Author Topic: Anyone trying Starlink internet?  (Read 1873 times)

megaschnauzer

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Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« on: March 11, 2021, 10:08:46 AM »
it should be available in our area mid summer. not a big fan of cox or at&t.

solon

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 10:19:21 AM »
This is a screenshot from someone on my local facebook group.

thedigitalone

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 10:52:16 AM »
I have one ordered for a location at work, supposedly available this spring.  Will report back once we have it setup with some real numbers.  If they come anywhere near the numbers they are claiming it will be a game changer, wish I could get my hands on some of their stock!

gooki

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 11:08:36 AM »
Pre-ordered so I can work remotely. Cellular cover in NZ is rubbish as soon as you get out of the cities.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2021, 12:29:55 PM »
Signed up and will happily pay the fee to get out of my craptastic HughesNet contract early. Our only hesitation is the power draw since we are off grid solar, but if we can put it in a switched outlet that should help during the winter months.

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Just Joe

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 03:10:17 PM »
More or less what does it cost? Are there data caps?

We'd love to leave Frontier Communications behind... It works but every glitch (and there have been half a dozen over two years) means a week without service before the technician can come look.

cool7hand

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2021, 04:48:54 PM »
Posting to follow. Thanks for starting!

BlueMR2

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2021, 05:08:35 PM »
Would like to switch, but $99 is a bit steep.  I'm not happy about paying $40 now (as it has doubled, having been only $20 just 3-4 years ago).

Just Joe

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2021, 08:13:31 AM »
Yeah, that is kind of high compared to what we pay, and we pay more for less in my area due to a lack of competition.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 09:05:44 AM »
Brother and SIL signed up. They finally have decent Internet, but it cost them. $500 for the receiver, $99/month for the service, and they had to sign up to be on the Mars invasion/colonization team when called. (Not sure if that last part is true, but thatís what he told me...)

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2021, 09:14:49 AM »
I got accepted into beta but ended up not going with it because for now you have to be tied to one address.

I want to mount the starlink dish on our van and use it as a mobile hotspot for where ever we go, mountains, ocean, forest.  I am hoping as the system matures that mobility like this will be an option.

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2021, 05:19:01 PM »
Brother and SIL signed up. They finally have decent Internet, but it cost them. $500 for the receiver, $99/month for the service, and they had to sign up to be on the Mars invasion/colonization team when called. (Not sure if that last part is true, but thatís what he told me...)

It's their kids.   You have to offer up 1 child for Mars colonization.    Elon told me in person.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2021, 06:50:15 PM »
Yeah, I've got a Dishy in southwest Idaho.  Currently about 45/15, but it varies wildly throughout the day, from zero to around 100.  Upload ranges from 10-20, typically.

There are a couple minutes of "outage" reported, but, experimentally, there are a lot of other times when it's still glitchy enough to notice.  I ran it as a primary connection for a week, and while it was usable, it was far worse than my rural WISP (the better of the two) in terms of dropped connections, downtimes, etc.  I do a lot with SSH tunnels and VPNs (substantially to work around the poor connections I work with), and Starlink was substantially worse.  However, it's a beta, I expected it.  So it's being demoted to my backup/bulk transfer connection for now (which is far more tolerant of random glitches - the transfers will just retry if interrupted, and I simply care that they happen eventually, not that they're instant - if my local Ubuntu repo is a day behind, well, it's a day behind).  I'll keep tabs on it, and I expect it will improve with time - that's literally the point of a beta.

My major complaint about it (and part of the reason it's going on the house instead of my office, which is a solar powered, off grid shed) is the power consumption.  I'd heard it would draw 100W, and assumed, incorrectly, that it used that to melt snow and ice off.  No.  It's always pulling between 85 and 140W, and a Kill-A-Watt on the unit (just the Dishy, not the router - I had it plumbed into my network) showed that it pulled 2.2kWh for 24h, which is consistent with a slightly sub-100W draw.  The thing is incredibly power hungry, to the point where I can't really run it off my office system very well (which is absurdly overpaneled - it's not the daytime draw that's an issue, it's that I didn't design my office for the extra 100W all night long).

Idle: 85W-110W
Receiving: 90-115W
Transmitting: 95-140W

I believe it can pull up to 180W, and given my observations of power use, I expect that there are times when it will do that if covered in snow or ice.  On the plus side, once it finds the proper orientation, it's not moving the dish head - it uses the phased array antenna magic to steer the beam.  Not sure how it will handle winter, ours arrived in the spring.

There are currently no data caps, and after the hardware purchase, the service cost is $99/mo.  Replacing my backup connection with this gets me up around $170/mo in internet (up from my current $125), but gives me an awful lot more bulk transfer capability than the current 5/1 backup link.  I work from the property, and my work very much requires halfway reliable internet access, so... cost of where we live, mostly.  We don't stream much, but pulling stuff down for work chews bandwidth, and I'm working towards some self hosting stuff as well (just, can't do it right now, see regular tunnel failure).

You don't get a public IP.  You're behind an awful lot of layers of carrier grade NAT, so you work purely in private IP space range, which may be a deal breaker for some people.

Overall, if you can get decent wired internet, you should probably stay with that.  If you can get a rural WISP, and need reliable internet... well, this is a good secondary connection right now.  It will probably eventually get promoted to primary with our current link as the backup.  Some areas are apparently better than mine, but it's definitely still glitchy.  On the other hand, if you're in the sort of place where you're on a cell modem or something with monthly data caps, yeah.  Absolutely get on the list.

(I'll check in on this thread occasionally, but it being Lent, I'm largely avoiding the internet, just saw this and that nobody with a Dishy had actually posted yet)

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2021, 09:07:12 PM »
@Syonyk, I have been trying to find real power usage numbers without luck (nobody on the grid cares to notice), so thanks for posting. That's a bummer tho, because unless we can shut it down except when we are using it, that is way more load than we're willing to bear in the winter. Phooey.

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Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2021, 10:35:21 PM »
@Syonyk, I have been trying to find real power usage numbers without luck (nobody on the grid cares to notice), so thanks for posting.

No problem.  I'll probably do a blog post on it at some point with my experience and numbers, because a lot of the cases where it would be actually quite useful (off grid locations up in the mountains) probably don't have the power systems to handle it.  I need to pull some numbers from my WISP radios for the sake of comparison, but when I hung one of those on my office (our original WISP was crapping out horribly, down for a week with some icing, sort of thing), I barely noticed the difference (about half my overnight idle draw is the inverter idle, maybe a bit less now with more of the stuff in there - I've not felt enough energy stress to justify moving all the critical loads to DC and being able to drop the inverter offline).  I plugged the Starlink terminal in and immediately looked at the power numbers in astonishment.  And then they didn't drop.

