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ZenWifi XT8 w/ Gnuton, weird Wifi Issues

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SirLouen

Occasional Visitor
I currently have 4 ZenWifi XT8 with Gnuton's firmware. Technically it's completely irrelevant that I use Gnuton's firmware becuase the issue I'm describing here happened both with the original firmware and with this one, so it doesn't seem anything to do with firmwares itself

Thing is that it's so weird that it happens with the 4 devices

And the problem is that when I'm playing online, I get now and them some wireless hiccups. It goes from 40ms to 150ms all of sudden. It happens now and then, like once every 30 seconds or so

I installed Termux app to starting pinging any server, lets say google.com
In my case I get around 40ms on average, but every 30 seconds or so it goes up to 400-500ms. It's just a packet now and then. It's not like a clock. Sometimes it happens in 5 seconds, other times in 30 seconds. sometimes it goes up to 500ms other 250ms other 120ms.

I thought, that it could be an issue between the XT8 ethernet cable and the router I was connected.

So then I put into one of the Ethernet ports of the XT8 a Xiaomi AX3600 router and connected via Wifi to that router, and it's working flawlessly 0 drops at all. In fact if I ping from a computer connected to ther XT8 ethernet ports it doesnt fail like this neither. It feels just a XT8 wifi issue.

The weird thing is that this happens in all 4 XT8 when connected to wifi.

I have the network in AP mode + AI Mesh. Basically I have all 4 nodes connected to Ethernet. I could have set them all as independent AP nodes, but I wanted to have a same automatic-SSID mesh, since all are in different points of the house

I don't know what to do, and I'm confused, because I've spent a ton of money on this devices, and they perform way worse than other routers that cost me like 1/10th.

I read someone on Reddit repporting some Wifi issues and told me that Gnuton solved the issue. Not my case. I'm using the latest Github release by the way.

I've also tried to detach the 5G-2 at 160Mhz mode, and connecting there unsuccessfully (same drops)

Any ideas on how to debug this situation?
 
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Suggestions:
- Do not use 160 wide channels: helps avoid cross channel interference and DFS issues
- Use fixed channels, not automatic: The router dose not need to periodically change channels while lessening for other networks and interference
- Use a WiFi scanner and look for empty channels. If necessary, reduce channel width to 40 or 20 to avoid channel interference
- Update client WiFi drivers and firmware
- Tune client WiFi NIC settings reducing rooming sensitivity
- Revert XT8 Wifi settings to defaults
 
- Do not use 160 wide channels: helps avoid cross channel interference and DFS issues
- Use fixed channels, not automatic: The router dose not need to periodically change channels while lessening for other networks and interference
- Use a WiFi scanner and look for empty channels. If necessary, reduce channel width to 40 or 20 to avoid channel interference
- Update client WiFi drivers and firmware
- Tune client WiFi NIC settings reducing rooming sensitivity
- Revert XT8 Wifi settings to defaults
I'm going to restart from scratch with these routers because they are driving me nuts

1. Ok, I'm going 100% 20Mhz, I won't care about speed. I only care about stability, almost near the router (1 meter away)
2&3. Fixed channel, did a Wifi scan, 116-120-124-128Hz seems to be free so I'm setting the band at 120Hz. This router has 3 antennas: 1x 2.4Ghz and 2x 5Ghz.
One of the 5Ghz is directed towards the lower band (36-64) and the other towards the higher band (100-140). So I'm disabling the 2.4Ghz and the lower band 5Ghz, and just leaving the higher band 5Ghz and setting it manually at 120Hz
4. Updated to max Gnuton's firmware
5. Hard-reset to the router, and set it as an individual AP (no more ASUS AI-shirt-mesh in my house)
5. Now time to tune it


This are the tune options


1688289479685.png


1688289809857.png



Let me recap:

1. Neighbor AP Scans, turning off RRM or 80211k: I don't see this in the options

2. AP Rekeys: WP3 Personal set as forcefully. I don't care about compatibility, becuase I use high end phones and laptops for this devices. For lower end devices I have another wifi cheaper network (that paradoxically works way better)

3. STA movements: Roaming assistant off: OK

4. ACS: No ACS, static channel

5. OBSS: Only 5Ghz channel enabled, I have disabled all 2.4 and 5Ghz lower band channels as stated above

6. Background scans: The phone is 1 meter away from the router... The signal is maximum

7. Beacon Report: Same as #1. I can't see neither RRM or 80211k in the configurations

8. Interferences: After a Wifi scan I can clearly see that there are no other routers around the channels.

Conclusion:

Except for the RRM/80211k that I can't seem to find, I cant really see anything that could be hindering my router, still as I say, I have my Xiaomi AX3600 full on Auto, nothing configured manually, just unboxed and pluged in, and plugged to a Ethernet port of the XT8 and it's working flawlessly, 0 spikes. But this ASUS XT8 that is being configured manually and with maximum detail, shows spikes now and then.
 
