Can't get Alien routers to work in Daisy Chain mode


  • Having used Amplifi HD systems in three separate locations with no issues, I decided I would try the newer Alien system for my new home but I cannot get it to work properly. I bought three devices with the expectation of adding a few more once it becomes clear that it's feasible.

    Here's the scenario

    1. Set up "main" router in basement, connected via ethernet to my firewall (running in bridge mode). My iPhone app was able to access and configure it with no problem

    2. Plugged in a second alien in a room above the basement. Again, my iPhone detected it and allowed me to configure it as a mesh point, called it "Library" and it seemed to work fine in the sense that I could move further away from the Basement and still have a decent connection.

    3. Plugged in a third alien in another room about 40 ft away (as the crow flies) from the second alien. Again, my iPhone detected it was there and allowed me to configure it - I called it "Mediaroom". However, once I did that, that third alien did not connect to the second alien and it just sits there with a message "Connecting" and something to the effect of "this is taking too long to connect"

    My hope was to be able to add a fourth and fifth alien in a daisy chain mode to cover more of the house but it's not looking good. I did an online chat with someone from Amplifi a few days ago and they had me doing things like changing frequencies from 5G to 2.4G but that made absolutely no difference.

    Anyone got any ideas or is this hopeless in which case I'll just send everything back?

    Thanks in advance.

    0_1601212478538_UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_dc1.jpg


  • @David-Jameson could you try setting up the 3rd one in/near the 2nd one and then put it at its final location? That might help the amplifi team identify later on if that device is defective...


  • @Raghu-Kannan I was actually wondering if the third one might have been defective.

    However, it's unclear to me how to prove that. For example, if I move the third one much close to the second, then how would I know the third one isn't just connecting to the main router, rather than to the second one? Right now, it is only 30 feet away from the second one.


  • @David-Jameson well, what I would suggest would be to reset the third one and then set it up next to or near the main router - if it doesn't work, it's clearly the third one thats at fault.


  • @David-Jameson keep it close to the 2nd Alien during set up then in the App is should show you the connection diagram and hopefully you will see it connected to the 2nd Alien not the router.


  • @David-Jameson You could always disconnect the 3rd Alien and test devices connected to the 2nd Alien to confirm that the 2nd is not the defective unit (Additional SSID's from Alien 2). It could be something as simple as a firmware mismatch or a simple factory reset needed because of some corruption when the 3rd Alien was provisioning to the set.


  • Thanks for all the suggestions - here are my results

    1. Any of the routers works fine if I just set it up as the "main" router connected to my switch.

    2. Placing any of the other router "not too far away" from the main router seem to connect to that main router with no problem

    3. Adding the third router "not too far away" from the main router works fine (per 2 above)

    4. Moving that third router further away so that it should connect only to the second router does not work - I just see the "connecting" message

    Questions:

    1. Is there something I am supposed to do to tell a router that it is supposed to be behaving as a mesh extender?
    2. How can I tell from the display on a router whether it is connecting to the "main" router vs. whether it is connecting to a router that is behaving as an extender

  • @David-Jameson Can you download support files from your system when the 3rd router is showing "Connecting" please?


  • @UI-AmpliFi said in Can't get Alien routers to work in Daisy Chain mode:

    firmware mismatch or a simple factory reset

    When I initially powered up the routers for the first time, all three of them immediately performed a firmware update

    download support files from your system

    What support files?


  • @David-Jameson This article will walk you through the process: Downloading Support Information


  • @UI-AmpliFi

    Oh, ha ha ha, had you said "from your iPhone" rather than "from your system", I would have understood immediately. I was trying to figure out what computer of mine had logging info.

    I will be back at that location in a few hours and will try again

    Thanks for the response, they're much appreciated, I would really prefer to get these fixed than to have to return them


  • OK - here is update.
    The third unit has been powered down for several days. I plugged it in approximately 10 feet from the second unit. It booted up and seemed to be working. However, the Amplifi app on my iPhone claimed that it was "too close".

    So I unplugged it, moved it about 30 feet away from that second unit, powered it up and it refused to connect. The Amplifi app claims it is offline. I downloaded and emailed the support info.

    Then I unplugged it again and put it back in the first location (i.e, 10 feet away from the second unit and powered it up again). Now, it will not connect, even though it did the first time. I downloaded again the support info again and emailed it.

    Any more ideas?


  • Ok, I rebooted all three units and started all over again. The only thing I did differently is on the main unit where I enabled IP6 -- however I can't really see how this would matter, I just mention it as a datum.

    I was then able to get all three units connected and if I understand the display that Amplifi presents (see image), then the ordering suggests that Library is connected to Tardis and Kitchen is connected to Library.
    Would that be a correct interpretation or do the units just show up in an arbitrary order regardless of how they're connected?

    0_1601339313245_UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_dd8.jpg


  • @David-Jameson Hi David, yes I believe that is how your configuration is connected.


  • Unfortunately, a day later, the furthest one out just disconnected and would not reconnect no matter how many times I power cycled it.

    When I informed support, they just told me that "wireless interference" could cause that. So

    1. It's an empty house so no wireless being produced other than by these routers
    2. Even if there was temporary interference, the devices should keep trying to reconnect since it clearly did work
    3. When I factory reset that third router, the Amplfi iPad device was able to see there was a "new" router available (i.e, a fourth one!) but it was still showing the third one as unavailable. Given that the same MAC address was involved, the app should have been able to figure out they were the same device
    4. In any case, I could not get the "new" one to connect again.

    This system is clearly unreliable. If you're running a "smart" house, you need your IoT devices (like garage doors, thermostats, lights, alarms) to be accessible all the time and if the Alien can just stop working and not reconnect, it's useless.

    I will be returning them all --- such a pity, the Amplifi HD systems I had ran 24/7 for several years without a single hitch


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