It's poorly advertised just how much power the thing hoovers up.  It's about 10 miles a day of driving an electric, in terms of energy use.  That's staggeringly high for just the terminal aspect of an internet connection.  I should see what their router pulls while I'm at it.  That, at least, isn't required.

The other thing worth mentioning is that the cable it comes with (100') has a bloody well huge choke at the end - something slightly wider than 1/2" (need to measure it).  And the cable is hard wired to the dish.  It's supposedly such a fat cable because of the power draw, but if you were planning to do the "what literally every other radio install requires" thing, punch an ethernet cable through a small diameter hole, caulk it with a drip loop, and terminate as needed, that's not an option.  You need to bore a really fat hole to get the cable through.  They've got a gasket kit you can order for it, but it's a weird design decision.  I guess the thing is pulling too much power for normal ethernet PoE delivery, but the huge chokes just make installation a pain if you need to run it, say, into a building.

My attempts to monitor reviews of it have ended in frustration and "Well, I guess I'll write my own post, with actual numbers, instead of just railing about how awful my ISPs are and how I neeeeeeeed this fast internet to live!"  I don't mind my ISPs, we live a fairly low bandwidth life (even though I work fully remote and have been doing so for years), so... in a lot of ways, it seems excessive.  And may still be.  I spent a long while debating if I actually wanted one, because the satellites do make a mess of our sky (they've apparently gotten better with more recent designs and I don't notice them nearly as bad as the first couple launches), and... we just don't really live an internet heavy lifestyle, by choice.  But, I'm well suited to beta testing something like this (especially as a secondary connection, since it's not ready for primary duty if you've got a decent alternative), and I may as well try doing some tunneling and self hosting with it as the stability improves (bounce off a cheap cloud box to more serious hardware hosted locally).  So... yeah, I understand some of the frustration.  Lots of people with Comcast eagerly looking to use satellite internet instead, because Musk, I guess.  The internet has gotten to be a very silly place, and it's ever more obvious if you take time off from it.  But the bulk transfer speeds are nice.

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That's a bummer tho, because unless we can shut it down except when we are using it, that is way more load than we're willing to bear in the winter. Phooey.

Yeah... I'm going to do a bit more testing, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't even have a low power idle mode if there's no traffic flowing through it (or if it is, it's at 85W).  I was excited for the possibility of some better internet up in an old mining town in the mountains (totally off grid, despite being the first town in Idaho to have electricity), but the systems up there are "100-200W of panel and a 12V battery to watch some TV in the evenings."  There's no way anyone would be able to run this for an extended period of time without radically increasing the system size/cost.  I could find a way to run it year round on my office, but... eh.  No.  Not going to bother.  It'll just live on the house.

Also, the environmental conditions on it are a bit limiting.  It's only rated to 40C ambient (104F), though it will handle -30C (-22F).  No idea what it does above 40C, but I'll find out this summer.  We get that out here, though not by an awful lot above.

Hopefully this helps a bit.  I remain pretty badly conflicted on the whole thing, since the places that are most useful for it are the places that can't deal with the power demands, and I do think space is pretty neat.  A couple more groups toss 10k-20k satellites each into LEO, we're going to have ruined night skies before they Kessler and block orbital access entirely. :/

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2021, 08:40:32 AM »
Hopefully this helps a bit.  I remain pretty badly conflicted on the whole thing, since the places that are most useful for it are the places that can't deal with the power demands, and I do think space is pretty neat.  A couple more groups toss 10k-20k satellites each into LEO, we're going to have ruined night skies before they Kessler and block orbital access entirely. :/

The positive though is the satellite system is going to pay for a lot of SpaceX research into efficient space transport, which may end up being needed one day if we ever get a collision threat.

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2021, 03:20:08 PM »

You don't get a public IP.  You're behind an awful lot of layers of carrier grade NAT, so you work purely in private IP space range, which may be a deal breaker for some people.


Just curious, does your WISP give you a public IP?

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2021, 04:37:14 PM »
More or less what does it cost? Are there data caps?

$499 for the hardware, $99/mo for the data. I'm not aware of any data caps.
https://www.tomsguide.com/news/starlink-satellite-internet-coverage-cost-speed-and-latest-news

I would get it in a second if it was the best option. I still know people with zero broadband.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2021, 05:25:25 PM »
The positive though is the satellite system is going to pay for a lot of SpaceX research into efficient space transport, which may end up being needed one day if we ever get a collision threat.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it'll save the planet.  Maybe by the time three or four companies have lofted stuff into similar orbital shields, we'll Kessler LEO and won't have meaningful access to space at all.  However, even asking these questions is used as an indicator that one objects to Progress, in which everyone is as plugged in and profitable to the tech industry as possible, at all points on the planet's surface...

You seem to be coming from the perspective of "Cheaper access to space is always better," and I'm a bit more skeptical of that.  I don't want LEO clutter ruining the night sky, and Starlink is sure guilty of that out here.  Their new sats are less-obvious to the naked eye, but tend to wander around the sky and drive observatories nuts (they apparently aren't in particularly fixed orbits, and adjust as needed to be where is useful).  I can think of all sorts of wonderfully annoying things to do with LEO that I would rather not happen (mostly related to advertising).  Plus, if you're a limited space capability but nuclear nation (I can think of a few), what better way to asymmetrically deny your adversaries resources than to make a hash of LEO so they can't put their big birds up without a lot of risk?

We'll see.  I'm moderately concerned about the cheap access to space thing.  I'm quite confident it won't lead to humans being a multi-planet species (the absolute worst, least-livable place on Earth is orders of magnitude nicer than the nicest place off Earth), and keeping space as a hard-to-access commons has an awful lot of benefits.

Just curious, does your WISP give you a public IP?

Yeah.  Both of them do.  I may have had to ask one of them early on, but both are fully routable public IPs on the external interface of my routers, which I make use of.

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2021, 05:29:40 PM »
The positive though is the satellite system is going to pay for a lot of SpaceX research into efficient space transport, which may end up being needed one day if we ever get a collision threat.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

I'm personally more excited that Starlink and its competitors will provide affordable rural internet options for people that have none today.

