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Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

The addition of the software update meant my Overdrive locked up twice yesterday. Once after it initially rebooted and then once more in the day. It's about usual.

These well meant updates are like putting lipstick on a pig: A the end of the day you still end up with a pig. The issue is that the hardware is clearly defective and all the updates in the world are not going to help.

If either Sierra Wireless and Sprint would just acknowledge the issue and make a plan for a fix I'd be a lot less p'd off. I'd also not tell everybody I meet not to buy an Overdrive and avoid Sprint as they don't support you when things aren't right. Great network, awful product, deceptive practices. One out of three doesn't work for me.

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Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

Looks like there will finally be something that isn't an Overdrive to handle WiMAX duties:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/14/novatels-mifi-4082-is-the-wimax-capable-hotspot-the-overdrive-h/

I wonder if Sprint wil do the right thing and offer these units to clearly disgruntled people like you and me? I'm sure as heck not going to pay full retail for something that actually works.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

WORD!!  Same same same story with me!  Considering paying the fee to get out of the contract and not deal with this bogus service (and separate manufacturer, Sierra Wireless company).

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

An interesting twist: The 4-G was down in my area for a couple weeks. So I was forced to use 3-G. Then Sprint said they would bill me if I went over the limit on 3-G even though it was their fault.  Anyway, since 4-G came back up, I have had almost no trouble at all with my Overdrive. Hope I didn't speak too soon.

As a backup plan, I found alternative, new Sprint 4-G devices on eBay for much less $$$ than Sprint charges.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

I have the same problems. It gets hotter than ever. Drops connection all the time. I had gone to the store several times with no help possible. Then went to a different store in a different stae and that person took it from me, said they can do nothing to fix it and ordered me a new one. I have had much better luck with this one but still not top performance. And yes, to turn it off I have to remove the battery....What's up with that?

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

I would like to say "Thanks" to everyone who posted on this thread.

I have been having issues with my Overdrive since I upgraded to the newest firmware and have just now started searching these forums.

Although I don't have the heating issues that many of you have described, I am extremely frustrated with the connectivity issues.

As described by others, I can turn on the device and it will momentarily connect only to apparently freeze up and not allow any communication at all.

This happens even though I have 60 to 100% signal. Go figure. I am sitting at my desk on the 5th floor of an office tower in Houston and have 60% signal on 4G and the thing won't connect at all. However it does connect via 3G with 100% signal. The device is "velcro'd" to the window, so the signal strength should be accurate.

I'll pass along my solution to the short battery life: I purchased a portable Li-Ion battery pack from Hyper Mac. My Overdrive unit can run continuously for several days on that pack. I got the 100Wh model and I mainly purchased it for my iPad and MacBook Air (for which it works GREAT too). The unit thinks it is on AC power when connected to the power pack via USB cable, so it does not go to sleep. The battery pack is pricey, but when you need an always on connection, it works.

Now if they can fix the connection problems!

I guess I'll start by calling support and then maybe go over to the store. I am not very optimistic with my chances considering the events described on this thread. I'll post back if I get anything positive.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

My first one was doing all those sorts of things. After a couple months, I went back to Sprint store and they traded it out for a new one that has had few drops and no overheating.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

This is a serious and recurring problem that neither Sprint nor Sierra Wireless wants to address or admit to adequately.  I am on unit number 4 in just six months.  At no time has either party acknowledged the severity of the problem, although since I, for the first time ever took the total replacement plan so they just readily order or hand me a replacement unit.  If they resisted, that would indicate there is no problem!!

The two primary problems with the device are 1) the battery is internal and generates a lot of heat which quickly drains it and that in turn 2) causes the circuit board to overheat resulting in literally melted circuits and untimately failure.  You can do only a few things to avoid this but none are really satisfactory.

1.  Use an external charger to charge the battery that shuts off when the battery is fully charged  (therer are any number of universal chargers out there that will mate with the battery's contacts.  You only need to mate with the two outside contacts to charge it . . . use a good multimeter to determine the positive and negative poles.

2.  Insulate the two inside terminals on the battery (thin plastic/vinyl/cardboard) or inside the Overdrive itself between the contacts and the battery terminals when the unit is in use whether plugged in, tethered or simply running off battery.  Be cautious with this as the device will not see an overheat and or discharge condition and will shut down without warning so you need to know about how long you have been using it.  2.5 to 3 hours is max.  This will allow you to use the device plugged in to AC although the Overdrive home page will show either a "No battery" or "Low Battery" condition.  However, the device will work as long as the charge is sufficient to keep the unit in an "on" state.  (These terminals apparantly turn the unit on/off if the low battery/overheat conditions exist and also relay the same info to the Overdrive homepage as well as level of charge express as a percentage.

3.  As suggested earlier, run the unit with the led's off or on low.

4.  Add an external CPU cooling fan that is constantly on when the unit is on.  This is cumbersum and will require a separate power source but it will help keep the device cool.  It works even better if you actually build a heat sink type device so that you get a good airflow over the unit.  Alternatively, place a sealed bottle of cold water adjacent to the unit or set it on top of the unit (remember cold attracts heat).

5.  Always unplug the unit when it is not in use.  The internal battery and resultant heat frys these devices.  While the Overdrive is well thought out from an engineering standpoint, the integrated circuits and board are not physically robust enough to handle the demands we place on it.  If you used an aircard plugged into a Kyocera (or similar) router, remember the air cards did not have internal powering . . . they were powered by the router.

Lastly, look for a replacement for this device by mid 2011.  Sierra and Sprint realize the deficiencies of the device and I'm guessing the next gen device will use a tougher and more robust circuit board.  And with any luck it will either be USB powered or will use remote powering to keep excess heat away from the circuit board.  Good luck, the unit as designed is a dog!!

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

wepedal@hotmail.com wrote:

This will allow you to use the device plugged in to AC although the Overdrive home page will show either a "No battery" or "Low Battery" condition.  However, the device will work as long as the charge is sufficient to keep the unit in an "on" state

That wasn't my experience.  If the device thinks it has "No battery", such as if you remove the battery after boot-up, but leave the included charger connected,  the device will eventually (an hour or so, if I recall correctly) power down anyway.

My restored Comcast Internet hasn't overheated yet.  Maybe the iPhone 5 (or new iOS) can fill in for the mobile functionality I've been missing, but for home, it was a mistake for me to rely on this mobile device.

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

That's good to know.  I could never maintain an "on state" when I got the no battery message.  It tells me there is more programming in the device that we don't know about.  However, with the 2 inner terminals/contacts isolated from the circuit my unit will work until the battery plays out or it actually overheats and shuts down.  Thanks for sharing . . . unfortunately I live in an area where my broadband (or near broadband) choices are nil.  Sprint and VZ (from whom I retired) have a hold on the market!!

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

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Message was edited by: lunarplexus

Journeyman

Re: Overdrive connection drops, overheating.

You are correct . . . it will eventually power down if you "remove" the battery.  The trick is to leave the battery in the device but with the two internal overdrive terminals insulated or insulate the two inside contact points on the battery.  Also check your time out settings on AC and on Battery.  They will also impact when the unit turns off.  You can go to your overdrive homepage to change these settings.  Lastly, you will still have the overheating problem to be aware of which will force you to cool or turn off the unit after a couple of hours.

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