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StarLink - first impressions

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rewired
(@rewired)
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April 26, 2022 8:28 am  

We picked up our StarLink kit at DHL yesterday and installed it yesterday afternoon. For our house,  the best location we could identify to securely mount the base was on the north side of our solar panels (which are mounted on a porch roof). We may relocate the antenna after the wall mount ships next month. The most time intensive part of the installation was going around the perimeter of the house installing the cable under the beams and ruling a hold in the soffit for the cable (we used every foot of the 75' cable). 

Here how our speeds compared to BBVI. Both tests were run within one minute of each other from the same location. 

We have a direct line of site across a valley to the BBVI antenna. Here are our speed test results for BBVI (Ookla tested the connection to BBVI here on STX):

Here are our results with StarLink (Ookla chose a location on STT for the test connection):

So far,  I'm impressed. 

There are a couple of things to be aware of:

Because StarLink use an active antenna (it moves to track the best connection), it does use more power - my initial estimate is about 45-50 watts, vs the 10-12 watts on the passive BBVI antenna. My initial estimate is that it will add a 20 kwh load to my solar system (reducing my normal sell back to WAPA).

The up-front equipment cost ($99 deposit,  $538 for equipment including shipping + any accessories) isn't cheap. At a $10 per month savings over BBVI, it will take time to offset (but it's well worth it to me!).

I haven't had any heavy rains or storms to contend with yet - I'll add an update on how it performs in bad weather. 

As other people install,  please add to this thread both good and bad experiences for others considering StarLink to consider as they decide. 

 

 

 

 


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prkstx
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April 26, 2022 10:23 am  

I am also having a good experience with it but not sure why, but I have seen others with the very high speeds and I am only seeing 92 to 98 mbps down peaks at 102 every now and then but 35 mbps up with rare peaks around 60 mbps. The internal speed tests from device to internet and starlink my device to internet show the same. 

Things to help buy and setup

Starlink accepts the Google maps plus code for the service location.... pin your location get the plus code then change the end to "island" "zip code", VI

The ethernet adapter is on back order but you can use a WIFI ethernet bridge to connect to your routers WAN/internet port... be sure it is a gigabit 5 gz device and your router is the same or you will not get full speeds.

A pole mount or converting a dish network etc mount is not that hard if you are handy... just be sure you clamp the dish in well and cut the hole for the aping lock or use a small bolt from the inside out to prevent rotation.. 1.25 sch 40 pipe is good fit and 1.25 emt fits as well but more slack. You can use foil tape or thin strips of aluminum to remove any slack... 

 

 

 

 


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STTsailor
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April 26, 2022 7:46 pm  

What would you guys do in case of approaching hurricane? Can u just remove the antenna for a day or two and leave the mounting bracket in place? 
or leave it all intact and see what the windstorm does? I don’t remove my solar panels for the hurricane and they survived Irma and Maria intact. 


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rewired
(@rewired)
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April 26, 2022 10:13 pm  

@STTsailor 

My plan is to remove the antenna, push the wire into the fascia and cover it. It should only add a couple minutes to my hurricane prep and will greatly improve the chance that I'll have Internet once the storm passes. I'll leave the mounting base attached as it doesn't have much windage and is firmly attached. If a storm does damage it, I can rig a temporary base out of a pipe or something similar until I can replace it (but the antenna is much harder to replace).


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vicanuck
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April 27, 2022 8:27 am  

@STTsailor 

I definitely plan to take dishy down during a hurricane.

I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to have full internet access and WiFi cell service the morning after powered by my new 15 KW whole home diesel generator.

I've put up with 20 years of crappy internet service for this moment.


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STTsailor
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April 27, 2022 8:43 am  

While I am awaiting my unit to be delivered if there any guidance from Starling as far as wind rating? Say we have a tropical depression with 40-60mph wind? Should I bother with taking the dish down? 

what is the preferred antenna tilt? I presume it should be pointing north? I have Starlink app and looks like I have adequate view of the sky. 