PART 2

I've downgraded the whole device to the 5Ghz bare minimums. No AX, 20Mhz BW and no-nothing. The only Thing I can't disable is the WMM becuase there is no Disable option

1688295706833.png


1688295522198.png


1688295630829.png


And still, I'm getting those spikes.

At this point I can't barely thing on any solutions. It's time to raise an incidence on ASUS and see if I would return all 4 units and ask for a full refund to the seller because of an extremely shirtty and malfunctioning device.

After reading this topic: https://www.snbforums.com/threads/asus-zenwifi-xt8-lag-spikes.67404/
From 2 years ago, I'm staring to think that this device is completely faulty.

I'm going to hard reset all the 4 devices, one by one, and check if any of the 4 is not faulty and send only the faulty ones for warranty, or it's a generalized issue.

But from my experience, in the past few months I would say that all 4 devices are in the exact same situation. I always thought that it was a game issue, that now and then it went up to 200ms. But then when I installed the AX3600 and played from there, 0 spikes, it wiped all my doubts and here I am.
 
After spending a good whole morning with the device, I'm not 100% confident yet, but I've found a possible culprit the 5Ghz-2 antenna. In fact, when I switched to the second router, the 5Ghz-2 wasn't working at all even if I activate it (in one router, it worked, but in the second it didnt)

Another problem with the second antenna, is that it supports higher channels, while the 5Ghz-1 is limited to only 64 channel max. Not sure if this is unlockable but it feels it isn't.

I've configured everything with the 5Ghz-1 exclusively on a lower channel I've found not highly occupied (60). Got some spikes but not as frequent as I was having with the 5Ghz-2 one. After a 5 minute test

This is the 5min ping graph with the XT8 with 5Ghz-1 exclusively (AX disabled)
1688300952687.png


And this is a 5min graph with the Xiaomi AX3600, as the reference.

1688301245973.png


On the bright side, Median is slightly lower, but on the dark side, we can clearly see that there are 0 spikes on AX3600 (although the big spikes are not terrible on XT8, they are not great either given that many are around 80, and 3 over, one way over. With AX3600 the stability is massive, some go over 50ms, but this is barely relevant.

With these stats, I'm still not super happy with the XT8. I need to conduct more testing to get better conclusions.

Just to note that activating on 5Ghz-1 the AX, Median goes significantly higher to almost 26ms (even more than AX3600), but the good par, is that although there exist clear spikes at there can be seen, they are not as bad as 5Ghz-2

1688304965548.png


I've contacted ASUS, and unless they put my XT8 on par to X3600 they will be going straight back to their RMA warehouse, and I will be purchasing a couple of AX3600, so far, the best router price/quality I've had by far (and full compatible with OpenWRT)
 
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Are any other devices connected to your network while running the pings?
 
Are any other devices connected to your network while running the pings?
I'm connected to that router with my smartphone exclusively, and it doesn't matter if I ping the router itself or Google.com. Same spikes with same patterns.

I have 4 XT8 I've tested with 1 XT8 with Gnuton's firmware and another XT8 with the regular firmware, and same behaviour for the two. It feels like they are broken by design. Doesn't make any sense.
 
I've contacted the ASUS Support and they seem to be escalating the issue

Today I have discovered that there is a HW Ver 1.0 and 2.0 for XT8. I wonder if they solved the issue with HW 2.0 (released on november 2022 AFAIK)

Looks really weird and probably 99% of the issues being reported in this forum are related to HW 1.0
 
What is the difference between HW Ver 1.0 and 2.0 of the XT8.
 
What is the difference between HW Ver 1.0 and 2.0 of the XT8.
Not sure, the hardware is the same, but I'm suspicious that they have solved many of the core issues most users have been finding in the forums. Kind of funny for me, because 99.99% of the reviews I read back in the day, only focused on the most stupid aspects of the device: which was the coverage and the speed of the device. Noone care a s**t that it was faulty, disconnecting constantly and even worse, the latency spikes I've found in 100% of the devices revision 1.0 I own.
 
While you are experiencing issues, others may not. There are a huge number of variables for WiFi networks. The good news is that Asus is taking your report seriously.
 
