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Old 01-06-2021, 15:55   #136
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Wow, Lepke. I would think an 83' ex-CG power boat would be a pretty stable platform. We don't roll much, but cats twitch going over waves & swells. And for us little guys bobbing on the open ocean, our autopilot is constantly adjusting our course. And you say that can interrupt the tracking for MINUTES?
I'm using the original, made for houses, antenna. It doesn't move fast enough for open water, especially the ocean (in the PNW). Once Starlink is opened for mobile and other antennas become available I think it will be fine. In the river, a ships wake, or even a tug will throw it off for a couple minutes. A slow course change is ok, but a hard over rudder is the same effect as big waves.
Hopefully Starlink and others like it will make internet available on the water for a reasonable price. I notice the expensive systems are doing a lot of advertising lately.
One interesting feature I've noticed, when I connect wirelessly to the Starlink modem, I get 15-18mbps, sometimes 50 mbps. But connecting with a wire, 50+ is common and at times I get above 200mbps. Those times are going thru my VPN using speedtest.net. It could be other marine signals are interfering with wireless (radar, radios, etc.).
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Old 01-06-2021, 16:04   #137
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Lepke the wifi access point they give you is pretty crap, Just enough for a basic connection. I would HIGHLY suggest buying a better system, even an off the shelf Asus router would be better.

As a IT professional, Ubiquiti would be my choice but its a bit complicated for the average user. Wifi Range is amazing on the unifi 6 LR units.

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Old 01-06-2021, 16:32   #138
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
One interesting feature I've noticed, when I connect wirelessly to the Starlink modem, I get 15-18mbps, sometimes 50 mbps. But connecting with a wire, 50+ is common and at times I get above 200mbps. Those times are going thru my VPN using speedtest.net. It could be other marine signals are interfering with wireless (radar, radios, etc.).

Disable the 2.4Ghz wireless in the router (leave only 5Ghz active), then try again.


2.4Ghz is basically useless anymore due to congestion.
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Old 01-06-2021, 18:24   #139
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I'm using the original, made for houses, antenna. It doesn't move fast enough for open water, especially the ocean (in the PNW). Once Starlink is opened for mobile and other antennas become available I think it will be fine. In the river, a ships wake, or even a tug will throw it off for a couple minutes. A slow course change is ok, but a hard over rudder is the same effect as big waves...
Lepke, I agree with you that the small motors that point the antenna aren't fast enough, but the antenna is actually a phased array of many tiny antennas. These are steered electronically by feeding the antennas on one side very slightly sooner than those on the other, which tilts the beam over. Theoretically, the beam can be moved (re-aimed) in microseconds, but the military is limiting them to milliseconds.

Still, this is plenty fast enough to compensate for wakes & waves. The problem is the sensors & the software that sense those changes & re-aims the beam. They may not be fast enough (yet) to compensate. But the ability is certainly there.
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Old 08-06-2021, 12:48   #140
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Question for those that have Starlink:

I'm a seasonal sailor and would want to "activate" Starlink each spring and shut it down each fall. Is that possible once you are a subscriber?

-Matt
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Old 08-06-2021, 16:54   #141
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Originally Posted by Matt White View Post
Question for those that have Starlink:



I'm a seasonal sailor and would want to "activate" Starlink each spring and shut it down each fall. Is that possible once you are a subscriber?



-Matt


No one knows yet.

Itís in beta
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Old 08-06-2021, 17:09   #142
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

At the moment. If you cancel your subscription, you may only re-active if your cell is not over subscribed by the time you come back.

As its still in beta they only want fixed position subscribers who are going to keep the dish online year round. As a current Beta tester, Lots of testing is happening with the current user base. There is firmware updates almost weekly as they poke prod and test.

When out of beta I would certainly hope we can purchase monthly without too much difficulty.
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Old 08-06-2021, 18:25   #143
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Thanks, Jack. Didn't know about the SW updates.
  • Are they improving things?
  • Do they tell you what the update is supposed to improve?
  • Has performance been improving?
For most of us cruisers, StarLink is power hungry & performance is probably better than we need, while cell coverage is usually good enough for most of our needs & power usage is tiny. So the ability to turn our subscriptions on & off would be quite valuable.

Most of us are in fringe areas almost all the time, & certainly while on passage, so StarLink cell saturation shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 08-06-2021, 18:35   #144
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt White View Post
Question for those that have Starlink:

I'm a seasonal sailor and would want to "activate" Starlink each spring and shut it down each fall. Is that possible once you are a subscriber?

-Matt
When mobiliry is permitted, my plan is to have one unit and take it with me where ever: boat, home, motor home, whatever.
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Old 08-06-2021, 18:52   #145
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

When sitting at the dock, Starlink looses the signal often. Some days never and others maybe 10 times. I guess firmware updates explain it.
Before Starlink, I used various wireless internet suppliers and Starlink is better than all of those. The wireless ISPs I used were all more expensive than the $99/month that Starlink costs. And a lot slower. My range is Oregon to Alaska and I'm hoping it will eventually work up north and off the coast.
I'm an old guy and not too wireless literate. I'll keep the wire for now but will keep the info, thanks.

