Asus mesh doesn't seem to be working...


Senior Member
Got two RT-AC68U routers about 6 months ago to get better coverage at the ends of the house and outside in the yard.  The main one is on one end of the house and the other in the far side of the garage about 50 - 60 ft apart.  Wire connection between them.  I get full bars when near the primary one.  Thought the second one was working well when first set up as I had a good signal outside where it was marginal before.  Now I don't seem to be getting a better signal when near the second one.  I can unplug it and don't see a difference in signal strength on the phone wifi indicator.  I checked the router web page and with the phone laying about 2 ft from the second router it still shows zero connections to it and all on the primary one.  I checked the firmware and updated to the current version and still the same thing. 
Any suggestions?
Are they configured the same?  swap them, or swap their power supplies.  I've had oddball issues when wall warts start to fail and can' t provide their full rated current.  I'd swap the power supplies first and see if the problem stays in place.  If not then swap the routers and see if the problem follows the hardware.

Hardware does die, sometimes sooner than we'd like.  And there's multiple radios involved in most routers.

The problem is at the location then you'd need to determine what's causing enough interference to make the wifi not function reliably.
In doing some digging around in the router UI I found the radio was turned off.  Doh!  Not sure how that happened but things work as expected now and the second node shows several connections.
Thanks for the suggestion Bill.  When I enter the address of either node the browser URL changes to  I did find the place to save the configuration but it isn't clear to me if this is the primary node, the mesh node, or both.  Since I can get to settings for both nodes at that address I am guessing it is both but am unsure about that.
If you are using the AiMesh then one router (usually the one connected to the modem) must be set up as the master router. The second outer will be a slave and will not be accessible. The master does all the settings and controls the slave router. Sometimes this take a few minutes to become effective. The second router will be set up by the master to enable it to become a slave. To swap them you will need to start over to set up the modem end unit to become the master and then factory reset the slave to be found and programed by the master. It is a PITA to swap their functions.
I have 12v muffin fans sitting on top of my three ASUS routers running on the 5v supply from their USB2 ports (slow speed). They tend to overheat in the summer and can cause all kinds of mysterious problems when they are worked very hard with a lot of devices and data bandwidth. ASUS has stuffed two many cores and CPU speed into such small boxes.
I have disabled the band switching and load balancing features. Many pieces of my WiFi equipment will not tolerate band switching or even router switching without being reset and starting over.
I see in search results elsewhere online that the thermal pads between the chips and the heatsink, inside the router, sometimes have problems with having dried out.  Could be a quick fix to pop 'em open and replace that material.  
I have no idea how a mesh system works, but I have two access points on opposite sides of the house. Each access point has a 2.4Ghz radio, a 5Ghz radio and a third radio to scan both bands for interference. On the 2.4Ghz band, there are only 3 non-overlapping channels, and 2.4Ghz travels for long distances. At least 1/2 mile at full power. This means you neighbors are likely on the same channels. And it's not a case of who can blast more power wins. In face, too much signal with interference is bad. To get both access points sharing on 2.4Ghz, the solution was to drop the power of each way down. Unless you have 20,000+ sq ft house, or many floors, full power 2.4Ghz is bad. I let my access points adjust their own power, and they almost always have it turned way down.  
On 5Ghz its a different problem. First, many Wi-Fi devices only use 2.4Ghz. Second, although there are lots of 5Ghz channels, not all are equal. For reasons I won't go into here, many devices don't use all 5Ghz channels. For example, an Amazon Fire TV can only use 5Ghz channels 36 to 48 and 145 to 165. Depending on your channel width, this generally only gives you 4 channels to use, give or take.  So 5Ghz doesn't travel as far as 2.4Ghz, so interference is less a problem, but still can be. 
All these challenges make getting it all to work well, tricky, at best.
I just looked at my router. At this instant it is tracking 370 "Rogue Access Points" Some are 2 or 3 miles away. I even get a list of the AP/Router manufacturer. Mitsumi and Arris Group had the most. These are likely the providers COX and Centurylink in our area that use for their WiFi routers.