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2021, 08:17:02 PM »

You seem to be coming from the perspective of "Cheaper access to space is always better," and I'm a bit more skeptical of that.  I don't want LEO clutter ruining the night sky, and Starlink is sure guilty of that out here.  Their new sats are less-obvious to the naked eye, but tend to wander around the sky and drive observatories nuts (they apparently aren't in particularly fixed orbits, and adjust as needed to be where is useful).  I can think of all sorts of wonderfully annoying things to do with LEO that I would rather not happen (mostly related to advertising).  Plus, if you're a limited space capability but nuclear nation (I can think of a few), what better way to asymmetrically deny your adversaries resources than to make a hash of LEO so they can't put their big birds up without a lot of risk?

We'll see.  I'm moderately concerned about the cheap access to space thing.  I'm quite confident it won't lead to humans being a multi-planet species (the absolute worst, least-livable place on Earth is orders of magnitude nicer than the nicest place off Earth), and keeping space as a hard-to-access commons has an awful lot of benefits.

I agree with a lot of this.    Seriously, who would want to live on Mars?   It would be like living on the most arid desert on Earth, but at -70 and without much atmosphere.    And with the light gravity, you're going to be losing bone mineral density and muscle mass no matter how hard you try to exercise.    So you may not be able to come back!

On the other hand...   Have you ever seen the photograph "the pale blue dot"?    It's a picture of earth taken by Voyager in 1990 from a distance of about 6.5B km.   It really helps me understand just how small and fragile the planet actually is - it's nothing like you see in science fiction movies.    So I also think that Elon Musk has a point about trying to deal with the risk of a large meteorite impact - or anything else that affects the whole planet.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2021, 10:36:47 PM »
I'm personally more excited that Starlink and its competitors will provide affordable rural internet options for people that have none today.

That's most of my interest in it, and willingness to help beta test.  We're rural now (opinions differ, people in Seattle refer to it as "the middle of nowhere," I call it "rural farm country with a very good view into the middle of nowhere"), and will probably remain here for many years to come, if not the remainder of our years, but there's something to be said for a more remote retreat as suburbia heads down our way at an alarming rate, eating up perfectly good farm fields and replacing them with packed in two story hideous boxes for an awful lot more money than they ought to be built and sold for.  Super profitable, probably shoddily built, and hideous.  So, "progress."  Actually affordable housing out in the sticks?  Nah, you can't get a developer to do that, you have to do that yourself.  McMansions?  Sure, have all you want...

Said rural retreat area wouldn't have anything for internet unless we had Starlink, though... at some level, I continue to wonder just how much longer it will remain important.  Yes, everything is moving to the internet, and, yes, an awful lot of people are looking around at the results and wondering if it's really worth it.  You'll need some level of access, sure, but... 100Mbit?  Gigabit?  Ultra low ping connections?  Those are useful if you've adjusted your life so that absolutely everything is intermediated by a screen, and everyone does their own thing, on their own devices.  Sure, if you've accepted that everyone has their own device, and evenings as a family involve "Two video streams to separate devices, an audio stream or two, a video conference, and online gaming" (everyone doing their own thing on their own devices with their own bandwidth), yeah.  100+Mbit looks like a minimum standard for connectivity.  Is that actually the best way to spend time as a family?  Well, again, nobody asks that question - and the tech companies interested in you having a ton of money spent on their subscriptions, across the board (device, bandwidth, content, warranty, app rental, etc) sure won't help you ask those questions.

My WISPs, in the evening, go from "decent" to "suck."  I've measured our 25/3 below 5/1, and our 5/1 mostly manages it, until it doesn't (in the evenings, 3/0.5 is a thing).  And... that's generally been fine, because our way of spending time isn't "each with our own stream."  If we're watching something, we watch it as a family.  Often enough, we're reading books together, if not as a full family, "all of us old enough to sit and enjoy them."  We've recently read through all of Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth (well worth the read as an adult), and are chewing our way through Wizard of Oz books.  Yes, some of them are on e-readers, but a megabyte or two of content lasts us many, many evenings (seriously, ebooks compress).  I can't wait until we can dive into denser stuff as the kids get older, and I fully intend to continue this.

Yeah, 100Mbit (on paper... Dishy just delivered 19/6 vs one of our WISP's 7/3.5) is nice, but... does it fundamentally change how we live for the better?  Maybe.  Mostly in the realm of me being able to self host some more services locally once it's a bit more reliable, and sync data back and forth to my colo'd server more easily, but... enh?  We live out in a rural area willingly, and are totally OK with the compromises that come with that - for good and for bad.  I'm never going to be a world class fast twitch online game streamer on our connections - which is fine, as I've zero desire at all to even try that.  And I'd rather encourage my kids not to go down that route as well, because there's an awful lot more to life than staring at screens.  Which, believe me, I do plenty of.  In my solar office.  Which has more monitors than I ever dreamed of growing up.

Yes, having some sort of connection even out in the middle of nowhere is nice - and is worth looking into.  But it's yet another monthly payment, yet more hardware, and yet more ways for the tech companies to work their claws into places they have no business hooking.  IMO.  The trope of "city slicker who moves to the country and whines that it's not like the city" is very much a thing out here, and... I mean, yeah.  Your car is going to be a bit dusty if you live on a gravel driveway.  No, you're probably not going to have gigabit fiber for $20/mo.  No, food delivery services don't come here.  If you want all that stuff, there's a perfectly good city or near-city area you could have moved to.  Yes, you'll hear gunshots - it's hunting season and people are sighting their rifles in.  Yes, tractors plow fields at night when it's planting or harvest season.  And, yeah, depending on where you live, the crop dusters may be doing pylon turns over your house.  I just wish they still flew big radials, I would so much rather be woken by a big radial pounding away than a turbine shrieking... though I also totally understand why they've moved to the turbines.

I agree with a lot of this.    Seriously, who would want to live on Mars?

The (increasingly unhinged) "Technoking of Tesla" has expressed a strong interest... No.  I'm not kidding.  https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/03/elon-musk-formally-declares-himself-technoking-of-tesla/

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It would be like living on the most arid desert on Earth, but at -70 and without much atmosphere.    And with the light gravity, you're going to be losing bone mineral density and muscle mass no matter how hard you try to exercise.    So you may not be able to come back!