About 7pm and speed is 100+mbps down and 35+ up. And that's while my tv was streaming. Starlink is a lot better than wireless.
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Old 08-06-2021, 20:05   #146
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
When sitting at the dock, Starlink looses the signal often. Some days never and others maybe 10 times. I guess firmware updates explain it.
Before Starlink, I used various wireless internet suppliers and Starlink is better than all of those. The wireless ISPs I used were all more expensive than the $99/month that Starlink costs. And a lot slower. My range is Oregon to Alaska and I'm hoping it will eventually work up north and off the coast.
I'm an old guy and not too wireless literate. I'll keep the wire for now but will keep the info, thanks.

About 7pm and speed is 100+mbps down and 35+ up. And that's while my tv was streaming. Starlink is a lot better than wireless.
Thanks for this, Lepke.

I don't think there's any argument that Starlink is faster than wireless. The issue for us is that it takes a LOT more power, & it costs 5x more than the wireless service we're paying for now. And that wireless service, here in the Philippines, is adequate for our needs. Netflix streams happily even while I've got 20 threads downloading SAS Planet tiles for navigation. That costs us $20/mo, with a cap of 70GB. Costs in other countries will vary, & I'm told the US has very high data costs (which is a bit mind boggling).

Yes, Starlink is unmetered, & I'm sure it's faster. Is it worth 5x the cost & 50x the power usage? While on passage & wanting weather updates, yes. The rest of the time? I'd be hard put to justify it to my Chancellor of the Exchequer, even if she is the Netflixaholic.

You may have to wait a while for Alaska. Starlink's deal with the FCC said that it had to include AK, which effectively means polar orbits, but my understanding is that SpaceX is only planning that coverage in Phase 2, after the viability of the primary constellation has been established. But times are early, & anything could change.

Really appreciate your real-world observations & boater perspective!
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Old 10-06-2021, 14:40   #147
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Thanks for this, Lepke.



I don't think there's any argument that Starlink is faster than wireless. The issue for us is that it takes a LOT more power, & it costs 5x more than the wireless service we're paying for now. And that wireless service, here in the Philippines, is adequate for our needs. Netflix streams happily even while I've got 20 threads downloading SAS Planet tiles for navigation. That costs us $20/mo, with a cap of 70GB. Costs in other countries will vary, & I'm told the US has very high data costs (which is a bit mind boggling).



Yes, Starlink is unmetered, & I'm sure it's faster. Is it worth 5x the cost & 50x the power usage? While on passage & wanting weather updates, yes. The rest of the time? I'd be hard put to justify it to my Chancellor of the Exchequer, even if she is the Netflixaholic.



You may have to wait a while for Alaska. Starlink's deal with the FCC said that it had to include AK, which effectively means polar orbits, but my understanding is that SpaceX is only planning that coverage in Phase 2, after the viability of the primary constellation has been established. But times are early, & anything could change.



Really appreciate your real-world observations & boater perspective!
Hi Jon,
Just curious, what mobile wireless service are you using in the Philippines giving you that performance?
...and where is that?
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Old 10-06-2021, 18:55   #148
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Hi Jon, Just curious, what mobile wireless service are you using in the Philippines giving you that performance?
...and where is that?
Hi Pelagic. Not sure where you are, so you may know some of this already. There are 2 cell companies in the Philippines, Globe & Smart. Neither is dominant everywhere, so we have both SIMs. I think both offer small boxes that are dedicated cell hotspots that can feed to all 3 of our computers.

We're using a Globe one, called Globe-at-Home. It runs directly off our 12v, & doesn't use enough power for us to worry about, so we leave it on 24/7. Costs about $20 for the box. We feed it $20/month (pre-paid) for 70GB. Usually we don't use that much, but when I'm making mbTiles with SAS Planet & Sat2Chart, I sometimes use it up before the month is over.

We're currently moored off the YC in Puerto Princesa, the capitol of Palawan, so service here is probably better than many other places.

We spent 2019 in PNG & the Solomon Islands. Internet service in both is extremely expensive, & not very fast when we could get it at all. Starlink would have been wonderful then.

We have 1,200W of solar, so we might be willing to blow 20Ah to watch a movie, but we couldn't afford the power to leave a 10A Starlink system running continuously (240Ah/day).
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Old Yesterday, 20:11   #149
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

Newest articles on starlink, it looks like mobile platforms, boats, campers, semi trucks, aircraft, will use twin square antennas.


https://www.sciencetimes.com/article...light-wifi.htm


https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/9/22...in-flight-wifi
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Old Yesterday, 22:58   #150
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Re: Musk says Starlink will work on boats

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Newest articles on starlink, it looks like mobile platforms, boats, campers, semi trucks, aircraft, will use twin square antennas.

https://www.sciencetimes.com/article...light-wifi.htm

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/9/22...in-flight-wifi
Thanks for this. 12 inch square antennas might be light enough I could just bolt them to the sides of our solar panels (above the davits) & be done with them.

From the 2nd article:
"For Starlink to provide connectivity to ... remote parts of the ocean, far from ground stations, will require inter-satellite links ó a capability in which satellites talk to each other using laser links without first bouncing signals off ground stations. The next generation of our constellation, which is in work, will have this inter-satellite connectivity."
I wish Starlink would have been more specific on the timeline for this.
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