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Old 09-22-2022, 10:14 PM   #1
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Pepwave & Starlink

Background:
Current setup: Pepwave w/ Parsec antenna utilizing a Verizon SIM card. Verizon SIM card is $150 a month thru MobileMustHave. For 30% of our travels, this configuration works OK. It is hampered by cell usage & towers.

After observing several Starlink systems in use we have bought one. Their RV program, $135 a month.

I have viewed videos where you can connect the Starlink router to the Pepwave via Ethernet cables. My question is this really needed? In an RV application the running of the cables would be challenging.

I do intend on eliminating the Verizon SIM card, replacing it with a $10 per month TMobile SIM card as a backup in the event we are in a forested area.

Again, what are the advantages of connecting the Starlink to the Pepwave, if any for an RV?

TIA!
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:18 AM   #2
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Wired ethernet is always much faster than wireless. Having the main connection to your router running on wire provides you the best bandwidth between it and the Starlink. If it were me, I'd wire it, no matter what I'd have to do in order to run the wire.

If bandwidth isn't that important, then none of that matters. It's really to maximize the bandwidth and then whatever your router supports (wired, wireless) will leverage that.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:47 AM   #3
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First, a couple of qualifying questions . . .

1) which Pepwave Router are you using.

2) are you using WiFi as Wan.
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Old 09-23-2022, 09:46 AM   #4
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We have the Max Transit DUO.

No we are not using the WiFi as a WAN
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:44 PM   #5
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As far as I can see from installation instructions for the residential model, wires must go from Starlink antennae to Starlink router and power cable must go to Starlink router. Even if you put the router on the outside, a power cable will have to be run through the roof or walls.

Running eithernet cable from router to computing device is optional. Computing devices can connect to the starlink router using WiFi. The Starlink WiFi probably has a 50 ft or so range.

There may or may not be advantages for connecting the Pepwave to the Starlink router. However, the Pepwave should not be needed. Computing devices can connect directly to the Starlink router.

You should be able to continue to use the Pepwave independent from the Starlink. It should have a different WiFi router name from the Starlink router.

If you feel you must connect the Pepwave to the Starlink router, eithernet is the best way to connect. You will need the optional Starlink eithernet addapter
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Trip View Post
We have the Max Transit DUO.

No we are not using the WiFi as a WAN

Would encourage you to take a look at the Peplink Forum with issues associated with Starlink & Peplink cellular router modems.

In addition to the Starlink Ethernet adapter, almost all of the posts on the fourm identifying issues with Starlink are solved by placing a switch between the Peplink device & the Starlink.
If you have multiple clients (devices) depending on your Peplink or Starlink for their internet signal, there are advantages to connecting via Ethernet. A switch will make this process a lot easier.

You have a lot of flexibility with the Max Transit Duo, if you are only using the one SIM card (regardless of carrier) you are not taking advantage of the devices capability.
Safe travels.
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Old 09-24-2022, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Trip View Post
We have the Max Transit DUO.

No we are not using the WiFi as a WAN
Thanks for the response.

Based on what you are telling me, and how I think you are using your available internet sources, there may be little to gain from running an ethernet cable up to your Max-Transit.

We both understand that by using them (StarLink/Max-Transit) as separate internet sources you'll have to change all you devices from one router to the other every time you switch sources. If you only have a few devices, it's no big deal.

. . . On the other hand . . .

You may have several devices making switching problematic. That's the case that I'm in.

I too have a Max-Transit, but the Cat-18 single modem version, but with 2 SIM cards (AT&T and Verizon). I consider this my primary Router/Internet connection, and it's connected to all my devices all the time. In fact, the Max-Transit stays on at all times. I have 10 devices connected to it, 2 of which I want to have WiFi access when I'm away from the coach. Those being a WiFi enabled thermostat (so I can monitor/adjust inside temps) and the other being a WiFi enabled deadbolt lock on the entry door (allows me to lock/un-lock the door remotely).

