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RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

Just unboxed new Orbi + satellite today and went about setting it up to relace a creaking network built out of three different access points (to cover large house & garden). Lots of "2.4GHz only" clients such as ESP8266, Rasberry Pi's, Electric Imps and other asorted IoT gadgets. So started by powering down all the clients I could reach after noting their DHCP reservations before disconnecting the old router (reserved IPs needed for hard-coded addresses for MQTT Brokerage, Rest APIs etc.) Next, got Orbi sync'd to satellite and entered the 20 or so IP reservations. Finally powered-on clients and watched everything come back on-line. So far, so good.

 

Then, according to the "best practice" for internet security, checked for new firmware on the Orbis. It was quite a way out of date so did the updates to RBx50 V2.2.1.210 . Note that this is within a few minutes of getting the network up and running so I didn't have time to see if there were any time-related issues (I mean, why should there be? Everything was good to begin with.) But following the update which completed OK (once I gave the satellite enough time to get its act together) clients started dissapearing one-by-one after a few minutes of connecting. Most would return after a router reboot - only to get lost a few minutes later. Powering off/on clients left them unable to make a connection when in this condition. Note that "Access Control" is not enabled.

 

Enviromentally, this is a detached house with very weak neighbouring signals so WiFi congestion is not an issue. All the client devices have been reliably working on the old AP setup despite the most distant having marginal signals. These *were* noted as being 6dB or so better on the Orbi (giving be an initial optimistic glow) but the dropped clients seem to be the ones with the better RSSIs anyway.

 

A couple of things I came across while researching this - one was a blog suggesting that the Orbi might be too powerful and that reducing RF power might help. Well, yes, some clients are close (same room as Orbi) but others have several thick walls in between so not a general solution. Also,  for wireless backhaul to have a good signal, satellite & base can't be too far apart so overlapping coverage is inevitable (overlapping coverage was another reported source of problems where devices would constantly be connected/disconnected).

 

The other thing I read on these forums was that a factory reset was recommended after updating firmware. I have not done so mainly because of the hassle of having to enter all my IP reservations - and a nagging fear that this will undo the firmware update? Saving the configuration settings and reloading is likewise discouraged. The last thing I tried was fixing the 2.4Ghz channel to 11 (as I had before and found to be perfectly reliable). This made no difference so I reverted back to my old trio of APs and the clients all returned to the LAN once more. Orbi is sat in its packaging ready to be returned unless someone can give me something else to try.

 

Having three conventional APs to extend coverage isn't great (as Android clients are bad at letting go of weak signals even when moved right in front of  another AP) which is why I took the Orbi bait. But if it can't provide basic 2.4GHz coverage, it's useless to me. Pity cos 5GHz seems to be very strong.

Model: RBK50| Orbi AC3000 High-Performance Tri-Band WiFi System
Message 1 of 7
Guru

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

What is the Mfr and model# of the ISP modem the NG router is connected too?

What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
What is the distance between the router and satellite(s)? 30 feet is recommended in between them to begin with depending upon building materials.

What channels are you using? Auto? Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.
Any Wifi Neighbors near by? If so, how many?

 

Has the system been powered OFF for 1 minute then back on after the update to v210? 

 

If you updated to recent FW v.210, try enabling Daisy Chain. Some have mentioned that this seems to be working in reverse order, enabling means disabled actually.
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/quot-Reverse-quot-Daisy-Chain-issue-any-update/m-p/1653439
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-RBR50-Slow-Wired-WAN-after-2-2-1-210-Upgrade/m-p/1667058/...

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.16.22
RBK50 v2.7.2.102
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 2 of 7
Guide

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections


@FURRYe38 wrote:

What is the Mfr and model# of the ISP modem the NG router is connected too?

What is the size of your home? Sq Ft?
What is the distance between the router and satellite(s)? 30 feet is recommended in between them to begin with depending upon building materials.

What channels are you using? Auto? Try setting manual channel 1, 6 or 11 on 2.4Ghz and any unused channel on 5Ghz.
Any Wifi Neighbors near by? If so, how many?

....


