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Starband in Louisiana

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liljim
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Starband in Louisiana
Apr 27th, 2007 at 3:24am
 
Hello,
Im in north Louisiana and unfortunately stuck with Starband. I have a Skyedge IP vsat modem and im suppose to be getting 500 or so down and 100 up. I've only had this system since January 07 and its been problematic from day one. Tech support doesnt like talking to me anymore, apparently they dont like being criticized for not knowing whats going on with my connection. Heres the deal, over the last 2 weeks my connection has been getting slower and slower. 3 days ago i ran a bandwidth test on speedtest.net and hit 16kbps down and 22up. You can imagine how upsetting this can be when your paying 50 bucks a month for 500 down. Just for self assurance, i ran the test 4-5 times, each to a different server which generated close to the same results. It was to late in the day to contact tech support so i surrendered for the night. The following day i was running around 200-220 down and 60-70 up which is also what im getting today. So far i havent been able to get starband on the phone nor a response from email. I should also add this is with clear weather.

My system is clean, my pc knowledge is extensive, i build, repair, upgrade, clean, etc. My knowledge of satellite internet simply sucks. Im behind a router with 2 other machines on the network however they were unpluged during the bandwidth test. My EbNO runs 6-6.5.

I doubt that it matters but i have access to the installer side of my modem, modulation and coding setting etc. but dont know if theres a benefit to it.

Is there anything i can do to at least get up to where i should be? Are there any adjustments that can be made on my end that would help?

heres a test result from 4/24
...

heres one i just ran
...

I don't have anything running in the background

Do you guys have any ideas at all?
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« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2007 at 9:15am by Admin1 »  
 
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #1 - Apr 27th, 2007 at 5:05am
 
-Does throughput (speed) improve by power cycling the modem, then decrease slowly over time?
-What speeds results are obtained during off-peak hours (0100-0500 local)?
-What kind of packet loss are you experiencing (a) when your speeds are close to acceptable, and (b) when they are down in the dumps?
-Eb/No sounds low, but I don't know your hardware. Do you have a means by which to determine transmitter isolation? How much rain does it take to make your connection drop out?

I strongly recommend selecting one speed test site and sticking with it. When troubleshooting satellite connections, who gives you the fastest speed results is not the objective. It's all about the space segment. Find out where your gateway satellite terminal is physically located.  Ideally, your provider should provide a customer-only speed test server.  The idea is to test the space segment; that is, from you to the distant gateway and back. Short of that, the speed test site you select should be as geographically close as possible to the gateway to minimize terrestrial influences. Once you get a feel for the speed patterns between you and the gateway, THEN move out into the internet for further samples. Just WHERE the slowdowns are occurring will then become easier to track down.

//greg//
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liljim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #2 - Apr 29th, 2007 at 2:14am
 
Thank you for your reply

Rebooting the modem has no effect
Off peak hours has been hitting 250-300 down
Starband tech tells me my ebNO is normal, they checked my alignment and called it good. To me, it looks as though the signal could be better but i dont know. Heres a screenshot from my modem.
[img]http://www.satsig.net/pointing/vsat-modem-rx-ebno-display.jpg[/img]

A means to determine transmitter isolation is beyond me. I'm not real sure what exactly that is, my apologies.

A light rain will knock me offline pretty quick, usually i have to go out and wipe off the horn to get back on after a rain.

Starbands equipment is in Atlanta Georgia so thats where im running my speed test to.

From forum admin:  I have moved the image file in the above posting.   Any query please email eric@satsig.net
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« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2007 at 1:43pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #3 - Apr 29th, 2007 at 4:45am
 
On the surface, it sounds like an antenna pointing issue. The fact that it's getting worse with time could suggest that the installer also neglected to tighten down the alignment nuts/bolts. If it's a polemount, the pole could be turning in the ground. What is Starband policy about remedying substandard installations?

//greg//
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #4 - Apr 29th, 2007 at 4:30pm
 
Their policy is the installer is responsible for 3 months, after that your on your own. None the less, their trying to convince me that i have a good signal anyway. I can also tell you when my signal drops below 5, my actual internet speeds are worse than dial up. I dont see how 6 could be good if 4.9 is pretty much useless.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #5 - Apr 29th, 2007 at 9:23pm
 
I think we agree that you need your dish pointing angles optimized. The SB folks who gave you that "if it works, there's nothing wrong with it" quite probably have marching orders to take all means necessary to avoid sending out an installer at Starband expense.

Assuming your 3 months are up, bit the bullet and call an installer. Pay what it takes to fix what I think we both believe is a pointing angle issue.

//greg//
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #6 - Apr 29th, 2007 at 11:18pm
 
Check all is tight, then repeat the Eb/No measurement several times.

