Home Mesh Network With OpenWrt?

Piyono

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I currently have two wireless APs serving the house; the primary one in the garage (ground floor) and a secondary one in the basement. They both share an SSID and password but moving about the house necessitates manually disconnecting/reconnecting to maintain signal strength. This can get annoying if I start a video chat in the basement and walk upstairs.

Now I want to add a third AP; one on each floor because there are still too many dead spots in the house, but I also want a smooth hand-off between APs as I move about. The thing is that I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a mesh network kit with proprietary firmware. I think there's a way to extend OpenWrt to function as a mesh using the hardware I already have lying around, but I can't find any definitive guides on how to go about it. I know there's something called B.A.T.M.A.N. but I fear that figuring out some of the deeper technical stuff might be more than I can manage alone. Has anyone here succeeded in setting up something like what I'm describing? A DIY mesh network using disparate hardware running open-source firmware?

I've attached a file illustrating my proposed topology. I've indicated the currently installed firmware but that can change.
 

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Stereodude

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paging @ddrueding

I haven't done what you're after. I think this was discussed previously in a thread or two here, but it didn't seem like there was a clean solution without spending a fair bit on higher end hardware.
 

Clocker

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You can get a couple of RT-AC68U routers and run Merlin's latest firmware on them with AI Mesh enabled. I have not tried it but it seems like it would be a pretty low cost solution. I run Merlin on my RT-AC86U and have an Orbi system I got for free (from beta testing). Note: the 68U is a lot cheaper than the 86U.
 

sechs

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If you can get a hold of the T-mobile version of the router, they're usually cheaper. You just have to do some hacking to turn it into an AC68U.
 

Clocker

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Yes I did that w/o any issues to two of them and running the latest Merlin on them as well..
 

Clocker

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Actually...I just remembered, I still have one I am no longer using if you want to buy it. $50 + shipping from Sterling Heights, MI. :). The 2nd one is at my Mom & Dad's house.
 

Clocker

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I just had a flashback to our CS days, Piyono...just pay for shipping and you can have it for free if you decide to try the AI Mesh route. I would like to know how well it works as I have never tried it. :cool:
 

Handruin

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I remember those CS days too! I think even Eugene joined us from SF a few times.
 

Clocker

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If I remember right, he hosted a server for a little while.
 

Handruin

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Yes he definitely did! That was when they were making tons of money.
 

LunarMist

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Damn, that must have been about 20 years ago. I still wonder what Davin was smoking when he hosed the database.
 

Piyono

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Actually...I just remembered, I still have one I am no longer using if you want to buy it. $50 + shipping from Sterling Heights, MI. :). The 2nd one is at my Mom & Dad's house.
Thanks for the offer, Clocker.
We ended up going with a product from a newer company called Mercku. It's been several months and so far I'm rather displeased. It's not particularly speedy, nodes disappear and gaming lag is pretty terrible. It also suffers from what feels like bufferbloat and poor QOS. If anyone gets on a zoom call nobody else can use the internet. I've been hassling the company to let me return it but I've agreed to try beta firmwares, so we'll see how it goes.
 
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Piyono

Storage is cool
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I just had a flashback to our CS days, Piyono...just pay for shipping and you can have it for free if you decide to try the AI Mesh route. I would like to know how well it works as I have never tried it. :cool:
CounterStrike! Wow, that takes me back.
Funnily enough the only game I still play is Team Fortress 2, which was another Half-Life Source spawn.
 

Handruin

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Oh yeah and Eugene even started his own CS server for us to play on.
 
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