Starlink Anarchy

Alaris

Super Anarchist
1,848
662
Annapolis
Aaaand it's here. Starlink in motion. Larger "flat" (fixed?) wide-angle antenna. Actually, this would have fit much better on my Tower Of Power as the standard Dishy would fight with the radar when it rotated up. Until I put it up on an extra long pole as in post#111.
View attachment 549998
Guess I'll stick with Dishy though, as long as it lasts.
And it’s $2,500… and still says you will get throttled
 

MaxDog

Member
I'm island hopping in the eastern Caribbean with the RV Starlink mounted on the stern arch. It's been near flawless at anchor and very good while sailing. Google Fi just cut me off from my cellular data, so this has been a game changer. So far, it doesn't seem that the flat "in motion" hardware is needed for use at speeds under 10kts.
 
Worth watching things, they have made a significant push on Marine. I'm not sure of any noticable difference between the Marine, two antenna, or RV one antenna setup on a sailboat. The cost has dropped a shit ton from 6 months ago and I have some feedback from high latitude operations that is favorable. Also some odd feedback on going to non US distribution to get better results, so no US flag may be in your favor.
 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,341
1,043
The Gorge
Maybe a three-month update, merely because the thread has floated up to the top page.

Starlink does seem to work fine in motion at sailing speeds - not that I've been streaming TV or anything while sailing.

Still just isn't compatible with the radar. The dish as mounted shouldn't be "in" the radar beam, but then again all the emitted radiation doesn't fall within the neat little 22° cone shown in the manual. If the radar comes on, Starlink goes off. If I don't turn it off manually, it turns itself straight up and loses signal. Maybe next time the stick is down I'll consider moving the radome up there. IDK what the "safe" distance/angle is, but Starlink shouldn't be anywhere near the radome, if you want to use them both at the same time.

Sometimes, as the boat changes direction, the dish reorients itself when it needs to and sometimes it doesn't - in those cases one can bring speeds back up by "stowing" the dish then "unstowing" in with the phone app.

Speeds are definitely better out in the sticks than they are when close to over-subscribed urban areas. Just as they're supposed to be.

Power consumption: A little confusing. There are lots of posts on the internet about this but I gather that it should be about 100 watts. If I measure it right at the AC plug, I get 2.5 amps base with excursions up to 4-6 amps... >250 watts. But if I look at the draw on the batteries of the whole AC circuit (inverter, starlink, laptop, etc) it's more around 100-150 watts. ?? Still this is more than I want going 24/7, unless there's an external charging source connected.
 

MaxDog

Member
Power consumption: A little confusing. There are lots of posts on the internet about this but I gather that it should be about 100 watts. If I measure it right at the AC plug, I get 2.5 amps base with excursions up to 4-6 amps... >250 watts. But if I look at the draw on the batteries of the whole AC circuit (inverter, starlink, laptop, etc) it's more around 100-150 watts. ?? Still this is more than I want going 24/7, unless there's an external charging source connected.
I ditched the Starlink router, it's a power hog. I'm running my Starlink on 12VDC with my own MikroTik router and together they average less than 50W, about 35W at idle. This also allows me to turn off my inverter, which idles at about 50W.
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,515
2,510
I ditched the Starlink router, it's a power hog. I'm running my Starlink on 12VDC with my own MikroTik router and together they average less than 50W, about 35W at idle. This also allows me to turn off my inverter, which idles at about 50W.
Could you give us model numbers for that setup? Are you running it completely on 12 vdc?

The Starlink website doesn't give an awful lot of detail on these things. Why did you land on MikroTik, which seems to have somewhat limited distribution (and presumably support) in the US, at least from a mass market perspective.
 

MaxDog

Member
Could you give us model numbers for that setup? Are you running it completely on 12 vdc?

