Still in Box (from Jan. 2022) RT-AX86U - Update stock f/w directly to 386.7_2?

DroidST

Regular Contributor
I can't find the thread now, but I remember reading about issues when updating to a Merlin version directly from stock. If I remember correctly, it was suggested/recommended to upgrade to an earlier Merlin Version first, like 386.3_2 or something like that.

Is this the case? Or, should I just go directly to 386.7_2?

I haven't even taken the AX86U out of it's sealed box. I don't know the stock firmware version, yet.

I have some time to get this new router running as my new Primary.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I can't find the thread now, but I remember reading about issues when updating to a Merlin version directly from stock. If I remember correctly, it was suggested/recommended to upgrade to an earlier Merlin Version first, like 386.3_2 or something like that.

Is this the case? Or, should I just go directly to 386.7_2?

I haven't even taken the AX86U out of it's sealed box. I don't know the stock firmware version, yet.

I have some time to get this new router running as my new Primary.

Follow the installation instructions on the ASUSWRT-Merlin website and in the firmware release notes, if any.

Me, I would run current ASUSWRT firmware for a bit to establish the working baseline; then switch to ASUSWRT-Merlin, if you need it.

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
You wil definitely need to get it out of the box to update the firmware.
 
Last edited:

DroidST

Regular Contributor
^^^
o_O
 

IcecreamVille

Occasional Visitor
I can't find the thread now, but I remember reading about issues when updating to a Merlin version directly from stock. If I remember correctly, it was suggested/recommended to upgrade to an earlier Merlin Version first, like 386.3_2 or something like that.

Is this the case? Or, should I just go directly to 386.7_2?

I haven't even taken the AX86U out of it's sealed box. I don't know the stock firmware version, yet.

I have some time to get this new router running as my new Primary.
I experienced some very frustrating issues with putting 386.7_2 directly on my new 2022 RT-AX86U - they didn't pop up right away (took a few days).

There have been a few threads pertaining to issues with 386.7_2 - most involving reboots (mine included). It seems that it affects different users in different ways - mine cropped up when fiddling with AiMesh (more specifically, the topology).

A few days ago I flashed 386.5_2 to it & so far, things are running swimmingly. But want to wait at least a week before saying that my issue is solved & that something in 386.7_2 is definitely the culprit.

Good luck
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
A few days ago I flashed 386.5_2 to it & so far, things are running swimmingly.

Indeed. 386.5_2 is older, but better build. I found Asuswrt 49599 the best firmware for AX86U so far.
 

DroidST

Regular Contributor
There have been a few threads pertaining to issues with 386.7_2 - most involving reboots (mine included). It seems that it affects different users in different ways - mine cropped up when fiddling with AiMesh (more specifically, the topology).

A few days ago I flashed 386.5_2 to it & so far, things are running swimmingly. But want to wait at least a week before saying that my issue is solved & that something in 386.7_2 is definitely the culprit.

Good luck

I'm thinking of trying out AiMesh. Currently, my AC68U is setup in Repeater mode (and it also servers a 2nd house on our property via a Ubiquiti NanoStation locoM2). I'm going to setup the AX86U as a drop-in replacement for the AC86U and run that for a month or so. Then, I may attempt to configure AiMesh with both the AC86U and AC68U as nodes (running stock f/w). I'll start out testing the AC86U as a node to see how that runs, keeping the AC68U ready to go as a Repeater in case I run into issues. My AiMesh nodes would not be wired, all back haul connections will be wireless.

For a while, it seemed like AiMesh was nothing but trouble, many recommended just sticking with Repeater setups. Has AiMesh stabilized in the this year's updates?

How is AIMesh working for you? Do you have your nodes wired back to the primary or via wireless?
 

DroidST

Regular Contributor
Indeed. 386.5_2 is older, but better build. I found Asuswrt 49599 the best firmware for AX86U so far.
hmmm, I guess I should downgrade to Merlin's 386.5_2 then. I flashed 386.7_2 yesterday but have not started to configure it for my needs yet.