You'd become a near-native Martian!  And your kids would be native!  Or dead, one of the two.  A study of attempts to do self sustaining communities on Earth demonstrates it's hard, and an awful lot harder when you don't have any of the services that Earth's biosphere provides.  The Biosphere 2 project was a good case study, but even ignoring that, "Oh, we'll go back to the land and make our own stuff!" communities have a wonderful track record of failure, outside a certain few cases (monasteries and similar communities are about the only one that works, and can you see Musk taking a vow of voluntary poverty?).  There are plenty of books on the various Arctic/Antarctic expeditions and how an awful lot of people have died out there - and you can breathe the air and are surrounded by drinkable water, if you can melt it.  Mars has none of that.  I can't figure out how you look at modern silicon valley technology and say, "Yeah, I trust that stuff with my life."  Well, I know how you do it, I just can't...

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On the other hand...   Have you ever seen the photograph "the pale blue dot"?    It's a picture of earth taken by Voyager in 1990 from a distance of about 6.5B km.   It really helps me understand just how small and fragile the planet actually is - it's nothing like you see in science fiction movies.    So I also think that Elon Musk has a point about trying to deal with the risk of a large meteorite impact - or anything else that affects the whole planet.

Don't get me wrong - I have no objections to launch capability and satellites, as a general concept.  I do have an objection to "let's clutter LEO with as many as we can launch, because they're cheap and we can do it."  The sort of thinking that says, "We can; therefore we must!" is increasingly annoying to me.  I very much enjoy the space missions, but they're also interesting because they tend a bit more rare than everyday.  I have zero objections to the current space programs.  I just have some concerns about "Let's make it so cheap anyone who wants can launch their own satellites by the hundreds."

We've launched, as a global civilization, somewhere on the order of 6k satellites, 3k or so of which are still operational - and we've had the occasional near misses with them.  SpaceX alone is looking at launching more than that in the next few years, and is looking at 42k or so in the next few decades.  Yes, it brings internet services, but it also utterly ruins the night sky for just about anything, assuming that nobody else lobs another 50k or 100k up and they all start playing pinball in the low orbital shells.  Or that nobody deliberately triggers the pinball game.  Yes, internet is convenient.  Is it really worth risking our access to space, in exchange for profits for the world's richest person and associated companies?  That's where a lot of my internal conflict over it comes from.  Yeah.  It's nice for me.  It's nice for a lot of people.  Is it actually good for humanity?  Well, again, questions not often asked.

And, yes, there's a bit of old man yells at clouds here.  I've watched technology after technology be coopted and utterly ruined, mostly for profit - and mostly because there exist no regulations on the commons.  I'm coming up on 40 at a good clip, and I remember the days before cell phones, when landlines were used mostly for talking to people you wanted to talk to (telemarketers were a thing, but they had to pay actual humans to do it, and had some restraints on them).  I now pay good money for a cell phone service that is almost entirely used by robots who don't even have the respect to answer the damned phone (because there's no scammer available), who exist to try and trick me into signing up for lowering the payments on my extended warranty for my free Medicare brace before I become financially liable for the repairs on my vehicle when the factory warranty is cancelled because there's an arrest warrant out for my Social Secure Number from the Security Administration.  And I can pay in iTunes Gift Cards.  And, in the deal, the added latency of the cell connections and such makes it far harder to have an actual conversation with a human, because you end up talking over each other because of all the lag.  I won't claim a landline was amazing audio quality, but at least it was consistent.  You could have a conversation.  Now?  Good luck.

The internet, that of it which hasn't turned into a scammer and spammer free-for-all, is now mostly run by a few companies who very, very much value you as a pair of eyeballs for their advertisements, and exist to intermediate your interactions with other people, reordering it for "engagement," injecting personalized advertising (which, in my experience, used to consist heavily of eBay trying to sell me the thing I just bought a few days ago), and generally ruining the promises and culture of the early internet in exchange for their profits.  What's Good For Zuck is Good For Zuck and all.  We've gotten it almost everywhere, yes, but outside some quiet backwaters corners (of which this is one of the better ones - as long as the mods are on top of dealing with the endless waves of spammers)... eh.  I find myself enjoying life a lot more when I don't have it attached to me.

I don't want to see space go the same way.  I don't want bloody space billboards stretched out across the evening sunset, informing me that if I drink this or that fizzy sugar water, women in swimsuits will swarm me.  I don't want the night sky ruined by all the satellites streaking horizon to horizon (Starlink, to their credit, is trying to reduce the glare off their units, and I don't expect the next few iterations past them to even try to care - who sees stars, anyway?  There's profit to be had!).  And I'm not sure that pushing the "Stream everything, rent everything, entertainment on demand!" culture of the tech industry to the corners of the earth is really that good for humanity.

The claim is made that connectivity is always good, because look what you can learn on the internet.  The reality is that most of that doesn't require a lot of bandwidth, but the distractions?  Oh, they do.  Netflix doesn't even bother with the credits or intros anymore - one episode winds up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, next!  Be the eyeballs.  View the content.  See the ads.  Pay your subscriptions.  And the tech industry, at least in the circles I've worked in, is absolutely eating their young.  The distractions created have ruined the sort of long form concentration that leads to people who can understand modern tech at a deep level.  I've heard complaints from Google's SREs (site reliability engineers - the people who keep stuff running and scaling) that Google Apps for Education killed their hiring pipeline, because universities took down the random collection of servers and student sysadmins who ran them (and made great adaptable candidates for SRE stuff, because they've had years of hands on experience with utterly bizarre systems).  They can't find that sort of experience anymore.  I've known people who do various weird low leve stuff who point out that finding anyone in the low level spaces under the age of 35-40 is rare - it's just not a thing anymore outside a few weird cases.  So, the promises of the internet aside, the reality is a lot less amazing.  But, hey, 4k porn on demand, streaming to your watch, is progress, right?

I fear, unfortunately, I've gone more than a bit off the topic of Starlink.  But all of this is stuff I've been thinking through over the past months, mostly inspired by Starlink and if I (a) need higher speed, and (b) want higher speed.  Obviously I've got one, and I plan to make use of it in my own ways, which don't reflect the bulk of the internet.  But it's certainly not endless upsides either.

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2021, 12:15:50 AM »
I'm personally more excited that Starlink and its competitors will provide affordable rural internet options for people that have none today.

You'll need some level of access, sure, but... 100Mbit?  Gigabit?  Ultra low ping connections? 

But that also means 100Mbit+ to an African village that will never have anything else, because the local telco is never going to run internet. Or my acquaintances in rural Appalachia where the local telco service is actually getting worse with time (removing copper phone lines).

norajean

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2021, 07:34:07 AM »
it should be available in our area mid summer. not a big fan of cox or at&t.

Why not? A decent urban hardwired signal is going to be better, cheaper and faster in most cases. Many are fiber these days and well under $100/mo. Starlink is for those who canít get a decent signal and are currently struggling on dSL or satellite.

