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RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:32 pm
by sirhc
RMA numbers are now requested at

But you should read down through this post.

Now with that in mind, we are stopping the fixing of switches out of warranty period.

So if you have a switch that is within the warranty period and you damaged it we will repair it for a fee.

If your switch is beyond the warranty period we will not. We were inundated with most of our RMAs being switches 2+ years old, in fact 75% to 95%+ of RMAs were older units. This varied from RMA cycle to RMA cycle but the point is most units were OLD units.

When you go to the portal you put in the MAC and it will tell you:
When we manufactured it (tested it,serialized it, boxed it).
When it was sold.
When we shipped it.
Who it was sold to.

For now I have it set to 20 months from date of shipment since we were not doing RMA's since MID October but once we clear these out we will adjust this number down.

For direct sales from us it will set to 12 months and 1 week from date we shipped it to you, the one week to cover transit time.

For channel purchases from a Distributor or Reseller it will be based on the channel average restock time, meaning we will add a period of time from the date the unit left our facility based on that channels average restock order period of time. SO for instance if a Distributor usually re-orders that model each month to restock we will add at least 1 month to the ship from us date.

What this will do is GREATLY reduce our RMA turn around period once we catch up. Since we were doing all RMA "repairs" of damaged units at an average loss of $50 - $75 per unit and by be willing to fix units that were sometime 5 years old the number of RMAs were constantly growing and I am unwilling to hire more people to increase our losses. We had to do the repairs at a loss as it simply did not make sense to charge more for a repair than the cost of a new unit. Remember we were considering your cost to ship to us and us to ship back so we had to adjust that fee to compensate for that. But still as it is MANY units were repaired AT A LOSS but then when the owner was contacted on the fees they simply abandoned these units.

Now at some point in the near future we will go over those units some have been setting here for years and again open them up and bring them up to date with current hardware modifications and firmware and again have to sell them at a price point that makes sense. But I would say 10%-20% of all RMA "repairs" were simply abandoned here and here they set taking up ever more space. I think now it is about 3 full pallets worth of abandoned RMA repaired switches.

Either way soon we should be caught up as all RMAs received prior to halt of RMAs in mid October have been repaired and I have to process them the OLD way of sending out emails and such.

But with the GREATLY reduce volume RMAs will become quick turn around as there will not be so many old units in for repair.

However we are struggling like every other company with supply chain issues from the WUHAN FLU (COVID-19) and still working with less than a full staff. Part shortages will affect repairs from time to time as we struggle to even keep parts in for production. Air freight out of China is a no go as it went from $4-$7 per Kg to $20-$27 per Kg. And China is not working at speed. We do not get a lot of parts from China but it your short 1 part you can not build a board or say short fans you can not build a switch.

We would all save some time and shipping money if you would perform one little step before writing a switch off as 'dead'.

Unplug the switch. Depress the reset button (located behind a pinhole in the face plate), keep it pressed. Plug the switch in. Wait 45 seconds. Release the reset button. Wait 5 minutes.

The device should come up in its default configuration after performing these steps.[/color]

Something like 30% of our returns can be avoided, which could save us both money and time.

If you send in a switch for RMA that can be fixed with a power on default you will be subject to a $25.00 fee plus return shipping.

We have a very good procedure to BENCH TEST your switch: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2780#p19221

If you are here there is a chance your switch was damaged and not faulty but either way here are some good posts on grounding:

So up front I want to discuss what we do with each NEW switch before it is shipped.

Obviously all the parts are shipped to our assembly facility here in PA from vendors from around the world.

AC power supplies, decals, wiring harnesses, and fans come from Taiwan and China.
DC power supplies and switch boards come from our SMT assembler house in Canada, eh.
Chassis, gift boxes, and plastic static bags come from vendors here in Pennsylvania.

The parts are assembled and sent to the testing and serialization station where we assign the MAC and enter it into inventory. Up until recently each switch was manually programmed with its firmware at this station but we recently changed to where the switch PCB now comes pre-flashed with it's firmware but is NOT assigned a real MAC address nor is the label printed for the chassis or the box nor at this point does the switch even know what model it is so it will not even work properly.