My StarLink I consider a very able bodied "backup" and I wanted it integrated as a Wifi source, in the event that cell service is weak or unavailable.

Two ways to do this were to either connect it via "WiFi as WAN", or an ethernet cable. the "Wifi as WAN" sucked!!! I was able to connect but the degradation of signal was massive. Like 90% degradation. 60mbs down direct connected to StarLink. 6Mbs down going thru Wifi as WAN connected to the Max-Transit. Completely unacceptable.

I then tested it with an ethernet cable connecting the StarLink router to the Max-Transit router, and turning the StarLink Wifi off (to avoid conflicts). My speeds were better (about 18mbs down), but still significantly degraded.

Then - as someone has already mentioned - there's a communications problem between the Max-Transit line of routers and the StarLink Routers. The solution is to Insert a network switch between the two routers. I don't understand exactly why this works, but I spend $17 on Amazon and . . . it works. My speeds almost tripled, going from about 18Mbps to 48 Mbps. I can live with that.

As a consequence, I went to the trouble to run an ethernet cable from the basement compartment where I mounted the StarLink Router, up to the cabinet inside where the Max-Transit lives. It was a chore and there was nothing fun about it! The good news is, I only have to do that once!

So now I have what I was after. all 10 of my devices are connected to the Max-Transit, and can get internet from what ever source works best (depending on location).

Sorry for the long post. I hope it makes sense.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:13 PM   #8
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Have you considered putting your primary SIM card in Priority 1 along with the Starlink feed? I believe the CAT-18 can be configured with multiple WAN ports. I have yet to receive my Starlink, but I have put my primary SIM & RV park WIFI (I am the exception & have good RV park WIFI) in Priority 1 and there was some aggregation of bandwidth.

It may take some fiddling around with the configuration settings on the Starlink and/or the Peplink to accomplish this. Several discussions on this subject on the Peplink forum.
Safe travels.
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Old 10-20-2022, 11:32 PM   #9
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Figured I'd piggyback off this thread to get some opinions. I've currently got a Winegard WiFi booster in the coach. Came with it. It's handy because I can have all my devices connect to it's SSID. This let's me use camp WiFi, MiFi unit, or tether our cell phones if the MiFi runs out of data. I don't want to have to touch every device to change SSIDs.

Now I've got the Starlink... Figured i'd just throw it in the basement and use the Windgard unit. But I'd like to do something better, especially using ethernet with it, but still have WiFi bridging for a campsite WiFi if it's good (or LTE if starlink/camp wifi is no bueno). I know a lot of folks, and a few RV friends are starting to use the Peplink with LTE, but not Starlink.

Is it worth moving to a Peplink? I'd like to move away from the double nat as I'm sure there's a bit of speed loss as well as possible connections issues, which as of now, hasn't bothered us.
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Old 10-21-2022, 10:15 AM   #10
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I'm a big fan of Peplink.

I have recently installed a Gen 2 Starlink connected to my Peplink via WiFi as WAN. Essentially plug & play. I performed a variety of speed tests to determine the quality of the connection.

With my current set up, Peplink allows me to bond multiple sources (search bandwidth bonding for technical definition). I bond the Starlink signal with the RV park WiFi signal & could probably bond a cellular signal if I wanted to.
With all that said, my download speeds have consistently been in the neighborhood of 200 Mbps & upload speeds fluctuate between 10 Mbps & 50 Mbps. This 'bonded' speed is higher than I could attain with either source as a signal input.
Based on these results, I decided not to hook up the Ethernet adapter due to the hassle of configuring the Starlink & the Ethernet adapter.
I have one PC, a NAS, an ICYDock storage cube, a printer, multiple ROKU's, multiple IPAD's & from time to time 2 Android phones being managed by the Peplink.
I suspect there are other products may be able to accomplish this. However, I use Peplink products for routers in both my RV & my son's home office. As stated earlier in this post, I'm a big Peplink product fan.
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Old 10-21-2022, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemodrop9344 View Post
I'm a big fan of Peplink.