Daley

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2021, 09:08:41 AM »
it should be available in our area mid summer. not a big fan of cox or at&t.

Why not? A decent urban hardwired signal is going to be better, cheaper and faster in most cases. Many are fiber these days and well under $100/mo. Starlink is for those who canít get a decent signal and are currently struggling on dSL or satellite.

Not only that, but with AT&T access, that means you already have alternatives in third party ISP resellers like Toast.net, which gives you sane and coherent people in Toledo acting as a buffer between you and AT&T for the same or less money than AT&T usually wants from their general consumers directly.



[a wall of text that doesn't sound too different than what I've been saying for years]

You're not the only old man yelling at clouds, here.

Examining Elon Musk's life in total, I can't help but feel like he's a low-key, real life supervillain right here, right now, today. A Lex Luthor with more money than common sense, who thinks he's saving humanity and believes he's the hero, but is only trying to save his own skin and duck out to Mars before the world collects on the environmental catastrophes that are of his own making.

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2021, 02:52:26 PM »
LOL, if he actually does move to Mars he's going to have a bit of systemic disruption to his lifestyle!    I'd be perfectly happy without thousands of fucking satellites moving across the night sky myself.

dang1

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2021, 03:41:30 PM »
at least some people in the global North have the luxury of choice. There are, for instance, peasants in the global South whose Facebook posts of their human rights plight might just save their lives from landlord goons. Access to information can be liberating, but then if it was up to overpriced Apple, only the rich would have tech.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2021, 05:55:32 PM »
But that also means 100Mbit+ to an African village that will never have anything else, because the local telco is never going to run internet.

Perhaps.  And the $15k of power system required to run the power hungry dish... plus loads... etc.  Except, what are you then going to use that 100Mbit for?  I've spent a lot of time with lower power computers, willingly (Raspberry Pis, PineBook Pro, etc) and a functional amount of network connectivity doesn't require an insane bandwidth.  Even with multiple users.

I would far rather see the effort put into terrestrial wireless, because in areas that are poorly served, they tend to (sort of by definition) be areas in which there's not an awful lot of RF interference.  You can shoot very long range, high bandwidth links on line of sight 5GHz, and can get a decent Fresnel zone on 2.4 or 900, for a fraction the power budget and cost.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not opposed to internet out into developing areas, or even rural areas in developed (overdeveloped?) nations.  But the amount required to be useful is far less than the amount required to stream 4k content...  though, I'll point out here the absurdity that a load of the CNN homepage, with all the trackers, ads, and everything else, is about 30% of the size of a full Windows 95 install as an example of how stupid things have gotten with the internet tracking everything, everywhere, as inefficiently as possible.  Half the bandwidth of the load is crap that gets shot down by ad blockers.

Quote
Or my acquaintances in rural Appalachia where the local telco service is actually getting worse with time (removing copper phone lines).

I don't have a particular objection to going with wireless links over wired, especially in rural areas - copper lines do have a limited lifespan, and that lifespan is typically long since past, if they're 50-70 year old lines.  Copper has the advantages of going over mountains nicely, but wireless has the advantage of not having to maintain signal integrity through random rock slides, flooded junction boxes, etc.  Again, this sort of area is prime ground for community WISPs and such - put equipment on mountaintops, beam it down.  There are plenty of RF repeaters on the random peaks around here, and it's fun to take an old Jeep up and figure out what they've got up there by the antennas.

I do, however, question if filling the night sky with satellites, with reusable and cheap launch capability, is the right way to go about delivering internet down.

Many are fiber these days and well under $100/mo. Starlink is for those who canít get a decent signal and are currently struggling on dSL or satellite.

No idea where you're finding fiber, but, yes.  If you can do signals contained in fiber or coax or such, do that.  Way more efficient, way lower power, and usually way faster.  LEO satellites are certainly far better than the Hughs birds up in geosynchronous orbit, covering whole halves of the planet - in terms of bandwidth, latency, etc.  Though, somehow, the Hughs receivers use an awful lot less power.  They don't have to beamform, which probably explains a good chunk of it, though.  Dishy has a lot of little signal processors, and I assume based on the frequencies involved, they're on a pretty leaky process for switching performance.

You're not the only old man yelling at clouds, here.

Glad to know I've not totally lost my marbles... by the way, I don't think I ever said thank you for the work you've done with pointing out the prepaid cell plan options over time.  I've been on a "crappy" prepaid, 1GB (now 2GB, thanks Covid!) plan and it's been perfectly fine for the limited uses of my phone.  Not that I pass more than a few hundred meg a month, typically.

Quote
Examining Elon Musk's life in total, I can't help but feel like he's a low-key, real life supervillain right here, right now, today. A Lex Luthor with more money than common sense, who thinks he's saving humanity and believes he's the hero, but is only trying to save his own skin and duck out to Mars before the world collects on the environmental catastrophes that are of his own making.

It does, increasingly often, seem that way, doesn't it?  Build luxury EVs to reduce emissions, cool.  Yell at anyone who points out that your battery packs are gigantic and actually rather dirty to build, well... k.  Use company resources to buy 1.5 billion of Bitcoin?  M... kay?  Beta test self driving stuff that is not, by any useful metric, actually capable of self driving, in cars that don't prohibit people from being drunk as skunks and not even being in the drivers seat?  Uh... wait, when did the rails end?

There's a board game I quite enjoy, "What's He Building In There?" - and it involves being a supervillain of questionable competence, building your Doomsday device and your escape vehicle.  You have to have both built to be in the consideration for winning, and it sure seems like that's applicable to Musk lately.  "I have to sell this to fund my escape vehicle, but you don't know about the Doomsday device yet!"

LOL, if he actually does move to Mars he's going to have a bit of systemic disruption to his lifestyle!

I guess, if they can figure out how to grow pot, he'll be happy?

Quote
I'd be perfectly happy without thousands of fucking satellites moving across the night sky myself.

Yeah, I'm trying to wrap my head around tens of thousands of satellites in the night sky.  Pass, thanks.

There are, for instance, peasants in the global South whose Facebook posts of their human rights plight might just save their lives from landlord goons.

Ok.  There are also entire people groups being literally exterminated by people coordinating on Facebook.  Hey, engagement is life, genocide is engaging, right?  Holding up Facebook as something valuable to humanity is pretty well absurd.  For every win you can pluck out of social media, there are thousands or tens of thousands of downsides to the rest of the planet.

