Why do my two Asus RT-AC86U routers drop WiFi when AIMesh connected?

hiptech

New Around Here
I've tried every possible configuration to connect these 2 routers in a AIMesh mode but the wireless signal only lasts a few minutes and then the downstream router stops transmitting any signal while the main unit continues to work fine. They're connected on opposite sides of a single story 2500 sqft house using Cat 6 cable as the back-haul. One router was manufactured in 2017 and the other in 2019. When I first got them they worked great for a year or so.

During my troubleshooting I swapped the two routers and reconfigured them the identically with the same results. When I do connect a client to the remote router using an Ethernet cable it does work just not WiFi. Funny thing is when either are setup as a single router (not mesh) the WiFi works good. I've also tried every variation on the AIMesh setup controls and whichever way I adjust them the results are always the same - no WiFi.

Just a point of reference I did have a 3rd AC86U in 2018 that suffered a defective WiFi radio. Luckily it was under warranty and Asus exchanged it for my current 2019 model. Not sure if this is significant since as I say they do work fine separately just not in AIMesh config so it doesn't seem to make sense that the WiFi radio is defective or is it?

Anyone else experience this, Is it time for new routers?
Any help would be appreciated...

Sorry, just realized this is in the wrong section. Any mod please move this please
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I've tried every possible configuration to connect these 2 routers in a AIMesh mode but the wireless signal only lasts a few minutes and then the downstream router stops transmitting any signal while the main unit continues to work fine. They're connected on opposite sides of a single story 2500 sqft house using Cat 6 cable as the back-haul. One router was manufactured in 2017 and the other in 2019. When I first got them they worked great for a year or so.

During my troubleshooting I swapped the two routers and reconfigured them the identically with the same results. When I do connect a client to the remote router using an Ethernet cable it does work just not WiFi. Funny thing is when either are setup as a single router (not mesh) the WiFi works good. I've also tried every variation on the AIMesh setup controls and whichever way I adjust them the results are always the same - no WiFi.

Just a point of reference I did have a 3rd AC86U in 2018 that suffered a defective WiFi radio. Luckily it was under warranty and Asus exchanged it for my current 2019 model. Not sure if this is significant since as I say they do work fine separately just not in AIMesh config so it doesn't seem to make sense that the WiFi radio is defective or is it?

Anyone else experience this, Is it time for new routers?
Any help would be appreciated...

Sorry, just realized this is in the wrong section. Any mod please move this please

Have you tried watching the Wifi signal using a WiFi analyzer app? If the signal is not stable, then perhaps the radio is failing.

OE
 

fisherman

Occasional Visitor
...Funny thing is when either are setup as a single router (not mesh) the WiFi works good. I've also tried every variation on the AIMesh setup controls and whichever way I adjust them the results are always the same - no WiFi.
....
If "the WiFi works good" in single router mode that suggests the radios are OK. Have you tried setting-up the 2nd one as an Access Point?

Have you double- and triple-checked that the interconnecting cable and connectors are perfect? When looking at the General > AiMesh > Topology > Node device does your node's Connection Quality show as Great?

I have a CAT5E cable as backbone:

image.jpg
 
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hiptech

New Around Here
@OzarkEdge
Yes I've used an app and my phone's WiFi setting which indicates network speed. Both show a signal degradation down to 0 Mbps.

@fisherman
I ran the Cat6 backbone cable through the walls several years ago so I'm unable to visibly inspect it. But the terminations at both end appear good. For verification I did the swap the Ethernet pigtails leading from the wall jack to the router at the remote location and replaced the switch and Ethernet cable at the main site in my office. The AIMesh topology always indicates the signal as great.

When time permits I may just pickup another 50'-75' length of Ethernet cable, run it across the house and connect both routers and see if anything changes. If that doesn't fix anything I'm done... time for a new pair of routers.

Which opens up new questions about choosing two RT-AX86U models or going with a set of dedicated Mesh devices?
 

fisherman

Occasional Visitor
...When time permits I may just pickup another 50'-75' length of Ethernet cable, run it across the house and connect both routers and see if anything changes. If that doesn't fix anything I'm done... time for a new pair of routers...
IMO you're better off buying a cable tester. But I doubt that is the problem if WiFi is dropping-out.

This is an odd one.
 

azuza

New Around Here
I'm having almost the exact same problems, except my AiMesh node isn't another AX86U, but ZenWifi minis.

My wifi connection seems to constantly drop for my tablets, phones, and smart home devices. Wired connection is usually okay, except when there seems to be something going on with OpenNAT and gaming. I'm not sure whether its the gaming servers or that I just started learning to use my ASUS router setup.

(OT/OTH: I'd imagine during this particular "passage of time", it'd be funny if an astrology joke would pop up in these forums here and see how many people would get it.)
 

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