Each switch is fully tested at this station, the following functions are tested (see image below of the test screen):
Each Ethernet port is checked to achieve a 1G connection. <== Ports do not come DOA
Each port has it's POE ability checked.
All current, voltage, and temperature sensors are checked. <== Current sensor failure is from exposure to voltages > 80V DC
The POE LED's are checked.
If the unit is a SMART DC model the power supply telemetry is checked.
The power supply is tested obviously as the switch would not boot if it did not work.

During this testing phase the unit is rebooted 2-3 times. <= Units do not come DOA

test1.jpg (163.4 KiB) Viewed 40733 times

test2.jpg (193.5 KiB) Viewed 40733 times

The testing software is built into the firmware and we are connected to the serial port. If it is a WS-6-MINI there is an internal console header we attach to as the chassis is open at this phase of testing.

Since the software to assign the MAC address and do this testing is built into the firmware it is impossible for a unit to leave here if it does not boot.

If the unit fails any test during the testing phase the software will NOT allow the device to be serialized. Currently the user must key in or paste the MAC into the console but we are working on automating this procedure as we have had a few user errors where the operator duplicated the previous MAC.

Finally the software assigns the MAC address and the operator cold boots the device for a final check. At this point the operator is plugged into port 1 and the software that prints the label that goes on the chassis and the outside of the box must see a ping to the default IP address or the label does not print.

This is the part where I get annoyed when someone sends me a switch they claim Port 1 (or any port but especially port 1) came DOA which is just NOT possible or there would be no label on the device. Now we are also working to improve the software so it actually logs into the device to verify the proper MAC is assigned to be another check to prevent incorrect MAC assignments described previously.

At the time of this post we are on RMA 61 out of 7,000 units. A large chunk of these RMAs were from the beginning when we had some nasty bugs and I asked the user if they upgraded to the latest firmware and they claimed yes so an RMA was issued but when I got the unit back the original firmware installed at assembly was still on the unit. I upgraded the firmware ran the diagnostic routine and it checked out so I returned the unit and the user thanked me for fixing the unit. :crazy:

The most common RMA is a fried port where the Ethernet transformer is fused/damaged. The only reason an Ethernet transformer fails is a shorted cable, the wrong POE option is selected which damages the device and subsequently the switch port, or a ground potential shift from a poor grounding system where the Tower Ground System and the Electrical Ground System are not properly bonded and during this shift the Ethernet cable becomes the bonded path which is more current than the Transformer can handle. Click HERE to read a post on proper grounding methods.

Now to be fair we have had ONE valid DOA to a client who purchased a unit and somehow the cable between the power supply and PCB came lose in shipping. The user opened the chassis with our permission and re-seated the cable and all was good.

If you run a cable diagnostics on a port with no cable attached you should get OPEN on all 4 pairs, this is a GOOD Ethernet Transformer. If you get anything else either the Ethernet Transformer is now damaged or the ESD protection circuit is damaged and this is not covered under warranty. We do offer a repair service for this up to the cost of a replacement board which at that point it is cheaper to purchase a new board.

Netonix limited warranty covers failures and or defects of their products up to a period of 1 year. This warranty does not cover damage related to electrical surges, ground potential shifts, cable shorts, user damage, or use of the switch that does not conform to its intended use/application.

If you know the damage was caused by end user error or storm damage it will save you money to provide a detailed description of what caused the damage as it will greatly shorten the Tech’s time during diagnostics and repair.

WARNING: If you receive a switch from a reseller that looks like it was returned by a previous user be sure to test the unit thoroughly right away and report to us immediately if there is a failure so we can talk to the reseller. The switch should be in a pink static bag with a yellow static sticker that is unbroken (sealed).

How do I test my switch

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:22 pm
by sirhc
Obviously boot the switch in a default condition.

Use a Laptop with an IP address in the same subnet such as

Log into the switch UI

Do these steps:
1) Go to the Device/Configuration Tab and look at all the voltage, current, temperature and fan telemetry. You may need to let the switch warm up and the fan kicks on (if that model has a fan) and see that it reports RMP but when the switch boots up it will check all these for you and there would be a red ! on the Device Tab telling you something failed which you can see in the log what failed.

