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RT-AC86U AiMesh WiFi issue!!

Barneey88
Level 7
Hello everyone.
I have 2 AC86U routers in AiMesh. The main router is on the ground floor and the node is on the first floor with ethernet backhaul mode. There are 25 devices connected to the network, of which 15 are wireless (home appliances with no LAN connection: smart lights, doorbells, etc.. ). Both routers are using the latest FW (3.0.0.4.386_48260), separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5Ghz WiFi, and smart connect is turned off. The rest of the settings are on default. Sincerely I'm using the system for half a year already but almost every week the main router drops all the WiFi connections, and the devices reconnect to the node (reboot solves the issue). In this situation, the farthest devices receive just minimal signal and randomly appear offline. This issue happens only with WiFi devices, the cabled devices stay connected always. Tried binding the devices to the main router, but in this situation when the WiFi drops they do not reconnect to the node either. Performed hard/factory reset multiple times. Tried switching up the 2 routers or placing them further from each other. Nothing helped. After a couple of days, the main router just disconnects all the wireless devices. I even tried it in Router-AP mode, and the same thing happens. :mad::mad::mad::mad: Before I used 2 TPlink Archer C7 in Router-AP mode and I didn't face this issue. I have no idea what else I could try, and I really hope that someone here can help me.
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8 REPLIES 8

jzchen
Level 15
Two things hopefully may help. (I don't have a RT-AC86U). ASUS routers tend to be sensitive when ISP/WAN signal goes down. When this happens for some reason they tend to try to reboot. When you loose WiFi try to connect a computer directly to the modem and see if you can access the internet.

2nd Ethernet backhaul mode. I used to try it as all my nodes are connected by Ethernet switches all the way to the router. Still once in a while, especially after a firmware update, I will find my nodes connected in all sorts of weird combination of WiFi backhaul and Ethernet backhaul. For example all 3 are connected by Ethernet to the RT-AX86U, and that is WiFi connected to my router! So I never turn on Ethernet backhaul mode nor prioritize it. Because when I do that the backhaul disappeared completely, and one time I needed to manually (go to the power button to) reboot the node to get it to reconnect.

Regarding binding that was the exact way it used to work for me. They would bind but if they could not connect to the bound node they would completely lose connection. The latest itteration of binding it shows bound but just connects wherever it believes is the best signal, even if it's worse. ��

Neoony
Level 9
Also consider if there are any radars interfering on the wifi channels its using?

But I guess its unlikely to happen for both 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz at the same time (not really sure)

Maybe try assigning some specific channel manually just to see if anything changes? Then use another one, if it still happens.
Not sure if you have some ability to scan for radars.

Also which port are you using for WAN?
I have 1gbps internet, I tried using 2.5 port for it, but it would randomly disconnect everything every few days
Switched back to normal WAN and it was perfectly fine (was few FW versions back, didnt try again)
I didnt really have anything connected over cable from the main router, so I cant tell if those would have worked during this issue.

using RT-AX86U
But now I started using asuswrt-merlin

Neoony
Level 9
Oh wait, I guess this one does not have 2.5 port
nevermind

Thanks for the fast reply and suggestions. I did try before to set the channels manually (unused channels, different from the neighbors, etc...) but it didn't help. Never had issues with the ISP/WAN signal, every time when the wifi drops on the main router, I still have internet on the node and on the LAN connections. But as strange as it sounds if I walk out from the covered area with my phone (my phone disconnects from the wifi network completely) and reenter, after reentering it reconnects to the main router normally if nothing happened (the same if I restart all the disconnected appliances). I have had no issues with the backhaul mode. The node always stays connected and there is always internet from it. And another strange thing is that the WEB interface and the APP are showing the connections differently (like on the WEB interface my doorbell is connected to the main router and the APP shows that it's connected to the node) :confused::confused::confused:

I have the RT-AX86U and AIMesh is a complete disaster with it. I use to have an AC5300 as my main router and then the AX86U connected via ethernet backhaul. The 5GhZ band was TERRIBLE, it would always drop and stutter and multiple times a week I would have to restart the router because it would just lose internet, but only on the WiFi bands, the ethernet connected devices were all fine. I tried all the firmware's available at the time, rolled back etc. Spent months going back and forth with support, they even had me drawing them pictures of my house to show them were everything was. Eventually I just gave up.....

What eventually did end up working was to swap the two routers around. Now the AX86U is downstairs where the AC5300 was and the AC5300 is upstairs as the AIMesh router. Low and behold this has solved the problem pretty much completely. Nothin in my basement runs on WiFi, it's all hardwired and upstairs it all connects to the AC5300 which never skips a beat. Seeing you have similar issues with the AC86U makes me think something is really wrong with this particular model. I actually had the AC86U prior to the AX86U and thought something was wrong with the router itself, as I bought it second hand. I bought the AX86U to solve the issue, but it has the same exact problem, which makes me think something in the hardware or maybe firmware is just messed right up.

I was away on vacation for a couple of days and the issue happened 3 times. I rely on the smart lights to turn on/off a night and I can see the exact time when they were disconnected. You can see on the attached screenshot that the router is on for 6 days but the Syslog (https://pastebin.com/XCVsJVQ7) is only between 07:31-07:49 and the issue happened at 00:15. I really have no idea what is going on...

jzchen
Level 15
You can probably remove the MAC addresses, just in case, for your safety. (Most people here omit them).

rssi is what? It's cut off on the right. I have a smart dimmer it's at -80 dBm but it's been connected for over 35 hours.

One evening it may be prudent to go and observe the lights in person. See if they do as you programmed vs worrying if they disconnected from the WiFi. Maybe test them while you are home one night. We have 3 of the same (interior) ceiling lights and my son hates them. (Should have listened to him and not order another two). Sometimes we come home and they are on without us turning them on.

I tried also with only one router to see what is going to happen. And after 2 days of working the router lost all the connections (wireless and wired). I could even connect to the router interface either. Only a power reset helped. There were no red LEDs on the router, all of them were white. The issue happened on 10.11.2022 at 06:40 when all my devices disconnected. The log file starts at 06:50 (https://pastebin.com/EfG7wKmS) and I have no idea what happened with the logs before that time. I restarted the router at 07:09. Maybe someone can find out something from the log between 06:50-07:09...