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802.11a-b-g

Wireless protocols used for connecting computers to each other and to wireless APs.

802.11a is uncommon. It offers up to 54 megabits-per-second connections, but has limited range compared to the b and g protocols. It is not compatible with b or g.

802.11b is the most common protocol. It has up to 11 megabits-per-second connections, and is used by most commercial wireless providers.

802.11g is the newest protocol. It has up to 54 megabits-per-second connections, and is backwards-compatible with the b protocol.

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ACP

Automatic Cross Pol, pronounced as 3 separate letters. Pol is short for polarization. Our transmit and receive signals are horizontally or vertically polarized. If the angle ("skew") of the dish is less than optimal relative to the polarization, the signal will be degraded, and there can also be interference when the frequency is used for other purposes on the opposite polarization.

Prior to the availability of computers to perform the check of cross-pol isolation it required an engineer at the other end, analyzing the signal with instruments as the dish was adjusted. Now, the tests are completely automated.

AMC15 - 105

Americom communications satellite located at 105 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes.

The footprint map for AMC15 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC15

AMC16 - 85

Americom communications satellite located at 85 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes.

The footprint map for AMC16 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC16

AMC3 - 87

Americom communications satellite previously known as GE3 when it was owned by General Electric. AMC3 is located at 87 degrees west longitude and is a primary Hughes satellite.

The footprint map for AMC3 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC3

AMC4 - 101

Americom communications satellite located at 101 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes.

The footprint map for AMC4 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC4

AMC6 - 72

Americom communications satellite previously known as GE6 when it was owned by General Electric. AMC6 is located at 72 degrees west longitude and is used for Hughes service.

The footprint map for AMC6 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC6

AMC9 - 83

Americom communications satellite AMC9 is located at 83 degrees west longitude and is a common Hughes satellite.

The footprint map for AMC9 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

AMC9

AP

See WAP.

APIPA

Automatic Private IP Addressing, a feature of later Windows operating systems. With APIPA, DHCP clients can automatically self-configure an IP address and subnet mask when a DHCP server isn't available. When a DHCP client boots up, it first looks for a DHCP server in order to obtain an IP address and subnet mask. If the client is unable to find the information, it uses APIPA to automatically configure itself with an IP address from a range that has been reserved especially for Microsoft. The IP address range is 169.254.0.1 through 169.254.255.254. The client also configures itself with a default class B subnet mask of 255.255.0.0. A client uses the self-configured IP address until a DHCP server becomes available.

The APIPA service also checks regularly for the presence of a DHCP server (every five minutes, according to Microsoft). If it detects a DHCP server on the network, APIPA stops, and the DHCP server replaces the APIPA networking addresses with dynamically assigned addresses.

Azimuth

The horizontal angle that a dish must turn to face a particular satellite.

Bandwidth

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time.

Most commonly expressed in bits-per-second (bps with a small b) but occasionally in Bytes-per-second (Bps with an upper case B).

With the speed of modern connections, the number of bits will typically be preceded by k for thousand, m for million, or g (giga) for billion. It does not matter what case is used for the qualifier.

BE

Business Edition, pronounced as two letters. Can refer to the Hughes Direcway service used by most Datastorm owners, but is often used to describe the Direcway software that is running on computer connected to DW4000 modems. BE software is not used with the DW4020, DW6000 or HN7000 modems.

When running, the BE software (a program called dpcnav.exe) will display a "BE" icon in the system "tray" at the lower right of a Windows screen. On a regular, non-business Direcway service the same program is running but will display "DW" in the icon.

When troubleshooting problems you may be asked to right-click the BE icon in order to see the status, or get the system information from the About menu item.

BOW

Bird-on-a-wire, pronounced as a word as in Bow and Arrow. Refers to an extension bracket and LNB that is attached to the side of the main Internet LNB and allows reception of satellite TV simultaneously with the Internet connection.

There are several BOWs available, allowing one or more of the following offsets from the Internet satellite: 10 degrees west, 2 degrees west, 7 degrees east, and 16 degrees east. The proper combination of Internet satellite, TV satellite, and BOW is necessary to get service.

The three kits are (see the links for pictures):

SatKitA is used to see 101 DirecTV from G4R 99, or 119 (Dish, or DirecTV HD) from SatMex5 117

SatKitB is used to see 101 DirecTV or 110 Dish/DirecTV from SatMex5 117

SatKitC is used to see 101 DirecTV from G11 91

The BOW kits can only be used on the F1 as skew is handled differently on the F2, XF2, F3, and XF3 round dishes.