With a low receive quality Eb/No =5.96 dB I would start with 1/2 a turn up on the elevation nut and look for any change.  If an improvement, keep going, otherwise try the other way.  Then optimise azimuth.

Best regards, Eric.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #7 - Apr 30th, 2007 at 11:44pm
 
Thank you both for your advise. I was browsing around through starbands site last night and stumbled upon their training pages. I found all the installer documentation for the nova modems and the phase III dish that i have. This included information on how to adjust elevation and azimuth. I also found the point dish software that determines the alignment parameters by zipcode and the satellite your shooting to which is 72 west in my case. I havent made any adjustments yet but i will be doing so this afternoon. I will post the outcome.
Thanks again,
     Jim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #8 - May 1st, 2007 at 1:53am
 
Pay particular attention to anything mentioned about transmitter isolation. Eb/No is important, but it's a function of your receive. You can achieve good Eb/No, but still have bad transmitter isolation. Once the best Eb/No is obtained, you must then move on to optimizing the transmitter isolation. It's counter-intuitive, but it's then normal to peak transmitter isolation at the expense of some Eb/No

That is the specific reason that I first mentioned obtaining the services of a Starband installer.

//greg//
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #9 - May 1st, 2007 at 3:05am
 
Thank you, i'll see what i can find about it.

This is what i've done so far, my signal was running 4.80 ish' when i started playing with the adjustments. I had my loving wife watch my screen while i adjusted the dish, communicating through cell phones. My dish is pole mounted by the way. I began to raise the elevation until i loss signal, noting the strongest point then lowered until losing signal. My strongest point in that direction yielded a 5.10 from the previous 4.80 so i locked it down there. At that point, i loosened the pole mounting bracked which allowed me to slightly rotate the dish either way. The best i could get there was 5.90, locked it there also. At this very moment, theres a slight overcast and its 8:25 pm and im getting a 6.8.

Heres where it gets odd, and it may be what your talking about with transmitter isolation. I ran a bandwidth test just now and pulled 573kb down and 40 up. Once that completed, i re-ran it to get 168 down and 40 up. The next one was 92 down and 24 up.

I dont know if theres a relevance or not but during the test it appears to "hang". This has been the case ever since my bandwidth issue started. The 573 test ran without hangs. All of these test were done at speedtest.net using the Atlanta Georgia server. I jumped over to speakeasy.net just for the hell of it and i get the same hangs and slow speeds, these test go to Houston Texas. To clarify a statement made previously, im not looking for the site that gives the fastest result. Its just a personal comparison.

I think if this continues, im gonna just go out and set the dish just off enough to lose signal and raise hell with starband until they have no choice but to send someone out with the right tools for the job.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #10 - May 1st, 2007 at 3:11am
 
i might be able to explain "hang" a little better

It will start downloading/measuring, pause for a sec, resume, pause and so on. It does this on both down and up test. I hope that makes a little sense.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #11 - May 1st, 2007 at 5:37am
 
I don't see where you tried to do anything with the polarization angle

//greg//
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liljim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #12 - May 1st, 2007 at 6:34pm
 
i didnt mess with it.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #13 - May 1st, 2007 at 8:06pm
 
Hmmm, well. The POL angle is what actually provides the basis for meaningful transmitter isolation. If your problem was a transmitter issue in the first place, then all you've done with the AZ and EL is sorta tread water. Again, it's typically an installer function - since they have access to the resources to optimize transmitter isolation. You and I as subscribers (at least subscribers without special equipment or support numbers) don't have that luxury.

//greg//
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #14 - May 2nd, 2007 at 10:00pm
 
I don't see any mention of your scew angle. Scew angle can affect your Transmit / Recieve signals. I have set up the dishes consistently with signal quality of 9.0 and higher.

Moderator Edit: I believe the poster means "skew" angle, otherwise referred to as POL or tilt angle//greg//

Admin Addition: The figure below shows an example only.  This system is set to receive nominally horizontal polarisation with a minus 13 deg anticlockwise adjustment applied.  The satellite is a little to the left of due south (for northern hemisphere locations).   The polarisation starting position (before the adjustment is applied) is with the broad faces of the LNB waveguide and filter exactly on either side - this is true receive horizontal polarisation.
...
Find your polarisation adjustment angle here:
http://www.satsig.net/maps/satellite-tv-dish-pointing-usa.htm
A good way to set it is to put an inclinometer sideways across the BUC, LNB body, LNB waveguide narrow edge etc.  You may even be able to read a tiny scale on the feed throat.
Note that adjustments are made while facing the satellite.  

