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Old 01-16-2022, 11:08 AM   #1
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Starlink

Since Starlinks inception, there has been discussions about whether or not it would be made available for boating, ocean travel, etc. looks like Elon Musk doesn’t see it as a big problem. Link below.

https://www.inverse.com/innovation/s...-work-on-boats
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:10 AM   #2
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Once they've got enough satellites up, it'll definitely become workable on boats. The questions are mostly around power consumption (currently it's a bit high for 24/7 use on a boat away from the dock) and whether the hardware needs any improvements for either durability or good enough tracking in a marine environment and on a moving boat.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:32 AM   #3
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I’ve had my deposit in on a land-based unit for home for a while now, latest estimate is mid-2022.

For me and many others, the question is whether the mobile solution hardware price tag will be eye watering, or not.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer View Post
Iíve had my deposit in on a land-based unit for home for a while now, latest estimate is mid-2022.

For me and many others, the question is whether the mobile solution hardware price tag will be eye watering, or not.
Yep, and the applications it unleashes. It is why having small players still able to compete is important. A lot of innovative developments have come from small players.
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Old 01-16-2022, 11:41 AM   #5
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Great news
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:15 PM   #6
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Starlink has said for quite some time they want to provide service on vessels, vehicles and planes. Only a matter of time as they get dishes shipped and satellites launched.

The latest dishes are almost half the weight and are smaller than the original ones.

The reports I have read seem to indicate the new dishes are using less power than the older ones. The new ones can have a peak power usage around 200 watts per hour when turned on, I think the dish is using power to find a satellite, but then settles down to 40-50 watts per hour. Rain can increase power usage.

One article said they are now producing multiples of 5,000 of the new dishes per week compared to 5,000 per week for the old dish version. I like the word multiples. Is that 2x, 3x, 4x, etc.

Irregardless of the actual multiple, we are semi patiently waiting for our dishey. Be a year long wait next month.

Later,
Dan
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:32 PM   #7
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Starlink

I read an account last week about how the new dishes are heated to prevent ice and snow buildup. Who knows if that is constantly on or not but regardless could account for a decent portion of the wattage.
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:01 PM   #8
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Starlink has said for quite some time they want to provide service on vessels, vehicles and planes. Only a matter of time as they get dishes shipped and satellites launched.

The latest dishes are almost half the weight and are smaller than the original ones.

The reports I have read seem to indicate the new dishes are using less power than the older ones. The new ones can have a peak power usage around 200 watts per hour when turned on, I think the dish is using power to find a satellite, but then settles down to 40-50 watts per hour. Rain can increase power usage.

One article said they are now producing multiples of 5,000 of the new dishes per week compared to 5,000 per week for the old dish version. I like the word multiples. Is that 2x, 3x, 4x, etc.

Irregardless of the actual multiple, we are semi patiently waiting for our dishey. Be a year long wait next month.

Later,
Dan
That is a lot of juice per hour on a DC system. Will probably be five years or so, before the early adoption process is over and mainstream users and applications begin to come along. By then I am betting the energy use will come down. My understanding is the satellites are not stationary, so I would bet part of that usage is locking in and following them. Do you know what the size of the latest dish is?
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Old 01-16-2022, 03:41 PM   #9
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In talking with a space-x engineer recently, I learned a couple of interesting things:
1. The antennas are phased array, so all of the satellite tracking is done by software, not by pointing the antennas;
2. There are not yet enough satellites up to provide continuous coverage for most of the continental US. I don't know where the limit is, but our lake house, at 46 degrees latitude has Starlink and it works great. Further south, the satellites diverge too much to provide continuous coverage.
3. I didn't ask about power consumption, but the current antenna design is expected to work in mobile applications.
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:26 PM   #10
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I read an account last week about how the new dishes are heated to prevent ice and snow buildup. Who knows if that is constantly on or not but regardless could account for a decent portion of the wattage.
The dish does have a heater but it seems to be in use only when needed. Be curious to know how the dish knows to cycle the heater on and off and how much power it needs.

Saw this image of cats using the dish to stay warm. Real?


Later,
Dan
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:36 PM   #11
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That is a lot of juice per hour on a DC system. Will probably be five years or so, before the early adoption process is over and mainstream users and applications begin to come along. By then I am betting the energy use will come down. My understanding is the satellites are not stationary, so I would bet part of that usage is locking in and following them. Do you know what the size of the latest dish is?
4 AH is not that much if one only used the link for a few hours a day. If one left it on 24 hours a day, that would be around 100 AH, at a minimum, which is a bit much. I have read of people with expensive power that are turning the dish off when not in use, which makes sense. Why pay for the power if one is sleeping, either on a boat or a house? Funny thing is, it took awhile to find someone talking about power usage, so most people do not seem to care.

I too would guess that the power usage will decline as they put on newer models.

The size of the new dish is 19"x12" and 9.2 pounds vs 23.2" in diameter and 16 pounds for the old dish.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/11/...net-satellites

Later,
Dan
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
In talking with a space-x engineer recently, I learned a couple of interesting things:
1. The antennas are phased array, so all of the satellite tracking is done by software, not by pointing the antennas;
2. There are not yet enough satellites up to provide continuous coverage for most of the continental US. I don't know where the limit is, but our lake the satellites diverge too much to provide continuous coverage.
3. I didn't ask about power consumption, but the current antenna design is expected to work in mobile applications.
Correct on points 1 and 2. I do wonder if the rather erratic motions that boats can have will require a gimbal mount of some kind. Planes, trains and vehicles do not have the erratic motion a boat can routinely encounter, unless one is offroading or performing aerobatics.

