Balance One keeps rebooting or restarting


#1

Replacing a customer’s 8-year old Peplink Balance 310 with a new Balance One. The Balance One keeps restarting which interrupts the Internet connection which is unacceptable to my customer for obvious reasons especially when the Balance 310 ran for years without any issues. Firmware 7.1.2 is installed. I have seen others comment on Balance One units that will not stop restarting. Need to get this sorted out or I will have to return it and consider doing something else. The Balance One has a great feature set for less than half the price of a Balance 310 but not if it doesn’t work. Very disappointed to learn that this is an issue that apparently is not resolved.


#2

I have many Balance One with no similar issues. There have been discussions here about units being installed without sufficient ventilation, or being surrounded by other hot equipment. Might that be a factory in your layout? The Balance units that are larger with a physical fan don’t seem to be as sensitive to their environment.


#3

@Timothy_Wessels

Found that you have opened a support ticket for the issue. Support team will contact you shortly via the created ticket


#4

Well, having many Balance One units with no similar issue does not mean anything to me since I have one that does have an issue with restarting. If the Balance One has an “issue” with ventilation then Peplink should have installed a fan in the Balance One and should not be blaming a cabinet that is “too hot” for it to run without restarting. My customer’s cabinet is a sparsely populated 42U cabinet that is well-ventilated. Maybe the Peplink field fix should be to cut a hole in the top of the Balance One case and attach a small 40mm PC CPU fan to it.


#5

Thank you. I have received and responded to Peplink support about the ticket. Everyone seems “concerned” that the there is too much heat in the environment for the darling little Balance One to survive without restarting. Why is the Balance One so poorly designed that it cannot tolerate getting a little warm? Peplink should have used a heavier gauge metal case or installed a fan if everyone is so concerned about the ambient temperature surrounding a Balance One.


#6

Just curious: What is the measured ambient temperature in which the B1 operates?


#7

Well, I’m not there right now but it is a small, two-floor office environment with central forced hot air heat in the winter because it is cold in New Hampshire and air-conditioning in the summer when it gets hot. The ambient temperature is controlled for the humans working in the office. There is no separate temperature control for the server and network electronics. A Balance 310 has been in the same office environment for eight years sitting on top of an HP OfficeConnect 1800 series Ethernet switch and it did not have any issue with the temperature in the office. Let’s stop asking how hot it is for the poor Balance One and ask why would Peplink do such a poor case design that allows it to get too hot. The Balance One is stuffed into a very small case compared to the Balance 310 and there are no convection cooling holes in the case much less a fan.


#8

Tim, I’m not Peplink. I’m just another user trying to help you. The tone of your comments is not necessary. No one here knows if temperature is your problem or not. I’d suggest you set up an external fan and see if that eliminates the problem. At least then you’d know if temperature is the issue or not.


#9

Sorry for the “tone” in my comment. Yes, I know everyone commenting in the forum is not a Peplink employee and I appreciate the value of user-supported vendor forums. That said, Peplink support has suggested disabling the integrated AP controller and observing the Balance One to see it the restarting problem continues. If it continues then Peplink support will initiate a replacement unit shipment. With regard to temperature, I have been working on computers and network electronics in computer rooms, data centers, and offices for over 30 years. When the temperature gets too hot for equipment it is usually apparent. The temperature in this particular office is not too hot and the cabinet is well vented with metal screen mesh front and rear doors. I will check the ambient room temperature inside and outside the cabinet on Thursday.


#10

Well, here is the temperature in several places.

Inside the cabinet - 76 degrees F

Room temperature - 75 degrees F

Top of the Balance One powered ON and sitting in the room - 84 degrees F
(Balance One is warm to the touch but not hot.)

Top of Balance One powered ON and sitting in the cabinet - 86 degrees F
(Balance One is warm to the touch but not hot)

These temperatures should be within the operating parameters for the Balance One.


#11

They certainly are.

I’d open a ticket and let the Peplink support guyz take a look.


#12

Yes, I have a support ticket open with Peplink. Support wanted me to turn off the integrated AP, which I did yesterday when I put the Balance One back in the cabinet. I also informed Peplink support about the temperatures inside and outside the cabinet and the Balance One temperature inside and outside the cabinet.

I can report that the Balance One restarting issue seems to have stopped and it did not matter whether or not the Balance One integrated AP was turned on or off based on my initial testing. As of this morning the Balance One appears to have not restarted over the past 20 hours. I will check the Balance One log to verify that.

The only other thing I did was to use new patch cables for the WAN1 and WAN2 connections and for the LAN1 connection from the Balance One to the HPE OfficeConnect 1850 series Ethernet switch. I did not use the patch cables connected to the old Balance 310 which was running OK until I shut it down yesterday afternoon before I switched over to the Balance One.

The whole purpose of installing the Balance One was to replace an 8-year old Balance 310 which never seemed to have any problems and ran for years after there wasn’t any new firmware for it because the HW1 hardware revision was eventually not supported by newer firmware released for HW2 and HW3 hardware revisions of the Balance 310.

I will only add that Peplink should use a larger case for the Balance One that has more air-space inside and provide vents top and bottom to facilitate convection cooling. There have been comments about the Balance One becoming hot in some environments and that should be addressed. If the case is large enough and the metal is a heavier gauge, it should help dissipate heat better. I know that no one likes to put tiny fans in these things as they eventually fail, so Peplink should do some proper convection cooling and use the case for a heat sink.


#13

We have quite a number of Balance Ones in service and have never had the issue you report although I don’t doubt you for a second. We prefer to use external APs for several reasons, an important one of which is to minimize heat gain within the case. So we use and tend to sell the “Core” model. The one in my office here is in a wall-mounted, fully enclosed, rack cabinet and our instrumentation presently reports the temperature in that cabinet to be 72.5F.

While I can’t speak for Peplink vis-a-vis the design, I can say that the Balance One is the only one of the Balance series of which I’m aware that uses a plastic case. Although we’d strongly prefer metal cases which can be rack mounted I suspect that the plastic case was needed for the original model, which you have, which includes an AP.


#14

Well, I think you might have the right idea about using the Balance One Core version and avoiding the Balance One with the integrated AP. I was not sure the Balance One would cover the area at the customer’s office so I got a PepWave AP One AC Mini. I will turn off the Balance One integrated AP and see if the PepWave will do what the customer needs. Nice to know that not running the integrated AP in the Balance One will result in less heat.

Likewise, all of the Balance units I’ve worked with in the past (310s and 30s) had metal cases. I was surprised at how thin and sort of fragile the Balance One looked. I’m all for metal cases. I wasn’t exactly sure about the actual composition of the Balance One case but using plastic makes sense with the integrated AP but it also reduces heat dissipation.