iDirect
iDirect Modem Recovery
11 August 2017
Polarization
11 August 2017

iDirect Connection Troubleshooting

The starting point for an active iDirect connection is the RX indicator, which must be green, and you must have an RX SNR greater than 6.

Troubleshooting a poor RX connection when the DataStorm controller (positioner) indicates that pointing has completed, but you still don’t have a green RX light and/or you do not have an SNR value of 6 or greater (as displayed in iDModTool):

  • if SNR is a positive number greater than 2 then look to trees or other obstructions, snow on the dish, condensation in the feed horn and the usual things that limit signal quality.
  • If the SNR is -100 indicating that the iDirect modem does not see the satellite at all, then check the configuration of the positioner and verify correct satellite and polarization. If uncertain try vertical transmit and horizontal receive.
  • Check the back of the iDirect modem for red lights. Cycle power if any red lights are seen.
  • Now check the configuration of the modem. From the iDmodTool, lower center of the screen, check the Rx Freq and compare this to what you had when you last got the system working. If you don’t have that number, call your service provider and ask for the outbound carrier frequency. If it is incorrect then ask your provider to e-mail a fresh option file to you. You will need the iSite program to install it.
  • Turn off the power on the positioner and verify the LNB indicator is still on. If not, check cabling to the modem. Verify that the two coaxial cables on the back of the positioner are not reversed. Check also that the cable from the positioner is plugged into the modem’s Rx input. Not to be confused with the Rx output that should have a silver cap on it.
  • Finally, disconnect the coaxial cable that leads to the roof from the back of the positioner and connect that directly to the modem Rx input. If this works then a defective positioner is indicated.

Troubleshooting a solid RX lock that won’t transmit: TX should be blinking green. The iDmodTool is helpful here because it will adjust transmit power until you are connected. Assuming the hardware is working, there are only three reasons that you cannot connect.

  • The account is disabled at the NOC.
  • The transmitter power is too high or too low. iDmodTool will continue to adjust both up and down until you are connected. Again, check the back of modem for red lights. If any, reset power. If red light persists, then check transmitter and cable.

The latitude and longitude, while not important for receive lock, is critical for transmit. If this is a fixed site or you have used manual override, then check setting. Degrees and at least two decimal positions are required. Some versions of the positioner firmware would allow the positioner to begin pointing using the last known position after a timeout. This is okay if you have not moved.

After all this, and 20 min. of watching iDmodTool adjust your Tx power, then you must consider hardware. The easiest way to check the transmitter, if you have Rx lock, is to call your provider and ask him to command a CW test signal and watch for it on a spectrum analyzer. It takes about 10 minutes, and verifies transmitter operation from modem to BUC. While you are there, he might want to do a 1db compression test. Some older BUC’s like the NJT5017(f) are subject to drastically reduce power if driven by excessive power from the modem. Simply, the modem calls for a little more power and gets a lot less. Your provider can set your MaxTxPwr if this is the case.

If you are having trouble staying online, check all the above. On the iDModTool, if the TxPwr bar graph display stays all the way to the right, max power, then consider a bigger dish, bigger BUC or lower bandwidth uplink connection. Your provider may move you to a different in-route.

 

Troubleshooting

 

Troubleshooting SymptomsProblemSolution
Rx Flashing AmberModem not locked on to SatelliteCheck alignment and signal strength of dish antenna. Check RX cable and connectors. Swap RX and TX cable at modem and dish end.
RX solid green and TX flashing AmberModem RX locked on to Satellite but unable to transmit.Check TX cable and connectors. Swap RX and TX cables at both ends. If you do not get RX lock you have a faulty cable. Check Latitude and Longitude.
RX & TX solid green, NET OFFModem cannot acquire into the network.Contact LCS NOC team to troubleshoot the issue.

 

 What do the LED Indicators mean on the iDirect modem?

LED Label LED Colour Indications
PowerOFFIndicates that the modem is powered off or there is a power supply problem.
GreenIndicates that the modem is powered on. The bootloader has started.
NETStable GreenIndicates that the modem has acquired the network.
Flashing GreenIndicates that the modem is in the network acquisition.
Flashing AmberIndicates that there is no internet at the site. In this case, contact our NOC team for assistance.
STATUS

(Only for iDirect X3 & X5 modem)

Stable GreenModem is functioning properly.
Flashing GreenIndicates that the modem is rebooting.
RedIndicates a fault or failure in software, hardware, or configuration.
RXStable GreenIndicates that the modem is successfully locked to the downstream.
Flashing Green/ AmberIndicates drop in RF levels due to antenna misalignment/ faulty cables or connectors/ Moisture presence. Swap Tx and Rx cables to check.
OFFIndicates the modem is not receiving signal due to antenna misalignment/ LNB failure/ wrong configuration/ Faulty cable or connectors.
TXStable GreenIndicates that the modem is transmitting.
Flashing Green/ AmberModem Rx is locked onto satellite but unable to transmit. Check for faulty cables or connectors.