2) Go to the Port Tab and turn on a POE option for every port other than the port you are connected to with the laptop and then Save/Apply. Now go to the Status Tab and make sure all current readings report 0 watts. Note: Occasionally a phantom wattage may be reported for a second then go away, this is normal as the current sensors are not accurate at very low watts and obviously 0 watts is low. If you see a "constant" load (watts) reported on a port then the current sensor for that port is blown. The current sensors are only rated to 80V and that can be positive or negative so if the sensor is blown this means you took a surge or there was a ground potential shift greater then 80V either positive or negative. Now you might ask how do you take a negative surge...well this would be a good time to go read my post on grounding which you can get to by clicking HERE.

3) After you turn all the POE back OFF use your laptop and 1 by 1 plug into each port and watch the Christmas tree (Switch graphics at top of UI) and each port should turn green if it achieves a 1G link. If you get no link or a yellow or red that means 100Mbps or 10 Mbps link which would indicate that the Ethernet Transformer or ESD protection circuit is "damaged" from either a surge, ground potential shift, shorted cable, or incorrect POE applied to a device.

If you passed all these tests then your switches is probably in good working condition.

If you have a port that no longer links up or links up at a degraded speed/duplex then run a cable diagnostics on that port with no cable attached. If the cable diagnostics comes back with anything other than OPEN on all 4 pairs then this port was damaged and it was not this way when it left our factory so you better call your tech in and ask him or her what went wrong.

If a port does not link up or links up in a degraded mode and cable diagnostics reports all open then there is a good chance there is something else wrong and it is covered under warranty. Now there is a "slim" chance that a transformer can be completely burned open on all 4 pair but to be honest I have never seen this happen "yet".

When current sensors get damaged the switch will often also report incorrect voltages and or temperatures but this is because all these sensors share the same I2C bus and if a sensor gets damaged in a way that interferes with I2C communications it can "sometimes" mess up these other readings.

You might ask me what is the most common RMA that is warranty covered. Well the most common reason I would say is the 3.3V DC2DC circuit failed on the board which means the unit will not boot. I have been a WISP for 20+ years and I always know when equipment fails if it is environmental related to surges as the weather was either stormy or heavy down pours, once again read my grounding post as to why rain can cause damage.

We have had at least 3 or 4 power supply failures, and a couple SOC failures which means all the circuits on the board checked out OK but the SOC gets very hot to the touch very fast and replacing the SOC fixed it. Normally if an SOC fails and nothing else is damaged this is a defective part and shorted itself out.

I have received several RMA's that the user swore up and down the unit sat on their shelf for 4 months and they just pulled it off the shelf to deploy and it would not boot. The first thing I do when this happens is remove the flash chip from the switch and put it in a reader and every time I have been able to pull their tower config which sometimes included the GPS coordinates of the tower from the "switch that came DOA" mind you.

Look we warranty our switches from defects, we do not warranty them from surges, poor grounding, shorted cables and other OH CRAP accidents but we do offer you an inexpensive repair service so just tell us what happened and we will fix it. I am not aware of many manufacturers that offer to repair their equipment not even Ubiquiti does this for a $3,000.00 airFIBER HD but we will fix a $150 switch. Now I will be honest it really does not pay to fix the WS-6-MINI when you factor in the shipping and repair bill but we do offer it.

But as I said, I have been a WISP long enough that I know when something fails or if gets hit or I mess it up and I am sure most of you guys do to.

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:38 am
by sirhc
Here is a post that discusses 2 tpes of damage not covered under warranty

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:38 pm
by sirhc
I created great posts on proper grounding and damage that can come from poor grounding under Sirhc's corner:

Here is an excellent post regardung grouding: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1786&start=30#p13447

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:17 pm
by isaacu
I have a WS10-250 AC with a PoE problem on one port. The port shows POE, will connect to powered Ethernet devices without issue, but will not provide power. I have tested both 24V & 48V. The indicator light shows POE respectively, but will not power up a device. It doesn't show any current being pulled by the port n the GUI..
The port was connected to a Rocket M2 and failed on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The rocket was DC shorted when tested at the shop.
Is this kind of failure likely covered under RMA??

