Last August Starlink, the SpaceX satellite internet service, sent me an email saying that because I was an early beta customer, I was entitled to send them $200 for a third-generation router that offered better features than our first-generation router.
Recently, though, I encountered a bit of weirdness associated with the Gen 3 router. Maybe this was unique to our setup, but in case someone else has this problem, I thought I'd describe it along with the easy fix.
I discovered the problem after the Mobile Link app associated with the Generac whole house generator that we'd gotten for our rural south Salem home this year let me know that the wi-fi connection with the generator had stopped working.
The app had easy to follow instructions for restoring the connection. All I needed were the keys to the locking lid, my iPhone, and the wi-fi password.
Hey, no problem, I thought, heading out to the Generac. But after I tried and failed three times to get the generator hooked up again with Starlink wi-fi, which had a decent but fairly weak signal at the Generac location, I knew a call to Generac support was in my future.
The wi-fi specialist I ended up talking with said that he'd work me through a semi-secret technique that he thought should be in the Generac manual, but wasn't. It was fairly complicated, involving using Safari and what I assume was the generator's IP address to attempt a Starlink wi-fi connection.
That didn't work either. He then told me to contact Starlink and ask for them to split off a dedicated 2.4 G network by itself, as from past experience with other Generac customers he'd learned that the default mixed 2.4 and 5 wi-fi didn't play well with a Generac, which is designed for a 2.4 G connection.
I put in a Starlink support ticket, as requested. The response I got was to open up the Starlink app, go to settings, click on the Starlink network, and activate "Split 2.4 / 5 GHz Networks." Problem was, I got this error message.
Well, it seemed strange that Starlink didn't recognize the Gen 3 router that I'd bought from Starlink. And I couldn't reboot the router because even though I'd been using the router for several months with no problems, the lack of recognition meant rebooting wasn't an option.
So I reopened the support ticket, explaining this problem. This was the response I got.
I wasn't wild about trying the "if this does not work" option, since it sounded more complicated and scary that the first option of deleting the Starlink app and reinstalling it with my log-in credentials.
Which, thankfully, solved the problem. I was able to click on the split 2.4 and 5 networks button, which created a new wi-fi network that I cleverly called Starlink 2.4 G. When I headed out to the generator this afternoon, the wi-fi set-up process went smoothly after I selected Starlink 2.4 G as the wi-fi network to use.
The Mobile Link app is showing only a 32% wi-fi signal strength, but that seems to be sufficient to keep the Generac happy.
As a bonus, I discovered that the Ting device our insurance company sent us for free that plugs into an electrical outlet and monitors the safety of our house's electrical system is back to working now after it also lost the 5 G wi-fi connection, and I reinstalled the Ting with a 2.4 G connection.