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Starlink (updates and concerns)


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3 hours ago, YNM said:

It's just terrible, terrible naming of the program.

It's got nothing to do with accidentally choosing a misleading name.

The way this works is that Congress passes a law allocating some money for expanding "rural broadband opportunities", and then the executive branch decides how to implement the law.

It's not an accident that what sounds like (and possibly was intended to be) a program to bring broadband access to under-served rural parts of the country gets turned into a way to funnel money to communications companies for serving places like airport runways and highway medians and unbuildable greenway lots in cities. This is actually not even close to the most controversial thing that the current FCC leadership has done in the last four years.

This is the same FCC administration that aggressively worked to dismantle the popular rules requiring "net neutrality".

Edited by mikegarrison
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  • 1 month later...

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Starlink is now available to the general public! :D

...sort of. :huh:

Its very limited, first come, first served, and according to the info won’t even be in my area til mid-late 2021. ;.;

Thats... really disappointing. I would’ve expected to be higher up the list just based on latitude. Same cost as mentioned long ago, $99/mo, $499 for hardware + $50 shipping, taking a $99 deposit now if you’re area’s not served yet. :P

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Yeah, $99/mo is kinda steep since I can get moderately fast DSL.

Anywhere rural here that's a good deal, though.

 

 

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Called my step-father up, told him I want to get him starlink for the family farm, he is paying $180 a month for 2 phones lines and 20 Mbs DSL and he wants to get rid of the phone lines and replace them with Voip (he has been saying he wants to replace them with Voip for years now, needs a kick in the butt to do it). Minnesota is high enough latitude we should get good early coverage. 

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3 minutes ago, RuBisCO said:

Called my step-father up, told him I want to get him starlink for the family farm, he is paying $180 a month for 2 phones lines and 20 Mbs DSL and he wants to get rid of the phone lines and replace them with Voip (he has been saying he wants to replace them with Voip for years now, needs a kick in the butt to do it). Minnesota is high enough latitude we should get good early coverage. 

That's exactly the sort of situation Starlink is optimal for.

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37 minutes ago, RuBisCO said:

I order it, most compulsive buy in my life. 

My buddy at MCC ordered it last night for his NM house. The place is far enough outside Santa Fe that his broadband is not great, and he has 4 domes with telescopes he likes to run remotely, so it seems like a good fit for him.

I can afford it just as a lark, but it bugs me to needlessly spend money, so I don't think I will unless it it mature enough to be 24/7 reliable.

 

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5 minutes ago, tater said:

My buddy at MCC ordered it last night for his NM house. The place is far enough outside Santa Fe that his broadband is not great, and he has 4 domes with telescopes he likes to run remotely, so it seems like a good fit for him.

I can afford it just as a lark, but it bugs me to needlessly spend money, so I don't think I will unless it it mature enough to be 24/7 reliable.

 

Well I'm hoping it will be 24/7 reliable up here at 45°N by "mid to late 2021" as it says, it will be a real bummer if it is is not by the time I get it.

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25 minutes ago, RuBisCO said:

Well I'm hoping it will be 24/7 reliable up here at 45°N by "mid to late 2021" as it says, it will be a real bummer if it is is not by the time I get it.

That's 10° N of me, likely will be.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

My buddy at MCC ordered it last night for his NM house. The place is far enough outside Santa Fe that his broadband is not great, and he has 4 domes with telescopes he likes to run remotely, so it seems like a good fit for him.

I can afford it just as a lark, but it bugs me to needlessly spend money, so I don't think I will unless it it mature enough to be 24/7 reliable.

 

From what I remember of NM weather, you will at best get 23.5/7 reliability.  Nothing is going to get through a NM storm, but they don't last long.

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15 minutes ago, wumpus said:

From what I remember of NM weather, you will at best get 23.5/7 reliability.  Nothing is going to get through a NM storm, but they don't last long.

Quite true, when it actually rains it looks a bit like a mushroom cloud, only moving across the ground.

 

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33 minutes ago, wumpus said:

From what I remember of NM weather, you will at best get 23.5/7 reliability.  Nothing is going to get through a NM storm, but they don't last long.

[excrement] I did not think about the weather here, we get lots of snow and then fog days in spring. 

 

Edited by RuBisCO
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33 minutes ago, RuBisCO said:

[excrement] I did not think about the weather here, we get lots of snow and then fog days in spring. 

Fog might not be an issue. There are beta testers on youtube in someplace far north and very snowy and they have reported it works well, in spite of snow. The intentionally put electronics in the dish itself so it melts snow apparently.

When I first moved to the foothills, there was no broadband, so I paid to have my ISP put a 802.11 dish on their roof, pointed at the mountains (at ME), and I also had a directional antenna. Worked OK, but if there was a storm between us... it dropped out. They were in the middle of town... maybe 15 miles away?

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14 hours ago, tater said:

Yeah, $99/mo is kinda steep since I can get moderately fast DSL.

Anywhere rural here that's a good deal, though.

 

 

Now, where I am that’s actually extremely competitive, I pay Comcast around $180 for cable and broadband. Local phone company has options from $60-$90 but, well, they suck too. Did your buddy get the same “mid to late 2021” estimate?

 

3 hours ago, RuBisCO said:

Well I'm hoping it will be 24/7 reliable up here at 45°N by "mid to late 2021" as it says, it will be a real bummer if it is is not by the time I get it.