BUC

Block Up Converter, typically pronounced as a word. The BUC upshifts the frequency received from the transmit modem and sends it out through the feed horn to the dish, where it is bounced up to the satellite. The critical need for low noise in the LNB is not so important, as the signal is relatively strong at this point.

Client

See ICS. Used similarly with other types of connections to the Internet besides ICS.

Controller

See LCB.

D1

The original Datastorm controller, in production from October of 2001 through late 2004, is referred to as the D1.

This flat box with a single blue button on the front contains circuitry that moves the dish, but does not have the processing power to know where to point it. This controller requires a serial connection to a computer running Windows, on which the Datastorm software will reside to "control the controller."
D1

D2

The second generation Datastorm controller went into beta in May of 2004 and was generally available but still beta in August of 2004. This flat box with a multiple blue LEDs on the front contains circuitry that moves the dish, and also contains a full computer that can calculate the necessary positioning of the dish without the need for a Windows-based PC to tell it what to do. The picture below is a D2 with a Direcway DW6000 modem sitting on top of it.
D2

D3

The third generation DataStorm controller became available in late 2005. This flat box with multiple blue LEDs on the front contains circuitry that moves the dish. A new standard DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) makes possible the means to find any satellite, anywhere on planet earth. A new method of searching for the satellite called Sweep-and-Search looks for the first satellite it finds with a DVB signal then determines exactly how far the dish must move to locate the correct satellite. The D3 was the first D series controller to run the DataStorm XF series mount system.
D3

dBW

Power levels measured in decibels with reference to one watt. Pronounced as 3 letters.

DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, pronounced as four letters. A protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network.

With dynamic addressing, a device may have a different IP address each time it connects to the network. DHCP also supports a mix of static and dynamic IP addresses.

Windows ICS uses the address range of 192.168.0.2 through 192.168.0.255 when it assigns addresses. It also works fine when computers on the ICS network are assigned addresses in that range statically, but it is a good idea to use high numbers to avoid conflicts.

Direcway

Formerly DirecPC, the division of HNS that provides satellite Internet connections to home and small business users, including Datastorm users. Now HughesNet.

DNS

Domain Name System (or Service or Server), pronounced as three letters. An Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses.

Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.datastormusers.com translates to 63.161.122.77.

The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

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DPCNav.exe

DPCNav is the Direcway program running on a computer attached to a set of DW4000 modems. It controls the modems, and sends and receives data to and from the modems. When running, it shows as a DW or BE icon in the system tray at the lower right of a Windows screen.

DPCProxy.exe

DPCProxy is the Direcway proxy server which runs on a computer which is host to a DW4000 modem. It speeds the delivery of web pages by working with another proxy at the NOC, acquiring most of the images and other parts of a page into a single bundle, which is delivered to the computer and broken out into individual elements for use by a browser.

DPCProxy normally runs as a service, so it is on all the time. Whether your browser uses it or not will depend on the settings in the browser.

DSServer

DSServer is the main Datastorm program, running on a Windows computer and connected to the Positioner. It is a completely background program running as a service, and is only accessed by another program, the Datastorm Administrator.

Opening the Administrator will start DSServer if it is not already running, but closing the Administrator does not close DSServer. Whether to leave DSServer running is an individual decision; Read this article here at DatastormUsers.com for more information about DSServer and techniques for closing it if you choose to do so.

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DW4000

The Hughes DW4000 modem was the standard for Datastorm users until late 2004, when it was replaced for most installations by the DW6000.

The DW4000 is actually two separate modems (transmit and received). They are not capable of providing a standard Internet IP output, so they require a host computer to control them, and to serve the connection to network clients.

4000 modem stack

DW4020

The Hughes DW4020 modem is comprised of a DW4000 modem set attached to a third "gateway" box. The gateway is a full computer. Details on the 4020 can be found in this DatastormUsers.com article.

4020 modem stack

DW6000

The DW6000 replaced the DW4000 modems. The DW6000 was the primary Hughes modem until late 2005. The 6000 is a stand-alone modem, combining all of the transmit, receive, and gateway functions that require 3 boxes in the DW4020, except there is only one Ethernet port compared to the 4 ports on the 4020. Many DW6000's are still in service but they are no longer sold by Hughes. They have been replaced by the HN7000 and HN7000S

DW6000 Modem

Dynamic IP

Refers to an IP that may change each time that you log on to a network (or the Internet). It is possible for a dynamic IP to be a public one, meaning that a computer with that IP is visible to other computers on the Internet. That sort of dynamic IP is typical (but is not always true) of terrestrial connections including dialup, DSL, and cable.

