Just the other day, I was thinking of writing about how much I love our satellite internet system. It provides us with connectivity even when we have no cell phone coverage camped deep in a National Forest campground, alongside a roaring stream, in the snow.
Then our Datastorm F2 refused to deploy. Luckily, we had made it back to civilization at Mountain Views RV Resort in Creede, CO with full hookups and WiFi. But now we are taking an 900 mile round-trip detour to Salt Lake City for a factory repair at MotoSat.
You see, certain issues with the MotoSat dish mount require what they like to call an “in-house” repair. This means the entire unit must return to their factory for them to repair it. Any attempt for us to do so would void what remains of our warranty.
Considering the large F2 mount on our roof weighs 195+ lbs, getting assistance to remove it combined with the packaging and freight costs – from rural Creede, CO – would probably come close to what we’ll spend on gas to get to the factory. Unless, diesel hits $7.00 a gallon by the time we get back.
Anyway, what happened? A cable went bad. Got chewed up is more like it. No surprise really, considering what I consider to be a serious design flaw in the way cables route through the F2 mount assembly.
The protective sheath that encloses three cables as they wind around the axis and through the elevation hinge obviously didn’t do it’s job. Or I should say, only did it’s job until our one year parts and factory labor warranty expired.
In fact, the fine print says this specific cable isn’t covered under our three-year MotoSat parts warranty. Well, we’ll see about that. And we’ll see if the optional RV insurance we purchased will cover any gas or lodging when we go in for the repair. I suppose we’ll see a lot on our way to Salt Lake City, UT and back to Lake City, CO.
So what were the symptoms? For a while now, we’ve had intermittent trouble locking on to our satellite (91W). We would often experience long delays, unknown signals, and resumed searches. This last time, the dish went up, searched and stopped at every bird in the sky attempting to identify the signal. Every time, it would peak and fail to identify the signal then resume searching. Why? Well, the missing insulation from the transfer cable exposed enough bare wire to pick up signals from every satellite, cell phone and microwave in the vicinity. Perhaps why it worked while we were out in the woods.
The worst part will be telling the good folks at the ranch we’re going to be a week or so late for our workamping job. But we’ll be passing right by them so at least we can tell them in person. Like I said, the worst part.
The best part is that when we speak with the good folks in MotoSat support, at least they speak English and are quite knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. Stay tuned for more details about yet another exciting aspect of this full-time RVing lifestyle … once we’re back online that is!