Same for you, eh? :( Maybe that timeframe is just general and they’ll actually be shipping to early orderers sooner?

 

As I understand, and I could be wrong, StarLink should not really be affected by weather much, as the frequency it operates at can get through clouds/moisture, and the phased array antenna can compensate a great deal for any wind jostling of the dish. 

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3 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Now, where I am that’s actually extremely competitive, I pay Comcast around $180 for cable and broadband. Local phone company has options from $60-$90 but, well, they suck too. Did your buddy get the same “mid to late 2021” estimate?

Mine said late, so his NM house is only 30 mi north of here, so the same.

My 45 MB DSL is $50/mo. We have no cable here (the Sandia Pueblo would not let them trench the road back in the day as they were arguing about who owned the mountain behind me with Congress).

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8 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Now, where I am that’s actually extremely competitive, I pay Comcast around $180 for cable and broadband. Local phone company has options from $60-$90 but, well, they suck too. Did your buddy get the same “mid to late 2021” estimate?

 

Same for you, eh? :( Maybe that timeframe is just general and they’ll actually be shipping to early orderers sooner?

 

As I understand, and I could be wrong, StarLink should not really be affected by weather much, as the frequency it operates at can get through clouds/moisture, and the phased array antenna can compensate a great deal for any wind jostling of the dish. 

As well as picking an alternative satellite in an alternative direction, once the constellation is mature, which should give some protection from passing storms.

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On SpaceX news, sort of, Richard Shelby is retiring, he the senator to Alabama that was critical to forcing the construction for the Senate Launch System. 

6 hours ago, tater said:

Fog might not be an issue. There are beta testers on youtube in someplace far north and very snowy and they have reported it works well, in spite of snow. The intentionally put electronics in the dish itself so it melts snow apparently.

When I first moved to the foothills, there was no broadband, so I paid to have my ISP put a 802.11 dish on their roof, pointed at the mountains (at ME), and I also had a directional antenna. Worked OK, but if there was a storm between us... it dropped out. They were in the middle of town... maybe 15 miles away?

Yeah we did that for a time as we had line of sight with the local town water tower and they put up wifi on it, but it was slower then DSL. 

Edited by RuBisCO
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9 hours ago, tater said:

When I first moved to the foothills, there was no broadband, so I paid to have my ISP put a 802.11 dish on their roof, pointed at the mountains (at ME), and I also had a directional antenna. Worked OK, but if there was a storm between us... it dropped out. They were in the middle of town... maybe 15 miles away?

802.11 protocol is either about 2.4 or 5/6 GHz, although there is a standard for 60 GHz (802.11ad, 802.11aj, 802.11ay). Starlink from what I can see use Ku, Ka or E band which is 12-18, 26-40 and 60-90 GHz so I think water vapor isn't an issue ? (K band is divided into Ku and Ka because of water absorption.)

Edited by YNM
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Moved this reply here:

  

22 hours ago, RuBisCO said:

[excrement] I did not think about the weather here, we get lots of snow and then fog days in spring. 

 

Looks like they need to work on the design a little, while it works, the guy's concerns about the icicles connecting to the base are legit I would think. Might need some leading edge deicing, lol.

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23 minutes ago, tater said:

Moved this reply here:

  

 

Looks like they need to work on the design a little, while it works, the guy's concerns about the icicles connecting to the base are legit I would think. Might need some leading edge deicing, lol.

That is going to be a problem, got to find a place to put it that is easy to get at (not roof) yet no trees above it. I'm thinking maybe wifi it from the septic tank mound so then we can walk out and keep it clean of snow and ice.

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9 minutes ago, RuBisCO said:

That is going to be a problem, got to find a place to put it that is easy to get at (not roof) yet no trees above it. I'm thinking maybe wifi it from the septic tank mound so then we can walk out and keep it clean of snow and ice.

His signal remains OK during weather (your first concern), but in places that stay cold, the icicles certainly seem like a possible issue for early Starlink.

If the motor is designed such that if it has any stress it does not run, then I suppose there might be limited times when signal drops because it stops tracking—though it doesn't seem to track all that much. Honestly, as the number of sats increases (and at high latitude) this is probably not an issue. It will quickly figure out, "point north," where the sats are hanging around, and not move. Lower lats the dish probably needs to move around more often (a few weeks when one direction is preferred, then some weeks when another is... as soon as constellation is more complete, it probably ends up more arbitrary.

It's important to note that I don't think the idea is for it to constantly track, it's to find a sweet spot, and stay there. It is motorized to KISS for users. No install required, it points itself—then doesn't need to point again.

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6 hours ago, tater said:

the guy's concerns about the icicles connecting to the base are legit I would think.

6 hours ago, RuBisCO said:

got to find a place to put it that is easy to get at (not roof) yet no trees above it.

Maybe build-your-own-radome kit ?

6 hours ago, tater said:

Lower lats the dish probably needs to move around more often (a few weeks when one direction is preferred, then some weeks when another is... as soon as constellation is more complete, it probably ends up more arbitrary.

I was wondering, people kept saying about "not far north enough", since I live in the equator (literally the least north/south position possible). That being said this is a very densely populated island so land connection isn't really a problem, but other islands see considerably less density in the interior.

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8 minutes ago, YNM said:

Maybe build-your-own-radome kit ?

^^^^Duh! Of course! 

super easy to do, can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

 

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