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rewired
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April 27, 2022 5:08 pm  
Posted by: @STTsailor

While I am awaiting my unit to be delivered if there any guidance from Starling as far as wind rating? Say we have a tropical depression with 40-60mph wind? Should I bother with taking the dish down? 

what is the preferred antenna tilt? I presume it should be pointing north? I have Starlink app and looks like I have adequate view of the sky. 

I couldn't find anything on wind ratings,  so I'm working on the assumption they haven't really tested for that yet.  If we expect gale force winds,  I'll probably take mine down (at least for a while), as I'm a little bit risk adverse about it right now. Looking at the plastic 'lens' on the face of the dish, I'd really be surprised if it has any sort of impact rating. 

The mounting base should be set so that the hole the post goes into is vertical and with enough clearance around it for the antenna to turn and tilt in any direction.  Most of the satellites are above or north of us,  so a clear view of the sky north, east and west should give you a good location result in the app. The antenna will automatically tilt and turn as needed to maintain the best available signal,  so starting it pointing north is unnecessary. 


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daveb722
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April 29, 2022 7:41 am  

I can't wait to leave BBVI, so far I'm getting around 250 gbps consistently.  I do have a few outages, most seem during the early am hours.  I just hope to get the adapter soon so I can hook up my mesh system as the starlink wifi isn't strong enough to get every room.  My wife works remotely, so I may get ViYa for back up, but just their bottom plan.  IMO, its worth it as BBVI is so inconsistent and they honestly just don't care.


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daveb722
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April 29, 2022 7:43 am  

@rewired I'm on a FB group and they have discussed it and haven't had any issues for gusty days.  If I remember correctly someone had 40-60 mph winds and no issues.  I'm putting mine where it is accessible and will be able to take down and put up during a hurricane.  


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MW24
 MW24
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April 29, 2022 8:31 am  

For those that already have it and use it to stream video to their TV (e.g. YouTube TV, FuboTV, HBOMax, etc.), any issues with buffering or short outages?  On the fence about upgrading as we've had very few issues with BBVI in the past couple years while stream.  Speeds left a lot to desire, but since we don't use much bandwidth other than streaming, curious how the experience is.  


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rewired
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April 29, 2022 11:35 pm  

@mw24 

We stream TV and movies using a Roku ultra. We have more channels than we need (DirecTV Stream, Disney, Hulu, Netflix, Prime, HBOMax...), and video quality has consistently been better on all of the shows we've watched.

My Roku connection tests the past few days (since we installed StarLink) have consistently been in the high 50mb - 100mb range.

Using the BBVI connection, we've seen 15mb - 38mb (generally in the 25mb - 30mb range) over the past 2 years.

Although we did see one buffering circle for about 2 seconds once with StarLink, we've been very happy and won't be looking back.

Now if I can just get rid of a few channels I could save some money... I really hadn't noticed how many we accumulated until you asked - thanks for that!


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vicanuck
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May 2, 2022 8:34 am  

@mw24 

I've been connected to Starlink for a week. I've definitely noticed a vast improvement in stream quality through my Fire TV box. When I checked the Fire TV speed last night (overcast, rainy) it was >80 mbps on the 2.4 ghz connection so I'm a happy camper. I consistently get >200 mbps on the 5 ghz with my Android all day. WiFi calling is crystal clear with no drop outs that I've noticed.

Starlink is vastly superior to Liberty, VIYA, etc. and much cheaper.


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MW24
 MW24
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May 2, 2022 9:05 am  

Thanks everyone for the updates. Love the high speeds you’re experiencing, but solid connection for streaming was my concern and sounds solid. Can’t go another football season watching my Seahawks’ games with friends over at the house only to have the game buffer off and on. Keep providing us updates if your experience improves/declines. 


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vicanuck
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May 2, 2022 9:27 am  

@mw24 

Now that we are getting some great experience with SL, we will most likely discontinue our Dish Network subscription at >$150/month for a less expensive streaming option like FuboTV or SlingTV. Or, maybe I'll upgrade our Hulu subscription. Any of these is half what I'm paying now for Dish.


