Yes, the walls of my van when the doors are closed. When the large sliding door is open, StarLink is fine. Do you think it would work to put the extender on the roof of my van when I close the doors?Ahhh.. yes... you wouldn't... the cable would not like weather.. but you can buy UV resistant.. .but with out a port ... pointless... go with a booster... but the booster would be best half way across the area... but still better than nothing... btw... is there any metal between the SL box and you??
Thanks for the info, my current contract expires this month and I’m considering SL but the cost is putting me off a bit. I consider myself a heavy user, eating up the Giga’s for YouTube/music/video and other online content creation. I’m currently with Mint on a 3 month trial, which is supposedly unlimited data but it goes down to slower speeds once you use the allowance for fast hotspot which doesn’t take me long. (Btw if anyone wants to try the Mint deal thru me, I get a bonus and you get a low cost plan for 3 months..jus sayin’). So the Mint deal is ok but I’m not 100% happy with it as I stream live performances and sometimes it has let me down. Saying that, since I’ve been hanging in pahrump for the past week it’s been great! And I also could stream from Lovell canyon 35 miles from here.(Part Two)
Back to actually using the Kit… As nomads, we find ourselves in all manner of terrain and location. The key to using SL effectively is a clear shot of the northern sky. When I was up in the Coconino NF at 8200’ in the Ponderosa Pines, even on the end of my 14’ pvc pipe, I was getting a lot of drops as I just did not have a good shot at the north. ( load the above link, zoom out, and watch how fast the Sats move. ) However I was still getting enough signal to stream vids with some pauses and get mail and other web stuff done. In any location where I have had clear skies the drops are infrequent enough that I didn’t even know they were happening. In the Kaibab south of the GC I had to use all 75’ of my cable and still had minor blockage. Herein in Colorado I have very few drops in service. I will be ordering the 150’ cable for next summer. In Q or any of the desert areas, I’ll just slap it up on the roof. Let me emphasize that trees and SL do not mix. In a few years when the network in complete, looking str8 up will be more effective as the network will be much denser.
Up until around April, if you powered up your Kit outside the cell you were assigned, it would just plain refuse to pass data, and you would get a message in the App that you were out of your assigned area. Then, without telling anyone, they turned that off. Prior to this you could cheat the system to some degree by using the App to change your address, as if you moved households to a new house or apt. I had found a few nomads that had done this in Canada, moving every two weeks to a new home address and made it from the east to west coast in this fashion. I had done this twice after leaving the Q area and it worked fine. When I heard they turned the switch on the roaming, I tried it and went to Pahrump, then Coconino, Kaibab, Apache NFs without changing anything.
Then service went from $99 a month to $110…. Sigh. That sucked.
Last month the other shoe dropped, and they offered Roaming Service for an additional $25 a month. I signed up immediately. This meant one could roam anywhere in the North American Continent. You will be a step down in priority to the fixed systems in the cell, but you will have service. This month SL is marketing an RV plan at $135 a month. I have not looked at the details, but suffice to say it is the Std plan with roaming added and a with a shiny new marketing wrapper. A few days ago I changed my permanent address to Q, and when I arrive in that area, I will be able to turn off roaming, reducing the monthly fee back down to $110. When the time comes to move out of the heat next spring, I turn it back on and my bill jumps up to $135 again.
I hear you now… “$135 a month you say!!! Why I only spend $xx a month and get all the data I want!” which is likely true.. and if this level of service works for you, all the better… saving money is a good thing and you do not need Starlink. But let us consider what people pay for and what they get, and then compare them.
But first, let’s take a look at Usage. I am a heavy data consumer. I can suck down hundreds of GBs a month. In the past two years leading up to this lifestyle, I noted other heavy users were carrying 2,3 and 4 cell plans in order to not run out of data or not get slowed to a crawl once exceeding limits. Since getting out on the road I have also met people that never use what they are allotted in their basic plan.
So then we can set a premise, and that is, if you are a heavy data user , you will be paying for it.
*Nomad Internet is $149 a month +$99 activation fee and you need a decent cell connection.
*Data on a cell phone plans from any of the major carriers will start to throttle at anywhere from 5 to 50GB and will cost around $35 to $75 a month.
*Starlink is $110 to $135 and month and will work anywhere.
Nomad is expensive and does not always work depending on location and how heavily that cell you are using is loaded. Major carrier plans will cost just as much for heavy data use if you have to have multiple plans in place to use it, and they do have bigger data plans, but all of them throttle as well. Starlink throttle outside your home area, but if throttling from SL means dropping from 150Mbps to 50Mbps, it isn’t the same thing as being throttled on a cell phone plan. The speeds are not comparable.
