Starlink Anarchy

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
861
289
Santa Cruz
Apparently Starlink is now available for RV's in most of the US and many areas outside, also (but not in high population areas).

https://www.starlink.com/rv

Is anyone using it on a cruising sailboat?

Does it work at sea at all? (Like, is there coverage and can the phased array antenna still track satellites on a moving sail boat... and where do you put the antenna anyway?)

How much does it cost?

What has been your experience as far as bandwidth goes?

Etc.

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,356
1,053
The Gorge
There are several threads on this, with test reports, over on Cruisers Forums.  Fairly impressive, even for a sailboat under way.  As long as you’re within the 12 mile limit.  
I’m strongly inclined to give it a whirl next month.  Or even sooner, once I sort out what my cruising billing address will be.

 

socalrider

Super Anarchist
1,423
787
San Diego CA
Very tempting for SoCal Island cruising.  Especially since you can turn the service on and off month by month.  

Anyone know if they're offering a factory 12V power supply?  I saw a hack but it was pretty involved.  

image.png

 
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toddster

Super Anarchist
4,356
1,053
The Gorge
No official 12v power supplies.  When they come out with an official “mobile” unit, it will probably be a little different.

Not sure about turning it on and off at will - once you turn it off, you go back to the end of the queue.  Any populated area is already over-subscribed, so you go back on the “wait list” which is probably about as hard as getting a marina slip.  IIRC, the current capacity is about 300 users per cell.  

Also, they’ve apparently twigged to guerrilla mobile users, and there is an extra ($25?) monthly charge if they detect you “roaming.”

 
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mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
861
289
Santa Cruz
No official 12v power supplies.  When they come out with an official “mobile” unit, it will probably be a little different.

Not sure about turning it on and off at will - once you turn it off, you go back to the end of the queue.  Any populated area is already over-subscribed, so you go back on the “wait list” which is probably about as hard as getting a marina slip.  IIRC, the current capacity is about 300 users per cell.  

Also, they’ve apparently twigged to guerrilla mobile users, and there is an extra ($25?) monthly charge if they detect you “roaming.”
It kind of seems like you missed the main point of my OP. They are now selling RV units and there is no waiting list (see the link in the OP). From the website: "Starlink for RVs provides the ability to pause and un-pause service at any time and is billed in one-month increments, allowing users to customize their service to their individual travel needs."

While I don't KNOW, it would not surprise me if the RV units can run off of nominal 12 V.

There is no queue for the areas covered by the RV plan. But I don't know what the cost is.

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,356
1,053
The Gorge
It kind of seems like you missed the main point of my OP. They are now selling RV units and there is no waiting list (see the link in the OP). From the website: "Starlink for RVs provides the ability to pause and un-pause service at any time and is billed in one-month increments, allowing users to customize their service to their individual travel needs."

While I don't KNOW, it would not surprise me if the RV units can run off of nominal 12 V.

There is no queue for the areas covered by the RV plan. But I don't know what the cost is.
Well, I guess things change by the week in our brave new world.  I may order tomorrow (or as soon as I figure out the billing address thingy). Saves the mild guilt of claiming a “point of use” off in the middle of the national forest.

$650 for equipment $135 per month.  Can’t find any info about the hardware, but it looks like standard square dishy.  My plan was to mount it to the side of the solar arch with an off-the-shelf aluminum J-mount.  

So like, $4.50 per day.  About the cost of a Starbucks.  Coincidence?  I guess I’ll reevaluate how I feel about that in a day or two.  

 
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socalrider

Super Anarchist
1,423
787
San Diego CA
Looking at their website it doesn't look like there's an option for DC power at this time.  I seem to recall hearing that the Ukraine units were shipping with a cigarette lighter adaptor - hope they add this feature soon.  

 

Grrr...

▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰▰ 100%
10,268
2,684
Detroit
Ordered.  It'll be here soon.  Starlink is capitalizing on the fact that they won't give me PERMANENT house service because I'm in an area that doesn't have capacity by literally sending me an email saying "buy the RV version, you can use it (though we'll throttle it)".

I HATE Elon Musk, and starlink is proving to be just as predatory as any other company.  Also keep in mind starlink has no technical support, no billing support, no phone number support, and no email support.  I challenge you to find a way to contact them.

I've already chalked this up understanding I may be wasting $700 or more dollars.  They claim you can return it within 30 days....

 

mrming

Member
I have Starlink at home here in the UK. The mobile internet signal sucks at our marina and I would love to get this so I can work from boat. Problem is I don’t want to pay twice - the domestic service is expensive enough. I would happily pay for the RV equipment and a reduced fee to add the service to my account but looks like that’s not an option.

 

SimonGH

Member
432
96
Westbrook CT
It seems to be getting better and better.

They are a bit vague on the definition of "high speed"...

My marina has cable outlets at every slip.  But they put a big digital to analog converter at the street connection such that you can't have cable internet at your slip.  Who uses straight cable TV anymore???  I tried to convince them that internet was far more important, and then you can use streaming services for your TV, but no joy.

This year with the price of diesel I expect all the big boats to be in dock a lot more.  The marina wifi is going to suffer.

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,356
1,053
The Gorge

alphafb552

Super Anarchist
2,914
629
Fryslan boppe!
The articles mention the half million based on 12k satellites in orbit, but an additional 30k are projected in future. This will obviously substantially increase the capacity of the network - good news for mobile and remote users, but still, as others have mentioned, not in competition with current broadband suppliers in urban areas.

Considering that, Starlink might well throttle access for those systems that are located in area with alternative coverage, in order to conserve bandwidth for those who really need it.

Having said that, I'm sure that somewhere in the back Elon's head he is trying to figure out how to turn Starlink into the sole provider of internet all over the world...

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,356
1,053
The Gorge
So, yesterday I received a black box, a bit bigger and heavier than a breadbox, labeled "STARLINK."

•Smaller and lighter than I had expected, so, Cool!
•The dish inside appears to have been out in the weather before... used/refurbed at the price of new? Not so Cool.

Today I had time to open it up and play with it a bit. No instructions - just a three-panel comic strip. Downloaded the phone app.

•Simply stepped outside the office door and tried the "scan for obstructions" routine. Surprisingly it said the location was OK, despite being surrounded by buildings on three sides. So I plopped down dishy right in courtyard and plugged it in.

• Set up a WiFi network and password. Dishy unparked itself and pointed straight up. (Later at some point when I wasn't watching, moved to point due north at about 15° inclination.)

•After a bit of futzing around, got logged on to my Starlink account and ON LINE.

If I read this aright, I have 102 Mbps download speed, but it has been throttled to 11 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up due to the "RV Limited" feature. There is also a flag noting that the test was run during "peak congestion" hours. So only about twice as fast as my local internet provider at this point.

Dish inclination seems to have increased a bit while I was typing this. Maybe. ? It asks for a software update.

Checking all my devices to see if they're cool with the Dishy WiFi connection and the latency.
IMG_3750.jpeg


Surfed the web a bit while playing a YouTube video. Latency is pretty dynamic, but mostly around 40 ms. Speed is also more dynamic than I expected, but I'm not used to being presented with this much network information. A few network dropouts of 5-10 seconds - not enough to notice anything.

Next step: To The Boat!
 


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