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XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Frequent Visitor

XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

There are two manufacturers for the XB6 gateway - ARRIS and Technicolor. I have the Technicolor build of the XB6.

 

For a Voice service backup battery, I have a new XBB1-A external battery backup unit manufactured by ARRIS.  Is this ARRIS-manufactured version of the XBB1-A battery backup certified to also be fully compatible for working with the Technicolor XB6 gateway?  If available please provide a source for that knowledge if you are aware of it.

 

When logged into the XB6 control panel as administrator, the battery icon at the top of the main page shows "0" (puzzling) and in the hardware section it shows the battery connected and charging (~35%) along with other battery information. 

The draft manual provided to the FCC from ARRIS for the XBB1-A only mentions its use for the Arris TG3482 gateway (an XB6 build).  See: https://fccid.io/UIDXBB1/User-Manual/User-manual-3161975  

 

PS - I know about the possibility of using a standard Uninterruptible Power Supply with computer gear: I have four of them. My question's focus is on the XBB1-A's compatibility.

Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Not sure about any customer-facing documentation, but I can tell you that our internal documentation states that the XBB1-A manufactured by Arris is compatible with both our Arris and Technicolor XB6 Gateways.  Currently there is no other company we have partnered with to manufacture the XBB1's.

 

When the manual you reference had been published, the Technicolor XB6 was not yet released.  

 

My Gateway is the Technicolor model and the XBB1-A works well with it.  You can test it by initiating a phone call, and then unplugging the battery from the wall outlet, simulating an outage where your Gateway would not be receiving power.  The phone call should stay connected.  

 

 


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Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Thanks, just saw your reply, appreciated, this is useful info. I've a follow-up question - when logged directly into the XB6 through its IP address from my desktop computer as an admin, I can view the connectivity and certain somewhat confusing, somewhat informative battery status stats of the XBB1-A battery on the "hardware" tab of the control interface. However, in the upper right of the main admin screen, the battery icon shows as empty, similar to what one would see on a laptop or phone battery icon that's indicating no juice, yet the hardware tab's data says the battery is charged near capacity... Is this discrepancy a firmware bug? The battery itself does keep the phone line operative when unplugged from AC, by the way, at least for the minute or so I tested it.

PS - is there a reason why it's such a challenge to get full technical and operating info on the XBB1-A? Why not have this plus an FAQ all in one handy spot? It's like requesting state secrets! The Comcast group that sells them is fairly uninformed on the specs etc., to put it kindly.
Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

I have seen the icon read incorrectly as well in the Gateway Interface - not only with the XBB1, but also with other eMTA Batteries.  It seems to be an intermittent problem.  You may be able to get that to clear up by resetting your Gateway and/or your XBB1-A.  I'm not sure if this is a firmware issue, but that is a good guess.  As long as you're seeing valid battery vlaues in the Hardware section, you're good to go... that is the source of truth and is the information we'd be using to perform Battery Monitoring from our end.

 

I know we're working to move away from the Gateway Admin interface and integrate more and more into xFi.  I'll send a note to that team to suggest adding the XBB1 and battery level information into that product, which may prove helpful.

 

As for documentation - we do publish FAQ's and Quick Setup manuals for most of our devices... in this case the XBB1-A Battery setup guide can be found here: 

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/installing-battery-into-voice-modem (Clilck on your device model)

 

Not sure about state secrets on the technical manuals! Smiley Happy  I do know we have detailed technical guides published for our engineers and technicians that are considered to be Comcast Confidential and proprietary (probably to avoid giving too much information away to our competitors, in some cases)... but we generally try to create guides that are as easy as possible to read and understand -- i.e. non-techncial -- for our cusotmer base, based on many years of feedback.

 

Being someone who can appreciate days when full-fledged manuals were the norm, I know where you're coming from though! Smiley Happy

 

Here is some additional information on the LED states on the XBB1 that you might find interesting that is not published in our XBB1 Guide (this is info that is cleared for our front line representatives to provide):

 

Blinking Blue: Boot Mode.  Battery is connected to device and receiving power.  Allow for battery to boot.

 

Blinking Green: Connect Mode.  Battery is pairing with the device. Allow for battery to pair.

 

Blinking Green (fast):  Rejoin Mode.  Battery is rejoining a previously joined device.  All for battery to join.

 

Blue (solid): Normal Mode.  Battery is either being charged, or is on Standby after completing charge.

 

Blue/Green Alternating Blinks: Battery is actively downloading updates.  Allow for battery to update its software.

 

Red: Software failure.  Replacement of battery may be needed if Power Cycling or resetting the device does not clear the error.

 

No Light: Battery Mode.  The battery is currently in use.  Lights are not illuminated while operating in Battery Mode.

 

 


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Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Thanks for all of this info, most of which I'd recommend to be provided to consumers as a direct link with batteries provided for the XB6 gateways! Previous to your helpful answers herein I had communications with *many* Comcast support folks *none* of whom had much knowledge on the topics or who, instead, had erroneous information, or who didn't get back to me in follow up. On the topic of a decent manual being made available that covers features, technical specs and a guide to operations, it's hard for me to imagine that that info is highly sought after by competitors given that there wouldn't be circuit diagrams, parts listing, and technician-level technical troubleshooting material.
New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

You may have detailed information on the equipment but a user trying to get technical details is in a bad spot. I had to go to the ARRIS site just to see a DRAFT manual on the TG3482 and even that does not have the basics (WATTS) to size a UPS. 

I have spent hours determing just how specialized the external backup battery is and that it really does only supply power to the phone during a power outage.

