You Can Now Activate Starlink RV Directly From The Dish

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 02, 2023 at 09:30
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In a thread late last year, I reported that it wasn't possible to unpause a Starlink account via the dish, i.e. if you were off-grid with no phone signal.

I have just discovered that it is now possible, and probably was back then, although perhaps it was fairly recent and not well known. See here.

I've tested this with my paused service and it works. I was looking for a way to test the 12V power supply I recently built without unpausing the service, and I was able to access my SL account page, even though the device I was using reported no internet connection.
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 12:34

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 12:34
Just found your thread in a ‘Starlink’ search and wondering if you can clarify a power query for me thanks?

As I understand it from links read, the power system norm is 240v – 12v back to 48v somehow and since I don’t run an invertor I am curious as to the 12v-48v operates. Link suggests an additional component to be added in. Do you have this 12-48 setup and how easy is it or are you using the 240v invertor plus the 48v addition.

As the Kimberley area is closed off to caravanners currently, the alternate looks a lazy three weeks in isolation across the bottom and up through the centre. The option of a Satlink may be useful for the boss whilst I am reading in down times. Starlink seems to be the bees knees for this area.

Could do the trip in a week no problem few decades back. No longer an option.

Cheers – regards, Phil
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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 14:45

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 14:45
This article is the definitive version of how to construct a 12V power source for SL. There's also a YT video of him doing it.

But looking at the article just now, he is now linking to a commercial product that avoids the DIY aspects. There are a number of such commercial DIY alternatives becoming available, and had I not already done the DIY project, I would probably get one, depending on price.

In short, the SL dish is powered by 48V. It is connected to the SL white box by a shielded CAT6 cable that runs PoE, but not standard PoE. The dish handles all the connection activity, and outputs an internet feed over the ethernet cable. The white box is essentially just a wi-fi hot spot taking an ethernet feed from the dish. The only other thing the white box does is to inject 48v power into the ethernet cable, so it must also have a 240V to 48V device as well.

So the DIY kit involves a 12V to 48V step-up device, and and PoE injector. But if you go this route, you'll need to use your own 12V wi-fi router, so that's two 12V devices you have to power, whereas with the SL kit there's just one 240V outlet needed. It's a moot point whether the 12V power savings from not running an inverter are worth the trouble. If you have plenty of battery and solar capacity and don't intend to make heavy use of SL, then perhaps not. But clearly plenty of people think otherwise. I haven't crunched the numbers for my own usage to date.
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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 14:50

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 14:50
p.s. Yes I have an inverter in the van, and a 12V wi-fi router that I can use to broadcast the SL signal. As you don't have an inverter, one option you could consider is the Jaycar 300W pure sine wave inverter. That's about the minimum you need to power the standard SL, and it's not expensive.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 17:35

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 17:35
Thanks for those feedbacks - way out of my league but can discuss it with a sparky mate who does all his own 240/12 'electrickery' in his Tojo and van.

At least the Jaycar side of it makes it easier - they are my 'go to' regulars for this sort of stuff - been getting solar upgrades through them for twenty years - very helpful staff.

Will ponder the whole operation - not sure Jill wants to fund the project yet but she is the TV fan and we don't have a lot of success with normal town reception normally when we travel so it would solve all reception issues the way I see it.

Happy Travels & thanks again

Regards - Phil
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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 21:45

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 21:45
I'm sorry I made it complex, it doesn't need to be. It was just that you asked about the 12V power supply.

The simplest solution to powering SL from 12V is to get the Jaycar 300W pure sine wave inverter and to use the standard, unmodified SL kit. Just be aware that the inverter doesn't have a 12V plug - you have to attach one. My Jaycar advisor recommended an Anderson plug. He said that a cig lighter socket wouldn't cope with the current. A Merit plug may. (My understanding is that SL doesn't use a lot of power in normal operation, but the current drain is higher at start-up and initialisation.) The advantage of this is that you don't need another wi-fi router.

The next simplest approach would be to buy something like the "NEW STARLINK 12 VOLT KIT!!!" mentioned on the top of the Outside Nomad page. There are other people offering or pointing to similar solutions, such as this and this and this. Some of the prices seem a bit steep to me. And you will need a 12V wi-fi router.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 21:55

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 21:55
Thanks again - your links have been very informative - and I agree, the Anderson plug has to be far better than any ciggy link.

I am surprised at some of the inferior cable sizes Jaycar have provided at times. I still have the odd one in my collection.

Will read further on the latest link.

Cheers - Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 22:39

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 22:39
Part of the power needs is that as standard there is a heating mode for the dish, presumably for colder climates to stop snow collecting on the dish. As there's little need for that heating in most of Australia you can change it in the settings to permanently turn it off. As to what the required inverter size is to handle it then, I've seen varying responses. I have a 150W unit in our van that previously was for a 12V TV and thought that would be marginal so bought one of those Jaycar 300W units and fitting it at the moment.

As the TV died on our last trip we now have a cheap projector that will be tied to the Starlink and a Telstra TV box for all our media watching. The older 150W unit will run the projector.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 23:29

Monday, Apr 03, 2023 at 23:29
Life continues to throw these challenges our way - though it seems the technology age creates far greater challenges than in my era - when Morse code had just taken over from smoke signals and we finally got Teletype - even faxes seemed amazing back then but the last few decades just amaze me.

Good luck with it.

Regards - Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2023 at 09:29

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2023 at 09:29
I joined the PMG in 1968 and was quickly into the section equipping Telephone Exchanges. We were transitioning from older style equipment that was jokingly referred to as farm machinery as there was a degree of greasing and oiling involved. When I left 38 years later there had been a few technology upgrades along the way. Especially now with mobiles and the NBN there would be zero equipment still around, except in museums, that I was ever involved in.

In my best example of a quick change to a newer technology, in 1973 I was in Mt Gambier and installing system monitoring to a large country Exchange upgrade. Halfway through my part the Engineer had a change of mind and another person began installing that equipment. I still had to complete mine due to the pending cut over of the new Exchange. A few months later, and after I had left for a more remote posting here in Darwin, my work back there was turned off. It did dull my job satisfaction a bit.

One example of how technology has advanced is to compare the storage capacity of a current Micro SD card as against some of the original Hard Drives, or the computing power of current mobile phones.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 04, 2023 at 11:27

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2023 at 11:27
I can relate to that - I put in 10 years with PMG and bailed out 1970 at Wyndham where I spent a few years as postal clerk/telegraphist. Stayed up there till 1987 and still like to get back when we can. Meeting daughter's family in Darwin in July on way round. Darwin/NT most enjoyable mid year.

Expecting roads through kimberley should be managble on way home from top end by then.

Regards - Phil
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