I will agree that satellite access is of some use if you're trying to get data out from various regimes that would rather you not leak data, but I'm pretty sure they're not terribly stealthy either, if you're looking for the access.  I would wager that if someone with a handful of high frequency SDRs wanted to go snooping around for satellite connections, they wouldn't have too much trouble.  But you still have to get the ground radios in.  And, if you want to talk globally, various portable HAM rigs work pretty darn well too, on far less power, without cluttering up LEO.

Quote
Access to information can be liberating, but then if it was up to overpriced Apple, only the rich would have tech.

Um... wait, what?  Where on earth did Apple come into this conversation in the slightest?  We're talking about Starlink.

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2021, 06:38:44 PM »
But that also means 100Mbit+ to an African village that will never have anything else, because the local telco is never going to run internet.

Perhaps.  And the $15k of power system required to run the power hungry dish... plus loads... etc.  Except, what are you then going to use that 100Mbit for?  I've spent a lot of time with lower power computers, willingly (Raspberry Pis, PineBook Pro, etc) and a functional amount of network connectivity doesn't require an insane bandwidth.  Even with multiple users.

Well, they are already building microgrids and these parts are rapidly plummeting in price, ex: https://www.amazon.com/ECO-WORTHY-800-Watts-Solar-Panel/dp/B07C8ZYFNV We aren't talking about $15K USD to add the dish.

As to what people in rural Appalachia or Africa would do with good internet connectivity? Your guess is as good as mine, but my full time day job is downloading tons of source code and binary objects for my full time software job which occasionally involves uploading or downloading a 1GB docker image. But I'm lucky enough to have 1Gbps fiber.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 06:51:43 PM by PDXTabs »

Daley

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2021, 07:17:39 PM »
You're not the only old man yelling at clouds, here.
Glad to know I've not totally lost my marbles...
That's personally encouraging to read, but who's to say I haven't lost my marbles, either? After all, I could be a schizophrenic dog wearing a tin-foil hat at the other end of the keyboard for all you know.

by the way, I don't think I ever said thank you for the work you've done with pointing out the prepaid cell plan options over time.  I've been on a "crappy" prepaid, 1GB (now 2GB, thanks Covid!) plan and it's been perfectly fine for the limited uses of my phone.  Not that I pass more than a few hundred meg a month, typically.
Glad it's been useful.

Quote
Examining Elon Musk's life in total, I can't help but feel like he's a low-key, real life supervillain right here, right now, today. A Lex Luthor with more money than common sense, who thinks he's saving humanity and believes he's the hero, but is only trying to save his own skin and duck out to Mars before the world collects on the environmental catastrophes that are of his own making.
It does, increasingly often, seem that way, doesn't it?  Build luxury EVs to reduce emissions, cool.  Yell at anyone who points out that your battery packs are gigantic and actually rather dirty to build, well... k.  Use company resources to buy 1.5 billion of Bitcoin?  M... kay?  Beta test self driving stuff that is not, by any useful metric, actually capable of self driving, in cars that don't prohibit people from being drunk as skunks and not even being in the drivers seat?  Uh... wait, when did the rails end?
And that's just scraping at the surface of the highlight reel. There's also the crash safety features that basically makes all his vehicles two-ton sausage grinders in an impact to anything that isn't inside, excuse the incidents with class c vehicles and inanimate objects. His stance on right to repair. His record as an employer and how he's handled a public health crisis and government safety regulations. His public behavior and efforts to help with the kids trapped in the cave a couple years back. The fact that he's thrown $1.5 billion into a speculative "currency" that behaves more like a futures stock that takes magnitudes more time and electricity to process a single transaction using than any other modern electronic payment method on the planet. The public dignity that he's afforded his family. The cult of personality he's cultivated. How he got his money to begin with. *clears throat*

But I digress...

There's a board game I quite enjoy, "What's He Building In There?" - and it involves being a supervillain of questionable competence, building your Doomsday device and your escape vehicle.  You have to have both built to be in the consideration for winning, and it sure seems like that's applicable to Musk lately.  "I have to sell this to fund my escape vehicle, but you don't know about the Doomsday device yet!"
Sounds like fun, yet also feels like it's almost hitting a little uncomfortably close to home these days. Given the current real-life game that seems to be unfolding, who do you think's gonna win? Musk, Bezos, Zuck, Ellison, Cook, or some yet unseen dark horse candidate?

By the way, feel free to use my current personal pet theory on the South African's end game next time you play if you feel inclined...

"..which is?" Syonyk asks.

Well, he'll go all Doctor Strangelove discussing the mine shaft colonies when selecting the acolytes for his Martian libertarian meritocratic utopia. Then, on his way off-world in his Golgafrinchian B Ark, given his propensity to burn bridges? He'll deliberately use the global infrastructure to his 100W Youtube cat video portal machine to Kessler the planet just to keep the filthy prol riff-raff out of the galaxy and his business... while also coincidentally avoiding collection, lawsuits, and prison time for the trillions of dollars in fines for the millions of tons of electronic and rocket waste he buried in subterranean tunnels that he burrowed under Mexico when they weren't looking.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 07:22:19 PM by Daley »

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2021, 07:29:32 PM »
By the way, feel free to use my current personal pet theory on the South African's end game next time you play if you feel inclined...

"..which is?" Syonyk asks.

Well, he'll go all Doctor Strangelove discussing the mine shaft colonies when selecting the acolytes for his Martian libertarian meritocratic utopia. Then, on his way off-world in his Golgafrinchian B Ark, given his propensity to burn bridges? He'll deliberately use the global infrastructure to his 100W Youtube cat video portal machine to Kessler the planet just to keep the filthy prol riff-raff out of the galaxy and his business... while also coincidentally avoiding collection, lawsuits, and prison time for the trillions of dollars in fines for the millions of tons of electronic and rocket waste he buried in subterranean tunnels that he burrowed under Mexico when they weren't looking.

So THAT'S what the Boring Company is really for!

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2021, 07:48:33 PM »
There's a board game I quite enjoy, "What's He Building In There?" - and it involves being a supervillain of questionable competence, building your Doomsday device and your escape vehicle.  You have to have both built to be in the consideration for winning, and it sure seems like that's applicable to Musk lately.  "I have to sell this to fund my escape vehicle, but you don't know about the Doomsday device yet!"
Sounds like fun, yet also feels like it's almost hitting a little uncomfortably close to home these days. Given the current real-life game that seems to be unfolding, who do you think's gonna win? Musk, Bezos, Zuck, Ellison, Cook, or some yet unseen dark horse candidate?

