i finally was up and running on saturday with a new and different router to provide mock manor with 5GHz frequencies. streaming video is noticeably slower over 2.4GHz. i opted for a netgear nighthawk x4s. someone i work with has talked this router line up.
the setup was easy and all is good. i actually like the design on the router, specifically the lights on the front kinda top of the router. my others had a flatter face on the front which hid them a little.
now, i still have a little follow up with linksys about getting the wrt-1900acs working. they had contacted me about working through some steps to get it working. there is probably a chance to get it back to a happy firmware version. i just need to plug it in and troubleshoot it. if i can get it working, it will be my backup router.
in my many years of working with routers, i've not had this much trouble with these devices. and my queries with others surfaced two independent responses for pfsense and unifi devices. i even looked at some more high end hardware feeling that now might be the time for something like that. however, i don't have the closet in which i can install a rack to mount a switch or other metal.
i hope this concludes this adventure.