I have recently installed a Gen 2 Starlink connected to my Peplink via WiFi as WAN. Essentially plug & play. I performed a variety of speed tests to determine the quality of the connection.

With my current set up, Peplink allows me to bond multiple sources (search bandwidth bonding for technical definition). I bond the Starlink signal with the RV park WiFi signal & could probably bond a cellular signal if I wanted to.
With all that said, my download speeds have consistently been in the neighborhood of 200 Mbps & upload speeds fluctuate between 10 Mbps & 50 Mbps. This 'bonded' speed is higher than I could attain with either source as a signal input.
Based on these results, I decided not to hook up the Ethernet adapter due to the hassle of configuring the Starlink & the Ethernet adapter.
I have one PC, a NAS, an ICYDock storage cube, a printer, multiple ROKU's, multiple IPAD's & from time to time 2 Android phones being managed by the Peplink.
I suspect there are other products may be able to accomplish this. However, I use Peplink products for routers in both my RV & my son's home office. As stated earlier in this post, I'm a big Peplink product fan.
That's good to know you're getting good speeds from bridging the WiFi. The only downside to this Winegard unit is it'll broadcast at 5Ghz, but I think it'll only accept 2.4Ghz signals to bridge. I'll be able to test here in the next day or two though.

What Peplink model do you use? I've had issues with VOIP in the past with bonded connections, any issues like that?
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Old 10-21-2022, 07:55 PM   #12
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That's good to know you're getting good speeds from bridging the WiFi. The only downside to this Winegard unit is it'll broadcast at 5Ghz, but I think it'll only accept 2.4Ghz signals to bridge. I'll be able to test here in the next day or two though.

What Peplink model do you use? I've had issues with VOIP in the past with bonded connections, any issues like that?

I am using a MAX BR1 PRO LTEA (the 4G model with a CAT-20 modem). The Starlink is on a Residential plan with roaming.
I also use an Android app (WiFi Analyzer) that displays WiFi signals in range, along with the channels they are broadcasting on & a graphical representation of the signal strength. There is some valuable information there when pulling into a RV park that is helpful in assessing how I want to setup the Peplink. The Starlink is broadcasting on both 5 Ghz & 2.4 Ghz.
I frequently attend ZOOM meeting & communicate with 2 of my children in Costa Rica over Skype. Some issues with Costa Rica at times. Not sure if it's Skype, Costa Rica or my setup. Might be able to mitigate that somewhat by further bonding with my cellular data plan.

I found a Peplink partner (reseller) that would actually talk to me prior to the sale. After the sale support has also been great. He has helped out with both my RV LAN & the home/office network (Peplink router at the heart of the network) with some of the more advanced functionality with PepVPN, SpeedFusion (Peplink offerings).

Like I said..... I'm a big fan of Peplink products. Easy to set up, UI is very intuitive & it just works for me.
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Old 10-22-2022, 08:41 AM   #13
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My understanding is that peplink bonding (not carrier aggregate) is only available when using speed fusion and only works with equally fast connections. Thatís is a star link bonded to a weak camp Wi-Fi will just slow down the star link. Do I have this right?
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Old 10-22-2022, 12:49 PM   #14
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My understanding is that peplink bonding (not carrier aggregate) is only available when using speed fusion and only works with equally fast connections. Thatís is a star link bonded to a weak camp Wi-Fi will just slow down the star link. Do I have this right?

I would suggest that who ever told you that was misinformed if they were talking about 'bandwidth bonding' (see google definition - it's not specific to Peplink). I have bandwidth bonded with the RV park WiFi with the Starlink WiFi. With the bandwidth bonding, the performance is superior to either signal if used without bonding. I am not using SpeedFusion. The better signal source carries most of the GB load based on what I see in the usage reports.

This is how I accomplished it with my Peplink device.



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