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Old 09-19-2010, 02:11 PM
rfenn rfenn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1
Default Modem Locked Onto Satellite But Loses Internet Connect

We've had this problem on and off for the nearly two years we've had the xplornet setup (with the small dish and the Surfbeam modem. Before that we had the bigger Hughes dish setup.) The modem locks on to the satellite and all works well until suddenly I lose the connection, even though the upper two modem lights are still steadily lit. If I turn the modem off, then on again, everything is hunkydory again, at least for a while.

Las spring, this was happening on a regular basis, mostly in the mornings, but gradually worsened. I called xplornet and they said the dish needed repointing. We're in Yukon, in a remote area, so getting a technician out here to check things out is an expensive proposition, if one is even available when needed, so I couldn't do anything about it then. At any rate, a few days later the modem failed to lock onto the satellite at all. I had a spare TRIA that I'd gotten on ebay, so I swapped that in, and it's been working fine since then, until today, when I had to reboot the modem to reconnect.

Could a failing TRIA be the only cause for losing the connection and having to reboot the modem? Maybe the one I swapped in is starting to fail? And if so, why do the top two lights on the modem stay solidly lit, even though the internet connection is lost?

I've read that an improperly pointed antenna can put a lot of stress on a TRIA. We did repoint ours a couple months ago, using testmynet to check speeds until we got the fastest upload and download speeds we could. realize this isn't the best method for repointing, but it was the best we could do in our situation.

Not sure if this is relevant, but since the problem mostly occurs in mid-morning to early afternoon, when the sun shines directly on the dish and TRIA, I'm wondering if heat buildup could be part of the problem?

I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions!
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:01 PM
xplornetsuck xplornetsuck is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 903

When you lose Internet, if spraying the TRIA with a hose to cool it down cause the signal to come back? Spray up from the bottom on the heat sink.
Being a Telesat TRIA, be careful to not make water get into the unit via the aperture(under the plastic cap on top) or the gasket seals(case seam on side of unit).

The lights may still be on, due to the modem freezing up with no transmit/receive via the TRIA. Maybe a small signal is achieved but not enough to actually use.

Another cause could be the connectors. Make sure they are clean on the wire and screwed on tight and water tight.

Another is if the unit is grounded? There is a small screw on the TRIA heat sink that the ground connects too. This is an issue that can cause a static build up in the cable. I've read older posts of where support for satellite Internet has the user unscrew the connections at the modem and touch the center wire to dissipate any small static charge that may cause issues.

Heres an interesting one for when the user loses signal at night, due to bad coaxial cable(or connector).

Heres some quick information on the lights on the modem.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:31 PM
icarus icarus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 24

Get ahold of Xplornet and have them look at you numbers, your transmit power, your snr, your deviation. Once you find those numbers you can decide where to go from there. I also suggest that every remote site installation users learn how to point and peak their dishes so that they can keep them in top trim. I find that mine needs a tweek a couple of times a year due to wind and snow. A simple $10 sat meter is all you need.

As to your real problem, I would look at your modem power supply. I have had a number where one of the supplied voltages gets whacky. (It supplies 3 voltages if memory serves). I had a similar problem a couple of years ago where I changed everything, TRIA, modem, cables etc to no avail. It was only when I changed power supplies that it solved the problem.

I also suggest that every remote sited installation get and have on hand a set of spares. These are easy and cheap (or free) to get from customers who have canceled their service. I keep a couple of modems and TRIAs on hand all the time. Our nearest town is ~200 kms away and getting someone to come out over the ice in the winter,, aint gonna happen.
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