In the satellite world, Dynamic IPs are usually private, so the term is frequently used as synonymous with a private IP. The IP may be assigned by the routers at the Hughes NOC with the DW4000 modem, or locally via DHCP on a DW4020, DW6000 or HN7000 modem.

The advantage of a dynamic IP in a private sense is that the computer is invisible to the outside world, making many worms and other exploits impossible. Note, however, that a Hughes-assigned DW4000 dynamic IP is rarely truly private, as it is probably accessible by up to 254 other computers on the Hughes networks that are in the same IP block. That is not a problem with the true private addresses assigned by a DW4020, DW6000 or HN7000.

The disadvantage of private, dynamic IP is that there can be things, including some types of VPN that will not work.

For the opposite, a public IP, see Static IP.

Elevation

The vertical angle a dish must raise to point at a particular satellite.

FAP

Fair Access Policy, pronounced as a word that rhymes with gap. Satellite connections, while always on, are not unlimited. Bandwidth is a finite resource, so the method used to provide high download bandwidth for all while preventing any one user from hogging that bandwidth is FAP.

FAP has complex formulations that vary with time-of-day and total satellite loading, but in general the best analogy anyone has come up with is a bucket of water with a valve on the bottom, and a steady flow into the top. The flow at the top continues whether the bucket is full or not, with the excess overflowing and never usable. If the valve is opened at the bottom, water rushes out. If the bucket empties, you will be "in FAP."

The inflow is called the "recovery rate."

Each HughesNet service plan has a different level of FAP, and recovery rate. Most current Datastorm users with 7000 modems have the Internet Access 100 service. Plans are shown with the HughesNet name first, and VAR name second. Hughes no longer publishes recovery rates, so the numbers shown are best-guess estimates.

FAP lasts for 24 hours, typically, but it can be longer if a lot of downloading continues.

There is a "FAP-free zone" from 3 am to 6 am, Eastern Time, each day, when downloads do not count against FAP. Someone in FAP is temporarily released for those 3 hours as well.

PlanFAP LevelRecovery Rate
Home ("Consumer") 200 MBytes 18kbps
Pro
Internet Access 100
375 MBytes 35kbps
Small Office
Internet Access 200
500 MBytes 100kbps
Business Internet
Internet Access 300
1250 MBytes 100kbps


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Firewall

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet.

Firewalls can block traffic both inbound and outbound, or inbound only. An example of an inbound only software firewall is the ICF that is part of Windows XP. An example of a commonly used software firewall that works on both inbound and outbound is Zone Alarm.

Footprint

Satellites broadcast their signals directionally. Each company tries to focus the beam of their broadcast as narrowly as possible to match the areas in which they expect to serve customers; this is important because of the need to conserve power on a satellite.

The area the beam reaches is called the satellite's footprint. It does not have uniform intensity - think of it like a flashlight beam where it is strongest near the center and fades away from that.

Footprint maps look like topographical contour maps, with lines indicating the strength reaching that point, listed in dBW.

Information and footprint maps for each satellite used by Hughes can be seen here:

SatMex5
SatMex6
G16
G17
AMC3
G3C
AMC9
AMC6
Horizons1
Horizons2
G28
G25


Footprints for satellites used by other providers, such as Ethersat, Starband, etc:
G23
G27
AMC4
AMC5
AMC15
AMC16


G11

G11 has been replaced by G17.

G16 - 99

G for Galaxy, a series of Panamsat communications satellites. Panamsat is now owned by Intelsat, the "IA" owners. G16 is located at 99 degrees west longitude and is a primary Hughes satellite, replacing G4R in the summer of 2006.

The footprint map for G16 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. The map indicates that 46dBW can be achieved over a wide portion of North America, including southern Alaska, but there is no known actual testing of the limits at the time of this writing (Sept, 2006).

G16

G17 - 91

Galaxy 17 is an Intelsat satellite owned by Hughes. It replaced G11 at the 91 west longitude slot.

The footprint map for G17 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception.

G17

G18 - 123

Intelsat communications satellite located at 123 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes, particularly @contact.

The footprint map for G18 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. Usr experience with iDirect/AtContact has been good for travel to Alaka.



G23 - 121

Intelsat/Echostar communications satellite located at 121 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes. Also known as ES9

The footprint map for G23 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.