I thought that Starlink had enough satellites up at this point to provide coverage for most of the US but maybe not enough to have as many people as they would like connected to the network. They have almost 1,500 satellites in use but the plan is for many multiples of that number.



The number 1,45,000 is a typeo in the link. Did they mean 145,000 or 1,450,000? Me thinks there is a slight difference in the two numbers.

Quote:
...A recent report said that the satellite internet division of SpaceX now has more than 1,45,000 users across 25 countries globally.

Until November 2021, SpaceX had added roughly 11,000 users per month since beginning service in October 2020.
...

Starlink shipped 100,000 terminals to customers recently. The project aims to provide global broadband connectivity via a constellation of satellites.
Later,
Dan
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:11 PM   #13
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4 AH is not that much if one only used the link for a few hours a day. If one left it on 24 hours a day, that would be around 100 AH, at a minimum, which is a bit much. I have read of people with expensive power that are turning the dish off when not in use, which makes sense. Why pay for the power if one is sleeping, either on a boat or a house? Funny thing is, it took awhile to find someone talking about power usage, so most people do not seem to care.

I too would guess that the power usage will decline as they put on newer models.

The size of the new dish is 19"x12" and 9.2 pounds vs 23.2" in diameter and 16 pounds for the old dish.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/11/...net-satellites

Later,
Dan
Good to know on the size. Thank you?.
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
In talking with a space-x engineer recently, I learned a couple of interesting things:
1. The antennas are phased array, so all of the satellite tracking is done by software, not by pointing the antennas;
2. There are not yet enough satellites up to provide continuous coverage for most of the continental US. I don't know where the limit is, but our lake house, at 46 degrees latitude has Starlink and it works great. Further south, the satellites diverge too much to provide continuous coverage.
3. I didn't ask about power consumption, but the current antenna design is expected to work in mobile applications.
Interesting. That should help with a consistent reception.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:07 PM   #15
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Correct on points 1 and 2. I do wonder if the rather erratic motions that boats can have will require a gimbal mount of some kind. Planes, trains and vehicles do not have the erratic motion a boat can routinely encounter, unless one is offroading or performing aerobatics.

I thought that Starlink had enough satellites up at this point to provide coverage for most of the US but maybe not enough to have as many people as they would like connected to the network. They have almost 1,500 satellites in use but the plan is for many multiples of that number.



The number 1,45,000 is a typeo in the link. Did they mean 145,000 or 1,450,000? Me thinks there is a slight difference in the two numbers.

Later,
Dan
I think it's closer to 45,000.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:11 PM   #16
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The existing antenna is probably not suitable for use on vessels. While flat panels are electronically steered, there are elevation angles below which their performance degrades quickly. Then you have some interference mitigation procedures they use so as to not interfere with GEO satellites. If you look at Starlink antennas, you see that most are tilted north as they generally use satellites that are north of the antenna. This minimizes interference with GEO, and complicates the installation of Starlink on a vessel. With the pitch, roll, yaw, and heading changes of a vessel underway, a single flat panel would have to be oriented in the general direction of the satellite being used so the flat panel is operating within its elevation limits. The most complicating factor in use on a vessel, is the software required to be sure the antenna can acquire a satellite. The antenna must know precisely where it is and have some reference to start from such as north or the vessel heading. A fixed antenna is easy to align, Starlink appears to have the antenna look at a point in the sky until a satellite passes that point and then by following that satellite it now has a reference to work from. Turn it off and you start all over again. That same process may not work on a vessel.

Tom
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:19 PM   #17
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.... The most complicating factor in use on a vessel, is the software required to be sure the antenna can acquire a satellite. The antenna must know precisely where it is and have some reference to start from such as north or the vessel heading. A fixed antenna is easy to align, Starlink appears to have the antenna look at a point in the sky until a satellite passes that point and then by following that satellite it now has a reference to work from. Turn it off and you start all over again. That same process may not work on a vessel.

Tom
The Starlink Dish has a GPS so it knows its location. The dish also has motors to align the dish to communicate with the satellite constellation. There are user reports of the dish moving during the day, not much, but for some reason the dish can move.

Later,
Dan
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:29 PM   #18
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I thought that Starlink had enough satellites up at this point to provide coverage for most of the US but maybe not enough to have as many people as they would like connected to the network. They have almost 1,500 satellites in use but the plan is for many multiples of that number.

Coverage areas are still kind of spotty. We are suppose to be moving into the new house we are building (southern Delaware) at the end of next month, but when I put our address into Starlink's order page it tells me "Starlink expects to expand service in your area by early to mid 2022"

Would really like to set up Starlink service as the local cable company is known for relatively poor service.

Jim
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Old 01-17-2022, 01:51 PM   #19
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There's a group on FB that are following as well as live testing on their boats. Testing while at the dock, moving and while swinging on an anchor. A lot of good info coming out of the group as well as very positive results...
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:04 PM   #20
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Correct on points 1 and 2.

I thought that Starlink had enough satellites up at this point to provide coverage for most of the US but maybe not enough to have as many people as they would like connected to the network. They have almost 1,500 satellites in use but the plan is for many multiples of that number.
According to the Starlink website, Starlink service is only currently available in the continental US to those north of 45 degrees lattitude. That may be part of a marketing strategy, but the coverage limitation explanation makes more sense to me. 1500 may sound like a lot of satellites, but when you realize they spend a small fraction of their time over the US, and considering the circumference of the earth, it is easy to imagine that they would be spread pretty thin over the lower lattitudes.
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