5GHz radio on AC88U is dead. "Replace" 5GHz radio with AP/AiMesh node?

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stari4ek

New Around Here
Hey, I'm looking for good advice here.

It looks like 5GHz radio on my AC88U is dead. SSID is visible, but all devices fail to connect (galaxy note9, macbook, chromebook hp x2) to same 5GHz channel it worked before. Tried:
  • switching to original Asus firmware from Merlin (with full reset)
  • clean DD-WRT firmware (nearly loose my s*t while looking how to get back to merlin/asus)
  • all available Wireless Modes (on DD-WRT and Asus/Merlin)
  • All channels (non-DFS, DFS) with all available channel bandwidth (20/40/80)
  • With disabled beamforming
  • with/without WPA2-Personal auth
So it looks dead. Really dead. =)

But I'd prefer to keep it since I still use wired connections heavily, and I use:
  • links bonding to connect to my Synology NAS
  • dual WAN to have fallback for internet (and manually switch between two time to time)
So I think if it's a good idea to get new less muscular asus router (AX maybe), something like AX56U/AX58U and use it to replace fallen 5GHz. I have a lot of 2.4 GHz wifi networks around and it's very crowded, but 5GHz is clean.

Since 5GHz is dead - I do not see wireless mesh as an option, So it's planned to connect wired.
Are those AX routers good for such use-case? Should I check AC options (i do not have wifi 6 clients yet, and prefer wired connections were possible)?

What's the proper way to connect such satellite router?
Will it work if I connect it to WAN port and put to AP mode? So it will work as WiFi access point, but all heavy-lifting (dual WAN, link aggregation, dhcp, QoS, ...) will be done by main AC88U?
Will it work properly with 5GHz disabled on main router and both 2.4/5GHz radio enabled on satellite? I prefer to use manually selected channels (13, 48-52) since different devices have their preferences and these channels are hot-spots.

How connecting as AiMesh make different whole scheme? Will it work with 5GHz radio disabled on main router?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hey, I'm looking for good advice here.

It looks like 5GHz radio on my AC88U is dead. SSID is visible, but all devices fail to connect (galaxy note9, macbook, chromebook hp x2) to same 5GHz channel it worked before. Tried:
  • switching to original Asus firmware from Merlin (with full reset)
  • clean DD-WRT firmware (nearly loose my s*t while looking how to get back to merlin/asus)
  • all available Wireless Modes (on DD-WRT and Asus/Merlin)
  • All channels (non-DFS, DFS) with all available channel bandwidth (20/40/80)
  • With disabled beamforming
  • with/without WPA2-Personal auth
So it looks dead. Really dead. =)

But I'd prefer to keep it since I still use wired connections heavily, and I use:
  • links bonding to connect to my Synology NAS
  • dual WAN to have fallback for internet (and manually switch between two time to time)
So I think if it's a good idea to get new less muscular asus router (AX maybe), something like AX56U/AX58U and use it to replace fallen 5GHz. I have a lot of 2.4 GHz wifi networks around and it's very crowded, but 5GHz is clean.

Since 5GHz is dead - I do not see wireless mesh as an option, So it's planned to connect wired.
Are those AX routers good for such use-case? Should I check AC options (i do not have wifi 6 clients yet, and prefer wired connections were possible)?

What's the proper way to connect such satellite router?
Will it work if I connect it to WAN port and put to AP mode? So it will work as WiFi access point, but all heavy-lifting (dual WAN, link aggregation, dhcp, QoS, ...) will be done by main AC88U?
Will it work properly with 5GHz disabled on main router and both 2.4/5GHz radio enabled on satellite? I prefer to use manually selected channels (13, 48-52) since different devices have their preferences and these channels are hot-spots.

How connecting as AiMesh make different whole scheme? Will it work with 5GHz radio disabled on main router?
I believe AiMesh requires all radios working, even if you wire the backhaul. AiMesh is a system/mesh approach to distributed APs. I'd plan for it, if you are buying Asus routers.

Consider an AC86U as new router (or wired AP). The AC68/AC66U B1 are lessor and less expensive options, and may not enjoy AiMesh support much longer since these are older routers.

