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Old 24-01-2023, 04:02   #1
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Starlink vs. HF radio

Now have both but should I spend lots of $$ for an HF radio upgrade for a DSC capable radio or continue with the development of Starlink capabilities while at sea. Currently only using its RV (there is an’in-motion’) version but haven’t put out to sea with it. I’m sure there will future issues using Starlink as more and more come on line.. So far I’m impressed with its data(up-down) through put… but that’s at its ‘home address’ location. There are lots future factors to consider, moving locations out side it’s assigned location which will affect data rates, weather-rain and or snow affects, obstacles-a major affect on seeing stats. And as more and more users sign-on which may affect data rates.
However the trusty HF still works but continues to work with operator experience and knowledge such as using digital data such as Winlink.. though slow compared to Starlinks data rates ..but it still does work..

The jury is still out..
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Old 24-01-2023, 05:43   #2
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Clayton you are just worrying over unknown maybes and that is an act of insanity. Your RV Starlink is already "in motion" and you are more likely to be able to get a hold of "someone" via the internet than your radio. I type this from the Bahamas where it seems at least 1/3 of the cruisers already have Starlink.

I am still using my InReach unit for tracking and SOS features
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Old 24-01-2023, 05:53   #3
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

I'm going to agree with that. The world works via satcom now. Starlink is the next gen.
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Old 24-01-2023, 06:10   #4
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Yep. HF radio is 1949's technology. I see it from the ham radio side, with ham operators largely aging out of the hobby. Meanwhile StarLink is 10 times the speed of our fiberoptic connection, and cell phones will go satellite in the next five years.
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Old 24-01-2023, 16:08   #5
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

The atmosphere will always be with us, unless someone nukes it. Satellites come and go. What is state of the art in SatCom now will be defunct in a few years. Your StarLink run the path of Beatmax and VHS. Radio technology will also improve over time, but the old radios will still work, that has already been proven.

Both have their pros and cons.
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Old 24-01-2023, 16:42   #6
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

really now, radio tech is going to advance and sat tech is going to crash

OK with me if you believe that
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Old 24-01-2023, 17:59   #7
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
The atmosphere will always be with us, unless someone nukes it. Satellites come and go. What is state of the art in SatCom now will be defunct in a few years. Your StarLink run the path of Beatmax and VHS. Radio technology will also improve over time, but the old radios will still work, that has already been proven.

Both have their pros and cons.
Iridium's network went online in 1998, 25 years ago. The same devices that worked then work now, and newer faster devices have recently been released. That network isn't going away anytime soon. Similarly, there isn't any reason to believe that Starlink will be short lived. The Starlink constellation will be upgraded and improved, and speeds, coverage, and reliability will increase.

Many countries no longer monitor voice HF radio safety channels. Its time has passed, IMHO. Addressing the OP's question, if you intend to use HF as any sort of emergency communications, you MUST get DSC, as no one will hear you if you don't. Calling Mayday on voice HF doesn't work anymore. It is fine as it is as a hobby radio, nets and the like if you enjoy those things. I think its usefulness as an emergency communications device is running out though.

Starlink isn't an emergency device either, however devices on the Iridium network most certainly are.
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Old 24-01-2023, 20:53   #8
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

I am currently thinking I am going to sell my HF ham stuff and get an LT4100 and an Iridium Certus subscription. Does everything I actually want, far more than Inreach, Go, etc., more reliable than Starlink with less windage and power consumption and a similar overall cost profile.


So far in amateur radio I've met 3 martinets and nut jobs for every decent helpful person. The ARRL is publicly opposed to sailors using amateur frequencies for anything actually useful. Demographics at this point are 80%+ white men over 60. The software and technology is outdated and parochial with no attitude of openness, sharing, or learning. I've seen enough and am moving on.


Half of the value of marine HF is in shore stations and they are disappearing quickly. The other half of the value is in other boats using marine HF and they are disappearing quickly too.


Certus is $1000 a year but sailmail is not free, HF installations are expensive and have higher maintenance costs than Iridium.


I am a traditionalist and have been involved in HF for a long time but don't see the value any more.


Starlink is the answer at anchor if you want high speeds but is a poor fit for passages and for communications in deteriorating/urgent/emergency situations due to size, power requirements, and a single-source vendor who appears likely to make arbitrary and capricious changes to service, pricing, and acceptable use.
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Old 24-01-2023, 21:16   #9
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I am currently thinking I am going to sell my HF ham stuff and get an LT4100 and an Iridium Certus subscription. Does everything I actually want, far more than Inreach, Go, etc., more reliable than Starlink with less windage and power consumption and a similar overall cost profile.


So far in amateur radio I've met 3 martinets and nut jobs for every decent helpful person. The ARRL is publicly opposed to sailors using amateur frequencies for anything actually useful. Demographics at this point are 80%+ white men over 60. The software and technology is outdated and parochial with no attitude of openness, sharing, or learning. I've seen enough and am moving on.


Half of the value of marine HF is in shore stations and they are disappearing quickly. The other half of the value is in other boats using marine HF and they are disappearing quickly too.


Certus is $1000 a year but sailmail is not free, HF installations are expensive and have higher maintenance costs than Iridium.


