Max BR1 MK2 - Smartcheck Failed on SIM data

Sorry for long post. I am trying to help someone who has a MAX-BR1-MK2-LTEA-W-T (EMA/Americas) installed in a large yacht and has taken the yacht on holiday elswhere in the UK, but now they cant get Internet while moored up near shore. However all their phones are working with mobile data (I have been video calling them) so I assume the mobile signal there should be okay.

Another company set all the equipment up, but I was the one that chose and installed the three.co.uk sim card as it has unlimited data for £20 per month. However, I am questioning the compatibility of the service as someone mentioned using a data-only sim whereas this one also has unlimited voice & texts.

Initially while docked at the home marina about a month ago I was getting about 10mbps down and 5mbps up and was able to stream youtube to the smart TV.

The antenna in use is a LMO7270 – 4G LTE outdoor MIMO omni antenna mounted high on the mast. Both pigtail cables are securely attached to the BR1 but I can only assume the rest of antenna is intact.

They connect via wifi to a Pipelink Balance one router and the WAN1 port of that is connected to the LAN port of the BR1. So I assume they are double NATing, but that doesn’t appear to be the problem.

Anyway, current problem:-

The sim card connects, then ‘Smartcheck Failed’ then disconnects and repeats. One person on on forums suggested changing healthcheck to DNS check on 8.8.8.8 as it could be a problem with the smartcheck facility itself. I havent tried that yet.

However, my guess is more on the provider, antenna, signal quality, sim card settings etc.

When it does connect the little blue signal bar icon shows full bars. Is that a real signal reading or just saying ‘SIM card connected’?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as they have spent a small fortune and the installer company hasnt been much help. If there’s some way of getting phone support, then please PM me and we’ll try to arrange. Having spent about £3000 so far and not getting any internet, it would be appreciated…

Personally, I think they should spend £100 on a Huawei B535 which Three actually sell and do away with the rest.

Hi
The three unlimited sim allows tethering and use in a mobile router and works well normally with the various peplink devices. I recently cancelled mine due to not needing it while stuck at home with covid but where three have coverage it worked really well.

Three’s coverage around the coast in the UK can however be a bit sketchy but it sounds like it is getting a signal and failing to connect. The thing that comes to mind though is that you say it was working when you installed it a month ago and isn’t now makes me want to suggest contacting three to find out if there is an issue with the billing as I have known them to just cut a connection off if the payment couldn’t be taken (for what ever reason).

regards.

As James says Three is compatible so no issues there.

Know it well - no issue there.

Agree unlikely an issue but in those circumstances I would typically disable health check on BR1 completely and just use the health check on the balance one. Dual inline health checks can get confusing quick.

You could try disabling all health checks (BR1 and Balance) and try and access the internet. If it is an accounting problem three will likely show a ‘pay you bill’ style captive portal page which would make smartcheck identify the cellular WAN as unhealthy.

Blue signal bars are signal Strength (RSSI) which doesn’t tell the whole story. Please screengrab the details view - the line that shows RSSI, RSRP, SNR and RSRQ

Very frustrating and unlucky as there are so many great Peplink partners out there - promise.

I can help - feel free to get in touch if you like, and you’ll find everyone on this forum is keen to make this kind of thing come right.

Fully understand why you think that - but a properly configured Peplink system will provide a better service in more conditions than a consumer router.

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Many thanks for the helpful replies Martin and James. I didn’t mean to sound as if I was slating Peplink products, I’m sure they are very good when configured correctly. It was more from a simplicity standpoint because it is a family yacht, so my thinking was that consumer grade equipment should suffice as it does in the average family home for everyday browsing and streaming. However, the LTE modem might need to be industrial grade to cope with weak signals and waving about on choppy water?

Anyhow, it’s worth pursuing with the current equipment for now and looking at the smartcheck setting when we get the chance. I havent even attempted to log into the balance one yet to check if smartcheck is enabled on that. However on the BR1 it definitely is.

The Three account looks fine as I can log in and check bills and allowance says unlimited. Perhaps I have chosen the wrong provider for off-shore signal…

The only singal readings I have are from a couple of weeks ago when we were trying to troubleshoot a similar issue where it wouldn’t connect and it turned out it was forced to 4G only and needed setting to auto.

In case they give you a rough idea of signal and quality, the settings and readings at the time were:

4G only
LTE band 20 (800Mhz)
RSSI -55dBm SINR 3.0dB, RSRP -88dBm RSRQ -16.0dB

They have returned home today (I think they left the yacht and have driven back), so no urgency any more and I will speak to them to see the best way forward.

Good to know there are people here on hand!