MT300A keeps disconnecting (WISP mode)

I’ve been having trouble with my client (normally my laptop) frequently disconnecting from the MT300A. When the happens the laptop just switches back to my normal home access point (when testing this at home of course). It’s running in WISP mode as a repeater, and it seems to work well except for these disconnects. As far as I can tell the client side is connected to WiFi fine but the server/AP side won’t stay connected.

I thought this was a firmware issue so I’ve updated to the latest (2.25) but it did not help. Then I thought maybe it was old settings causing trouble so I reset to default settings too, but the issue remains.

Have others experienced this and do you have any tips to improve it?

Well, I thought I wasn’t seeing this behavior anymore, but as soon as I started using the “Saved Stations” and “New Connection” options my connection started dropping. I switch back to the WISP AP, and several seconds later my laptop drops that connection and returns to my normal AP. It seems as though anything that makes this router check for other AP’s will temporarily drop it’s server/AP side. That makes it very difficult to manage connections. Is this normal?

@tsaylor, this is not normal. If AP disconnect very often it means the router cannot connect as a repeater so it affect its AP.

If not used as repeater it is stable while it because unstable when used as repeater, then we can confirm repeater is the problem.

What is the model (chipset) of your main AP? I suspect when connecting to some routers it will not be stable.

Thanks alzhao for that reply. It’s difficult because I’m trying to make configuration changes but ssh keeps disconnecting when my laptop drops the connection. I’ll run more tests to confirm and get back to you, but in the past I’ve connected to my laptop via ethernet, and the WiFi connection to my AP seemed stable in that configuration, so I suspect it is the repeater side. I’m happy to run any tests that would help diagnose.

My router is a Netgear R8000, so the chipset is broadcom. I’m also testing against a neighbor’s xfinity AP (weaker signal in that case, but also dropping the repeater connection).

After a bit more testing, I think you are correct that my issue is the repeater, when the signal isn’t very strong or has interference. When the signal to the AP is strong the repeater is working well, and if I use a wired connection on either side the connection is strong. When the AP signal is’t great (and/or when it auto-connects to a different AP), that is when the repeater side drops.

But, there is an odd component to this. Here is the scenario I’m seeing at the moment:

  1. Connected WISP to my own router, good stable repeater connection
  2. Connected WISP to my neighbor’s xfinity router, weak connection, unstable repeater
  3. Switched back to my router (1), seems like a good connection but keeps dropping
  4. After several minutes of instability, the connection seemed to become solid again

Maybe something about switching connections is causing problems for longer than I would expect? (several minutes after switching)

@tsaylor, in the firmware there is a repeater manager which will search for available SSIDs and tries to join them. Unfortunately it is not as smart as people. Now you have two SSIDs which can be connected: your own router and your neighbor’s router. When you tries to connect to one SSID the mini router tries. But if it fails for some reason it will scan immediately and tries to connect to another.

So it may connect both SSID alternatively so your AP became unstable. But finally if it fails too many times it will blacklist your neighbor’s SSIDs so your connection is good again.

One solution is just to use the repeater manager (in Internet status) page and ask the router don’t automatically connect to your neighbor’s SSID.