Its official! Starlink has announced the ability to turn on portability in your app for an additional fee ($25USD/$30CAD). This means if you are an existing Starlink customer and you have a system (Gen 1 or Gen 2) you can take the system to a new location and be supplied with stable internet, provided you are in a Starlink serviced location and have minimal physical obstructions on said property. As of yet this portability option (at least for liability reasons) does not allow the system to be used on moving transportation like a boat or an RV.
We do discuss in further detail this new portability option on another article:
Today we would like to take a look at the process of a physical removal of your Dishy if mounted to a roof on your primary residence and some options to make that process easier and more efficient. Both Gen 1 and Gen 2 come with a base for the Dishy that is primarily meant for the ground or a flat surface such as a deck. it is really more of a temporary mount when looking at the majority of home structures in North America and especially a treed rural setting like those we find often in Central Alberta. The Gen 1 (round Dishy) is going to make for a bit more of a road block when it comes to removability and portability as the cabling is attached. Depending on how you have setup your system the cabling may have been routed through an attic to your router location, or perhaps ran on the exterior of the building and in through a conduit or a hole in the wall. Whatever the case it still leaves you with a bothersome removal in order to take your Dishy to go.
Gen 1 (Cabling/Surge Suppressor)
Our first recommendation when using your existing system in multiple locations is to add in a surge suppressor near the Dishy mounting position which will give you the ability to plug your existing cat cable into one of the ethernet ports and then connect a secondary cat cable from there into the home, and in turn the Starlink power supply. **Keep in mind you do not want to go over a combined length of approximately 300 hundred feet when passing through a surge suppressor**
This will allow the attached cabling to be placed under or near the dish and can be easily removed (along with the dish) with a few simple steps, and no need for pulling the whole length of cable out of its respective locations.
Gen 1 (Easy Remove Mounts)
Our second recommendation comes in the form of an easy to remove mounting system. If you'll notice in the picture we have utilized the existing tripod style mount the Gen 1 kit comes with, we did this with 3 sealed brackets that are in a permanent position attached to the roof. From the center of the bracket a carriage bolt runs up through the existing holes in each foot and a washer and nut are placed on top and tightened till secured. This setup allows the entirety of the Dishy and its tripod base to easily be slipped off for transportation and back on upon return to the main residence. When arrived at the secondary location you will already have the attached Starlink mount that can be setup with weights or a tether (in most cases) for your temporary and portable internet.
Gen 2 (Cabling)
Transportation of the 2nd Gen Dishy is easier in regards to weight, size and a removable cable. Although much easier to transport there is still some drawbacks with the 2nd Gen and its proprietary connectors. Main issue being durability of the connection point that is built in to the mast of the Dishy. This has been a complaint from the first launch of the Gen 2 system. More than a couple of removals and reconnections of the cable can cause a failure in the port that receives your proprietary connector, where in the receiving port becomes loose, may push in and will not properly accept the cable connection.
This is a big pain due to the build of the Gen 2 making it very difficult to access the port without taking things apart, that then may cause further issues and possibly void the warranty on your Starlink system. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution to this engineering fault (aside from it being reengineered and replaced). The main thing you want to do with the Gen 2 is be very gentle when removing and reconnecting the cabling so as to not jostle the receiving port out of place.
On the flipside, the positive that we see with the removable cable (and the case of mobility) you now have the option to keep your primary residences wiring in place and have a secondary cable (length of your choice) purchased from Starlink to stay installed, or stored in your RV, for those getaways that require an internet connection. Just take the dish and router, leave the cable behind, and away you go.
Gen 2 (Easy Remove Mounts)
The rectangle Dishy comes standard with a 4 legged mount that like the Gen 1 is meant for the ground and not engineered for a roof. That's where the aforementioned brackets come in to play with some slight modifications and one extra piece of steel for the fourth leg. This again will allow you to use the existing mount and easily slip the Dishy from its home base for transportation by removing the 4 nuts holding each leg to the roof. We are sure this is not the only option for a custom mount but is a great option for portability. We have also heard of a handful of people using strong magnets to create a non penetrating roof mount to avoid leaks in a tin style roof, or bolted on to an RV with steel plates attached to the feet of the Starlink mount for an easy on and off (we may give this a shot some day soon in a real world application).
We would love to hear your experiences on this topic and we appreciate you taking the time to read this article. Let us know in the comments your own custom mounts or if you have any questions about the ones discussed today.
Thanks for reading.