when using same SSIDs. Your routers do not support Smart Connect.

A disadvantage of Smart Connect as currently implemented is that it forces the use of Auto settings for the WiFi settings, so you cannot not fix the channels used.

OE
 

Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
Ok, I’ve set my network back up to use aimesh. 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs. What’s weird to me is I have an Apple TV which seems to only connect to the main router which is about 20 ft farther from the ATV than the mesh node. Is there a reason that might be happening? Also, it seems the mesh node falls off the network once every couple of hours. It is one floor below the main router directly beneath it. (Approximately 15 feet)
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Ok, I’ve set my network back up to use aimesh. 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs. What’s weird to me is I have an Apple TV which seems to only connect to the main router which is about 20 ft farther from the ATV than the mesh node. Is there a reason that might be happening? Also, it seems the mesh node falls off the network once every couple of hours. It is one floor below the main router directly beneath it. (Approximately 15 feet)

Check the Wireless Log for the node backhaul MACs to see that both radios are in the backhaul and at what RSSI and Tx/Rx rates they are operating.

OE
 

Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the reply. I don't know how to tell if they are in the backhaul or not. At the bottom of the Stations list I see the MAC of the node with the following:

RSSI: 59dBm
PHY: ac
PSM: No
SGI: Yes
STBC: Yes
Tx rate 780M
RX: 6.5M

Does STBC indicate the backhaul? Attaching wireless log in case that helps. thanks again!
 

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OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for the reply. I don't know how to tell if they are in the backhaul or not. At the bottom of the Stations list I see the MAC of the node with the following:

RSSI: 59dBm
PHY: ac
PSM: No
SGI: Yes
STBC: Yes
Tx rate 780M
RX: 6.5M

Does STBC indicate the backhaul? Attacking wireless log in case that helps. thanks again!

The MACs beginning with 4C:ED: appear to be your 2.4 and 5.0 GHz backhauls... and they seem ok signal-wise.

You do not appear to be using separate SSIDs. You do not have Smart Connect. I wonder if using separate SSIDs would help your connection stability?

OE
 

Brad Isaac

Occasional Visitor
OE, thanks for the help. Here is the latest. Last night I was trying to get all my living-room equipment to connect to the mesh node since it's closer than the main node. After rebooting everything, my Apple TV and my laptop ended up on the mesh node. The mesh node is mounted in ceiling in the living room. It is the closest device to the main router and has direct line of sight. Anyway, I had a great picture and sound for an hour...Then it suddenly went as blurry as a video encoded in 1995.:mad: I checked. Sure enough the connection hopped over the mesh node so it could attach to the main router! Why???

I was at my wits end. I was seconds away from unplugging both routers and picking up a Google Mesh system. :( Then I remembered someone saying they had some luck lowering the TX power on their main router. So I bumped that down a notch. So far, since last night the Apple TV and all my living-room devices have been connected to the mesh router! :) Getting 1 ms of latency from my laptop to the main router. I've even rebooted the routers and living-room equipment all connect right back to the mesh router! Can't wait to try it tonight with some streaming and see how it goes.

Oh yeah do you recommend Roaming helper be on or off? I currently have it off for 2.4 band and on for 5GHz set to disconnect lower than -70dBm.
Thanks again!
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
OE, thanks for the help. Here is the latest. Last night I was trying to get all my living-room equipment to connect to the mesh node since it's closer than the main node. After rebooting everything, my Apple TV and my laptop ended up on the mesh node. The mesh node is mounted in ceiling in the living room. It is the closest device to the main router and has direct line of sight. Anyway, I had a great picture and sound for an hour...Then it suddenly went as blurry as a video encoded in 1995.:mad: I checked. Sure enough the connection hopped over the mesh node so it could attach to the main router! Why???

I was at my wits end. I was seconds away from unplugging both routers and picking up a Google Mesh system. :( Then I remembered someone saying they had some luck lowering the TX power on their main router. So I bumped that down a notch. So far, since last night the Apple TV and all my living-room devices have been connected to the mesh router! :) Getting 1 ms of latency from my laptop to the main router. I've even rebooted the routers and living-room equipment all connect right back to the mesh router! Can't wait to try it tonight with some streaming and see how it goes.

Oh yeah do you recommend Roaming helper be on or off? I currently have it off for 2.4 band and on for 5GHz set to disconnect lower than -70dBm.
Thanks again!

I use the defaults for Roaming Assistant... seems to work ok.

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I was at my wits end. I was seconds away from unplugging both routers and picking up a Google Mesh system. :( Then I remembered someone saying they had some luck lowering the TX power on their main router. So I bumped that down a notch. So far, since last night the Apple TV and all my living-room devices have been connected to the mesh router! :) Getting 1 ms of latency from my laptop to the main router. I've even rebooted the routers and living-room equipment all connect right back to the mesh router! Can't wait to try it tonight with some streaming and see how it goes.

This makes sense given your very short backhauls. If you consider items 3 and 5 in this post, you might discover just how much your signal power overlaps and then see where clients might choose one node signal over the other. Reducing transmission power may have compensated for having too much signal overlap, giving your clients a more clear and obvious node connection choice. How does it affect your backhaul numbers in the log? It will reduce your overall perimeter range, which may not be ideal... it may be better to increase the node-to-node distance, or increase the Roaming Assistant RSSI power thresholds, i.e., roam at higher (less negative) power levels... I'd increase the node-to-node distance first, if possible.

OE
 
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