Google Wi-Fi Mesh--clients don't get IP addresses

I have 2 Google wi-Fi pucks with Openwrt flashed. With just the master node connected in bridge mode, everything works. Issues start when I add the second node. The routers are talking over the mesh, which I can see. The second node is broadcasting the correct SSID that I can attempt to connect to--but I never get any IP's to anything connected on the second router.

The guides all say to point the second router to the first one as gateway and DNS, which doesn't work for me. I tried turning the second wireless router to the wired router the working wireless one uses for those and still the same result.

The only thing I can think of at this point is that I'm fundamentally misunderstanding how mesh works and the first wireless router has to serve the addresses, is this correct?

Do you have a 802.11s mesh point setup on your radios with WPA3? The mesh name and passwords must match.

You have to have the appropriate driver installed too, either wpad-mesh-wolfssl or wpad-mesh-openssl, which replaces the generic wpad driver.

You’ll treat any nodes after your main one as a dumb AP, so stopping services like dnsmasq, firewall, and odhcpd are a good idea. Turn off dhcp on the network interface on any nodes, too. Your lan interface on the nodes should have static ip’s in the range of your main subnet, unless you use a separate network/interfaces to manage it all, then you could set other nodes interfaces to unmanaged.

Thanks for the replies!
The mesh ID and passwords do match--like I said, I can see the mesh connection is active and connected in LuCi.

Those 3 services are stopped on all my wireless routers. They all have static IP's below .10, which is where the wired router starts handing addresses. Do I absolutely have to have one wireless router in the mesh serving addresses?

No, it just makes for best practice with the simplest configuration. You can have other nodes serving ‘other’ networks (ie: a guest or IoT network), but it requires fine tuning the configs to get it to do what you want. You can NOT have multiple nodes serving the same subnet. To my understanding, if you attempt it, you will have many complications.

By "one" I meant "at least one". Right now, my wired router is serving the addresses. I have DHCP, DNS, and firewall off on BOTH wireless routers. Only when I'm connected to the first wireless one do I get addresses though, even though the mesh is talking.

So it sounds like you have 3 routers (1 wired as main router and 2 wireless dumb AP’s). Is your first dumb AP connected with Ethernet to the main router and you’re using 802.11s to connect the second dumb AP to the first dumb AP?

I’m trying to visualize your topology

Precisely! Sorry about the confusion.

I’ve personally never done this setup before. I’m fortunate to have a couple of tri-band devices and can dedicate one of the radios on each for the mesh point. I don’t know if this type of setup is even possible with just one mesh point without batman-adv, because to my understanding, as you go downstream on that type of topology, your wan connection essentially gets shared, so-to-speak (I’m probably mucking up the terminology here).

What I mean is that since your main router is sharing the data from your ISP to your first dumb AP via ethernet, your first dumb AP doesn’t have a wan of it’s own to share with your second dumb AP via 802.11s and your first dumb AP can’t share your main routers data to your second dumb AP.

I’m assuming you want to maximize your throughput on your main routers radios by not setting up a mesh point on your main router?

I’m thinking it is possible, but you will need to use ‘batman-adv’ to include your hardwired connection into the mesh between your main router and your first dumb AP. Then, you can use your 802.11s meshpoint with batman-adv between both dumb AP’s so your second dumb AP “can talk to” your main router.

Look up @onemarcfifty on YouTube. He has an excellent video on setting up Batman-adv mesh.

Ok, so it's what I thought--I need the first wireless router to actually--route.

The only problem I see here is that my wired router doesn't have openwrt. The wired router wouldn't need batman-adv installed, would it?

Sorry, I was thinking all devices had owrt. Since your wired router is not using owrt, then there’s no way to use Batman-adv with it.

Yea, you’ll need the wired AP to route and with that setup, you’ll be dealing with other obstacles like double nat.

Ok, if I were to turn my wired router into a switch and have the first wireless one serve the addresses I should be fine, correct?

EDIT: Long-term, I will go the batman-adv route though...the I can just flash openwrt to my wired Mikrotik, was not aware of that until just now.

Yea that should work if your wired router just becomes a switch. If it an ISP provided device, most ISP devices have a feature called ‘ip passthrough’ that you can use.