Node Owner Help

An accessible and concise guide to basic troubleshooting internet connection problems with a Personal Telco node.

The most recent version of this document will always live here: The version you are viewing is current as of 2022-11-29.


This section assumes you have a wireless-enabled device, and that you're unable to connect to a Personal Telco node. This is a flowchart: start at the first step and work your way through until you solve the problem.

Step 1. Can you see the ESSID?

Each wireless network your computer can see is identified by its ESSID (or Network Name). A Personal Telco node, by definition, has an ESSID of "". If you can see "" in your computer's list of available wireless networks, go to Step 4, otherwise, go to Step 3.

Step 2. Contact the PTP

If you've arrived at Step 2, the solution to your technical issues isn't covered in this troubleshooting guide. Please contact us at, describing the problem and the steps you've taken to solve it.

Please let us know if this document was (or wasn't) helpful.

Step 3. Make sure the Access Point has Power

Your access point is most likely a small device with an antenna connected to it. Find it, and make sure it is powered on. If it is, go to Step 2, otherwise, plug it in and go to Step 1.

Step 4. Get an IP Address

Your device should get an IP address from the Node. If you use Windows, try this:

Do you see an IP address? Most likely it looks something like: "" (TODO: add screen shot)

If not, try this:

Do you see an IP address now? If not, go to Step 7, otherwise go to Step 5.

Step 5. Open a Webpage

Open your web browser -- we recommend Mozilla Firefox, if available for your device, and recommend not using Internet Explorer.

Open any webpage, e.g. Can you see it? If you have a captive portal, you should see the splash page (with the Personal Telco logo) - if so, click "Accept", then visit

At this point, you should see the website you wanted (e.g. Google) If so, go to Step 6. Otherwise:

Step 6. Everything is Okay?

If you reached here, it seems like all is well. If not, perhaps you have a problem not covered in this document: go to Step 2.

Step 7. Investigate Wiring Problems

Your setup might look something like the above diagram. You will have a DSL modem, a Access Point, and often, a Captive Portal. Make sure these are connected to each other as shown. Also, at each connection check for a little green light - this is the "Link Light." If it isn't lit, then either the other end is disconnected or the wire is damaged. If you think everything is connected properly, go to Step 2. If not, do your best to connect the devices as shown in the diagram, if it still doesn't work - go to Step 2.


Created by DonPark and CalebPhillips over beers at NodeLuckyLab. Updated by DanRasmussen.

NodeOwnerHelp (last edited 2012-04-06 13:53:43 by DanRasmussen)