This is very helpful information and describes exactly what I am seeing. When I change everything down to 20Mhz width – everything behaves as I would expect, and all my manual channel assignments are honored across both frequencies.
I have dorked around and think that I have come up with a strategy that covers my entire home in both spectrums without channel overlapping. I think.
My house is 1 story and goes from East to West in a straight line. I have my APs set up from East to West as Mini1–AX1–Mini2–AX2–Mini3.
I have disabled the 5Ghz radios on the minis and the two on the edges (Mini1 and Mini3) have no wired uplink – they connect via a 2.4Ghz mesh to Mini2. Since they are all in a mesh – they all use the same channel. They landed on channel 2 with a 40Mhz width. They are set to auto channel. No AXs are included in the mesh (mixing the hardware didn’t work for me the first time I tried).
The AXs are currently being statically set for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. 2.4Ghz is using the 40Mhz width, and the 5Ghz is using the 80Mhz width. I have AX1 set to 11/165; and AX2 set to 7/36.
This leads me with a channel map something like this
2/- == 11/165 == 2/- == 7/36 == 2/-
I am assuming that since I enabled auto channel scanning for the 2.4Ghz on the Minis – it should either pick channel 1,2,3,4,or 5 – but that is just a guess. As long as it doesn’t land on channel 7 or 11 (also 6,8, 9, or 10 because 40Mhz width), I think it should be fine. If I find that it lands on a channel in use by the AXs – I will statically set it to a non-conflicting channel.
FWIW - I did try to only statically set the channel width and leave the channel assignment as auto across the board – I saw an AP move from a channel that had no conflict on both 2.4 and 5Ghz to conflicting channels for both. There is just something about 7 and 36 that these things really like.
If my static channel and width assignments are in fact appropriate (i.e. they really don’t overlap nor “stomp” on each other) - I am wondering why it didn’t settle on such a configuration when in Auto mode. Other than disabling the 5Ghz radios, it should have been able to sort the 2.4Ghz spectrum a bit better than what it was doing. It seems to me that with an AP controller aggregating all types of information, and APs that are all discovering their neighbors – it could have come up with a way to maximize channel coverage. If not doing it automatically, perhaps a notification about conflicting channels in the AP Controller? Maybe even a basic wizard to walk folks through a couple of potential scenarios to maximize coverage while minimizing overlap? Just throwing out ideas because as it stands, it is not very obvious as to what is happening in the background, and I do believe this to be the source of some connectivity issues.
I do realize that the majority of folks aren’t using 5 access points in their home. I can get by with 3, but I had the other 2 on hand and figured that it couldn’t hurt. My house is not surrounded by rogue wifi signals since I live kind of out in the boonies. My point is that every device is a peplink device and they are all reporting back to a central site (AP controller). If nothing else the AP controller can aggregate channel scan/change logs that indicate some kind of decision tree and the outcomes that lead to it choosing the channel that it did. Just spit-balling some ideas… It looks like the “Nearby Devices” section is a simple aggregator right now, but it is being fed all the data required to generate an “optimized” channel layout.
Not to be completely negative, I do think that the auto-power stuff is working quite well. I could tell that the power was decreased whenever there was a conflict, and then it raised the power back up when the conflict was removed. Also, I was able to eventually use the AP controller and information it gave to resolve the conflicts. The cook-down/hierarchical configuration methodology provided the means to combine like configuration values via the “Profiles”, and granular settings via the “Custom Radio Config” - so, kudos.
Really, my only complaint is that the router didn’t point out that I was an idiot. It had to know…