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A Story - BT Wholehome AC2600 9 Disc Setup (Anyone who is interested in the results with pictures)

I had been meaning to post about this for a while just never got around to it, I wanted to give some information about how far you can take this solution and for the most part the results are very positive. I wasnt sure if anyone would care but here it is anyway.

Before the mods remove my post, I would like to say that the supported disc limit is 6 and that is all you should do given what is beyond is a bit of an unknown....well I hope to shed some light on it.

In around 2019 when I first moved into my 30's house the ISP router we had then, (Virgin V6) would barely make it to the next room due to the old thicccccc solid walls. There was no ethernet anywhere in the house and with solid walls its not easy to just retrofit that so after googling I found the AC2600 discs on Amazon and I got myself a 3 disc kit. Results are instantly positive, piece of cake to setup and I managed to strategically place them to get full coverage, I even connected my NAS to the ethernet port on the back of one which solved another issue.

As time went on and we grew into the house there was a need for a 4th disc, so I got myself an addon and I think for me this is where the obsession began...IE getting the best WIFI into every room given the lack of ethernet, soon there was a 5th disc and eventually a 6th. This is where the problems began.

I found all these discs MESH'ing was a bit unstable and when there was ever a reason the master disc went down if the internet dropped or there was a power cut booting all the discs up again to ensure they connected in the optimum daisy chain was a right headache. It would take some 20-30 minutes to turn them all off, boot the master up, then its closest one and so on until the last one was there with a perfect daisy chain. It was never possible to just leave it doing its thing and hope it all booted up and figured itself out, and this was even after setting 'Prefer Daisy Chain.

It began to really do my head in so I sucked it up and started running ethernet to areas that I could, never easy in a house like mine to keep tidy but none the less got on with it. This took the stress off the MESH function and stabilised things a bit with half of the discs with ethernet backend connections, even then I was still left with some discs connecting to the disc furthest away than its nearest neighbour.....

I didnt realise that the limit was 6 discs, so I bought another one off Ebay for next to nothing, the app wont let you add any more but I just hooked it up to the ethernet and low and behold after a factory reset it a few times there it was in the app labelled 'New Disc', below discs 5 and 6 on the second page, I could then name it. Then I got an 8th and added it the same way. Now every single room had a WIFI AP, we can ignore how overkill that is for the moment.

Problem with having 8 discs and half of them on ethernet I was getting myself back into the initial optimum daisy chain problem and having to boot ethernet discs up first should there be a power cut etc....The other thing to consider with these discs is they dont have a separate backhaul network to MESH with each other, they use the existing one that you use for your devices, so each MESH hop can roughly half bandwidth from the disc before.

Eventually I was able to get ethernet to all 8, it had become a bit of a project to get ethernet to all my rooms here. Then I got curious about a 9th disc, this would have to open up a 3rd page in the app.....would that work?

Yes and no.....so after getting a 9th disc for the garden (why not) from Ebay, again for barely 20 quid....I tried to add it to my network, it took a good few factory resets using the pin on the rear but eventually it joined and it works, and you can connect to it and see devices connect to it, you can turn its lights on or off and do everything really, what you cant do is name it...well actually you can but let me explain. It turns up there on a new 3rd page in the app as 'New Disc', you can name it but from this page view it will not display its name, but the naming process is stored by the disc its self. If you switch off the disk it disappears from the app all together, it doesnt show disconnected, its gone, power the disc back on it comes back and functions fine but it doesnt display its name. If you visit the LED brightness menu it shows its name in there, also if you look at devices and check what a given device is connected to it will show its name correctly in there.

Here are some images:

Page 1:

IMG_1640.jpg

Page 2:

IMG_1641.jpg

Page 3:

IMG_1642.jpg

In LED brightness all the names are there

IMG_1643.jpg

The other thing adding a 9th disc does is break the web gui view a little bit, its almost like they thought if someone adds 8, even though its not strictly allowed we will allow for that in the webgui.....but didnt account for someone like me adding 9, ill show you what I mean below:

8 Discs: (Screengrab only shows 3 but the other 5 are below)

Screenshot 2024-04-23 145322.png

9 Discs:  (The screengrab doesnt show all the discs again, the GUI does however but the views all wrecked)

Screenshot 2024-04-23 145637.png

Every other view in the web gui works though and you can name the disc in there, it shows up with its correct name along with any devices connected to it.

So in summary adding a 9th discs does finally have some weird results, not from a function point of view but from the app and this web gui view, but none of these are show stoppers that prevent functionality. I assume you can go on and add 10/11/12 etc..without issue from a function point of view, all you really care about is that it picks up the WIFI details from the master disc which I can confirm it does, the rest is just how it looks in the software. I think if you had 1 master disc on ethernet and all the rest on MESH then I would expect this to crash and fail alot, I cant speak for trying that.

If anyone has got this far, great thanks for sticking with it and sorry, yes its a bit crazy to have 9 discs but I have a really awkward shaped house and 4 discs would do it, but after I got FTTP900 it really made me try and get the same wifi performance in each room, reality is these WH discs can only do WIFI 5 at about 580Mbps and maybe better equipment can penetrate our walls. We have issues with baby monitors here also, their 2.4Ghz network can barely get to where we need it, so getting good WIFI into the kids rooms was important so we could use WIFI based monitors.

Ultimately its all a bit pointless as now that I have Ethernet everywhere I am slowly going to migrate to Ubiquity WIFI 6 and ill probably run with 6 AP's max, but if you ever come over, I can guarantee you banging WIFI in every room and hopefully no long term side effects.

    

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BT900 | Nokia ONT | Ubiquity ER-X | EETV Box Pro (IP Mode) | Unifi CK2 | 6x Unifi U6+ | 2x Unifi SAK Ultra
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