Pub Member / Supporter
- Dec 28, 2013
Obviously you haven't researched Starlink's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite Internet. Latency is typically in the ~30 ms range, dropping lower as the newer laser connected satellites are deployed. And the flat faced "dish" is self aiming, so a professional installation is not required except perhaps for some unusual mounting locations. Hooking it up amounts to plugging a provided cable connected to the antenna unit in to an inside modem/router, a power supply, and a wall outlet.Though I have never tried it, I have always been leery of satellite internet in general. One concern, of course, is the 1 or 2 second round trip delay. If you are a gamer, this is a killer. For the others of us, it is just annoying. More concerning to me is that for Internet (two-way) communication, the beamwidth of your antenna must be considerably less than the beamwidth of a receive-only TV antenna. Why? The orbital spacing of geostationary communications satellites is around 2 degrees. If you are doing receive-only communications, and pick up a bit of energy from the adjacent satellite, no harm is done. In fact, a Dish TV antenna has a relatively wide beamwidth, and can tolerate considerable misalignment - that’s why you can align it by hand. But if you expect to transmit, your beamwidth must be quite a bit narrower, and aim must be much more precise, to avoid pumping energy into an adjacent satellite. The narrower beam is harder to aim, and may require special equipment. And the antenna mounting system must be exceptionally stable and rigid. If you bolt it to a tree - or a flimsy Dish TV pipe-mount - you can be in trouble if a strong wind blows. To complicate matters, you must ensure that you don’t hit the adjacent satellite even during the aiming process. Climbing a ladder and tunking an antenna into position is OK for a receive-only antenna, but for transmit/receive, it won’t cut it.
I imagine that professional installation by a knowledgeable tech with special equipment is required. Or perhaps I am just a Luddite, and these things are of no concern today.
I'm not a fan of the much higher (and slower) geosynchronous satellite Internet services for some of the same reasons you mentioned, but I will add that there are manual and automatic aiming systems for those that are used by a number of mobile RV'ers. For myself and my wife as full time RV'ers, cell based Internet currently works pretty well for us. I am keeping my eye on the progress of Starlink's promised mobile units intended for RV'ers, truckers, boaters, etc though.