It is most interesting to note that your reply to a customer on this site last June (less than a year ago) had the price as $70 while the current price has jumped to $165. Have they added gold plating to the unit? I cannot find any independant sellers for this, not even listed on ARRIS' own site.

Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

It's less expensive to buy a decent free-standing uninterruptible power supply, such as used with a computer system and use it (alone) to provide backup power to the XB6. You'll also get longer backup power time and the whole XB6 would be powered up, not just the phone. Check out what Costco sells, for instance.
New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

I have been looking into a UPS for a week but cannot get the WATTS consumption by the modem to size the UPS

Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question


@as3qra wrote:

 

It is most interesting to note that your reply to a customer on this site last June (less than a year ago) had the price as $70 while the current price has jumped to $165. Have they added gold plating to the unit? I cannot find any independant sellers for this, not even listed on ARRIS' own site.


Since I posted last year, we have retired the $70 XBB1-A backup battery.  We are now offering the XBB24-A backup battery, which has additional capacity - up to 24 hours of standby time.  


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New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

How does this new unit work? Since it is external how does it know to just power the telephone portion of the XiFi gateway? Also, how many hours will it power it for?

Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Interesting. Two questions:
(1} How much is the new XBB24 cost?
(2) How much power (watts) does the XBS gateway consume? Useful to know if going the route of sizing and using an external computer type Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Bump


@mcamm1 wrote:

How does this new unit work? Since it is external how does it know to just power the telephone portion of the XiFi gateway? Also, how many hours will it power it for?


 

Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Hello, all. 

Here's more information on the XBB24 Backup Battery: 

  • Customers must have a corded telephone that does not require electrical power in order to use the service. (Cordless telephones will not operate during a power outage.)
  • The backup battery will ensure phone service remains available for up to 24 hours in the event of an outage.
  • The backup battery is controlled by the Xfinity xFi Advanced Gateway via ZigBee protocol, which is used to communicate with software running on the Xfinity xFi gateway to provide control, command and status of the battery.
  • Only customers with Advanced Gateway and Xfinity Voice service are eligible for this battery backup unit.
  • The backup battery for the Advanced Gateway is available for a one-time charge of $165.00, plus shipping and handling fee of $5.95, if applicable.

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Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Thanks for the info about the new battery. That price is pretty steep, however.

How much wattage is used by the XB6 itself?
Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

No problem! Power consumption information is usually on the UL information label. Looks like it uses about 115 watts. 


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Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Great, thanks for the wattage info.
Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

My pleasure! Let us know if you have any more questions we can help out with. 


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New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Could you explain how you comment below is accomplished by the battery?

 

"The backup battery is controlled by the Xfinity xFi Advanced Gateway via ZigBee protocol, which is used to communicate with software running on the Xfinity xFi gateway to provide control, command and status of the battery."

 

My understanding is that instead of plugging the XB6 into the wall you plug it into this external battery. Then you plug the external battery into the wall. 

 

How doe it speak to it via the ZigBee protocol? How does using this battery differ from just plugging the XB6 into a standard UPS that I can buy at Staples or Office Depot? What extra functionality does this battery provide?

 

Thanks!

Official Employee

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

mcamm1, great questions. Here is what I found in the user guide for the battery regarding install: 

 

"

1. Plug the power cord from the battery into the XFINITY xFi gateway.

2. Use the power cable from the XFINITY xFi gateway to plug into the battery’s AC connector.

3. Ensure that the XFINITY xFi gateway is powered on; note that the gateway will not be powered on until the battery’s AC cord is plugged into the AC wall socket.

4. As soon as power is applied the battery will boot, indicated by a blinking blue LED which will then turn to green indicating it is attempting to pair.

5. Once the battery is fully paired to the XFINITY xFi gateway, the LED indicator on the battery will turn solid blue and there will be a short chirp.

6. The battery is now ready for use as a backup battery, should the XFINITY xFi gateway lose AC power.

"

So the gateway plugs into the battery and then the battery plugs into the outlet. 

 

As far as other batteries are concerned, there is a warning in the user guide as well: 

 

"Replacing the battery with an incorrect type, heating a battery above 75 degrees C/167 degrees or incinerating a battery can cause product failure and a risk of fire or battery explosion. Do not dispose of the battery in fire. Recycle or dispose of used batteries responsibly and in accordance with local ordinances."

 

 

Ken


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Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Ken,
The manual's comments as to compatibility about the battery do not fully apply for a capable external UPS such as used with a computer system, in my opinion, when the external UPS has sufficient wattage capability. For instance, I recently purchased a CyberPower backup battery unit at my local Costco for $99 and change - this unit (item 963800) has an output capacity of 810 watts/1350VA to support computer gear. How is this not more than sufficient to provide backup power to the XB6? It costs significantly less than the Xfinity product and has other capabilities, as well. I understand that the Xfinity backup unit only keeps the phone portion of the XB6 powered up (not the wifi). The CyberPower unit would do both.
New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

Ken, thanks for taking the time to try and answer my questions. However, your reponse was not helpful as none of my questions were answered.

 

Would it be possible for you to get someone from your technical team to answer my qestions?

 

Thanks

New Poster

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

You mentioned that the XB6 battery only keeps the phone portion powered, not the wifi. How is this possible given that the xb6 plugs into the battery, just like it plugs into the wall. How would it know the difference?
Frequent Visitor

Re: XB6 XBB1-A Backup Battery Question

The "power cord" from the Xfinity backup battery unit that inserts into the XB6 gateway has two additional metal pins on its exterior surface - I presume this is for a communications pathway to provide data about the battery's condition to the XB6 which, in turn, can be read by the administrator software utility.