The Starlink website doesn't give an awful lot of detail on these things. Why did you land on MikroTik, which seems to have somewhat limited distribution (and presumably support) in the US, at least from a mass market perspective.
There's nothing special about the Mikrotik, any router will work. I chose that one because it was physically small and it was inexpensive. Another anarchist has posted detailed instructions on how to make the cables required for the 12vdc conversion, so I'll direct you to his excellent write up https://svrenaissance.com/musings-about-starlink/
 

monkphunk

Member
67
43
Just for fun, fired up the Starlink about 35 miles off the Georgia coast. It's working! We're underway, but slow.
PXL_20221227_191817528.jpg


Not planning to permanently install it, so strictly a fair weather experiment at this point.
PXL_20221227_192811216.jpg
 
FYI, we are putting a two antenna marine settup on one of the boats I manage. Heading to Bering Sea from Jan till Oct. Will update how it works. On the RV mobile in motion use, have heard from several outfits that yes it probably works fine but "they" are watching and see it. Kinda like using Google FI past six months outside US, they may or may not care, but you could randomly get cut off for breaking rules and not being stationary when in use. Supposedly they are making a antenna that is set up to be glassed into a deck or super structure.
 

monkphunk

Member
67
43
Yeah the vehicle in motion dish is now available. We went RV because we only plan to use it at anchor. Building into a flat surface makes sense. Seems like a lot of windage permanently installed on an arch but then I guess it is smaller than a typical solar panel.

I think at one point they blocked vehicles in motion with the standard RV dish but not at the moment. It doesn't really seem up to being on the roof of an RV speeding down the highway or on an arch on a sailboat in a seaway, so apart from being blocked there is the risk of breaking it.

After the novelty wore off (about an hour) it was more pleasant not to have high speed internet on passage anyway. But I think it will be a game changer at anchor/working in remote areas. Particularly Maine next summer. Maine has spottier cell phone internet than the Bahamas!
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,515
2,510
Yeah the vehicle in motion dish is now available. We went RV because we only plan to use it at anchor. Building into a flat surface makes sense. Seems like a lot of windage permanently installed on an arch but then I guess it is smaller than a typical solar panel.

I think at one point they blocked vehicles in motion with the standard RV dish but not at the moment. It doesn't really seem up to being on the roof of an RV speeding down the highway or on an arch on a sailboat in a seaway, so apart from being blocked there is the risk of breaking it.

After the novelty wore off (about an hour) it was more pleasant not to have high speed internet on passage anyway. But I think it will be a game changer at anchor/working in remote areas. Particularly Maine next summer. Maine has spottier cell phone internet than the Bahamas!
Once you get east of Penobscot Bay, Maine has very spotty cellular service. It's just too rural for phone companies to invest a lot in infrastructure.

I live aboard and work from my boat in Maine during the summer, and have done this for the last seven summers. It is a bit easier now than when I started, but still challenging at times.

In the past, I have carried two cellphones with different carriers, since no single carrier covers all of coastal Maine. A lot of times, the signals are just too weak to use as a cellular hotspot.

When I am really busy at work, I park somewhere for extended periods of time if I know there is a usable wifi and/or cellular signal, such as Camden, Belfast, or Northeast Harbor.

Part of the problem with cellular signals is Maine's topography. Many of our favorite anchorages are surrounded by hills and/or tall trees, which are pretty effective at blocking cellular signals.

Our boatyard in a very rural area just went over to Starlink this year, and they have been very pleased with it.

Since I will probably be working for two more summers before calling it quits for good, I am seriously looking at Starlink, since I can write off the cost as a business expense. I am going to wait until the last minute to do it because of expected (or hoped for) improvements in technology.
 

