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Old 07-10-2020, 03:42 PM   #1
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Starlink internet

I've been reading about Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service that is supposed to be in beta testing this year. He would have thousands of small satellites providing a predicted 1 Gbps internet speed anywhere in the world for about $80 per month. I read somewhere that he already has about 600 birds up there.

Anybody have any opinions or predictions on this service?
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:13 PM   #2
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We have seen the satellites being released. Under the right conditions they create a series of bright lights across the sky. If it works I will take it. No more depending on cell towers for an often wretched signal!
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:28 PM   #3
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I'm taking a wait an see...
From what I have gathered this is predominately aimed for fixed locations..But have yet to see any info on those who are travelers (ie: full timers) with no fixed S & B home base..
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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I'm taking a wait an see...
From what I have gathered this is predominately aimed for fixed locations..But have yet to see any info on those who are travelers (ie: full timers) with no fixed S & B home base..
I'm not interpreting it that way. It's a very small antenna, similar to a Dish or Direct TV dish, that could be easily used with an RV.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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I'm not interpreting it that way. It's a very small antenna, similar to a Dish or Direct TV dish, that could be easily used with an RV.
Hmmm.. Wonder how they will set up for using multiple satellites as one travels region to region?
ie; the transmit "cone" will be rather small for each satellite,,
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:17 PM   #6
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It certainly looks good for those of us interested in satellite internet coverage while boondocking. Like many things it is a little behind schedule, but not much, there are 58 more satellites scheduled to launch tomorrow morning, this batch has been delayed multiple times and was originally on schedule to be launched at the end of June. At the beginning of the year Spacex had announced a launch schedule of one launch about every 3 weeks, so far this year only January and June have seen more than 1 launch in a calendar month. So that by the end of the year goal for a public beta test, might slip to first quarter of 2021, as it takes a couple of months for the satellites to move into their orbital position and go through initial commissioning after launch.


Coverage will be limited for early adopters, as the go live point is targeted for the point when there will always be more than one satellite visible above the horizon, meaning trees, and other terrestrial obstructions may block line of site in many locations as these satellites will appear to move across the sky from horizon to horizon in roughly 5 minutes (or less if you are not directly under its path). They also will not have enough bandwidth to replace other forms of internet in high population density areas.


Having said that for those of us wanting fast internet in the middle of nowhere this should be great. Though for the next couple of years service will be limited to the continental US and southern Canada, so no planned coverage for Alaska and Northern Canada for another 2-3 years at least due to the orbital inclination of the first shell of phase 1.


Ike


p.s. due to orbital mechanics, the first region to get service will be the northern US / southern Canada, with the southern US getting service a few months later as the blank spots in the orbits get filled in. Though at about 60 satellites per month that should not take too long.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:29 PM   #7
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:31 PM   #8
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I hope to have service by next summer. I'll let you all know the day I log in.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:32 PM   #9
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STARLINK
Thank you for your interest in Starlink!

Starlink is designed to deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. Private beta testing is expected to begin later this summer, followed by public beta testing, starting with higher latitudes.

If you provided us with your zip code, you will be notified via email if beta testing opportunities become available in your area. In the meantime, we will continue to share with you updates about general service availability and upcoming Starlink launches.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I've been reading about Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service that is supposed to be in beta testing this year. He would have thousands of small satellites providing a predicted 1 Gbps internet speed anywhere in the world for about $80 per month. I read somewhere that he already has about 600 birds up there.

Anybody have any opinions or predictions on this service?
We're in northern Montana and slated to be among the first regions to be served by Starlink and plan to get it the very day it becomes available.

One thing to note is that this is really intended for rural or underserved areas. Since there will be a massive fleet of satellites eventually, it is hard to know how many people will have access or who they will even sell to.

If you are in a large metropolitan area or city, this service could be saturated quickly since only one or two satellites might be passing by at an given moment. These satellites each have a tremendous capacity, BUT with enough people connected to them, they will end up being congested like a cell tower.

From the start, Musk has been stating that his desire is to give internet to those that don't have fast internet. It is not to compete with land-based ISPs that have an advantage in city/urban settings. For us RVers, this could be great as potentially sitting out in many more remote locations could provide a great service for a lot of the time.

I started the post on $40/month internet service that has become quite popular, but last year as I was seeing the development for this project, I was stating to invest in land based to the limit where you may want to replace it in the next couple of years...because of Starlink.