Or the EU? In terms of having tens of thousands of satellites in orbit, I think that ship has sailed.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 07:50:23 PM by PDXTabs »

Daley

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2021, 08:49:32 PM »
There's a board game I quite enjoy, "What's He Building In There?" - and it involves being a supervillain of questionable competence, building your Doomsday device and your escape vehicle.  You have to have both built to be in the consideration for winning, and it sure seems like that's applicable to Musk lately.  "I have to sell this to fund my escape vehicle, but you don't know about the Doomsday device yet!"
Sounds like fun, yet also feels like it's almost hitting a little uncomfortably close to home these days. Given the current real-life game that seems to be unfolding, who do you think's gonna win? Musk, Bezos, Zuck, Ellison, Cook, or some yet unseen dark horse candidate?
Or the EU? In terms of having tens of thousands of satellites in orbit, I think that ship has sailed.
I dunno, I think the EU classifies more as an organization of benign indifference giving into the will of the people, no matter how poorly thought out. Like the Legion of Super Villains, only elected, and with more kafkaesque bureaucratic red tape.



So THAT'S what the Boring Company is really for!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 08:56:08 PM by Daley »

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2021, 03:03:55 PM »
it should be available in our area mid summer. not a big fan of cox or at&t.

Why not? A decent urban hardwired signal is going to be better, cheaper and faster in most cases. Many are fiber these days and well under $100/mo. Starlink is for those who canít get a decent signal and are currently struggling on dSL or satellite.

We're near Houston, Texas and have both gigabit cable and 200mb/s DSL. I signed up for the Starlink preorder, should be available here sometime this year. Why? Because I got both cable and DSL so each would be the backup for the other; in real-world usage however, if DSL is out so is cable. The cable modem itself is more stable (I've only rebooted when I wasn't sure if the outage was local or not; it was never local, the modem works fine even without a reboot in months), but I just manually reboot the DSL modem weekly and it works 100% (I have a list of things that need a reboot weekly such as the dsl modem and the smarthome hub, and another list of things that need a reboot weekly such as the wifi mesh and the LivingRoom tv..ugh, I wish it was a dumb tv).

When the crap hits the fan, cable goes out first, then dsl. When the diarrhea hits the fan, even the mobile towers go out (I have a Google Fi data sim used as a third internet provider, when it works it still allows for web browsing and some light streaming). Kids got behind on their online school when the snowpocalypse hit last month, and I can only assume the same internet issues would occur if a hurricane hits.

All that to say, internet is pretty important to our family. I've done all I can to ensure stable internet even during trying times, but it sometimes fails. Starlink would fix that; the odds that a local weather phenomena knocks out both the DSL connection AND the LEO satellites for days/weeks are fairly low. Realistically DSL should work ok during the hurricane even if power went out, then after the hurricane I'd run out and pop the dish back up (I'm assuming it isn't rated for hurricane force winds) and it'd be ready to go before we lost the DSL connection.

scottish

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2021, 03:20:21 PM »
What's the common failure mode between DSL and cable?   Oh wait, you're in Texas, is it the power grid?    Or are your telephone and cable both strung on poles and blow down in the storms?   (mine are buried)

PDXTabs

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2021, 04:41:07 PM »
All that to say, internet is pretty important to our family. I've done all I can to ensure stable internet even during trying times, but it sometimes fails. Starlink would fix that; the odds that a local weather phenomena knocks out both the DSL connection AND the LEO satellites for days/weeks are fairly low. Realistically DSL should work ok during the hurricane even if power went out, then after the hurricane I'd run out and pop the dish back up (I'm assuming it isn't rated for hurricane force winds) and it'd be ready to go before we lost the DSL connection.

So, today, Starlink won't route between satellites, which means your data comes right back to a terrestrial station "nearby." I have no idea how far nearby is in this case, if you had that information I'd love to see it. But anyway, as it stands today, if your local terrestrial station is completely hosed you will still be SOL. But in the future they do plan to route between satellites: https://phys.org/news/2020-11-starlink-packet-routing.html
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 04:43:49 PM by PDXTabs »

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2021, 04:54:06 PM »
What's the common failure mode between DSL and cable?   Oh wait, you're in Texas, is it the power grid?    Or are your telephone and cable both strung on poles and blow down in the storms?   (mine are buried)

Cables are underground. I'm positive that both are on some kind of battery backup. When the power goes out, cable will stay up for a bit before giving up the ghost, and DSL stays online a while longer (something like a couple hours for cable and a couple more for DSL; I never timed it so I can't say for sure other than the order they go down). If the power comes back on briefly and back out, they don't stay online after the outage nearly as long as they did initially (because the batteries they use didn't fully recharge in that time period).

Neither connection is bad, it's just that cable is down more often than DSL and it's always down when DSL is. Meaning, DSL is a great backup for the cable connection, but cable is a HORRIBLE backup for the DSL connection (huge disclaimer, I'm talking about MY internet connections...your mileage may and WILL vary). DSL here is more reliable, cheaper, and has no bandwidth caps; the only reason I still have cable is because it's really awesome when it works (which is most of the time) and it's really nice to not have slowdowns on my part of the network because everyone is streaming at the same time (home network is setup to have most devices default to DSL as primary with cable as a backup; my devices are the opposite). As long as Starlink doesn't have bandwidth caps I'll probably set devices that need an ultra-stable and low latency connection to use DSL as primary, and other devices that just use lots of bandwidth but don't need it to be ultra-stable or low latency (i.e., lots and lots of Netflix and Youtube usage) to use Starlink as the primary. It'll suck to lose my gigabit connection, but unless something changes (they lower the price, suddenly become more stable than DSL, and/or permanently drop the bandwidth cap) I don't see myself paying $70 + $100 when I could pay $45 + $100 and not notice any degradation in performance 99.5% of the time.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2021, 04:59:39 PM »
So, today, Starlink won't route between satellites, which means your data comes right back to a terrestrial station "nearby." I have no idea how far nearby is in this case, if you had that information I'd love to see it. But anyway, as it stands today, if your local terrestrial station is completely hosed you will still be SOL. But in the future they do plan to route between satellites: https://phys.org/news/2020-11-starlink-packet-routing.html

I'm guessing that they will have a more robust hub, so an extended power outage wouldn't be enough to bring everything down (I could be wrong on this; once there's more users and we have an event where there's an outage lasting days/weeks, we'll find out). Plus I'm counting on them being able to route between satellites. Sure, they will want to use a nearby station due to reduced latency (and possibly costs), but if one or more of these stations go offline, it'd be nice to have the backup capability. Plus it'd be easier/quicker to build-out the satellite footprint than the terrestrial one; someone in the middle of Central America probably won't mind an extra couple hundred ms latency as much as someone in Central California.