I am a traditionalist and have been involved in HF for a long time but don't see the value any more.


Starlink is the answer at anchor if you want high speeds but is a poor fit for passages and for communications in deteriorating/urgent/emergency situations due to size, power requirements, and a single-source vendor who appears likely to make arbitrary and capricious changes to service, pricing, and acceptable use.
The forthcoming Iridium Go Exec is a Certus device. Same performance as the LT4100 but much cheaper.

I agree with everything else you said.
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Old 25-01-2023, 05:43   #10
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
The atmosphere will always be with us, unless someone nukes it. Satellites come and go. What is state of the art in SatCom now will be defunct in a few years. Your StarLink run the path of Beatmax and VHS. Radio technology will also improve over time, but the old radios will still work, that has already been proven.

Both have their pros and cons.
A good ‘EMP’ detonation would wipe out all communications no matter how ‘harden’ they are..
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Old 25-01-2023, 05:51   #11
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer;3734441

Starlink is the answer at anchor if you want high speeds but is a poor fit for passages and for communications in deteriorating/urgent/emergency situations [B
(but who is going to be listening?)[/B]due to size (is is like 21"x12", power requirements (uses 1-3 amps when turned on, but you can just turn off), and a single-source vendor who appears likely to make arbitrary and capricious changes to service, pricing, and acceptable use.( like for cell phone and cable companies alraedy
The fear of Starlink being evil Illumiiti looking to take over the world seems a weird but semi common thing. Have you ever looked at your cell phone terms etc.? People don' ever read those and just accept them.

If people don't want Starlink just don''t get it. No need to work up some story.
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Old 25-01-2023, 07:54   #12
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

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The fear of Starlink being evil Illumiiti looking to take over the world seems a weird but semi common thing. Have you ever looked at your cell phone terms etc.? People don' ever read those and just accept them.

If people don't want Starlink just don''t get it. No need to work up some story.
He said: "... and a single-source vendor who appears likely to make arbitrary and capricious changes to service, pricing, and acceptable use."

I don't think he was making Starlink out to being evil Illuminati (however you spell it).

I think he was saying that Musk has a proven history of making random (arbitrary) and stupid (proof of this is easy to find) and capricious changes to other company's service policies (e.g. Tweeter) so we should assume the same thing could happen with any of Musk's companies. Add to that the fact that Starlink is already choosing NOT to enforce certain aspects of their service agreement, and I think the statement is quite sensible.

I love my SL dish, hugely. But I will not "rely" on it at sea, for passages, or for emergency communications, which I think is all Jammer was saying.
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Old 25-01-2023, 08:21   #13
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

I agree with what Jordan said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The fear of Starlink being evil Illumiiti looking to take over the world seems a weird but semi common thing. Have you ever looked at your cell phone terms etc.? People don' ever read those and just accept them.

Verizon has a long history of providing continuity of service, relatively consistent pricing, and consistent enforcement of terms. I think most people would agree that their customer service is poor. I think there is a history of them gradually withdrawing pricing plans that aren't profitable for them but this has always been done in a way that doesn't disrupt service and that allows subscribers time to get the value out of equipment they've purchased and change to another carrier if they wish.


AT&T, largely the same.


Google Fi, largely more transparent pricing and some well-understood and widely discussed arbitrary and capricious shutoffs when some squishy threshold of international use is exceeded.


Iridium, for that matter, a long history of reliable service, with some well-understood and widely discussed problems with dodgy resellers years ago that do not appear to be ongoing.


These are the devil we know, and on the whole they are predictable and dependable within their known limitations.



The problem with Starlink is that: they have a stated policy of charging thousands of dollars a month for marine service, they have the technological means of enforcing this policy if and when they choose to do so, and they have a CEO with a history of making exactly these sorts of revenue-capture changes at other companies he has led.
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Old 25-01-2023, 09:22   #14
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

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A good ‘EMP’ detonation would wipe out all communications no matter how ‘harden’ they are..
Note true. For all Solid State devices, yes. If an EMP were to totally disrupt the atmosphere then we would not survive. Game over. But EMP only effects Solid State Devices and only in the geographical area of the detonation. If anything, a major Solar Flare will wipe out everything, to include all satellites.

As for HF, granted that governments are indeed shutting down their monitoring sites, but there are still thousands of radio operators listening. Radio is point to multipoint while satellite is point to point.

Otherwise, a good discussion.
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Old 25-01-2023, 10:20   #15
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Re: Starlink vs. HF radio

Hi Brian

Last year was considering to "reactivate" my old ICOM 710 lying in my garage, and you rightly so pointed to look for a more modern unit with DSC capabilities.

I did not get a newer SSB mostly because of the issues raised on this and another threads BUT did follow your advice and renewed all my VHF, portable units and fixed with the DSC option.

Again understanding the USCG dropping also monitoring DSC there are many units on the water and as I understand some cargo ships will only answer if DSC broadcasted,

Thought was a very inexpensive (relative term) to add another layer of redundancy.

Just wanted to thank you for dedicating time helping members some even ineducable like me.

Sayonara and Mahalo
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