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Starlik not seeing a bridge setup in a necessarily remote situation


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New Starlink user, I hope,  home amongst tall trees in rural SW Washington state.  

I have 11 acres - 8 are thick with Douglas Fir, the rest a field/pasture once used to keep horses. My house is in the  trees; the pasture is also surrounded but I'm able to get low obstruction readings in the middle of it.

So the dish on a pole in the field, 150' cable to router at small barn with power. A bridge setup to the house 300' line of sight. Another Starlink router.

I bought two extra Starlink routers,  two ethernet adapters, the 150' cable, and even the 8' pole. I knew this wasn't gonna' be easy.

I've tried everything I can think of except to put the original Starlink router into bypass and use the ethernet adapter to feed into the barn bridge device.

Will it help to use bypass mode? Does Starlink wifi router need an ethernet line to bridge transmitter? I've tried it both ways at both ends. Starlink is working great at the barn by itself but how to use this bridge stuff has me stumped.

I'm about to buy and run long distance ethernet cabling but I have placed hope in the bridging idea.

(25 years of crummy DSL service is WAY too much!)

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@twagger,

Is it possible to provide some additional details?

What devices are you using to create the bridge?

I once had a similar setup between two buildings using two Ubiquiti Litebeam antennas (see the datasheet here). FWIW, these devices are relatively inexpensive, have a 10km range, operate in the 5GHz band, and are very reliable. With this setup, one antenna would be wired directly to the main Starlink router in the barn. The other would provide a wired connection for a WiFi router in the house. If your bridge setup is in any way similar to this, try connecting the endpoint in the barn to the main Starlink router using a cable and a Starlink Ethernet adapter. 

Now, as for your two extra Starlink routers. This kind of bridge setup will not support using a Starlink router in the house. Starlink's routers function in one of two configurations. Either the router must be either directly connected to the dish or it must be wirelessly connected to the main Starlink router as a mesh router. I'd be willing to be that the Starlink mesh configuration will not work over the 300' distance between your barn (main Starlink router) and your house (mesh Starlink router). And Starlink expressly does not support a bridge of any kind between their routers.

So, unless you can get the Starlink mesh setup (without a bridge) across the 300' from your barn to you house, you will need to use some other WiFi Access Point in the house. A WiFi router is potentially problematic unless it can be put into "bridge" mode...

HTH,

@RIcochet

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Thanks Ricochet, I do think you may have helped with the info that Starlink routers will not work as a connected mesh when connected to a  bridge device. It makes sense although my initial planning to extend the antenna's reach to my house was the advise I saw from Starlink (somewhere, probly Reddit) that rather than attempting to hack the Starlink cable to lengthen it the better approach is to work the 'back end' between the Starlink system and my house either by wire or bride devices.

The bridge things are UeeVii  Model CPE-820.

So, to take the signal from receiving bridge to a new wifi modem and forget trying to use a Starlink mesh within the house? That'd be OK as I'm not gonna' let cost be a consideration in this - I've been too long without decent connectivity. 

I have good lights with data activity indicated on both bridge devices. I don't have any idea what might be going between them so have thought that they are just continually doing a "handshake" or some such. Whatever it is it's lighting the full series which look to be signal strength indicators. There's five of them in a row and all light brightly. Something is going on but it ain't Starlink.

BTW, I have a weak signal from the Starlink system 300+' away that gives me between 14 and 20 mbps down. That's 4 times the strength of my DSL costing over $100. a month.  So their router isn't doing bad, IMO.

 

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On 9/24/2022 at 2:42 PM, twagger said:

...Starlink routers will not work as a connected mesh when connected to a  bridge device....

This is my understanding from reading the Starlink docs. However, I have not confirmed any of this through testing here. I no longer have any bridge devices that I could use.

On 9/24/2022 at 2:42 PM, twagger said:

The bridge things are UeeVii  Model CPE-820.

<snip />

I have good lights with data activity indicated on both bridge devices. I don't have any idea what might be going between them so have thought that they are just continually doing a "handshake" or some such. Whatever it is it's lighting the full series which look to be signal strength indicators. There's five of them in a row and all light brightly. Something is going on but it ain't Starlink.

I am not familiar with these devices, but taking a quick look at the mfg's product page (see http://www.ueevii.com/ProductDetail/6728374.html), they appear to be conceptually similar to the Ubiquiti devices I once had.