I can't suggest AX yet... newer (less established firmware?), more expensive, and to be eclipsed by WiFi 6e versions soon.

Given your dead 5.0 radio and dying LAN ports 5-8, I'd plan to replace this router in the interest of maintaining the network.

OE
 

stari4ek

New Around Here
Thx for suggestions, will check AC alternatives.

Given your dead 5.0 radio and dying LAN ports 5-8, I'd plan to replace this router.
I think that LAN issue is pretty common one. First time I got it 1-2 years ago. I think that I found workaround with plug-off from Merlin, so I believe this is not something unique for my unit. I think that AC88U uses another chip for LAN 5-8, so it makes sense.
This is 3-4 years old router and no warranty already. It's a bit expensive to through it away and replace with new one with 8 LAN ports. So I'm looking for alternative cheaper ways
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
Although I agree AX is still early adopter territory I have an AX56U that I use as an AP - in AP mode with wired backhaul rather than mesh so I can manually put it on a different channel to the main router. It works well, relatively cheap, everything connects fine to it and it seems to be power efficient - it hardly gets warm at all. The 5GHz WiFi on my AX88U on the other hand seems a bit tempremental, some devices don't see it and some just randomly loose connection.
 

Vimes

Regular Contributor
I believe AiMesh requires all radios working, even if you wire the backhaul. AiMesh is a system/mesh approach to distributed APs. I'd plan for it, if you are buying Asus routers.

Consider an AC86U as new router (or wired AP). The AC68/AC66U B1 are lessor and less expensive options, and may not enjoy AiMesh support much longer since these are older routers.

I can't suggest AX yet... newer (less established firmware?), more expensive, and to be eclipsed by WiFi 6e versions soon.

Given your dead 5.0 radio and dying LAN ports 5-8, I'd plan to replace this router in the interest of maintaining the network.

OE

Do you think that the AX range currently offered will soon be eclipsed, in terms of WiFi 6, with the 6e versions soon...?
That could be something that I would consider if placing emphasis on WiFi 6 as a replacement for my failed AC86U router. As I don't have any WiFi 6 devices, nor likely to get any soon, then another 86U might satisfy my other needs rather than buy something much more expensive at this point. At least the 86U offers AES-NI support for my VPN client needs.
There is more to the AX88U than just WiFi 6 but something I'll consider now, perhaps the price tho might have put me off.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Do you think that the AX range currently offered will soon be eclipsed, in terms of WiFi 6, with the 6e versions soon...?
That could be something that I would consider if placing emphasis on WiFi 6 as a replacement for my failed AC86U router. As I don't have any WiFi 6 devices, nor likely to get any soon, then another 86U might satisfy my other needs rather than buy something much more expensive at this point. At least the 86U offers AES-NI support for my VPN client needs.
There is more to the AX88U than just WiFi 6 but something I'll consider now, perhaps the price tho might have put me off.
I agree... an AC router can likely get it done now for less money and less early adoption trouble while waiting for WiFi 6e to arrive and settle. Pandemic demand and pricing doesn't help. I'd plan on 12-24 months.

OE
 
Last edited:

stari4ek

New Around Here
As in my case, I think that Wifi 6e will not come in near feature since we won't get unlocked frequencies here (Belarus) soon.

BTW, with 5GHz radio disabled (+"Explicit Beamforming", +"Modulation Scheme" maxed, +stock firmware, hard to tel if it makes difference) my 2.4GHz reception is much better. My chromebook lost 2.4GHz connection time to time in the kitchen and sometime was not capable to play HD youtube video, but now it works really well without any disconnects. Unexpected.
With stable 2.4 GHz I do not need 5GHz that much. My PS4, TV, desktop, nvidia shield and other high-bandwidth consumers are wired.
 

Vimes

Regular Contributor
I agree... an AC router can likely get it done now for less money and less early adoption trouble while waiting for WiFi 6e to arrive and settle. Pandemic demand and pricing doesn't help. I'd plan on 12-24 months.

OE
Decided to order another 86U, when it worked it adequately met our requirements. I couldn't justify anything in the AX range considering the extra cost and its non relevance to our needs.
Hopefully the replacement 86U should be fine, for the next few years.
 

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