Hi all,

A quick update on the Starlink Beta — a LOT has happened!

Starlink Engineers hosted a Reddit AMA (ask me anything)

  • Highlights Thread – LINK
  • Full AMA Thread – LINK
  • Mobile Internet Research Center provided their take – LINK
  • Highlights that are of interest to (most) RV’ers:
    • Mobile Use:
      • Starlink Team is still working to provide coverage for Mobile users.
      • Mobile use will be via different hardware.
      • Unclear if the new hardware is just for ‘in-motion’ use / higher wind rating, or if it’s required simply to use it some place else.
    • Data Caps:
      • Starlink Team does not want to apply data caps.
      • The only exception is if it’s required to ensure stable service for all / prevent a few data hogs from causing problems.
    • Wider Beta, when?
      • Late January, 2021 — But, based on above ‘Mobile Use’ update, probably best for most RV’ers / Boaters to wait for the Mobile hardware.
    • Power consumption seems high! ( 100 watts during normal use )
      • Starlink team is working to make the dish more power efficient, including a deeper ‘Sleep’ mode which still maintains data access.
    • What’s the most misunderstood thing about Starlink?
      • That we (Starlink Team) have it all figured out 🙂 We are super excited about the initial response and future potential of Starlink but we still have a ton to learn. If you know any great people who can help us with that, please have them email their resume to starlink@spacex.com.

YouTube saw its first tear-down videos!

First, yours truly ( Michael ) took apart the Starlink WiFi Router!

Then, MikeOnSpace got into Dishy using a rotary tool!

But wait! Ken Keiter went fully destructive in his Dishy tear down!

There are now more Unboxing, Initial Setup, SpeedTest, and Gaming videos on YouTube than you can shake a network cable at. Seriously, just click one of those highlighted words to search, you’ll find them!

Starlink App Developers broke the app…

For me, Android app version 1.0.14 worked just fine ( well, as best I could tell not being in an area with service ). Android app version 1.0.15 and 1.0.16 don’t allow me to connect to the Dish. I’ve performed packet captures on the working, and non-working apps and provide details to Starlink. They acknowledged the bug and have been working on a fix which should be available in the next few days (they first said that 12’ish days ago, and 1.0.16 came out yesterday, still broken).

We re-located and re-tested…

To Las Vegas, NV — SURPRISE! — it doesn’t have service here either.. 🙁
Again, completely expected. Today, December 1st, 2020 — I was officially billed for my first month of service, about 2.5 weeks after the ‘Better than Nothing Beta’ kit was delivered. It appears that Starlink will work in lower latitudes ( above 30° North ) toward the end of January. That would include Las Vegas, NV and Rodeo, NM where my AstroShed is located. Sorry Florida… looks like most areas south of Jacksonville be waiting a bit longer.

Did I miss anything?

If so, please update / link in the comments below.


Michael

Resident Tesla nut and polymath. Raised in eastern Kentucky, joined the US Navy at 19 to operate a Nuclear Reactor on a Fast-Attack submarine. After finishing his enlistment, Michael has continued to follow his passions in technology, astronomy, and of course, traveling the country.

10 Comments

Phil Armishaw · 2020-12-01 at 20:27

Hey Michael, I think most of that 100 watt power draw is the heater, at least I hope so. That’s a really nice rv resort your at. WOW I had a quick look at home assistant again but I’m feeling intimidated. I just found the GUI for Homebridge so I now have my 30 devices working on HomeKit in my house so I’m happy. I really enjoyed riding with both of you on your drives. I tried to enter our website in the spot above but it didn’t work. http://www.rvingandseeing.com. Mostly rv campground tours in Canada as well as rv upgrades.

    Michael · 2020-12-01 at 21:11

    Hi Phil,
    Yes, we really love LVM resort. We always find ourselves coming back, even when we try to stay away ( and see more of the US ).
    Re: Dish power usage — I’m seeing it use up to 170 Watts when searching for service… it gets VERY warm indeed ( I’ve measured 72 C / 161 F ) – too hot to comfortably touch.
    Glad you enjoy our drives! The live stream really helps pass the time. I added your URL to your comment. 🙂

    Stay safe, and see ya down the road!

    Michael · 2020-12-02 at 19:23

    Hey Phil, I slipped on replying to the home automation stuffs… HomeAssistant is very powerful, but can be complex to get started. It’s something they are really working on before they do a 1.0 release. Great to hear HomeKit and Homebridge got you going. In the end, as long as it works well for you, that’s all that really matters. 🙂 Keep us posted on your endeavors!

      Phil · 2020-12-02 at 19:39

      Too late I fell down the Home Assistant rabbit hole today. Lol but I’m stuck with a problem at starting hass. The user interface is failing to load. Running a Mac in a virtual machine too.

        Michael · 2020-12-02 at 19:45

        LOL, The Home Assistant rabbit hole is DEEP! I think they offer VM images, not sure if it works in parallels by default ( assuming that’s what you’re using ). I’ve found the best way to run it is using Debian as the OS base, then the customized install instructions for Debian: LINK. Note that the GUI does take a while before it starts the first time, on any install — just because of the fact it is downloading the actual packages behind the scenes.

          Phil Armishaw · 2021-01-23 at 11:35

          Hi Michael, did you see this YouTube video about Starlink? It looks encouraging that he is 18km from his house and it’s still working.

          Michael · 2021-01-23 at 14:44

          Hi Phil, it looks like the youtube video link didn’t come through in your comment. I have seen a couple of videos where the user took their terminal out into a distant ( but still relatively close ) location with success. Really looking forward to more free movement across the US with the terminal 🙂
          I’m hope’n it’s right around the corner.

          Phil Armishaw · 2021-01-23 at 14:53

          Oops… https://youtu.be/nOCrhymB9yc

          Michael · 2021-01-25 at 11:06

          Hi Phil,
          Thanks for the great video link! I had not seen this one. The info he got regarding geographic service restriction (listed in his video description) is very interesting. I’ve sent a follow-up contact to Starlink with some additional specific questions — once I hear back, I’ll put up a new post with all the info.

Dr Gerhard Mair · 2020-12-05 at 05:29

You did a good job with starling info we appreciate all your research waiting for your next YouTube take care and may you and your wife stay healthy

Starlink Update: February 2021 – TurtleHerding · 2021-02-08 at 13:17

[…] from a YouTube video / its description (Thanks to Phil Armishaw for posting it in a comment on my December Starlink update), and some from a support ticket I opened with […]

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