MauiPunter

Will sail for food
I have hopes for Starlink as well since we sail all around the New England coast and some places are better than others for when I have to work. Sounds like you have a similar lifestyle as we do. I am on my ten-year trajectory to retirement. Can't happen soon enough for me. The idea of not having to be anywhere specific at any specific time frame sounds amazing.
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,515
2,510
I have hopes for Starlink as well since we sail all around the New England coast and some places are better than others for when I have to work. Sounds like you have a similar lifestyle as we do. I am on my ten-year trajectory to retirement. Can't happen soon enough for me. The idea of not having to be anywhere specific at any specific time frame sounds amazing.
I had intended to retire when my previous work contract wrapped up in early 2021. But then the markets went south, so when someone I had known for years checked in six months ago and asked if I'd be interested to work part time with his group through late 2024, it was a pretty easy call.

Timing proved fortuitous when the main engine on my boat decided to self-destruct in September, and a very well-respected mechanic advised me to stop throwing good money after bad.

On the plus side, we should have a quiet and fuel-efficient new engine in the boat next summer. On the downside, it is costing $$$$ to get there. And no, I did not contemplate an electric motor installation. Somebody has to keep the oil industry afloat so that Cruising Loser can keep up with the varnish on his boat.

It's just as well I went back to work, but I swear this is the last time.

At least I think it is...
 

Jim in Halifax

Super Anarchist
1,788
850
Nova Scotia
It's just as well I went back to work, but I swear this is the last time.
Yeah, I've said that a few times but this time I think it stuck...its been over three years and now I'm too busy to go back to work!

(Good luck with the new diesel. That's as good a reason as any to back to work...)
 

CapDave

Member
488
460
Antigua
I guess we were lucky with cell service in Maine - we bought an AT&T pay as you go SIM card when we arrived in Eastport in June '21, and put it in our Peplink modem connected to a Poynting MIMO antenna about 15' up. We cruised slowly west to Belfast and had internet the whole way, and from there to Norfolk VA it was pretty good too.

In March we're going to put the Flat High Performance Starlink dish on the boat; we'll hack it to run directly off DC, and it's easy to connect it to the existing boat comms systems through the Peplink. I expect it work coastwise, and I'm keeping my KVH V3-HTS and my Redport Glow for the time being. The hoped for advantage of the Starlink will be if it works in every harbor in every country without having to run around buying SIM cards and worrying about data caps.....

We know there is some confusion around "continent" and "country" in the TOS, and apparently no enforcement now, but for now we're going to wing it. We're planning an Atlantic Circle next summer with an Arctic Circle leg, so we'll certainly see how that works out!!
 

monkphunk

Member
67
43
I guess we were lucky with cell service in Maine - we bought an AT&T pay as you go SIM card when we arrived in Eastport in June '21, and put it in our Peplink modem connected to a Poynting MIMO antenna about 15' up. We cruised slowly west to Belfast and had internet the whole way, and from there to Norfolk VA it was pretty good too.
I'll have to try AT&T next year - we have T-Mobile and Verizon sim cards in our Peplink router with external antenna, and both are hit or miss east of Belfast. Often we have a strong signal but the internet connection is quite slow, which I've assumed was the uplink from the tower not having much bandwidth. Fine for reasonable means of communication like email, Slack, etc., but the curse of Zoom means we're looking for higher speeds during the work week.

Peplink and the Starlink play nice together. I didn't realize you need a separate ethernet adapter for Starlink, so we have the Peplink connect to it over wifi as "wifi as WAN." The Peplink magically can still make its own wireless network available. The ethernet adaptor is waiting for us next time we stop at home, but this is working fine so far.

The other advantage of having both running through the Peplink is that you can turn off the Starlink and everything is seemless. The Peplink draws very little power and is always on; but the Starlink draws enough it is worth turning off when not in use.

The hoped for advantage of the Starlink will be if it works in every harbor in every country without having to run around buying SIM cards and worrying about data caps.....

Totally agree. Last year it took us a week or so to source a local sim card in the Bahamas. Just normal island stuff; the mailboat hadn't made it the week before, so the local guy was out. It stressed me because I was working and barely connected. Starlink in the Bahamas is a bit of a gray area (not formally available but so close to Florida it works). I'm pretty sure it will work, and that will take some pressure off the sim card hunt this year.
 

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