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rewired
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May 5, 2022 11:01 pm  

@vicanuck 

The Hulu 'live' tier requires a mainland address (we looked into that as well).


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vicanuck
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May 6, 2022 8:50 am  

@rewired I thought so and thanks for letting me know.

Hulu is probably the less desirable of the choices anyway.

Love my Starlink!


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payforray
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May 8, 2022 3:26 pm  

Hi, it works pretty well, but going to some sites, there are some problems with ping. Eventually I study online and needed the services of <a href=" removed link " target="_blank" rel="noopener">this site  via Starlink loaded the page for a long time, but via the mobile internet it loaded faster.


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STTsailor
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May 9, 2022 10:49 am  

Just hooked up my Starlink and all is good except of the wireless router. Simply underpowered wireless. Doesn’t penetrate concrete walls. My TP link wireless is 100% stronger as far as wireless. Since there is no plug in for Ethernet cable in the Starlink box I have to come up with another option. 
I have to say that I am a little disappointed that such a break through technology is combined with cheap wireless broadcast. 


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stxisbest
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May 9, 2022 5:14 pm  

@STTsailor not sure if you did or not but in the app under settings there is a button to allow 2.4 and 5--you need to move that to the right should improve everything--there is a separate adapter you purchase to be able to feed it directly to other devices from starlink--and they also provide various mounts etc. if you missed it--good luck


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rewired
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May 9, 2022 6:49 pm  

@STTsailor 

You can order an Ethernet adapter for it on their site (I think it was $45). 

Also, mine was weak at first, but seemed to get stronger after a day or two. I have seen variable signal strength (usually 2-3 bars) down by the pool where I was lucky to get one when I installed it. I also noticed that my speeds were consistently faster after a day or two. Your system may need a day or two to 'learn' it's be environment.

I just picked up my Ethernet adapter at DHL a couple days ago and do plan to link my Asus router setup into it for better and stronger signal outside.


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Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
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May 10, 2022 8:00 am  

This isn't my first rodeo. Had Starlink in Florida and it wasn't as fast as it is here. The only question I have is the cord connection to the dishy. I have read several articles some saying that it is easy to remove and replace and others say it can't be removed. Can anyone tell me how to do this task as I sure don't want to pass the "L" shaped end that attaches to the modem through the concrete walls of my new house here, like I did in Florida. BTW, I have had the internet up and running here since last Monday(4/2) attached to the furnished mount sitting on the ground. I bought the long mount to attach it to my house and intend to do that this week. Just for info I'm getting ping of 100 and 200-250 down and 10-25 up and my WIFI works great even though the modem is in another room.

 

Thanks in Advance

CD


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vicanuck
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May 10, 2022 8:17 am  

@ca-dreamers 

Rather than try to pass the "L" shaped plug that attached to Dishy through the wall, pass the other skinny end through. The hole only needs to be 3/4". I did this the other day when I was completing my install.

I'm sure you figured this out by now though.


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STTsailor
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May 10, 2022 10:01 am  
Posted by: @vicanuck

@ca-dreamers 

Rather than try to pass the "L" shaped plug that attached to Dishy through the wall, pass the other skinny end through. The hole only needs to be 3/4". I did this the other day when I was completing my install.

I'm sure you figured this out by now though.

I don’t see any cable disconnect on the dish side. 


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STTsailor
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May 10, 2022 10:18 am  
Posted by: @stxisbest

@STTsailor not sure if you did or not but in the app under settings there is a button to allow 2.4 and 5--you need to move that to the right should improve everything--there is a separate adapter you purchase to be able to feed it directly to other devices from starlink--and they also provide various mounts etc. if you missed it--good luck

Correct. However enabling 5G connection improves wireless speed but reduces coverage. Concrete walls degrade 5G much more than 2G. 


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vicanuck
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May 10, 2022 10:24 am  

@STTsailor 

The connector at the Dishy end does disconnect.

Tug it firmly to remove, push back in firmly to reconnect.


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