  • These devices typically have IP addresses assigned. Have you checked the configuration to be sure that IP addresses being used by each device are in the same subnet as your main Starlink router (out in the barn)? The router hands out IP addresses (using DHCP) in the `192.168.1.0/24` CIDR. So, if these devices are using IP addresses that don't start with `192.168.1.xxx`, that could be problematic.
  • Have you tried connecting a device (e.g., a laptop) to the device in the house using an Ethernet cable to one of the LAN ports on the device?  If so, what happens when you open a browser and enter `http://192.168.100.1` in the URL bar. This should bring up the web-based app for your Starlink router.
On 9/24/2022 at 2:42 PM, twagger said:

So, to take the signal from receiving bridge to a new wifi modem and forget trying to use a Starlink mesh within the house? That'd be OK as I'm not gonna' let cost be a consideration in this - I've been too long without decent connectivity. 

This seems like the most likely outcome. However, read on...

On 9/24/2022 at 2:42 PM, twagger said:

BTW, I have a weak signal from the Starlink system 300+' away that gives me between 14 and 20 mbps down. That's 4 times the strength of my DSL costing over $100. a month.  So their router isn't doing bad, IMO.

That sounds like pretty decent signal from the main Starlink router. As an experiment, try this. 

  • Disconnect and power down the bridge devices.
  • Inside the house, plug in one of your extra Starlink routers.
  • Open the Starlink app on an iOS or Android mobile device.
  • Tap on 'Network'.
  • After a few minutes do you get a notice about connecting a mesh router? This could take anywhere from 1-10 minutes.
  • If you get the mesh router notice, tell the app to connect the mesh router.
  • After a couple of minutes, the app should show the mesh router connected to the main router in the diagram at the to of the 'Network' page.
  • Assuming all the above has worked, try connecting a device over WiFi to you Starlink SSID.
  • In the app, on the 'Network' page, does your device connect to the main router or the mesh router?
  • If connected to the mesh router, try a Starlink speed test and see what result you get.
  • Afterwards, use Ookla Speedtest (or another web-based tool) and see what result you get.

This is all just pure "off-the-top-of-my-head" speculation -- meaning, this might not work at all.

Good luck!

@RIcochet

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Ricochet,

Your experiment (above) ALMOST worked.

I disconnected and powered off the bridge devices and plugged in one Starlink mesh router....no notice of new component by Starlink main, in the field. I was/am still getting a weak wifi from Starlink at the house - runs 10 to 24 mbps variously. 

So just for the heck of it I plugged in my 2nd Starlink mesh router in another part of house and it woke up the APP (!). I had a notice that a mesh device was attempting to pair with Starlink asking me yea or nay. Of course I gave it my permission to proceed.

Well.. it's been in "Pairing node...This may take a few minutes" for almost an hour right now. 

I do still have my weak wifi in the house but it's the signal from the original setup more than 300 ft away.

I'm guessing that the signal shared with the mesh routers isn't strong enough to enable the three of them to communicate well enough to complete the pairing mechanism, whatever it is. So I've now unplugged the first of the two in-house routers and nothing changed. I've got a feeling that if my distance were shorter like 150 to 200 feet it would be running great but it can't be so there I am.

It's good brainstorming by you and I thank you again!

 

I've got a router arriving Monday. I'll see if it will bring to life his 'bridging' business. If not I'm gonna' hardwire using good outdoor/on the ground cable. Our first snow or freeze usually comes late in October so I'd like to get it going ASAP.

(About 15 people living up here got Starlink kits all at about the same time as I got mine.  Three so far are settling for signals of 6 to 30 mbps - all have said "I'm happy, It's the best internet I've ever had!  I can sure relate to that but I'm not gonna' settle for less than 100 mbps! )

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  • 2 weeks later...

@twagger,

Well, it was worth a try, anyway... 

If it were me, my next step would have been hard-wiring from the main Starlink router in the field to an Ethernet router or switch in the house. Be aware that introducing routers to the mix (between Starlink in the field and the network in the house) might not be advisable. If you use a router, you may need to disable NAT (Network Address Translation). As I understand it, the traffic coming from Starlink may already be using Carrier-Grade NAT which may not tolerate another NAT...

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  • 1 month later...

Well....

First off let me apologize for not coming back for now more than a month. Time flies and as I age I don't.

To reiterate: I did complete a cat 6e hardwire between the main Starlink router and a TPlink router in my house. It works (!) and I'm getting speed results using the Starlink app tester of anywhere between 28 and 204 MBPS down!  Mostly it runs to the lower side, say 30 to 100 MBPS but I'm giggly happy with that as my centurylink DSL drops often to as low as 2.5 MBPS or so for extended periods while I pay them for their supposedly best service of 12 MBPS. I've never seen 7 MBPS from them in more than 15 years of forced use of them. (Yeah, I tried Hughes only to find that after many dollars that a dial-up modem was better).

