WiFi and AiMesh Issue 3x RT-AC68U

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nycelitemaster

Occasional Visitor
Hi All,

I am writing to seek assistance. My house is 1100 sqft. Back in 2017, I added 1 RT-AC68A and 2x RT-AC68U. I have attached a floor plan and diagram that explain the whole placement of the routers. For the past 3 years, I ran RT-AC68A IP (192.168.1.1) as a main router/gateway and 2 RT-AC68U (192.168.1.2 and 192.168.2.1) as an AP Repeater. 1st RT-AC68A sits in my bedroom. Few months after I added Ring Bell to the front door which couldn't connect to my RT-AC68A, then I added a 2nd RT-AC68U (Ethernet backhauled w/ AC68A) on the other side of the house. Both devices sit 31 linear ft apart. This fixed my ring issue.Then I finished my basement and added an office. I also created separate SSIDs which allowed me to hook up devices by location (All devices near bedroom connected to AC68A, while all devices near Living, were connected to AC68U in living) and Basement devices were connected to AC68U in Basement

WiFi SSIDs are as follow
AC68A - WLAN and WLAN5G
AC68U - WLANLiving and WLAN5GLiving
AC68U - WLANBsmt and WLAN5GBsmt


This gave me an issue when I moved through one location to the other, wifi drops, and reconnects. To avoid this, I created a mesh network using AiMesh Nodes. I do not care about 3rd router being on a different network anymore. So all are on the same network. But my wifi signals have dropped and heavily fluctuate. New Firmware + AiMesh sort of reduced the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz range.

I did so much reading in the past few days, and adjusted the settings and reflashed the firmware and reset before and after all devices, and re-created mesh w/ 2 nodes. I used Wi-Fi Analyzer App and the signal coverage is ok w/ 2 Routers, but not excellent. You guys think am I overdoing w/ 3 routers that are causing the issue?

How many devices/nodes should I be using...

Secondly, my ring alarm system sits between Bedroom and Livingroom and constantly goes offline. I believe it is having issues with trying to figure out which to connect to...Any suggestion will be helpful. I am looking to streamline and improve my connectivity.


Note - all devices are running Merlin's latest firmware
Floor Plan.jpg
 
Last edited:

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hi All,

I am writing to seek assistance. My house is 1100 sqft. Back in 2017, I added 1 RT-AC68A and 2x RT-AC68U. I have attached a floor plan and diagram that explain the whole placement of the routers. For the past 3 years, I ran RT-AC68A IP (192.168.1.1) as a main router/gateway and 2 RT-AC68U (192.168.1.2 and 192.168.2.1) as an AP Repeater. 1st RT-AC68A sits in my bedroom. Few months after I added Ring Bell to the front door which couldn't connect to my RT-AC68A, then I added a 2nd RT-AC68U (Ethernet backhauled w/ AC68A) on the other side of the house. Both devices sit 31 linear ft apart. This fixed my ring issue.Then I finished my basement and added an office. I also created separate SSIDs which allowed me to hook up devices by location (All devices near bedroom connected to AC68A, while all devices near Living, were connected to AC68U in living) and Basement devices were connected to AC68U in Basement

WiFi SSIDs are as follow
AC68A - WLAN and WLAN5G
AC68U - WLANLiving and WLAN5GLiving
AC68U - WLANBsmt and WLAN5GBsmt


This gave me an issue when I moved through one location to the other, wifi drops, and reconnects. To avoid this, I created a mesh network using AiMesh Nodes. I do not care about 3rd router being on a different network anymore. So all are on the same network. But my wifi signals have dropped and heavily fluctuate. New Firmware + AiMesh sort of reduced the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz range.

I did so much reading in the past few days, and adjusted the settings and reflashed the firmware and reset before and after all devices, and re-created mesh w/ 2 nodes. I used Wi-Fi Analyzer App and the signal coverage is ok w/ 2 Routers, but not excellent. You guys think am I overdoing w/ 3 routers that are causing the issue?

How many devices/nodes should I be using...

Secondly, my ring alarm system sits between Bedroom and Livingroom and constantly goes offline. I believe it is having issues with trying to figure out which to connect to...Any suggestion will be helpful. I am looking to streamline and improve my connectivity.


Note - all devices are running Merlin's latest firmware
View attachment 31203

Three AiMesh nodes may be too much... WiFi and maintenance/cost.

