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Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2023 07:47PM
Hi all,

Someone here, I don't remember who, had helped me quite awhile back getting an Orbi (I got an LBR20 router) set up... it's worked pretty well as my primary internet ... I have no wired internet at all, I'm using the Orbi as a wireless access point.

I had noticed though that in one particular part of the house, I was having some intermittent connection/speed issues, so I just decided to go ahead and order a satellite. Found on Amazon what seemed to be a great deal on a used RBS40V satellite, which according to the Netgear webpages, should be compatible with the LBR20.

So I just received the RBS40V yesterday, and have spent the better part of today trying to get it set up, and am wondering if I got a lemon. Here's what I've been able to do (and not do) so far:

1) I can get it to connect to my current wireless network and set it up as a regular wireless extender (but NOT as a satellite, see below).

2) I've been able to update the firmware to the latest version for this model, but NOT to the latest version of the firmware that's supposed to be for "Orbi mode" ... trying to update it to that firmware gives a message that there's something wrong with the firmware update file, even though I don't think there is. (I found at least one report from someone else saying they had the same problem, but that connecting to the satellite via ethernet rather than wireless worked... I tried this, but it didn't work in my case.)

3) Trying to set it up in "Orbi mode" (to get it to act as a true satellite) doesn't work. The instructions say to do this, you should hold down the Sync button while turning it on, then the LED should blink white, then eventually go solid white. In my case, it does blinks white, but never goes solid white, and I can't connect to it like that.

4) Trying to do a factory reset on it causes it to blink red, which according to everything I've read, means corrupted firmware... yet as mentioned above, I've been able to update the firmware (and even to replace the firmware with the same version).

5) Tried doing a "30-30-30" reset with it, just to see if that'd make any difference to any of the above, but it didn't.

Any ideas? I'm wondering if I should just return it... I was originally debating to get the RBS10 as an extender, which would have been cheaper, but the RBS40V seemed to have a lot of nice features, better speeds, etc.

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: May 28, 2023 08:36PM
This is my pairing routine that has always worked:

With the satellite in the same room as the base-station, power-up the satellite and wait for it to finish booting.

Then press the pairing button on the base station. Hold the button down for a second. The base station should light up white.

Then press the pairing button on the satellite. Hold the button down for a second. The light should pulse white.

Wait up to 5 minutes to complete pairing the satellite. You should see a blue light on the satellite to indicate successful pairing.

Check the web admin on the base station. You should see that the satellite appears in its device-list as a satellite.

Now, you can unplug the satellite and move it to another room. It will retain the pairing.

Make sure to place the satellite close enough to the base station that it has a strong signal and max bandwidth to pass on.

Again, you are looking for a BLUE light to indicate successful pairing.

...

Since it will have the same network name as the base-station, you may have trouble distinguishing when you have connected to the satellite for WiFi.

Hold down the OPTION key when clicking on the WiFi menu on your Mac. You'll see a lot more info about your WiFi connection this way.

Among other info, you'll see the BSSID address, which is unique to the device providing the WiFi connection to your Mac at that moment. If you turn off the satellite, you'll be certain that you're connecting to the base station and be able to note the BSSID of the base-station. You can then use the BSSIDs to distinguish between a connection to the base station and a connection to the satellite.



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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2023 09:39PM
Wow OK, let me try that, and will report back...

Pretty sure you must have been the one that helped me, but I think you've had a name change since then. grinning smiley

Edit-- here are the results of what you suggested:

1) The satellite effectively never finishes booting up. If I turn it on, I get the flashing white LED, and it never goes to solid white. The only way I've been able to get it to go blue is to do the procedure they say to do in order to go into Orbi mode. (Press the Sync button while turning it on, wait for it to flash white-blue-white-blue, then release the Sync button -- BUT... in order for it to eventually go blue, I have to release the Sync button right as it starts to flash white/blue... then it starts to flash blue, eventually going solid blue, and the app shows that it's connected to the base station. If I don't release the Sync button right away, then it goes to flashing white and never goes solid white.)

2) Pressing the Sync button on the base station causes it to flash white, but it never goes solid white... it eventually just shuts off the light completely.

So... I feel like it shouldn't be this hard, and there must be something wrong with the satellite...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2023 10:15PM by PeterB.
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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: May 29, 2023 12:30AM
in order for it to eventually go blue, I have to release the Sync button right as it starts to flash white/blue... then it starts to flash blue, eventually going solid blue, and the app shows that it's connected to the base station...

I did some checking. Yes, turns out that the (discontinued) "V" Orbi satellites have to be placed into "Orbi mode" before they can pair like ordinary satellites.

If it pulsed blue and white then it was pairing. If it shows solid blue then the pairing was successful.

And apparently you're seeing in the app that it's connected to the base station.

So... What's the problem??



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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2023 07:04AM
Quote
Tiangou
in order for it to eventually go blue, I have to release the Sync button right as it starts to flash white/blue... then it starts to flash blue, eventually going solid blue, and the app shows that it's connected to the base station...

I did some checking. Yes, turns out that the (discontinued) "V" Orbi satellites have to be placed into "Orbi mode" before they can pair like ordinary satellites.

If it pulsed blue and white then it was pairing. If it shows solid blue then the pairing was successful.

And apparently you're seeing in the app that it's connected to the base station.

So... What's the problem??

It's connected to the base station network, but NOT listed as a satellite, just on the list of connected devices... so I presume it is only acting as a regular range extender. Also, it never really gets into Orbi mode... if I follow the instructions they give to get it to go into Orbi mode (without the little trick I mentioned), it flashes white and never goes solid white. In fact it never goes solid white at all.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: May 29, 2023 11:59AM
Hmm...

Checked Netgear's site... The steps that you're following seem to be the routine for putting it into Extender mode, not Orbi mode.

[kb.netgear.com]

From the note at the end of the knowledgebase article, it looks like you need to do another reset-to-factory to get it into Orbi mode. Then power it up and do an ordinary sync with the sync button as I described in my initial post. Don't jump through all of those hoops again.



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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2023 12:14PM
Quote
Tiangou
Hmm...

Checked Netgear's site... The steps that you're following seem to be the routine for putting it into Extender mode, not Orbi mode.

[kb.netgear.com]

From the note at the end of the knowledgebase article, it looks like you need to do another reset-to-factory to get it into Orbi mode. Then power it up and do an ordinary sync with the sync button as I described in my initial post. Don't jump through all of those hoops again.

Hmmm, that's odd -- contradicts the page I was going by, this one: [kb.netgear.com]

When I try to do a reset -- I never get the flashing amber, rather a flashing red, as I'd mentioned in the original post.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Help with an Orbi satellite please
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: May 29, 2023 12:28PM
Starting to think you're right that you got a lemon and should return it.

Used gear is a crap shoot.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2023 12:29PM by Tiangou.
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