Just Joe

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2021, 03:16:19 PM »
What's the common failure mode between DSL and cable?   Oh wait, you're in Texas, is it the power grid?    Or are your telephone and cable both strung on poles and blow down in the storms?   (mine are buried)

Our's are buried too but only a few inches. In the past the county road mowers have scraped the grass so hard that they've expose the DSL cables and cut them. So has the gas department. Good old Frontier Communications...

robartsd

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2021, 07:09:27 PM »
You're not the only old man yelling at clouds, here.
Glad to know I've not totally lost my marbles...
That's personally encouraging to read, but who's to say I haven't lost my marbles, either? After all, I could be a schizophrenic dog wearing a tin-foil hat at the other end of the keyboard for all you know.
Another old man (I'm older than Syonyk, not sure about Daley's age) that doesn't think you've lost your marbles, but I'm not nearly as good at yelling at clouds.

Daley

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2021, 07:38:20 PM »
You're not the only old man yelling at clouds, here.
Glad to know I've not totally lost my marbles...
That's personally encouraging to read, but who's to say I haven't lost my marbles, either? After all, I could be a schizophrenic dog wearing a tin-foil hat at the other end of the keyboard for all you know.
Another old man (I'm older than Syonyk, not sure about Daley's age) that doesn't think you've lost your marbles, but I'm not nearly as good at yelling at clouds.
I've definitely got quite a few more moons and a fair bit more gray hair under my belt than Syonyk does, but I don't know about where I fall in relation to the space-time continuum with you, Rob... and there's just enough of a schizophrenic dog wearing a tin-foil hat on this end to not be comfortable with disclosing those sorts of details.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2021, 09:50:21 PM »
A couple more groups toss 10k-20k satellites each into LEO, we're going to have ruined night skies before they Kessler and block orbital access entirely. :/

Actually I had a quick look for this because I was pretty sure I'd read about this. Originally, Starlink was going to use an 1150km altitude for maximum satellite life and orbital stability, but after a lot of concerns of space junk, they dropped it to 550km, which is an altitude at which failed Starlink members will naturally deorbit from drag within about 5 years. If their estimates turn out to be wrong and income is high enough, then they might be required to drop to an even lower orbit to ensure their stuff deorbits on its own rather promptly. It's not a perfect solution but it's an area where we've already seen their requirements shift.

In fact I looked over the launch history and it appears that to this day, they've never used an orbit higher than 560km, with nearly all of them at 550km and a huge portion of the constellation planned for just 340km altitude. Also if you read up about Space-X rockets, they're one of the cleanest in existence. Nearly all the rest of the world's rockets use a different propellant and end up belching a lot more space junk due to dirty engines, so even when they deliver payloads perfectly, just their engines are contributing to space junk.

So between their clean burning engines and potentially the vast majority of Starlink being deployed at 340km in the future where objects naturally deorbit within just a few years once they are no longer doing station keeping, it really appears to be one of the cleanest, most sustainable uses of space we've come up with so far.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2021, 06:24:57 AM »
Actually I had a quick look for this because I was pretty sure I'd read about this. Originally, Starlink was going to use an 1150km altitude for maximum satellite life and orbital stability, but after a lot of concerns of space junk, they dropped it to 550km, which is an altitude at which failed Starlink members will naturally deorbit from drag within about 5 years.

With an added bonus of lower latency.


We're near Houston, Texas and have both gigabit cable and 200mb/s DSL. I signed up for the Starlink preorder, should be available here sometime this year. Why? Because I got both cable and DSL so each would be the backup for the other; in real-world usage however, if DSL is out so is cable.

Couldn't you use mobile internet as a backup? A number of Internet providers here have 4G backup on their fixed-line Internet services. If it gets to the point where you lose both fixed line terrestrial internet and mobile internet, there's a good chance that the power grid is out too, so no dishy.

But that also means 100Mbit+ to an African village that will never have anything else, because the local telco is never going to run internet. Or my acquaintances in rural Appalachia where the local telco service is actually getting worse with time (removing copper phone lines).

Maybe, although it seems that many developing countries are skipping fixed-line internet entirely and going straight to mobile. Feature phones and low-end smartphones are more affordable than a Starlink connection and a PC, and how would Starlink cope with unreliable electricity supply?

Although I'm sure it'll be a big benefit to many small remote islands and a decent alternative to geostationary satellite Internet for remote areas, like those here in Australia who's only option is Sky Muster.

Although would the Starlink service be affected by clouds or rain?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 06:27:30 AM by alsoknownasDean »

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2021, 01:21:13 PM »
Couldn't you use mobile internet as a backup? A number of Internet providers here have 4G backup on their fixed-line Internet services. If it gets to the point where you lose both fixed line terrestrial internet and mobile internet, there's a good chance that the power grid is out too, so no dishy.

We had mobile internet as a backup, but it crapped its pants too. Yes, the power grid was out for days, but we had a generator. Something that the various internet providers apparently didn't realize was an option.

Rural

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2021, 04:42:02 PM »
I'm one of those in rural Appalachia, still hanging in as best we can working from home over DSL at 6/1 on a good day. There's no wireless data signal here, and no cable lines, so that's the option, well, that and Hughesnet's data caps. I sent in my hundred bucks the day Elon agreed to take it and hope to have access by the end of the year.


I hate the satellite clusters, too, and we see them clearly here where we can still see the Milky Way. But those satellites are up there, and me not having internet access isn't going to bring them down. So, might as well have satellites and internet as satellites and no internet, I say.

Syonyk

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2021, 05:00:04 PM »
So, might as well have satellites and internet as satellites and no internet, I say.

Yeah...

It's getting better, but I'm still using our WISP connection as the primary link.  The Starlink dish is my high speed, bulk transfer, backup connection.  It's still really glitchy for day to day primary use.

Rural

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Re: Anyone trying Starlink internet?
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2021, 05:33:34 PM »
The Starlink dish is my high speed, bulk transfer, backup connection.  It's still really glitchy for day to day primary use.


Hm, good to hear (or not good, but good to know). We won't have access for months yet, so I'm trying to get a sense of how things like this are developing. I don't know how long I want to keep both (we pay $75 a month for that shit DSL).