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:32 pm
by sirhc
isaacu wrote:I have a WS10-250 AC with a PoE problem on one port. The port shows POE, will connect to powered Ethernet devices without issue, but will not provide power. I have tested both 24V & 48V. The indicator light shows POE respectively, but will not power up a device. It doesn't show any current being pulled by the port n the GUI..
The port was connected to a Rocket M2 and failed on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The rocket was DC shorted when tested at the shop.
Is this kind of failure likely covered under RMA??

If the port will still achieve a 1G link to say your laptop (with POE off of course) there is a good chance this is warranty.

Does the port achieve 1G connection to laptop with POE OFF?

If not what does Cable Diagnostics report when nothing is plugged into the port?

But this is sort of hard to tell until we look at the board.

Sort of like calling your Auto dealer and saying "My engine is blown is this covered under warranty?"

He will say what happened and I have to look at it first to make this determination.

If he finds you have no oil in the engine block or he finds a nitrous system installed then I would say not.

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:44 pm
by rkelly1
Chris - Requested a RMA yesterday at the RAM email address and resent to yours today but haven't heard back. Need to send two WS 12-250-DC units for repair that got damaged during a storm and won't start up.

They are packaged and ready to send, just waiting for RMA. Do I need #s or can I give them to UPS today?


Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:54 pm
by sirhc
rkelly1 wrote:Chris - Requested a RMA yesterday at the RAM email address and resent to yours today but haven't heard back. Need to send two WS 12-250-DC units for repair that got damaged during a storm and won't start up.

They are packaged and ready to send, just waiting for RMA. Do I need #s or can I give them to UPS today?


Sorry, I only have so many hours a day. We are growing faster than we can handle right now. We plan to be in the Black by the end of the year meaning the partner seed money will be returned and then we start playing with house money and plan to re-invest most of the profits back into the company by hiring some much needed help.

Also to let people know I am going on my first real vacation in almost 4 years Aug 12 to Aug 20 so I will be out of country. I will watch the forums and answer email when I can but my family said we go on vacation with or without me or worse so here we go.


Your form did not have MAC addresses?
I need to know the MAC addresses to issue an RMA #
The MAC address is on a sticker on the bottom of the switches

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:44 pm
by rkelly1
Chris - Sent the MAC addresses last Friday morning. It's awesome that you are growing and we need the RMA's to get these back for repair so we can grow too. I'm a little worried now that the repairs will take a long long time.

Send follow up emails on Saturday and this morning but no reply from anybody there.

Please advise. I think I'm going to just stick these in UPS on Tuesday afternoon and match up the RMA's later.

Re: RMA Procedure for Warranty and Repair

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:06 pm
by sirhc
I am really sorry you did not get an immediate response, sometimes it takes me a couple days to answer emails.

So happens today I had a medical procedure, and if you want TMI I had a colonoscopy early this morning as my mother died at 48 of colon cancer I have had to have one every 5 years since I was in my 20s. Needles to say I did work both Saturday and Sunday even though Sunday was without food and I had to start the prep at 3PM in the afternoon but stayed at the warehouse until after 6PM Sunday. Then I was up all night last night as you can possibly imagine as I had to drink that crap all night. Went to hospital early this morning and had the procedure done then was back at work at 1PM today and I am just finishing up for the night so I am really sorry I am running a little behind. For those that are curious my results were clean so I have 5 more years until I do it again. - GOOD TIMES

I should have time to get you your RMA numbers tomorrow.


RMA's normally take 2-4 weeks on average.

Most of our RMAs are for repairs which "most" manufactures do no offer.

If we simply did not repair damaged units RMAs would be much faster but I assume people like the fact that we repair damaged units which normally is about half the cost of a new one or less.

However be warned I have my first real vacation in almost 4 years this month.

I leave the 12th and get back the 20th so RMAs may get delayed this month.

Considering your RMAs are both repairs from storm damage according to your RMA submission I would assume you would like the fact that we repair units?