February 11, 2024
By Bob Kelly
Information regarding Starlink changes on a weekly basis. Please visit https://www.starlink.com/ for the latest technical data, plans and updates.
Starlink offers a number of antennas, and frequently changes the names of the antennas. One is no longer offered for sale. The antennas are:
- Starlink Standard – non actuated antenna with a static mount
- Starlink Standard Actuated – Actuated antenna with a static mount, allegedly no longer available for purchase (2/11/2024)
- Starlink Flat high performance with wedge mount – allegedly the only approved antenna for in motion use (2/11/2024)
- Starlink V2 High Performance – Actuated antenna with stand
- Starlink V2 Standard antenna with stand –data unavailable (2/11/2024)
- Starlink round antenna (Unavailable).
The original antenna worked on two channels, the new one works on three. The new antennas provide enhanced performance, additionally, the new satellite dish’s Wi-Fi modem is now waterproof and can operate outside in more varied weather conditions, between -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 to 50 degrees Celsius).
The High Performance actuated antenna has a field of view of 140 degrees and the High Performance Antenna is better at dealing with obstructions than the V2 antenna. The High Performance Antenna has a wider field of view, making more satellites visible and able to be communicated with. Power consumption is reported to be from 110W to 150W.
The High Performance flat antenna has a field of view of 140 degrees and is better at dealing with obstructions than the V2 antenna. The High Performance Antenna has a wider field of view, making more satellites visible and able to be communicated with. Power consumption is reported to be from 110W to 150W. It is advertised to be survivable to 175MPH.
Starlink Standard, non actuated antenna with a static mount has a field of view of 110 degrees, vs 100 degrees for the Standard dish, with software assisted manual orienting. Power consumption is reported to be from 70W to 100W.
Starlink Standard, actuated antenna has a field of view of 100 degrees. Power consumption is reported to be from 50W to 75W.
The performance of your connection will depend mainly on your service plan, and the amount of Starlink users in your area, not your hardware choice. The High Performance equipment stands out when it comes to reliability and performance in harsh weather. Since the electronic phased array antenna on the High Performance dish is much larger, and the power supply is more powerful, the dish that can power through rain, snow, and ice better than the Standard version. Priority data has network precedence over Standard and Mobile data, so as a result, users will experience faster and more consistent download and upload speeds.
There are a number of plans.
- Priority –
- Mobile Priority
The Standard Plan is intended for use in a permanent location. The plan has unlimited data, and the price is currently $120 per month. Starlink recommends the Standard Antenna.
The Priority Plan is intended for use in a permanent location. The plan has data on a sliding usage scale. A 40 GB per month plan is $140 a month. A 1TB per month plan is $250 a month. A 2TB per month plan is $550 a month. After the Priority allotment is consumed, Standard Data connectivity will be provided. Priority Data is available at a GB charge. Starlink recommends the Flat High Performance Antenna with wedge mount.
Roam (Mobile) Plan
The Mobile Plan is intended for portability, and will work when the antenna is in motion. You are allowed to pause service. The plan has unlimited data, and the price is currently $150 per month for regional mobility (The United States). Mobile Priority Data is available by the GB charge. The price is currently $200 per month for global mobility. Starlink recommends the Standard Antenna.
Mobile Priority Plan
The Mobile Priority Plan is intended for in motion Ocean use, Network Priority and Priority Support. The plan will work when the antenna is in motion. The plan has unlimited inland data. The plan has data on a sliding usage scale. A 50 GB per month plan is $250 a month. A 1TB per month plan is $1,000 a month. A 5TB per month plan is $5,000 a month. Additional Priority is available at a GB charge. Starlink recommends the Flat High Performance Antenna with wedge mount.
The Best Effort tier currently offers advertised download speeds from 5 to 50Mbps. Download speeds are often higher in areas that do not have a concentration of users. In contrast, the standard residential tier offers speeds from 20 to 100Mbps. Users can have download speeds between 25 and 220 Mbps, with a majority of users experiencing speeds over 100 Mbps. Upload speeds are typically between 5 and 20 Mbps.
According to the internet site updater.com, for SD quality, 1Mbps will work. However, Netflix notes a faster connection will mean improved video quality. Peacock states that the recommended speed for preminum content is 8 Mbps, and 4K content requires 25Mbps. HD streaming generally requires between 3 Mbps and 5Mbps. Other sources state that for 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) the requirement is between 15Mbps and 25Mbps. The next question is how many RV’s are equipped with 4K televisions?
Starlink Roam costs more (and has slower speeds) than Starlink Standard. However, Starlink Roam allows users to take their internet access on the go, and use the service while the antenna is in motion, while Starlink Residential is assigned to a fixed home address, and reportedly will not work in motion.
The standard Starlink dish is reported to consume roughly 1 kilowatt hour of electricity in 24 hours. That’s just shy of the usable capacity in a 100 amp-hour lithium battery. The larger, in-motion dish is reported to use roughly twice as much power. The popular on line media opines that this can equate to a massive amount of increased power demand for many RVers.
In general, I’ve found the consumption is in the neighborhood of 6AHr., which over 12 Hrs is about 80 AHr. However, I’ve found that about 400W of solar on the roof covers about 50% of the daily usage and still recharges the batteries. I have a combination of a High performance Flat mount wedge panel and the Mobile plan. The system is powered by a Bestek 300AHr Pure Sine Inverter. In the same location, the system reconnects to satellites after being turned off and provides Internet service within 5 minutes.
Testing determined that at startup, the system (inverter, router, power supply and antenna) drew about 16Ahr, for a short period of time. After acquiring satellites, and running nominally, the system drew between 5.5Ahr and 6.5 AHr. For my RV, with 6V GC batteries, this makes it a realistic addition to my camping. Energy management becomes far more important. Time and several days of dry camping will determine what changes to my energy routine will be required. A week stay in Quartzsite revealed that with the sun low on the horizon, additional energy is needed to run the Starlink all day. There was about a four hour window during the middle of the day where incoming energy from the solar panels exceeded the consumption of the system. A 2,400W inverter generator was used to supplement power.