I'm curious, what version are you running on your AC86U?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I guess I should downgrade to Merlin's 386.5_2 then.

Try 386.7_2 yourself and decide. Run 49599 for a while though for comparison.

I'm curious, what version are you running on your AC86U?

It was running 48260, it's powered off. My Asus routers are for experiments only. If you want AiMesh experience as described by Asus, run stock firmware. Wireless node discovery doesn't work in Asuswrt-Merlin and you have to play with cables. Wireless AiMesh node is a repeater. No performance difference. From AC86U in wireless AiMesh you can get full speed to 2-stream AC client, but from AC68U you'll get about 150Mbps. In general I get better results in stock Asuswrt. Asuswrt-Merlin gives you more configuration options. The new 388 code Asuswrt has Merlin features except some GUI extras, global DNS filter (per device is available), advanced VPN configurations and custom scripts. Check the 388 beta for AX86U for a better idea. It has VPN Fusion with Wireguard in GUI, not available in current Asuswrt-Merlin.
 

128bit

Regular Contributor
fwiw, i'm in the oe camp here with a new box. it hurts no one and nothing to get a "feel" running stock! u can always upgrade afterwards and as a result have a better appreciation for merlinware. after all, it's your device and $$.

i have a long arduous background in hw/sw and we had an expression: "u can always tell the pioneers, cause of the arrows in their backs." so, unless absolutely imperative, i'll stage the upgrade. that written, early adopters are essential for developers.

i tried meshing my ac86u for a fringe client and it was an abomination. so i stayed the course and enabled a radio on my primary ap for wireless service to the one device that the ax86u couldn't reach.

there's another tenet u learn in sw development called the KISS principle - "Keep It Simple, Stupid."

personally, with the ax86u, my needs are more than covered for the foreseeable. sure, i said that with the ac86u and it was also true, but this is overkill. i have 2 of the same model 4k lg tvs - one wired (rj45) and another on the 5g/ac band and can't tell the difference with both streaming hdr content simultaneously.
 

IcecreamVille

Occasional Visitor
For a while, it seemed like AiMesh was nothing but trouble, many recommended just sticking with Repeater setups. Has AiMesh stabilized in the this year's updates?

How is AIMesh working for you? Do you have your nodes wired back to the primary or via wireless?
I was going to start a new thread to post about my AiMesh experiences, but since others have replied here, I'll post here.

Prior to AiMesh, I experimented with using media bridges & connecting old routers to be used as access points. The media bridge was connected on a guest network, and then I tried re-broadcasting the main SSID on the APs. Very clunky... and didn't work very well.

(This experience all comes form running Merlin-base software.)

AiMesh came along - had an RT-AC68P as my primary router at the time. I bought a few used RT-1900P units to use in the Mesh. I had continual problems... a lot of it, though, involved finding where to put the nodes. Too close, and node would "lock up". Got it working to the point where it was fairly stable, but would still have to reboot a node every week or so. After running for a few months, bought a used RT-AC86U (which just burnt out last month) & set it as my main router.

When 386 codebase came out, I had heard that many improvements were made to AiMesh (v2) - indeed there was! On the GUI side, the ability to reboot a node has come in very handy! Guest networks were now allowed, and the stability was much improved over v1.

As has been noted in other threads, though - I had issues adding nodes to my RT-AC86U (and now my RT-AX86U) wirelessly. Performing hard-wired works fine.

I think AiMesh is fantastic - I do wish that ASUS would (partially) open up the code for it, though. And I'll be the first to admit that I do not have it setup optimally... I presently am using Wi-Fi as the backhaul & only on a dual-band router. I'm hoping to hardwire a node or two in the next few months.
 

BreakingDad

Very Senior Member
fwiw, i'm in the oe camp here with a new box. it hurts no one and nothing to get a "feel" running stock! u can always upgrade afterwards and as a result have a better appreciation for merlinware. after all, it's your device and $$.
Depends on how you have used Asus routers for, if you are new to it, agree. If you have used them for years, straight to Merlin on upgrade.
 

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