I am currently a bit west of the Denver area and will do a speed test right now… 43 down and 2 up with very high latency, meaning that the Sat I am connected to is far away. I will do it again in a few minutes and it will change. A couple of days ago it was 80 down and 6 up. The point is that I am roaming, in the middle of a forest, and my cell barely gets text msgs, and calls are sporadic. My Neighbor has a WeeBoost and does better and can stream at 480, but a Weeboost is $500 and is pointless too far out, or worse in Quartzsite in season. Ok Test two… 98 Mbps down and 12 Mbps up. Better, and it will fluctuate all over the place depending on how close a Sat is to me, what version of Sat it is ( laser or not) and how well connected to a ground station that Sat is. At this point, density is still an issue for SL and individual Sats will be heavily loaded on occasion until the network is denser. As I indicated earlier on, there have been 400 new sats put into service in the last 6 months and ( looks at the “up but not in service yet” Sats) there appear to be several hundred still moving into service positions. There is another launch June 17 and two more sched at this time for July.
Yes, Starlink is throttling when roaming outside your home area, but this isn’t the boogie man it is being made out to be. Cell plans throttle. Third party cell plans for data are also deprioritized, just like SL does when roaming.
In my experience, no one offers a service that can even begin to compete with what you get *IF* you are a heavy data user. I am a gamer, a YTer, a musician… I watch a crap ton of video from all manner of sources and suck up and put up many GB of data monthly. If you do not do this or do not consume data, then Starlink may be something you do not need, but if you suck up a couple hundred GB a month and more SL is a solid option. For anyone getting “way out there”, Starlink is the only feasible link to the Internet.
Power usage. The last time I checked (Apr 22) the Killawatt was showing idling around 30-35 watts, with spikes up to 70 watts. Start up is 70-110 watts but doesn’t last long. Snow melt mode is way more. I have never used it and have it turned off in the App.
Connections. As it comes, the only way to connect is wireless. For $39? You can get an inline widget that allows you to plug in a standard Ethernet cable. You can disable the SL router and use your own if you choose.
Customer Service. It can take 2 to 4 days to get a response. They can see and talk to your router and are able to tell you if there is blockage etc… There is no phone number for customer support or sales. It is email or nothing. They are inflexible at times and again, you will not get a fast response.
Data Service. It is as good as I had hoped it could be, and I say this knowing a bit about wireless and Internet. I started an ISP, and developed terrestrial wireless Internet. Because I know and understand the basics, I knew service would be spotty, especially at first. I have been surprised by the speed at which new Sats are going up and it is making a difference. The holes in service are smaller and shorter in duration and this will only improve with time. I am not disappointed with SL, because I had and have realistic expectations.
Beta = Normally a period of rollout of a product, limited in scope, and limited to a small group
Kit = Basic dish and wireless router with basic stand w/75’ cable
The below image shows my service last night from 4 to 9 pm approx
(PLEASE do ask questions and add comments - I have no direct line to Elon and I am no fan-boi, but misinformation is a bad thing for all of us... that said, *I* am not anyone idea of God's gift to Internet, so I could have made some errors or mis-statements - a few mintues after I post this, this text will be locked an will not be able to be changed, so please read the entire thread for corrections etc)
Follow up here - I bought a NetGear Extender EX 6250. It's intended to be an indoor unit, but I McGyvered something to keep it dry. Placed it about halfway between the StarLink unit and my AirStream. Worked great.Yes, the walls of my van when the doors are closed. When the large sliding door is open, StarLink is fine. Do you think it would work to put the extender on the roof of my van when I close the doors?
Interestingly, I have an Airstream here which I am using as a kitchen and evening sitting area. Even though it is about 20 feet farther away from the SL box than my van is, the reception is better - the difference between an aluminum enclosure and a steel enclosure?
Make it sewFollow up here - I bought a NetGear Extender EX 6250. It's intended to be an indoor unit, but I McGyvered something to keep it dry. Placed it about halfway between the StarLink unit and my AirStream. Worked great.
Thinking about taking the unit on my travels with me to see whether it proves useful.
Actually, you can get an RJ45 to USB adapter to use when an RJ45 port is not available.Ahhh.. yes... you wouldn't... the cable would not like weather.. but you can buy UV resistant.. .but with out a port ... pointless... go with a booster... but the booster would be best half way across the area... but still better than nothing... btw... is there any metal between the SL box and you??