G25 - 93

Galaxy 25, located at 93 degrees West Longitude replaced the failing G26 (IA6) in early 2009. The footprint map for G25 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception.

G25

G26

G26 has been replaced by G25.

G27 - 129

Galaxy 27 is an Intelsat communications satellite located at 129 degrees west longitude and used by some satellite providers other than Hughes.

The footprint map for G27 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

G27

G28 - 89

Galaxy 28, formerly known as IA8, is a Hughes satellite located at 89 degrees West Longitude. The footprint map for G28 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception.

G28 footprint

G3C - 95

Also occasionally shown with a roman numeral: GIIIC. G for Galaxy, a series of Panamsat communications satellites. G3C is located at 95 degrees west longitude and is a secondary Hughes satellite.

The footprint map for G3C is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. There is no user experience available to validate the map.

G3C

Gateway

A machine on a network that serves as an entrance to another network. Also used as shorthand to describe the IP address of that gateway machine. On a DW4000 connection, the gateway for the host is the router at the NOC, while the gateway for Clients is the host itself.

On DW4020 and DW6000 Dynamic connections, the gateway is the modem itself. On DW4020 and DW6000 connections with a static IP the gateway is again at the NOC, although that gateway may be used by a broadband router, which again becomes the gateway for the clients.

Since data passing over the Internet may enter and leave many individual networks, such data will pass through many different gateways. The only one of significance in configuring a computer's Internet connection is the gateway immediately upstream from that computer.

GE3

See AMC3.

GPS

Global Positioning System, pronounced as three letters. A system of 24 satellites orbiting the earth; also refers to the devices which receive signals from the satellites and determines a position from that data.

The satellites orbit the earth at approximately 12,000 miles above the surface and make two complete orbits every 24 hours. Each satellite transmits radio signals containing data on that satellite's location along with the exact time. The satellites have atomic clocks that are precise to within a billionth of a second.

As each signal travels at the speed of light, the longer it takes the receiver to get the signal, the farther away the satellite is. By knowing how far away a satellite is, the receiver knows that it is located somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered at the satellite. By using three satellites, GPS can calculate the longitude and latitude of the receiver based on where the three spheres intersect. Accuracy increases with the number of satellites the receiver can "see." The Datastorm has a GPS receiver in the UCB that tells the positioner where it is located. Along with compass and tilt sensor information, the positioner uses the data to determine where to point the dish.

HN7000S

The DW7000 replaced the 6000 modem in 2005. The 7000 modems are more efficient than the 6000 modems in utilization of bandwidth. The HN7000S replaced the DW7000 in late August 2006. As with the DW6000 modems, both are self-hosting and provide an ethernet connection on the rear of the modem eliminating the need for special software on your computer.
HN7000S

HNS

Hughes Network Systems, pronounced as three letters. Previously owned by DirecTV (and before that, both were part of Hughes Electronics), HNS is now an independent company. HNS provides satellite connections, including Internet to enterprise and individual customers. The home and small business operations were previously sold under the Direcway name.

Horizons 1 - 127

Horizons 1 is a Japanese-owned satellite used by Hughes and is located at 127 degrees West Longitude.

The footprint map for Horizons 1 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. Horizons 1 has proven usable in Alaska with a .74 meter (although a very low look-angle, so easily obstructed). It does have some problems through British Columbia on the way to Alaska. In the 48 states, its weakest areas are in the extreme southwest.




Horizons 2 - 74

The Japanese-owned Horizons 2, located at 74 degrees West Longitude and is used by Hughes.

The footprint maps for Horizons 2 are shown below. Two maps, because coverage is different for Vertical and Horizontal transponders. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception.


Horizontal:


Vertical:


Hub

See Switch.

Hughes

See HNS.

HughesNet

The current supplier of bandwidth for the majority of DataStorm users. Formerly DirecWay.

IA6

IA6 has been replaced by G25.

IA8

See G28.

ICF

Internet Connection Firewall, pronounced as three letters. ICF is included as a standard component with Windows XP. It is an inbound firewall only.

ICS

Internet Connection Sharing, pronounced as three letters. Most commonly used to refer to the ICS included with Windows from version 98a and upward. ICS is a method for connecting multiple computers in a LAN to the Internet through a single connection and a single IP address.

ICS uses NAT technologies to achieve this and works with most connection technologies, including DSL, cable, ISDN, dial-up and satellite. The device with the modem or broadband interface that establishes the connection to the Internet is called the ICS host, while the other devices that connect to the Internet via the network and the ICS host are called ICS clients. If the ICS host fails, then all of the ICS clients lose their Internet connection.

ICS is the most common method of sharing a connection with the Hughes DW4000 modems.

IGU

Indoor Gateway Unit, pronounced as three letters. Used in reference to the gateway module in a DW4020.

IP

Internet Protocol, pronounced as two separate letters. IP specifies the format of packets, and the addressing scheme used on the Internet.

The Internet combines IP with a higher-level protocol called Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which establishes the connection between a destination and a source.

IP by itself is something like the postal system. It allows you to address a package and drop it in the system, but there's no direct link between you and the recipient. TCP/IP (pronounced as 5 letters), on the other hand, establishes a connection between two hosts so that they can send messages back and forth for a period of time.

IP addresses are in the form of a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 10.249.101.24 could be an IP address.

Within a LAN, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique; addresses which are public to the Internet must be within assigned ranges in order to avoid duplication. The authorities that assign public Internet addresses have designated certain ranges as never to be used on the Onternet; by convention, those are normally used as private addresses on a LAN. The ranges for private addresses are all addresses starting with 10 (e.g. 10.200.44.36), addresses between 172.16.0.0 and 72.31.255.255, and addresses between 192.168.0.0 and 192.168.255.255.

Addresses such as www.datastormusers.com are converted to their numeric equivalent by DNS servers.

IQoS

What does the phrase "Ranged at inroute rate selected by IQoS" mean (found on the modem's advanced page"? During ranging the NOC determines the maximum transmit rate you can achieve, based on your service plan, the transponder's capabilities, and your transmit quality. IQoS: I = Inroute (inbound to the NOC from you) QoS = Quality of Service, or Quality of Signal or something along those lines. Going back to 2003 when rate codes were first introduced with the 4020 modem, and there were 2 available instead of every user having only one, the choices for those on a business 4020 plan were: "Ranged at inroute rate selected by IQoS" and you got the higher speed, or "Failed to range at inroute rate selected by IQoS" and you got the lower speed. Now on a 7000 modem it should always be the first one, because even the lowest rate involves a ranging test. Since this message never changes you have to look at the rate code itself to see what rate was selected, with most users expecting either 256K 2/3 or 256K 4/5, depending on transponder. 256K 1/2 would mean that you failed the higher ranging, and passed the lowest. The only way you could fail 256K 1/2 would be if you couldn't get on at all.

IRU

Indoor Receive Unit, pronounced as three letters. Used in reference to the receive (RX) modem in a DW4000.

ISP

Internet Service Provider, pronounced as three letters. ISPs take connections from individual users and forward them to the shared Internet backbone. They may provide additional services such as mail servers, web space, etc.

The ISP used with the Datastorm is HughesNet (formerly Hughes Direcway).

See also VAR

ITU

Indoor Transmit Unit, pronounced as three letters. Used in reference to the transmit (TX) modem in a DW4000.

Ka Band

While our current Direcway systems use Ku Band, future satellite Internet plans are centered on Ka Band, which will have uplink frequencies of 27.5GHz to 30.0GHz and downlink frequencies of 17.7GHz to 20.2GHz.

Partly because of frequency, but more because of spot-beaming the signal instead of covering all of the US with a single beam, Ka Band services will be able to achieve higher up and down speeds with smaller dishes. A .66-meter dish will be able to achieve 384kbps up, and 2.5 mbps down, at least in theory.

There are two primary competitors in the US for Ka Band services. The first is Spaceway, another Hughes venture, and the second is WildBlue.

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Ku Band

Various radio and microwave frequencies are described by letters. Ku, pronounced as two letters, is the band that Direcway systems use to communicate with the satellites. Ku has a frequency range between 10.9 and 17 GHz (Gigahertz, or billion cycles-per-second), however our Internet connections are concentrated between 14 and 14.5 GHz for the uplink and between 11.7 and 12.2 GHZ for the downlink.

We typically refer to the transponders we are assigned to by a frequency that is a much lower frequency, converted at the LNB on the downlink, and the BUC on the uplink. The frequency shift on the uplink is 13.05 GHz, and the frequency shift on the downlink is 10.75 GHz.

For example, if you are on transponder 1110, the 1110 is the value in MHz (Megahertz, or millions of cycles per second) that your modems are transmitting and receiving on the cable to and from the dish. At the Dish, the BUC is converting that signal up to 14.16 GHz (1.110 + 13.05) before it is transmitted to the satellite. At the satellite, the signal is shifted down by 2.3 GHz to 11.86 GHz, and the signal is sent on to the Hughes NOC.

The return is the same way - Hughes sends a 14.15 GHz signal up to the satellite, and the satellite sends an 11.85 GHz signal down to you, where your LNB shifts it down by 10.75 GHz and forwards it on to the modems as 1.11 GHz (1110 MHz) again.

LAN

Local area network, pronounced as a word. Two or more computers connected to one another either directly, or through a hub, switch, or Wireless AP.

Two computers that have to connect to the Internet to reach one another are by definition not on the same LAN, even if they are in close physical proximity. Such a connection is a WAN.

Latency

Internet traffic travels at the speed of light. That means that a request from a web-surfer in California to a web server in New York takes about 0.03 seconds (30 milliseconds) to make the round trip. In practice, because the request may pass through a dozen or more routers and switches, each with some delay, it will average about 90 milliseconds for a good connection.

With satellite connections the distances are so vast that even light speed isn't fast enough to not be noticeable. The satellites used are 22,000+ miles above the equator, so the round trip in on the order of 95,000 miles from North America. That means there will be a round trip of over 500 milliseconds, not counting the normal Internet switching and routing. The satellite switches are also relatively slow (they route the signal between up and downlinks), so that the fastest possible connection is about 650 milliseconds.

This time lag is called latency, and is used to explain some of the problems for such Internet uses as VoIP and real-time gaming.

LCB

Lower Control Board, pronounced as 3 letters. Also variously called the Controller or Positioner, this is the box inside the mobile unit, which has connections for power, the dish, and a host computer. It receives its instructions from the host computer, data (compass, tilt, and GPS) from the UCB, and sends commands to the UCB to move the dish.

Original Datastorm LCBs are referred to as D1 and the second generation is known as D2.

LCCU

Lan Client Configuration Utility. Also called Browsing Optimization Utility. This is a program provided by Direcway that helps setup computers for the Direcway system that are not running Direcway software. The LCCU is therefore not necessary on host computers on DW4000 systems, but is used on ICS clients, or computers connected to DW6000 and DW4020 modems. The utility sets up the proxy, opens additional TCP connections, and sets the TCP receive window, among other things. The current version is 4.0.3.12, and is the first version to support the DW6000. Do NOT use earlier versions with the DW6000!

LNB

Low Noise Block Amplifier/Converter, pronounced as three letters. The LNB receives the very weak microwave signal reflected from the dish, then amplifies it and converts it to a lower frequency before sending it on to the receive modem.

The "Low Noise" part of the name is important. The incoming signal is extremely low, and any electrical noise introduced by the Amplifier/Converter must be even smaller still, to keep the signal-to-noise ratio within reasonable levels.

Master

A term occasionally, although rarely, used to mean a Host computer.

Modem

Modulator-Demodulator, pronounced as a word. A modem is a device that enables a computer to transmit data over a satellite connection, or over telephone or cable lines. The modem attaches data packets to a carrier wave and transmits it, then receives and decodes packets from returned signals.

There are currently three modems used with Direcway Internet services, the DW6000, the HN7000, and the HN7000S. There are two additional modems which are still active but no longer supported or being activated by HughesNet, the DW4000 and the DW4020.

NAT

Network Address Translation, pronounced as a word. Occurs on a router, where a single IP address on an Internet connection is converted into 1 or more IP addresses on the LAN.

The local addresses are private, which provides a very effective inbound firewall, as the private addresses are invisible to the Internet.

The NAT box is usually a DHCP server.

NOC

Network Operations Center, pronounced as a word like knock. The Hughes Direcway NOC is located near Germantown, MD. It is the "other end" of the satellite connection, and the point where any request you make for something over the Internet returns to ground and enters the wired Internet.

Parallel

As opposed to serial, a parallel connection can transmit more than one bit at a time. Typically a parallel port will transmit a byte (8 bits) at a time, requiring a separate wire for each bit plus additional ones for communication between the two ends of the connection.

Ping

A utility to determine whether a specific IP address is accessible, and how long it takes to communicate with that address. It is also used to describe the action of using the utility.

Ping works by sending a packet to a specified address and waiting for a reply. To see ping in action, open a command window (Start/Run, type cmd and return) and type this line into the window:

ping www.datastormusers.com

By default, ping will send 4 packets and show the results for each, plus averages.

Ping's author says that the name comes from the sound that a sonar makes.

Positioner

See LCB.

Proxy

Usually used in the context of a Proxy Server, which is server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server.

In a business environment a proxy can be used to enhance security, by only allowing "approved" connections, but in the satellite world the purpose of a proxy is to speed the connection.

A web browser on a terrestrial connection normally connects with a server to download the source code for the page. The browser looks at the source, and then makes new connections for each image or other object in the code.

Because of the latency associated with a satellite connection, the terrestrial-type connection does not work well at all. One of the main techniques for combating the problem is the use of a proxy. The proxy server on the Internet side of the satellite connection makes all of the necessary requests for page elements, packages them up in a proprietary form, and transmits them to a proxy server residing on the host computer on a DW4000 system or to the modem in a DW4020 or DW6000 system. That proxy server breaks up the page elements and serves them to the web browser.

Recovery Rate

See FAP.

RX

Short for Receive, pronounced as two letters. Used in reference to the TX/RX modems, and also to errors coming from the modems. See this article for all of the TX and RX errors.

SatKitA

Kit A is a BOW which can see 2 degrees west of the Internet satellite. It is used for DirecTV 101 when the Internet satellite is G4R at 99 degrees, or for 119 (both Dish, and DirecTV HD) when the Internet satellite is SatMex5 at 117 degrees. The Kit A LNB fits inside the LNB hood, and in the picture below is the pointed device to the left of the main LNB.

SatKitA

SatKitB

Kit B is a BOW which can see 7 degrees and/or 16 degrees east of the Internet satellite. It is used for DirecTV 101 , or for 110 (both Dish and DirecTV) all when the Internet satellite is SatMex5 at 117 degrees. The Kit B LNBs need extensions as can be seen below in the 101 degree position so that the LNB will clear the dish when down.

SatKitB

SatKitC

Kit C is a BOW which can see 10 degrees west of the Internet satellite. It is used for DirecTV 101 when the Internet satellite is G11 at 91 degrees. The regular Hughes Kit C bracket does not allow the LNB to clear the Datastorm dish when closed, so a special Motosat-supplied stubby bracket as shown below must be used.

SatKitC

SatMex5 - 117

SatMex5 is a satellite located at 117 degrees west longitude and is a primary HughesNet/Direcway satellite.

The footprint map for SatMex5 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. .74 meter dishes need at least a 46 dBW signal for reception. The map indicates 46 dBW over all of the US, however user experience show that it is very difficult to get adequate signal to pass ACP in Northwest Washington state and in some places along the Canadian border west of the Great Lakes.

SatMex5

SatMex6 - 113

SatMex6 is a satellite located at 113 degrees west longitude and is a primary HughesNet/Direcway satellite.

The footprint map for SatMex6 is shown below. All footprint maps have to be considered as approximate. The line shown is for a .74 meter dish, and while we do not have exact cutoff data it is safe to assume that reception across the northern tier would indeed be very poor.

SatMex6

Serial

The transfer of data 1 bit-at-a-time. The connection can be accomplished on as few as two wires (data and ground), although typically there will be at least four, with the others used to send communication information between the two ends of the connection.

Skew

The rotation of a dish around its center point. Seen as a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation when facing the front of the dish.

Skew is needed to align the antenna with the polarization of the satellite signal when the dish is not located on the same longitude as the satellite. When a dish is west of the satellite, the skew is a negative number, and from the front of the dish the left edge will be higher than the right. When the dish is east of the satellite it will have a positive skew, with the left edge lower than the right edge.

Slave

A term occasionally, although rarely, used to mean a Client computer.

Spaceway

Spaceway is the next Internet initiative coming from Hughes, the parent of Direcway. It will use a Ka Band satellite, with two more eventually planned. Spaceway has been "coming in a year" for about five years now, and the first satellite launch is currently planned for late 2004.

The Spaceway system will allow higher speeds with small dishes, but at this time no pricing plan has been set forth.

Spaceway will also allow direct connections between two satellite ground stations, without passing through the NOC. That is probably intended more for large corporations to connect their separate locations, but it may also mean that smaller ISPs could offer Internet connections that don't use Hughes for anything except the satellite.

Because it will be spot-beamed instead of beamed at all of the US there will be some new hurdles to making the system mobile. It is not known at this time how hard it will be to do.

See also WildBlue.

Switch

Along with hubs, switches are devices that filter and forward packets between computers on a LAN. Compare with a router, which forwards packets between two or more LANs or other networks.

Switches are faster and higher capacity than hubs, but until recently were much more expensive. Now that costs have come down there is no reason to choose a hub over a switch.

A hub or switch may be found combined with other devices, including Modems, Routers, and wireless APs.

A hub or switch will normally have 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 RJ-45 jacks to handle Ethernet cables. Many will also have an uplink jack that can be used to connect upwards to another hub or switch, ganging them together to connect even more computers to one another.

TCP/IP

See IP

TFES

Temporary Fixed Earth Station, pronounced as four separate letters. This is the term used by the FCC to describe a satellite transmitter that is moved more often than once in any six-month period.

Hughes holds both FES (Fixed Earth Station) and TFES licenses; the Datastorm operates under the TFES license..

Hughes has published a document which outlines the requirements for a TFES station to operate within the rules, and this will often be referred to as the "TFES Requirements."

TX

Short for Transmit, pronounced as two letters. Used in reference to the TX/RX modems, and also to errors coming from the modems. See this article for all of the TX and RX errors.

UCB

Upper Control Board, pronounced as three letters. The UCB is a circuit board mounted to the backside of the dish. It has tilt, compass, and See GPS sensors which enable the See Controller to determine the pointing direction, and it has controllers for the three motors.

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URL

Uniform Resource Locator, pronounced as three letters. The global address of documents and other resources on the Internet.

The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use (for example http or ftp), and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.

USB

Universal Serial Bus, pronounced as three letters. An external bus that has become widespread since the late '90s. It has much faster data transfer rates than traditional serial or parallel connections, supports many devices attached to a single port, and does not have problems with devices being unplugged or plugged-in while running (called hot plugging).

VAR

Value-Added Reseller, pronounced usually as a word but occasionally as three letters. VARs in the Datastorm world resell bandwidth from the ISP (HughesNet).

The VARs are frequently called ISPs, including the tab above where they are listed, but that is not technically correct. The VARs provide billing and tech support, and they may also have other services including mail servers and web space.

VoIP

Voice over IP, pronounced as four letters. A category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls. For users who have fixed-price Internet access, Internet telephony can provide low-cost, or even free, phone service.

VoIP does not have the same quality as a typical phone line, and for Internet users the low upload speeds and high latency make telephony a less-than-wonderful experience. A variety of hardware and software products that buffer and enhance the voice signal are available, but none have shown to be better than mediocre at this time.

VPN

Virtual Private Network, pronounced as 3 letters. Computers connected by dedicated wires form a private network, while computers connected via public wires including the Internet are on a public network. VPN refers to a number of techniques to connect two or more computers over public wires, while maintaining privacy of data exchanged in the connection.

A VPN encrypts all data sent, and many VPNs use protocols other than TCP/IP. Many corporations require VPN for all employees or contractors entering their corporate networks from the outside, including both dialup and Internet connections.

This is inherently slower on any type of Internet connection, and over satellite can range from poor to unusable. Many VPNs also will not work with a Dynamic IP.

WAN

Wide Area Network, pronounced as a word. Refers to a network that connects other networks, such as LANs.

The Internet is a very large WAN.

WAP

Wireless Application Protocol, or Wireless Access Point, pronounced as a word. We are generally going to see the term used to mean an Access Point rather than referring to the protocol. A WAP is a device that wirelessly connects computers to each other and to a wired network. A WAP may be combined with a Router.

You can find several articles about using a WAP in the articles section here at DatastormUsers.com.

WiFi

Wireless Fidelity, pronounced as two syllables: Wy-Fy. I'm not sure where the Fidelity part comes in, but that's the origin of the term. Used generally in reference to 802.11 (a, b, and g) wireless networking. The more general term "Wireless" is frequently used in mainstream publications to refer to cell phones, air cards, and Bluetooth, among others, so WiFi is used to narrow the term down to the wireless normally used to network computers.

WildBlue

WildBlue, like Spaceway, is a Ka Band Internet service that was first announced many years ago and has finally gotten off the ground. Much of the service is similar to what is noted in the Spaceway link - spot-beamed, direct station-to-station connections, etc. WildBlue has, from the beginning, committed to having a service that is cheaper than Direcway. Their starting level is 512/128 for $49 per month.

WildBlue had always planned to use a satellite of their own, but they were nearly out of business in 2002 due to lack of funding and construction fell behind. With renewed financing in place, they have leased transponders on Telesat Canada's Anik F2, which was launched in July of 2004. Service began in June of 2005. Because of the spot beaming, there is no known way at this time to use WildBlue in a mobile environment unless all travel is within the same spot. There are 31 spots covering the US.

WLAN

Wireless LAN, pronounced as w-lan. Not common, but used to refer to a LAN in which all, or almost all, of the machines are connected wirelessly.

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