Always start by setting either horizontal or vertical, as instructed by the hub for your downlink signal.  Vertical is with the broad faces of the LNB waveguide on the top and underneath.
wxw
Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2007 at 8:57am by Admin1 »  
 
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liljim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #15 - May 3rd, 2007 at 3:58am
 
thanks for the info and the link. According to that i got

Pointing a satellite TV dish at the Satellite at 72 West orbit longitude

Dish elevation= 47.1, Azimuth= 145.6 (magnetic compass), Polarisation= -28.2

Polar mounts only: Main angle= 32.6, Downward tilt= 4.6, Motor drive sideways angle= 22.4


I will check everything out tomorrow and see what i come up with. Thanks again

Jim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #16 - May 3rd, 2007 at 9:04am
 
Here is a diagram showing a minus - 45 deg polarisation adjustment (IN RED) being applied.

...

If you are already receiving a fairly good signal then it is probably a case of you getting a clear understanding of where the minus - 28.2 deg adjustment needs to be applied and then making some small movement if necessary.  

Note all four alternative starting positions.  2 for horizontal and 2 for vertical polarisation.  The choice of the alternative starting positions is needed in some configurations to  avoid parts hitting the metal arm or yoke bracket.  Otherwise the adjustment movement required may appear impossible.

Perhaps if you send a picture (to eric@satsig.net) it would help. Put the camera at the top of the dish facing towards the feed.

Best regards, Eric.
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #17 - May 5th, 2007 at 5:01pm
 
thanks. i'll send a couple pics your way in the next day or so.
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liljim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #18 - May 9th, 2007 at 12:39am
 
 Eric,

i apologize for not getting some pics sent yet, i've been working like crazy. I did run into an interesting situation though, im the proud owner of a craped out router. I disconnected my router and ran straight to my pc and it seems im getting all (or the majority of) my bandwidth.

...
I guess thats what i get for buying linksys. I would still like to send a couple pics if thats ok, thats assuming i'll be off work early enough one day to snap something remotely close to visable.
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« Last Edit: May 9th, 2007 at 10:17am by Admin1 »  
 
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #19 - May 11th, 2007 at 8:01pm
 
I have found Linksys to be less than optimal in many applications.  I will avoid using their products in the future and have been for some time now.  They seem to be mostly a waste of money.

Glad you found the problem. 

Mike
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #20 - Jun 5th, 2007 at 5:48pm
 
OOPS,

  Sorry, I just registered on this site today and saw the previous conversation.  I am a Starband dealer/installer in Louisiana and do vsat work on lots of other systems.

  If you take the Starband online installer certification test you will be able to use your cert number to align the system using CVACS, their direct telephone interface to the hub and get precise co pol, cross pol and adjacent satellite interference.  This system is available 24/7/365, no operator assistance necessary.

Tim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #21 - Jun 16th, 2007 at 4:13am
 
for what it's worth,
I've had very good results as many have everywhere with the Linksys WRT54g early series router AP, it could be upgraded/hacked to DD-wert and Seasoft firmware upgrades. I use those in several business and home applications for several years. I also use older (2yrs) Linksys business level switches in a small business LAN.
I've not tried any of the products since they were bought out by the "business" level co.

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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #22 - Jul 7th, 2007 at 6:38pm
 
Well guys,
Despite all the available help i've ditched starband all together. After 6 months of nothing but headache i just couldnt take it anymore. My router has been the least of my problems. I've had an installer out twice and a modem replacement and still no signal. Personally i suspect a faulty LNB but im at a point that i could care less whats wrong with it now. Its been down for 2 weeks now and all starband can do is scratch their heads and wonder whats wrong. I've made a few phone calls and located a wi-fi hotspot 3 miles from me and guarantees he can reach me from there. Im in the process of constructing a tower to clear a couple trees and i should then be internet bound. I should be running 1 to 1.5 MB down and 256 up with cable/dsl latency for the same cost i was paying starband. $200 setup as opposed to starbands $500 setup.

Starband is trying to charge me $500 for early termination for a service that they couldnt provide. I've given them 6 months to correct everything and at least provide me with a decent connection and they cant seem to do so. Their conclusion is that something at my location is causing an interference with the signal, although theres nothing in front of the dish but open sky. If theres an RF interference i would have no idea where it would be coming from nor do i feel its anything under my control. In my opinion thats something the installer should have determined and corrected if possible. Im not sure if the EMF signal from power lines would be a factor but again, thats the installers call.

Thanks to everyone who offered advise on my situation, its people like you who help make the world go around. If anyone is ever in need of PC support, drop by http://www.pctechforums.com and perhaps i can return the favor. Im a Mod over there along with several other great people.

Thanks again,
liljim
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Re: Starband in Louisiana
Reply #23 - Jul 24th, 2007 at 11:44pm
 
liljim man i didn't read  all the messeges but how long is the cable and is it copper or copper clad
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