Viasat/Exede Wifi Modem RM5110 Power Consumption

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I'm wondering if anyone with a Kill-A-Watt or similar device can measure the actual power consumption used by the newer Wifi Modem. I currently have a Surfbeam modem (no wifi integrated) and it uses a lot of power for my off-grid solar location. I'm hoping the Wifi Modem will use less power and need some numbers. Thanks.
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Andrew Revering

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Posted 2 years ago

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Markgc, Champion

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How much power does the Surfbeam modem use? Mine gets very warm  despite being raised off the floor on two small blocks of wood. This is one of the reasons I turn the modem off when I am not using it.
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Andrew Revering

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It varies, but I think on the average of around 32 watts, which is pretty significant considering a normal router-only might be on the order of 2 watts. I'm guessing because it has to power the dish.
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Markgc, Champion

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Thank you, it certainly generates a lot of heat. I should measure the power consumption sometime. Yes powering the TRIA must take a lot and I expect the power consumption goes up in bad weather as well.
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Nicholas Wilson

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I don't have a new powerbeam modem to test. However most of the power used by the modem is actually passed through to the tria on the dish, and most of that is used by the transmitter. So I don't expect there would be much difference between the Surfbeam and the Powerbeam modems. Of course that's theoretical, and someone with a Kill-a-watt and a Surfbeam could provide the info you seek.
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panahead

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Hi Andrew.... I was wondering if you ever found out how much power it draws? I am in a similar situation... off grid solar and am curious as to the power draw.... thanks in advance.... Josh
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Markgc, Champion

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I hooked up a Chinese watt-meter today and it read    35 W
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Andrew Revering

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That's what I had measured as well... 35w... however, when I use a battery monitor connected directly to my solar batteries, and subtract all the other known wattages, it becomes about 46 watts. So I think the wattage is actually quite variable on it and could be higher than 35 watts when averaged over time. Regardless, it's a ton of power when used in a solar situation. 
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Markgc, Champion

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I saw 35.5W max but I don't know how accurate this power instrument is.  I have a short run of coax (less than 10 feet) to my dish so my TRIA doesn't use a lot of transmit power. and has an excellent Signal to Noise ratio.   A longer run of coax would probably require the use more Modem power.
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Joey

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Kilawatt says 30-35 normally. May get to 40 when downloading reasonably fast (1.5 megabit). When uploading, it jumps to 60 watts; beaming lots of data into space needs some power. (That's with around 30 feet of coax, 2.5 Ohm cable resistance.)

I am offgrid, and with 1.2 kw of PV capacity and 4 golf cart batteries, I can leave it turned on overnight all the time, except for after a rainy day.

It would be more efficient to not need to power the modem with an inverter, and convert the 12v or 24v DC from the offgrid system to the 30V DC that the modem uses. I have not found a solution to do that yet. I currently have to convert 24v DC to 12v for my inverter, and then the AC power is re-converted to 30V DC. That is probably making it 25% or so less power efficient than it could be.
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Markgc, Champion

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You should be able to find a DC to DC converter to go from 12 or 24VDC to 30VDC.  Here is a cheap one to start with...

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA6RP6KB4328&ignorebbr=1&nm_mc=KNC-Google...


or this one..

https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converter-Regulator-Motorcycle-Automotive/dp/B011BIEMDU

lots to choose from.
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Joey

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Yes, that's easy, and it's not hard to find a barrel connector that matches the modem's power jack. However, DC-DC converters tend to not interact well with RF electronics, producing interference, coil whine etc. Since I don't own the modem, I don't feel comfortable experimenting with nonstandard power sources that could damage it.
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Markgc, Champion

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Fair enough...it's my job so I don't have such concerns.  RFI can be tamed by ferrite chokes etc. 

Pretty much every power supply these days contains a switching power supply. Some are cleaner than others.
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