MBX Mini going unresponsive

Posting this here for some of the more experienced Peplink minds to mull over in case there are any different opinions. This is in RE: Peplink Ticket 23110785.

My relatively new Peplink MBX Mini appears to have an issue where it will randomly go unreachable and render itself seemingly inoperative. What we are experiencing is that I will get a notification that the MBX is offline (via both cellular connections and the cable modem connection), and it will not be reachable from InControl 2. I will go to the site and connect my laptop to the LAN, and I will not be offered DHCP or have any connectivity via static ethernet configuration. Also, the built-in Wi-Fi which is typically enabled will be turned off. A reboot corrects all issues, but the router is down hard until a reboot is performed. I have noted that this condition usually follows a short period of idleness.

The router is connected to Verizon and FirstNet, as well as a Cable Modem. It also has an optional Starlink which is stowed when not in use. This freeze-up behavior has been experienced twice in the rather infantile life of the router. The first time it happened, I just rebooted it thinking it was just a fluke. Today when it happened, I visited the site and physically tested what I described above. It really seems as if the whole thing just locked up and stopped performing any of its operations. The device does run hot, currently, the temp reading is sitting at about 161.6F. I was told running hot is normal for this device, but is there a thermal cutoff I could possibly be reaching?

I reached out to Peplink support who directed me to a reseller, who gave me the advice of factory-resetting the device and re-uploading my config, which I have done. At this point, it’s a wait-and-see to find out if it happens again. This is our first MBX router (we have several smaller cellular routers).

I am more experienced with Cisco enterprise and carrier-class devices which are my daily drivers so to speak, so I look at it from this perspective - there is possibly some troubleshooting or config that I am missing. The router is running 8.4.0 build 5736. To note further, I am not able to get any logs or information from the router as I am unable to access it during this condition, and the console port appears to not elicit a serial response for me to connect to via USB-C. Please let me know what further information I can provide to assist in this query.

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Hi Maxwell.
First recommendation is to go to FW 8.4.1 which is now generally available. 8.4.0 had a number of bugs that stopped us from using it in production. 8.4.1 has been super stable so far.

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Martin, that’s excellent thank you. This is the answer I’ve been searching for from someone for months now.

Well, it seems like the issues are not over with. I am not sure where to go from here. Since the upgrade to 8.4.1, there seems to be a different issue. The MBX mini will go completely dark after some time and appear as though it isn’t powered up at all, I then have to power cycle the device and it comes up as normal. Eventually, it will go back into this state where it appears cold and dead, like it shut down almost.

To expand on the comments above, 8.4.0 did have a few stability issues, and 8.4.1 is much better but it does still have some issues on some devices (balance 310 5G for example).

Have you got a ticket logged with Peplink? They can extract information from the support bundle to assist in working out what is going on.

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Hello @Maxwell_Paine ,
We have been running a special firmware release, similar to @bryn.loftus, with some of our units from Peplink regarding this issue. It’s best to reach out via a Peplink Support ticket to make sure you get the correct version for not just your MBX Mini but also for what you are using your MBX for (yep, such as whether you are using the LAN ports or not, makes a difference).

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

@bryn.loftus @mldowling thanks, a ticket has been opened for some time and I am replying to it with this information. I was mistaken, it doesn’t seem like the unit is powering off but instead going into the exact same “unresponsive” state that it was on 8.4.0. This is leading to significant disruptions to our network every time it does this as it requires a physical reboot.

The special version of firmware you are running is above 8.4.1? Have you noticed improvement?

Hello @Maxwell_Paine,
We have been running two special releases of firmware combined, and they appear stable:

  • SIM Injector 1.1.134
  • MBX HD4 5G 8.4.1s043

To verify these are suitable and to get access to them, please raise a Support ticket with Peplink.

Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile: