Starlink is a game-changer

Samsonite801

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As I am continuing to develop my homestead property out in the desert where there is no easy power or easy Internet, several of our other shareholders on our co-op use traditional satellite Internet solutions, in which they complain about their service quality constantly. They tell me video streaming is impossible for the most part with these traditional solutions (without severe buffering issues, or highly reduced video quality). One old guy here compares the speed to the old dial-up modems on computers back in the day (which I remember about of course).

I decided to hold off on these traditional solutions because they all forced you into a 1 or 2 year contract. So in the meantime while I waited the YEAR + for Starlink to become available to me (once I paid the $99 reservation fee), I would just come out to my lot and not have connection to the world at all.

I never realized before about, how we've learned to take the Internet for granted. There were times where I realized I couldn't Google something, and I would have to write down all the topics I had questions on so I could remember to Google for the answers later on once I went back to where the connection was (since a lot of the time I would forget all the things I had wanted to check on later)...

Well it finally happened, Starlink shipped my equipment, I wired it in last night (finally), and all I can say is wow, this is a game-changer for the off-grid people to get a nice connection now. Installation was simple, it aims itself, basically you just put the equipment where you want it, plug a couple wires in, and run the app on your phone to set a couple things up and it just works and says Online...

Since there is no cell service out here either, I enabled the Wi-Fi calling on my iPhone, and was making phone calls that sounded perfect, no echo or delay (like people pausing, interrupting, or delaying to respond due to latency differential), You Tube works perfectly, of course HD quality plays great, low latency.

Just sitting out in the middle of a bare valley and I feel connected to the world again, I am happy to have waited longer for the good stuff, and not getting stuck into a contract (Starlink says you can cancel at any time).

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I fashioned an 18000 pound non-penetrating ground mount system in my installation here so it's super strong for the desert winds:

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I wired it to a tiny 300w inverter (so I don't have to run the big 2800w inverter in the motorhome all night), so I checked the amps on it real quick. It's at about 60w right now, sometimes fluctuates a bit, on boot-up it went as high as 7a for a few seconds (maybe to self-test the heater circuit in the dish or something):

1645333971542.jpeg

The next step is, I am going to wire a 48v POE into the router-to-dish Ethernet cable (the one with funky connectors on both ends), so to not use AC input, and make it run on DC power directly.

Yes, it is possible to do (to convert the Starlink Gen 2 equipment, rectangle dish model, to work on DC power directly, finally found some people who've done it)...
 
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MurphyGuy

It just needs a bigger hammer
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It is expensive.. both in the setup costs and the monthly charges..

But yeah, I can see it as a huge benefit if you simply don't have any other options.
 

Samsonite801

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It is expensive.. both in the setup costs and the monthly charges..

But yeah, I can see it as a huge benefit if you simply don't have any other options.

I honestly thought the $99 bucks a month isn't too bad for what it is. Some of the HughesNet and ViaSat plans were way more than that, and the service can't even come close due to the 700ms ping latency..

I don't mind the price really. Sure, it's not as cheap as some of the broadband services I've paid for in town, but considering this is working way out here, and this well...
 

Johnson

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I am thinking of building a camper van and use starlink for internet while traveling and fishing in summer. It is going to take a while before I am ready to build, solar and batteries proving to be a workable option for power, if starlink, or any competitor,works reliably I am going to be set for internet as I will need it for work.
 

Samsonite801

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I am thinking of building a camper van and use starlink for internet while traveling and fishing in summer. It is going to take a while before I am ready to build, solar and batteries proving to be a workable option for power, if starlink, or any competitor,works reliably I am going to be set for internet as I will need it for work.

Just FYI in case you may not know, with Starlink, if you go outside of your 'cell', then it won't work unless you change your service address on the web account.

When I got my equipment, I tried to turn it on in town and it would not work (since they do this geo-fencing). It is easy enough to attempt to change the service address, but it may not allow you to.

