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Surfbeam modem

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Ex Member
Ex Member

Oct 31st, 2009 at 2:41am  
I can't seem to get an answer from WB so I'll ask the experts here.  I have a surfbeam sm2101 modem with no WB logo on it.  Since WB won't tell me, how can I tell if this modem is a WB modem? I know it is not a Xplornet Canada modem. (and they are not cross compatible even though they carry the same model numbers due to firm ware issues so I've been told). 

Do any other ISP use these modems?  Could this modem be for some different ISP that I have never heard of?

Thanks once again in advance for all your help,

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USN - Retired
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Posts: 837
Kentucky (USA)
Reply #1 - Oct 31st, 2009 at 3:13am  
Brief research reveals that the 2100 and 2101 are operationally compatible, but don't use the same power adapter. Obviously though, each will have a unique MAC address and/or modem serial number - meaning they would not operate on a common account.

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Ex Member
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Reply #2 - Oct 31st, 2009 at 3:45am  
Thank you for your reply.

You are correct that they are essentially the same modems except for the power supply.  The 2100 has a multi-pin multiple voltage power supply (that is prone to failure i have found) while the 2101 has a single 30vdc center + plug.  (In fact the reason I have this unit is I bought it to gain a spare power supply for my 2100, but it has the wrong one, as I didn't know there was a difference).

I am selling the 2101 but I wanted to assure the buyer it was WB compatible.  As it turns out, the information I have assumed to be true for years may not be true.  I was always told that the modems had different firmware so that a WB modem would not work on a Xplornet account.  In conversation with Xplornet higher level Tech support, they told me that as long as the modem was cleared of any account, it should work on either system.  So now I am quite confused.
If the modem will work on my Canadian Xplornet system, then I will keep it.  If it will only work on WB I will have to sell it.

I have written to Viasat to as for a definitive answer, not that I am expecting an answer.

Any other thoughts,


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Ex Member
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Reply #3 - Oct 31st, 2009 at 3:58am  
From the horses mouth, an e-mail from Viasat:

The Surfbeam modem cannot connect to both systems
simultaneously.  The Surfbeam2101 modems have the capability to run on
either WildBlue OR the Xplornet systems, if they are programmed
correctly.  However, modems can be locked to one network by the
provider, so you could have problems if you try to use a WildBlue modem
on the Telesat hub.

     To operate on either of their networks you will need to program
the modem and have the proper firmware for the hub you will be
connecting to.  This programming and proper firmware version will be
determined by the ISP.  Different service providers run different modem
firmware and hub software versions.  I do not know if WildBlue and
Telesat use the same modem firmware and hub software versions.

     Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

So there you go!
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