If and when the ethernet adapter arrives

In the previous post I mentioned that some three weeks ago I ordered my installation kit and the ethernet adapter.  And although the installation kit arrived, and I successfully got the service working, the ethernet adapter has even now not gotten shipped.  The supposed shipment date was something like a week ago but even now it has not gotten shipped.

It is perhaps helpful at this point to discuss some of the things that I hope to find out once the ethernet adapter actually shows up.

One of the first things will be to try hooking up the ethernet adapter.  The hookup is physically quite simple.  You unplug the antenna cable from the router and plug it into the ethernet adapter.  That plug is really quite long and thick and I gather from discussion group postings that the plug accounts for nearly the entire form factor of the ethernet adapter housing itself.  Then a cord extends from the ethernet adapter, and it has a plug on the end that is intended to get plugged into the router in the place where the antenna cable was previously plugged in.  Finally, there is an ordinary ethernet jack somewhere on the adapter.

Nowhere in the very limited online documentation is there any hint or suggestion as to whether there is usual the industry-customary ethernet link light which might for example indicate whether there is an ethernet link and whether it is 10M or 100M or gigabit.  Nor any indication whether there is an ethernet activity light.  (If any reader has already received one of these ethernet adapters, maybe you can post a comment to say whether it has an ethernet link light or an ethernet activity light.)

Anyway, what I sort of assume is that what I would find if I plug something in at that ethernet jack is that this would be a LAN port, connected to a DHCP server on the NAT of the router.  By this I mean that if I were to connect this ethernet port to, for example, an ethernet switch, I could then connect a dozen or a hundred ethernet clients and they would all receive DCHP IP addresses.

Elon’s idea of providing user control over this router, by the way, is that the user does not need much control.  It is not possible, for example, for the user to pick the subnet for the NAT.  The subnet is 192.168.1.x and that is all there is to it.   As another example you might have wanted to map MAC addresses to particular IP addresses?  Nope.  You might have wanted to pick which IP addresses are part of the DHCP pool?  Nope.  You might have wanted to pick how long the DHCP leases last?  Nope.  In fact I actually do not know how long the DHCP leases last with the DHCP server in this router.  Maybe they last an hour, maybe they last 24 hours.  Maybe they do not expire.  I guess I will never know.

Anyway, the next thing I expect I will try to do once the ethernet adapter shows up and I get it installed is, I will try to turn on the “bypass mode”.  I sort of assume that this will turn off the wifi in the router.  But I actually don’t know.  The extremely sparse online documentation does not say.  (Do any readers know whether the bypass mode turns off the wifi in the router?  If so, please post a comment below.)

WAN IP address.  Once the bypass mode is turned on, I sort of assume that there will still be a sort of DHCP behavior in the router, and that instead of serving up a NAT LAN IP address, the router will serve up a WAN IP address.  In the Internet discussion groups, people have talked about how maybe the WAN IP address might be a so-called “carrier grade NAT” (“CGNAT”) IP address.  Such an IP address is, unfortunately, by definition not a routable IP address.  People have reported that the CGNAT address they receive is 100 dot something dot something dot something.

Anyway one of the first things I will do is look to see what kind of IP address I get from the ethernet adapter in bypass mode.

IPv6?  In the internet discussion groups, people have reported receiving an IPv6 prefix.  If so, then this would be really good news.  This means that the user is really getting routable IP addresses in the IPv6 address space.  Of course they are not static but at least they are routable.

192.168.100.1?  I was very interested to stumble upon an undocumented feature of the router that comes with the rectangular dish.  It turns out that if you open a web browser on your laptop computer, and browse to the IP address 192.168.100.1, you can visit pretty much the same user interface that you can see when you are using the app on your smart phone.  I have detailed the user interface here.

One of the questions will be, once I go into bypass mode, will I lose the ability to visit the user interface at 192.168.100.1?

I gather from the discussion groups that some users were only able to visit the user interface at 192.168.100.1 by setting up a static route.  I guess I will need to check to see whether I will find it necessary to do this once I am in bypass mode.

Of course it will be interesting to see whether there is any significant difference in latency and jitter with an ethernet connection as compared to a connection using the wifi that is built into the Starlink router.

And a followup question will be whether there is any significant difference in latency and jitter with an ethernet connection in non-bypass mode on the one hand, or bypass mode on the other hand.

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6 Comments

  1. Did you get the adapter, yet? Looks like mine has shipped. I was planning to hook to my Orbi mesh, but now they have their own. If your assumption is correct, I should be able to use the Starlink for WiFi and add the few wired components I need. Let us know how it goes!

  2. I need to get the Ethernet adapter so that I can send a leg of the service to a cabin adjacent to my house.

    If I cascade to a d-link router, will I disable DHCP on the wireless router and then be solid?

    Should I assume that the mother unit will assign IP addresses and quit worrying?

    Are the adapters in stock- I don’t want to order the system and NOT HAVE the adapter, obviously.

    Gary

    1. The ethernet adapters seem to be in short supply, unfortunately. Some people choose to use a wifi client to pick up connectivity from the Starlink router and then pass the connectivity via ethernet to a distant location.

      Yes if you were to proceed like this, I would consider disabling DHCP at the distant wireless router, relying solely on the DHCP server in the Starlink router.

  3. In your blog you stated:
    “You might have wanted to pick how long the DHCP leases last? Nope. In fact I actually do not know how long the DHCP leases last with the DHCP server in this router. Maybe they last an hour, maybe they last 24 hours. Maybe they do not expire. I guess I will never know.”
    In Windows (7/8/10), bring up a command prompt and enter the following command:
    C:\> ipconfig /all
    This will show one the “Lease Obtained” and “Lease Expires” information.
    Example:
    Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Thursday, September 15, 2022 02:58:38
    Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Saturday, September 17, 2022 00:04:14

  4. First let me say that I have access to two StarLink Systems. The first StarLink I put in bypass mode then connected one ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8 ) to the optional Ethernet adapter. Everything went very well and had great speeds. I installed 5 more nodes all with great success, long range and speed.

    I did the exact same procedure on a second Starlink (installing the optional ethernet adapter and placing it in bypass mode) but after connecting the ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8 ) to the optional Ethernet adapter it appeared to connect properly however I did not have an internet connection. I spent two days trying other ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8)s and numerous reboots of the StarLink both with and without bypass mode with the same results ( to internet connection). I have read on the internet that there has been some issues with different versions of the StarLink router and that by swapping routers has solved the problem. Why one StarLink works great and the second will not work at all. What does the Starlink router provide in bypass mode ? I am assuming it provides DHCP to any device attached to the Ethernet Adapter both in and out of bypass mode.

    I am stumped and could use some fresh ideas.

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