Swap Tx and Rx cables.

OFFIndicates the modem is not transmitting signal due to antenna misalignment/ BUC failure/ wrong configuration/ Faulty cable or connectors.

 

On initial Power up the PWR and STATUS led’s will be on. After a while the STATUS led will go out and the NET and RX will flash Yellow.

The LEDS should go solid green in the following order RX > TX > NET.

PWR should be on at all times and STATUS will be off except after initial Power up.

Troubleshooting issues on the iDirect Modem  (Active site)

  • Check the LED status at front panel of the iDirect modem with the technician (Rx, Tx & NET).
  • Are the TX, RX and LAN cables connected to the iDirect modem?
  • Try to Ping the modem remotely.
  • If you can ping the modem, then Telnet into the modem & check the Rx SNR value along with ARP Table (to check if LAN is connected to the iDirect modem).
  • If PC is not connected to the modem, then the ARP Table command will not show any IP address in the list. If this is the case, then ask the technician to check the LAN cable at his end.
  • If you are NOT able to Ping, the modem then ask the technician to Ping the modem from his end. If he is able to Ping the modem, then ask him to telnet into the modem & check the Rx SNR value.
  • If not ask to check IP settings, router, LAN cable and ports.
  • If the Rx LED is Amber, then you need to ask the technician to fine tune the antenna & get the Rx lock. Check to see that the coaxial connector is clean and free from any corrosion. If there are signs of corrosion, it is recommended that the LNB be replaced.
  • Once he gets the Rx lock then check with the service provider what could be the issue. If everything is good from the service provider’s end, then ask the technician to swap the cables & check the LED again.
  • If all the LED’s are Green and still customer is not able to browse the internet, then connect the iDirect modem directly to the PC without any router or a switch and then ask to browse.
  • Simultaneously ask Teleport to check for routing issues.
  • If still he is not able to browse, then check the DNS/IP configuration and make sure that he have entered the right DNS.

Troubleshooting the Evolution X3 Receive Chain

1) Check to see that the LNB and feed horn match the Service ordered.
2) In case of interference, it is recommended to use a narrow frequency range LNB.
3) Is the coaxial connection correct and tight?
4) If you do not know, or are uncertain of any of these parameters, consult the receiver documentation.
5) Check to see that the coaxial connector is clean and free from any corrosion. If there are signs of corrosion, it is
recommended that the LNB be replaced.
6) Check to see that the feed is secured to the LNB using the screws provided with the LNB.
7) Check to see that the “O” ring is installed between the LNB and the feed horn flange to prevent water from
entering the input waveguide of the LNB.
8 ) Check for the presence of water or moisture in the input waveguide of the LNB. If there are signs of corrosion it
is recommended that the LNB be replaced.
9) Ensure that the condition of the outside cover of the coaxial cable is without breaks or cracks. Also make sure
that there are no sharp bends, pinch points or flattened sections of the cable.
10) Check that there are between +13 and +18 volts coming from the receiver to power the LNB.
11) If there is a signal from the LNB but no signal at the router, check the signal at the end of the cable before the
router with a spectrum analyzer.
12) In the Option File, under the MODEM PARAMETERS section, increase the rx acq_range to 2 million.
13) Change the LNB to one with a narrow frequency range which is preferable.

Troubleshooting the Evolution X3 Transmit Chain

1) Make sure that the BUC matches the antenna and the satellite router being used.
2) Are the input and output frequency ranges correct?
3) Is the 10 MHz reference signal present?
4) Is the DC power level around +24 volts at the router output and at the cable end on the roof?
5) Ensure that the coaxial connection is tight and that the connector is sealed against water. Connectors that
incorporate a separate center pin that is soldered in place are recommended for the best operation of the BUC.
6) Ensure that the directions of the feed waveguide and OMT are oriented correctly. Failure to do so will result in
improper operation of the BUC.
7) Ensure that the BUC is secured to the feed using the screws provided with the BUC.
8 ) Ensure that the “O” ring is installed between the BUC and the feed flange to prevent water from entering
the input waveguide of the BUC.
9) Ensure that all external BUC assemblies are properly grounded in accordance with grounding instructions
supplied by your antenna and receiver manufacturer’s manual. Grounding provides protection to the BUC against lightning and ESD damage.
10) For proper system operation consult your iDirect satellite router manual.
11) Ensure that the condition of the outside cover of the coaxial cable is without breaks or cracks. Also, make sure
that there are no sharp bends, pinch points or flattened sections in the cable.
12) Change the BUC, make sure the Local Oscillator frequency is the same. If not, change the Option File under
FREQUENCY TRANSLATION to the new L.O. frequ

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