I would try just the two RT-AC68Us... one in the near left corner of the living room (run a wire and simple switch to the media center, if necessary), and one in the basement office. Set different SSIDs.

My install notes suggest a basic configuration.

Where is the ISP connection?

Ignoring layout constraints, if you can make two AC68U nodes work inside and out, then you know that two newer routers like AC86U or AX86U will work even better.

OE
 

nycelitemaster

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for your reply.

So clarification
a) in Drawing empty Box between living and child room is a bathroom

b) the ISP Modem is right next to RT-AC68A in my bedroom

c) all routers are ethernet backhauled


What i tried so far
a) I turned off the office node, this leaves me with ample 2.4ghz signals from Both devices upstair. Office gets coverage from living room router, back basement gets coverage from bedroom router (AC68A)

b) if I put one in bedroom and one in basement. Then I get no 5ghz in living. Vice versa, placing router in living, I get no 5ghz in bedroom (I guess my house had old walls)

With the two setup, I get no 5ghz in the basement due to 5ghz small range. So bsmt node alleviate this.

Quick and small question- should I keep one SSID for 2.4ghz and 5ghz for Mesh or separate?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Quick and small question- should I keep one SSID for 2.4ghz and 5ghz for Mesh or separate?

You should use different SSIDs and connect clients to the preferred band. Otherwise, some clients may not connect to the best band. Because your routers do not support Smart Connect band steering.

This is in my notes.

OE
 

nycelitemaster

Occasional Visitor
You should use different SSIDs and connect clients to the preferred band. Otherwise, some clients may not connect to the best band. Because your routers do not support Smart Connect band steering.

This is in my notes.

OE
Thank you very much for your feedback. I'll keep the Asides separate
 

brobin

Occasional Visitor
First, The RT-AC68A is NOT listed as an AiMesh compatible router so let's put that one aside for now and just look at using the two AC68U versions which should be enough for your home. Either of the two can be the Primary node connected to the ISP with the other being an AiMesh node preferably connected with Ethernet backhaul. I'd start by moving the first floor router as close to the center of the home as you can conveniently do like in the upper left corner of the guest room in your drawing. Before adding the second node see what kind of signal you have everywhere and if you even need the second one, locate it near the weak signal area that you find. Adjust the antennas on the first floor unit so that one is straight up (vertical, one is a t a 45 degree angle and the other at a 90 degree angle (horizontal).
 

nycelitemaster

Occasional Visitor
Thank you. I purchased RT-AC68A from Amazon which is Amazon edition with AiMesh (my version) isn't one of the restricted/crippled version. I can also downgrade to any firmware without going into cfe on this box compared to my other two lol.

But yes, I can try keeping two routers. Just going to be a issue with ethernet backhaul if I move to guest room.
 

nycelitemaster

Occasional Visitor
so i tested the mesh. everything worked flawlessly in term of setting up and binding IPs to certain Nodes and etc.. What i hated is
a) you get limited access on node
b) there is a slight lag in term of smooth switching (when client switches node)
c) node to node fight with client (devices tend to not make a decision which node they want to stick with resulting delays/lags)


switched back to 1 router and 2 AP modes.
PS. i did took your advise, i added a Netgear switch in the room, which now acts as dhcp server and feeds one of the AC68U in Living which then feeds AC68U in bsmt.

I will run a new wire to the other end of Basement to add an AP because i do not get singles in the far end of the house. Perhaps i should just get a commercial router
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
so i tested the mesh. everything worked flawlessly in term of setting up and binding IPs to certain Nodes and etc.. What i hated is
a) you get limited access on node
b) there is a slight lag in term of smooth switching (when client switches node)
c) node to node fight with client (devices tend to not make a decision which node they want to stick with resulting delays/lags)


switched back to 1 router and 2 AP modes.
PS. i did took your advise, i added a Netgear switch in the room, which now acts as dhcp server and feeds one of the AC68U in Living which then feeds AC68U in bsmt.

I will run a new wire to the other end of Basement to add an AP because i do not get singles in the far end of the house. Perhaps i should just get a commercial router

a) is a don't care for me... I want more of a plug and play experience, not something from Cisco (except their stock).

b) and c), given your WiFi density/strength, would probably benefit from raising (less negative) the Roaming Assistant RSSI thresholds per band. My nodes are 77' apart across multiple brick walls and I raise the 2.4 RSSI to -55 dBm.

OE
 

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