As far as Starlink - I'm not stopping with what I've got. My antenna is out in a 3 acre field, sitting on the ground. It's showing 6.5% obstruction because I own a lot of tall trees. Tomorrow wind permitting Dishie goes upward on the Starlink pole which by my lousy trig calculation should cut the obstruction in half at only 8 ft off the ground.

The pole might be good enough. If not I'm prepared to go higher using a ham antenna tower or the like. The problem with that will be that the Starlink cable is 150' and going upward will require a location that's closer to the obstructing trees. It eats wire to make a turn in any direction including up.

These are the sorts of things that keep us young, eh?

 

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On 11/19/2022 at 5:29 AM, twagger said:

…. It works (!) and I'm getting speed results using the Starlink app tester of anywhere between 28 and 204 MBPS down!  Mostly it runs to the lower side, say 30 to 100 MBPS but I'm giggly happy with that…

If you ask me, this is very, very good and, frankly, I’d leave well enough alone. Who knows. Raising the antenna may end up as a counter-productive exercise. In short, “If it don’t need fixin’, don’t break it!”

On 11/19/2022 at 5:29 AM, twagger said:

These are the sorts of things that keep us young, eh?

Indeed! I’m in my early 60’s and my days of actually doing this kind of f hands-on effort are fewer and fewer. Thankfully, I have a few fellas that I can hire in at reasonable rates and supervise.

Congrats on your success! Now enjoy…

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Yessir!

This is working great, really.  was able to see it maintain performance in rain (I'm in SW Washington so rain? Uh-huh, yeah). To be honest I didn't notice a difference - rain/no rain so that's a good thing.  We expect some snow by the end of the month so that will be test no. two concerning weather. I'm really looking forward to trying out the snow melting feature as I've had to climb up to the TV dish to sweep and chip ice enough to grow to hate it. Since I've "cut the cable" and rely only on Portland (70 mile crow flight) over the air for any TV not on the net - basically football games I can't get online. 

Anyway I'm much happy about Starlink. I signed up when they first let me and thought I might croak before ever seeing a decent connection.

I'm also much happy to have come here and find you, Ricochet! Our back-and-forth kept me in the game and your suggestions are the reason I've got Starlink going as well as it is. I've thanked you before and don't like to get all simpering about such as this but Thanks Again!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

To add my setup...

In a barn on a remote farm near Brenham Texas, I have connected 2 services.  Starlink with T-Mobile Home Internet (from a tower about 5 miles away) as failover; both use CGNAT.  The Starlink was set up in bypass mode; nothing modified on the T-Mobile device.  Both services seem to be delivering about 140-160 Mbps incoming and about 30 Mbps outgoing.

Both of these services plug into a pfSense 2100 firewall router.; Starlink on WAN1 and T-Mobile on a vlan config as WAN2.  Both of these are configured as gateways with failover capabilities.  The software defaults to the service with the least latency.

On the LAN side (192.168.1.1) I have 2 x TP-Link CPE510 devices configured as APs pointing in opposite directions at 2 homes, each about 150' away.  On each home is a TP-Link CPE510 configured as a client.  Connected to each CPE510 client is a TP-Link Archer A8 wifi router.

In the first test it all works with each home getting about 35 Mbps incoming and bout 12 Mbps outgoing.  In future tuning I'd like to optimize that performance.

Both homes have happy streaming experiences.   I'm happy that my relatives can finally ditch that horrible hughesnet service.

But CGNAT - Ugh.  For now I am using Tailscale, a VPN service that uses wireguard, called an overlay network, to get around the problem of accessing devices behind CGNAT devices.  With a free account users can get up to 20 servers configured into this network.  Currently I have 4 devices; my Linux laptop, my Android phone and the the pfSense firewalls at the farm and at my home.  The pfsense software has a Tailscale plugin package and with that, I can also include access to my LAN subnet without installing Tailscale on every server. (Yes, I have a homelab setup; so more servers than most)  Config is fairly easy and there are a few youtube videos that help a lot.  The only gotcha I had was to configure the Access Rules in the Tailscale dashboard to allow my access to all the devices; it's a security issue.

With Tailscale I can remotely access and manage the pfsense router in the barn.

Eventually I'll want to find a way to get general access to server services behind the CGNAT with my own domain name so my relatives and I can have a dashboard of farm automation stuff but for now, it is working pretty good.

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