You probably didn't even read the post. just spamming

Are the devices configured with a fixed IP or do they obtain one from the DHCP server?

if they obtain one I would just try without reservation... or assign a fixed IP outside of the DHCP range

to one of the devices which don't behave normally and see if it still disconnets

Message 3 of 7
Tutor

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

I've reconnected Orbis once more to test. This is SO hard to get a grip on. I have some devices (electric imps) that cannot be given fixed IPs - unnecessary anyway as everything is mediated by the cloud agent. These therefore get IPs assigned through DHCP. These are also the most problematic clients. Their logs show frequent disconnections. When they are connecting on the 2.4GHz radio they typically have very strong signals -29 dBm. They are mature WiFi designs and I've not seen any hint of this sort of behaviour before.

 

The ESP8266 clients are getting their IPs through reservation by MAC address, a preferred method given that I need them at a fixed IP address but one that I can control via the router interface. Being embedded means not easily being able to configure them for a static IP set outside the DHCP pool. We won't call their WiFi implementations mature but again, I've not encountered disconnections like this when they have good signal levels.

 

The Base and Satellite are separated by exactly 33 feet. Modem details are irrelevant as this is purely a LAN issue. Toggling "Enable Daisy-Chain Topology" hasn't made any difference that I can notice.

Screenshot 2018-11-28 10.55.42.png

Message 4 of 7
Guru

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

 

You can try this:

Advanced Wireless Settings both 2.4GHz and 5GHz changed CTS/RTS Threshold to 2307.
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Orbi-RBR40-RBS40-V2-1-4-16-mesh-network-drops-connection-to/m-...
https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi/Have-to-keep-rebooting-my-RBR50/m-p/1658603/highlight/false#M4...
Change the CTR/RTS threshold values for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (2341 and 2345 respectively), changed preamble modes to long preamble, and Set 20/40Mhz Coexistence to 40Mhz only.

 

Are these devices the only ones getting disconnections or does everything get disconnected? 

Only other thing to do would be to contact NG support and ask for a RMA. Possible that your system is bad. Get it exchanged while you can.

 


@AdrianM wrote:

I've reconnected Orbis once more to test. This is SO hard to get a grip on. I have some devices (electric imps) that cannot be given fixed IPs - unnecessary anyway as everything is mediated by the cloud agent. These therefore get IPs assigned through DHCP. These are also the most problematic clients. Their logs show frequent disconnections. When they are connecting on the 2.4GHz radio they typically have very strong signals -29 dBm. They are mature WiFi designs and I've not seen any hint of this sort of behaviour before.

 

The ESP8266 clients are getting their IPs through reservation by MAC address, a preferred method given that I need them at a fixed IP address but one that I can control via the router interface. Being embedded means not easily being able to configure them for a static IP set outside the DHCP pool. We won't call their WiFi implementations mature but again, I've not encountered disconnections like this when they have good signal levels.

 

The Base and Satellite are separated by exactly 33 feet. Modem details are irrelevant as this is purely a LAN issue. Toggling "Enable Daisy-Chain Topology" hasn't made any difference that I can notice.

Screenshot 2018-11-28 10.55.42.png


 

 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.16.22
RBK50 v2.7.2.102
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 5 of 7
Tutor

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

Most WiFi clients now seem happy after resetting to factory defaults, power cycling everything and waiting plenty of time for base and satellite to sync. There were however still some problems. I think one of the issues was the DHCP reservations which, when applied individually, seem to have a major effect on all clients. It certainly takes a long time for the network to come back up after hitting apply and some clients were failing to reconnect without being  power-cycled each time. These were not the clients destined for newly reserved IPs, those obviously needed to get their new addresses by reconnecting.

Also, the default Auto selection for 2.4GHz RF channel was causing a problem due to its habit of picking channel 13 which is ouside the range of the US designed electric imp. I was well aware of this issue so manually selected a lower fixed channel - however, while the Base Orbi responded to this setting change straight away it seems the satellite did not. This only added to the confusion. I've since learned that any setting change may need several minutes to propogate across the system. 

Message 6 of 7
Guru

Re: RBK50 keeps dropping 2.4GHz connections

Whats the routers IP address pool size? 1.2 thru .254? If it is, I recommend changing it to .100 thru .200. I've also seen various odd DHCP issues including some reservation issues as well here and there. 

 

Making some changes seem to take up to 5 minutes to fully stablize. 

My Setup (Cable 1Gbps/50Mbps)>CM1200(LAG Disabled)>RBK853 v3.2.16.22
RBK50 v2.7.2.102
Additional NG HW: C7800/CM1100/CAX80/CM2000, Orbi CBK40, R7800, R7960P, EX7500/EX7700, XR450 and WNHDE111
Message 7 of 7
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