Field Report: MotoSat Trouble

Our first day boondocking at Seedhouse Campground in the Routt National Forest, we had excellent connectivity with Satellite 91 West using our DataStorm F2 dish. The next few days however, we spent too much time trying to troubleshoot connectivity issues. In a previous life, this would have been frustrating. But it’s hard to get upset when your home office is deep in the woods with so much to do…

Without any cell phone coverage, we made a call to MotoSat Tech Support one day when heading into town. We explained how the dish would find 91W but fail to peak on the signal and stow or continue searching. The error messages we received ranged from “Receiver locked to the unknown network” to “Transmitter not locked to network timing”.

They recommended we try connecting as a Generic satellite system rather than HughesNet. Doing so enabled us to lock onto our signal, but the modem control panel would still display system status degraded errors. No matter what we tried, connectivity was spotty. Once online, downloads were slow with upload spees even worse.

We eventually conceded that the intermittent thunderstorm clouds overhead were wrecking havoc on our signal.
We now believe this to be the case indeed. As soon as we landed in the big open clear sky country of Laramie, Wyoming, we were able to get online quickly with a consistent, high-quality connection.

The only issue nagging me is how we had to use the Generic system mode to lock on. Once we did, however, I switched back to HughesNet and all systems appear to be go.

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