Starlink for boats?

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Cruising Happiness, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Cruising Happiness
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Cruising Happiness Junior Member

    Think Starlink will work on boats in 2020 or 2021?

    Starlink https://www.starlink.com/ if you haven't seen it yet.

    Maybe an opportunity for someone to build marine enclosures...
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What do you mean by marine enclosures ?
     
  3. Cruising Happiness
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Cruising Happiness Junior Member

    Maybe something. Maybe nothing needed - Maybe Spacex already has marine terminals covered for all I know.

    Cruise ships, many bigger ships will want it immediately.

    The user terminal described for house rooftops will track the LEO (low earth orbit) satellites and switch as one goes out of view and another comes into view.

    May be the size of a pizza box.

    Will it work with the motion of a boat? Will it need some kind of added stabilization to keep it level? Maybe ruggedized for the salty marine environment?
     
  4. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    I'd love to know more about this too. Starlink said it will look "like a UFO on a stick". Here is some further speculation. Their FCC filings also revealed that it will be half a meter in size. They might combine some form of mechanical adjustment with phased array.

    My guess is you'll need to build some kind of gimbal and an enclosure to compensate for the ship motions and protect against wind. Theoretically their antenna could do that but it's not going to be optimized for that, or just lack the IMU and algorithms for it. Or they reserve that for an expensive professional grade version with full phased array for bigger ships. Lets hope!
     
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  5. aybabtme
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    aybabtme Junior Member

    I'm right here with you hoping that it works on a boat for a reasonable price. I've been tracking this project for years, and it's an integral part of my long term life projects :p
     
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  6. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    If you get an unlimited (LOL, maybe) wireless data plan use your phone as a hotspot. That would suit many boaters.
     
  7. aybabtme
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    aybabtme Junior Member

    I actually have a more permanent setup using a modified router with a high-preformance LTE modem card on an M2 slot. The router can connect to both LTE or wifi hotspots. It then serves as a gateway for provides WAN connectivity to my boat's local WiFi network. The whole thing is permanently installed and powered via 12V. Works pretty well, but Starlink will be even better.
     
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  8. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Recently data caps on mobile was temporarily suspended and from what I understand there were no problems. So theoretically it's possible that as the launch of starlink nears that unlimited LTE data plans become more widely available. Here in Germany it's still very rare and expensive. At least last I checked.

    But what I really imagine is anchoring in some isolated bay and still having internet :)
     
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  9. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    I just want it up and running successfully so I can internet at home at speeds faster than dialup.

    Living at the edges of civilization has its drawbacks.

    I wouldn't change it though.
     
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  10. Cruising Happiness
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Cruising Happiness Junior Member

  11. Cruising Happiness
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Location: Florida

    Cruising Happiness Junior Member

    Sorry for not replying sooner. Thinking similar.

    Same here!
     
  12. Dejay
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Interesting, that photo looks like it's rotating around the rod. My guess is it's not fast or strong enough to compensate for rapid wave motion. They'd use small motors and gearing to make it just fast enough for terrestrial and as cheap as possible. But at least it looks purely mechanical so you might just be able to build / retrofit a more powerful gimbal for it. Or maybe just fit bigger motors.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. calzone
    Joined: Oct 2020
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    calzone New Member

    Oh, it definitely looks like a "UFO on a stick" as Elon said, no doubt about that :D Some week ago I read about the Starlink project but didnt have time to get more detailed information. So how fast should/is the Starlink internet with this antenna? Is it already operational in some regions or do we have to wait some more years?
     
  14. Cruising Happiness
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    Location: Florida

    Cruising Happiness Junior Member


  15. Rumars
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    Rumars Senior Member

    We all need to be patient, I estimate at least another 5 years until we see it on boats as a plug and play system, and even then it will require a lot of electricity so not all boats will be able to use it. Problem is the antenna is tracking, mounting it on a boat will require an active stabilization system to compensate the boats movements.
     
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