Hi, SirLouen - I would like to ask about your experience with the ASUS ZenWifi XT8. Please bear with me, as I do not have your technical competency. I have 2 questions, one about the problems you experienced with the XT8s, and one about using Gnuton's version of Merlin.

I bought a pair of these XT8's from BH Photo in Jan 2023 (so I am well out of the return window). With a bit of a struggle, I got them set up. I had been planning to flash them with Merlin software, but didn't get to it, because I spent a lot of time trying to get the Mesh system working well. Our house is 1,918 sf, but we also have a workshop in the detached garage (about 10 ft to the closest part of the house), and we wanted wifi in the garage, as well.

I set everything up, using the original ASUS software, with one (main) router in the living room, and one (mesh) in the bedroom window that is closest to the garage. The signal carries over, but when running an internet radio in the garage, there are occasional drops. Even in the house, sitting right next to the main router, it seems like there are occasional drops, because calls on our cell phone conversations (using wifi calling, because of weak cell signal) and our VOIT telephone sometimes drop. And our TV streaming of Netfllix & Amazon is sometimes briefly interrupted. (TV is in an upstairs bedroom, but fairly close to the living room main router - bedroom door is open. And that bedroom is above the bedroom with the 2nd (mesh) router.)

I'm not sure if our problems are the equivalent to the wifi "hiccups" and spikes you reported in your posts. I was wondering if you had resolved your problems.

Also, I want to follow through on flashing the router with Merlin software, but was dismayed to see that this model is not supported by the main branch of the software. Have you found the Gnuton branch satisfactory? And where would I download it? Is there documentation for it, that a not-very-techy person could use?

Thanks very much!

PS - Has the XT8 been discontinued? It is not currently for sale on Asus' site.
 
What is the difference between HW Ver 1.0 and 2.0 of the XT8.
I'm curious how you'd be able to tell as well.
Also, FWIW, this random lagginess also happens w/ the ET8. Tried that initially and returned it because of the random lagginess. Same issue w/ the XT8 I replaced it with.
 
I'm curious how you'd be able to tell as well.
Also, FWIW, this random lagginess also happens w/ the ET8. Tried that initially and returned it because of the random lagginess. Same issue w/ the XT8 I replaced it with.

What do you mean by random lagginess? Do you have a router that does not have issues?
 
Well, as a touch-point, I've been running a pair of V1 XT8s for more than a year and I can confidently state that these issues are most certainly not endemic to the hardware itself. They may, however, be endemic to using AiMesh on it, which I do not. The system performance is much better as router and AP for the pair.

As to something else mentioned above, taken from the firmwares:
Code:
build_profile.xt8v1:    BRCM_CHIP=47622
build_profile.et8:      BRCM_CHIP=47622
build_profile.xt8v2:    BRCM_CHIP=6756
build_profile.xt9:      BRCM_CHIP=6756

I realize the XT8v1 is stated to have the BCM6755 SOC, for which Broadcom lately recommends the 6756 instead "for New Design", but the BCM47622 (yet current) sure seems to be entirely possible, too, if it's possible for a manufacturer to make such a substitution without re-certification by the FCC.

The 6756 evidently will do DFS on the 5-1 radio which resides on the SOC itself, whereas the 47622 (and/or 6755?) does not. Interestingly, we can discern that the 8v2 and 9 are predominantly the same hardware but with a feature not disabled (or instead /en/abled) on the latter.
 
Well, as a touch-point, I've been running a pair of V1 XT8s for more than a year and I can confidently state that these issues are most certainly not endemic to the hardware itself. They may, however, be endemic to using AiMesh on it, which I do not. The system performance is much better as router and AP for the pair.

As to something else mentioned above, taken from the firmwares:
Code:
build_profile.xt8v1:    BRCM_CHIP=47622
build_profile.et8:      BRCM_CHIP=47622
build_profile.xt8v2:    BRCM_CHIP=6756
build_profile.xt9:      BRCM_CHIP=6756

I realize the XT8v1 is stated to have the BCM6755 SOC, for which Broadcom lately recommends the 6756 instead "for New Design", but the BCM47622 (yet current) sure seems to be entirely possible, too, if it's possible for a manufacturer to make such a substitution without re-certification by the FCC.

The 6756 evidently will do DFS on the 5-1 radio which resides on the SOC itself, whereas the 47622 (and/or 6755?) does not. Interestingly, we can discern that the 8v2 and 9 are predominantly the same hardware but with a feature not disabled (or instead /en/abled) on the latter.

I'm curious what improvements you see using AP mode for the nodes rather than AI Mesh. I'd guess not having co channel interference is helping throughput and if this is the case, how much?
 

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