Converting the Starband USB-180 for networking via RJ45 (Ethernet)

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Thought this might be of some intrest :) I have successfully networked my Model 180 to several other computers using this method. If you dont know, the Model 180 requires a USB connection, where meanwhile the Eithernet connection is un-used.

Heres a hack to get it to work with Eithernet and without the Mission Control Software...

In order to get this working ...

(1) Power off & unplug 180
(2) Remove 2 philips screws from around the USB plug
(3) Open case (yes, I know about the warranty issue there). You just need
to loosen the two end screws on the back of the case.
(4) Remove USB card from mother board. This is actually an Ethernet Hub to
USB converter, so it must be removed for the external ethernet port to work.
(5) Put back on cover.
(6) Connect a cross-over ethernet cable from 180 to router
(7) Connect router to hub/switch with straight-through ethernet cable. (Now, my unit is a combined firewall/router/switch, so for me this was not necessary. I am using the Linksys BEFSR41 ( )
(8) Connect all pcs (or macs, etc.) to hub/switch using straight-through ethernet cables.
(9) Configure router with IP address, gateway, and DNS servers
(10) Allow router to act as DHCP server for all internal addresses
(11) Internal network devices just need to set up as DHCP.

No need for Zonealarm, no need for WinProxy!!!

So ...

As for the topology, it would look like the following:

client computer(s) -- network w/hub/switch -- router -X- 180 modem

Where "-X-" denotes a crossover network cable and "--" are std network cables. The "-X-" cable runs from an ethernet port on the router to the ethernet port on the 180. The USB port is not used in this cfg.

The router would get its external IP address via DHCP through the 180 modem.

The internal network would typically be a private network (e.g. or similar). The router could act as a DHCP server for the internal clients.

I don't believe that you could/would want to hook the 180 directly into your internal network hub/switch as you probably could not configure the network address being assigned by the 180. (It might be configured to assign only one address anyways). More importantly, without a router/firewall, you would be exposing your internal/private net to the Internet.

Network Address Translation (NAT) and firewalling are two key features that you would need on the router.

The router would be either a PC with Windoze or Linux or a relatively inexpensive router/firewall appliance such as those offered by Linksys. (I know folks who have a good luck with these appliances using DSL and cable modems. They are pretty flexible in that even something as complex as IPSec traffic can be NAT'd across the Linksys offering. This comes in handy when you are establishing a VPN between your private network client and a corporate VPN server).

For a Linux router, one would configure ipfwadm or ipchains and IP Masquerade to perform firewalling and NAT duties respectively. VPN masquerading would be required as well to NAT/fwd PPTP and IPSec traffic.

There you have it.

Good reference for new users (or old for that matter):

  1. Starband Users Egroup
  2. Pilot Board:
  3. Delphi Board (better for tech discussions):

Special Messages:
(1) On ethernet networking the 180:

BTW -- the software (Mission Control) is VERY buggy, and if anything else is using another USB port, it will eventually stop the PC from communicating with the 180.