"passive tracking"(?) while in AP mode

my apologies if i have the incorrect terminology here, but i am wondering if i can have an openwrt wifi router in AP mode monitor network devices which poll(?) the router without actually connecting to it (or attempting to)?

for purposes of a network art project, i wish to visualize devices which connect to the openwrt router versus the ones which are just in the vicinity of the device and have "discovered" the AP (but not connected). imagine the latter as objects buzzing around a planet, the former having landed on it.

even a simple count (tally) of such devices over a timeline would suffice. (e.g. i do not need their MAC address or anything.) ideally, i would have a timestamp when they "appeared" to the router, and when they "disappeared". that is, i do not necessarily need to uniquely identify them, though that would be a bonus.

i have managed to find some info on what i think is the right thing, but it seems to indicate that the router needs to be in monitor mode which, i believe, means i cannot also have it act as an access point. thanks!

I think, you should try ariodump-ng https://www.aircrack-ng.org/doku.php?id=airodump-ng

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Hi do you manage to make this work? I'm also doing the same but I needed the signal strength, mac address, ip address, and timestamp of the device. I would appreciate any help thanks!!