The problem with other satellite services is that they are in High Earth Orbit. In order to have a stationary satellite (like Dish and other providers for TV), you have to have the satellite way the heck up there so that the spped of the satellite matches the earth's rotation and can be, more or less, suspended in space with low gravitational pull. The problem is that the signals take a long time (relatively speaking) to get all the way up to the sat and then all the way back down. This causes a delay in everything and make some internet things (like Skype) a real drag.

Starlink will be in Low Earth Orbit. This is very close to the earth, but with higher gravitational pull, the satellites must travel really fast in order to stay up. Even then, these are designed to fall into the earth's atmosphere within 5 years if they go dead and cannot "stay aloft" with their own power.

What that means is that these sats will be flashing by fairly quickly and passing off communication to one another. The network will actually be able to carry the communication around the globe faster than anything else on land....even fiber optic...because (sneaking little physics) light travels faster in space than in air or fiber. These sats will be using lasers to communicate with each other in space. A communication from the US to China, for example, could go straight up from you to a Starlink, travel around the globe bouncing from one sat to another and then drop back down in China to connect to land.

The price is still unknown. Most likely the early adopters will pay more and get a receiver that will be outdated in a year, but some like to play with these things. I know I do!!!! Hopefully I will be on the early list that could be as soon as the end of this year.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
Hmmm.. Wonder how they will set up for using multiple satellites as one travels region to region?
ie; the transmit "cone" will be rather small for each satellite,,
When it's complete they will have thousands of satellites and the "cones" will cover the entire planet. At least that's what they are claiming!
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:08 AM   #12
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STARLINK
Thank you for your interest in Starlink!

Starlink is designed to deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable. Private beta testing is expected to begin later this summer, followed by public beta testing, starting with higher latitudes.

If you provided us with your zip code, you will be notified via email if beta testing opportunities become available in your area. In the meantime, we will continue to share with you updates about general service availability and upcoming Starlink launches.
We appreciate your info and look forward to progress reports from you!
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:52 PM   #13
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When it's complete they will have thousands of satellites and the "cones" will cover the entire planet. At least that's what they are claiming!
I trust that you understand that these "cones" will be in constant motion as the satellites streak overhead. It's not at all like the fixed cones we currently have with geosynchronous satellites.

IMHO, a key fact question that will determine how useful Starlink will be to RVers is how much open sky it will require. As satellites pass overhead your connection will be transferred from one bird to another, a process that should be seamless and unnoticeable to the user.

However, that will mean that you're going to have to have a view of the sky with some "open angle" so that when your signal is handed off from one satellite to another you will still have a line of sight to that next bird. Unlike geosync satellites that you can aim at through the trees, you will need a larger open view of the sky--how large is yet to be told to us ASAIK.

Since RVers tend to like parks with trees the need to see the sky and the desire to park under a tree may be in conflict. It may be amusing to see "desert" RV parks with few trees becoming popular because they provide better access to Starlink. Imagine reading RV park reviews where people complain about all the annoying trees!

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Old 07-12-2020, 07:48 AM   #14
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IMHO, a key fact question that will determine how useful Starlink will be to RVers is how much open sky it will require. As satellites pass overhead your connection will be transferred from one bird to another, a process that should be seamless and unnoticeable to the user.

Joel (AKA docj)
I don't think this will be a problem down the road.

Someone has already spotted the test receivers and taken photos. As Musk claims, they are small "pizza box" sized discs that sit on top of a stick (this is how Musk described them, and the photos show that). The stick is not a pointed or angled to anything. This is not like your current dishes that need to be pointed directly at a single sat. I would see it as extremely easy to run the cable out past the tree and set down the "pizza box" on a small tripod.... plop it down and your done....no pointing.

The other unique aspect is that these are phased array antennas. This is VERY different that what everyone is using for Dish. These are not directional and a MUCH wider cone to point where it can be looking at almost the entire sky....for both satellite and receiver.

Next, the plan is not for hundreds or even thousands of satellites but tens of thousand. He has 12,000 already planned with a possible later extension up to 42,000. This is why they are trying to launch 60 satellites every 10 days or so.

The satellites also are designed in paths to create a greater concentration in larger land population areas. Not great coverage in Antarctica, for example. More stallites, easier to acquire signal, can set up the receiver anywhere...I think it will still be a great option soon.

The biggest unknown for everyone is really bandwidth. The speed should be as good or better than what you get with cable today. At the start, they should have plenty of bandwidth for everyone to stream TV, and will continue to try to launch more and more satellites, but when they get full and more people are on, they might have to limit speeds at some point or limit who gets it to start with. Already they are stating that this is only for rural people that do not have good access today. Live in a city? Good chance they won't sell to you right now.
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