So I went into the web account, found the location I was at in the city, and when I tried to change it to there, the first warning said something like, 'if you change it, you may not be able to change it back, if the old location gets too full'.

Then I proceeded to confirm and try to change it anyways, and it said, sorry, there are no available slots in this area, so it wouldn't let me change it anyways. Then later I took it out to my service address location and it just worked first try.

I don't know how large these cells are, but there is some indication they might look like this:

 

CamoGreg

5 yr RV Fulltimer
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
156
My Starlink order has finally been confirmed. Delivery estimated to ship March 3. It will be nice to stop using my Mobile Hotspot to get online!
 

CamoGreg

5 yr RV Fulltimer
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Jun 18, 2020
Messages
156
Mine still just says "sometime in 2022".
It arrived Friday. :)
Now waiting on some mounting hardware.

Edit: Temporarily setup by weighing down the supplied base. A few obstructions where it sits for the moment causing a few seconds of occasional interrupts in signal.
Still, download speeds over 200 Mbps. Latency around 34ms most of the time.

We don't watch much TV. But we watched a couple hours of the Reacher series last night without a single buffering.

It is a game changer for us rural folks that don't have access to any wired broadband providers.
 
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Samsonite801

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Once Starlink comes up with a mobile solution for us boondockers I'll be going with it.

When do I get one of those 18K ground mount solutions? LOL!

Hey in case you hadn't heard about it yet, Starlink now offering a roaming 'Portability' option (adds $25 to monthly cost)...

 

Just John

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Hey in case you hadn't heard about it yet, Starlink now offering a roaming 'Portability' option (adds $25 to monthly cost)...

Yes I saw that, mine was changed to say 2023. However since I use my internet for work, I'm going to wait it out. I can't afford to be last in line (so to speak) for bandwidth.

If you live someplace with zero high speed options, you should jump on that deal for the RV plan. Right now I have cable for about the same price as a regular Starlink plan (actually Starlink is $5 cheaper).

Little did I know in 2001 I would become a "satellite communications" specialist. Worked on Iridium and then the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN).
 

Tracerocks

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Feb 11, 2020
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I miss the Iridium satellites. I had an app on my phone that would alert me to Irridium flares.

Spent more than a decade logging hundreds of them!
 

grizzzman

Some say "Why" and some say "Why not?"
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I have had it for going on 2 weeks now. It gets a field (boondocking) test this weekend. Are you planning on a flag pole mount? Mine took seven days to get here. The ethernet adaptor made it in four days. I set up portability before I recieved the unit. My Cell is full but was open 8 blocks to the west. address there and delivery here.
 

Tracerocks

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I want to mount it flat on the roof. The motorized tilting is apparently unnecessary now that there are more satellites.

Will probably modify power supply to run on dc and save the inverter loss.
 

Johnson

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I want to mount it flat on the roof. The motorized tilting is apparently unnecessary now that there are more satellites.

Do you have a source for that? (I am interested myself, but last time I looked this dish uses about 100W of power and don't see an easy way of permanently mounting it on an RV.)
Will probably modify power supply to run on dc and save the inverter loss.
Sounds like a good plan.
 

grizzzman

Some say "Why" and some say "Why not?"
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Messages
1,266
Do you have a source for that? (I am interested myself, but last time I looked this dish uses about 100W of power and don't see an easy way of permanently mounting it on an RV.)

Sounds like a good plan.
The Dishy runs on 50 volt POE. There are groups that flat mount and use boost converters using a POE Injector.
 

Samsonite801

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The Dishy runs on 50 volt POE. There are groups that flat mount and use boost converters using a POE Injector.

I believe the official spec on say, a normal standards based 802.3bt POE or something is 48-56v, but we know Starlink POE is not quite standard, as they tweaked it somewhat. However, these POE PDE devices have boost/buck converters on their inputs and are fairly flexible, if you run a little higher voltage it will draw a little less amps and get the same watts and be fine. Cable length plays a role too. Longer cable, it doesn't hurt to run closer to 56v and keep the current levels lower.
 
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