Starlink Beta

I had drafted this back in April when I first setup the Starlink backup at home but never finished it! Rather than trying to pick the thread up and finish it I’ve decided to just post it today (20231019). I obviously never got the tracroute copy/pasta’d in that I mention at the end!

Here I am again. Yikes. Four years….. oh well. I’d like to say what I lack in quantity I can make up for in quality… but I dunno. Anywhooooooooo…

This time I’m going to go a bit into Starlink. Yup, I signed up for the beta, forked out $500 for a Dishy McFlatface and upon arrival threw it out in the field with it’s tail leading back through the office window past the air conditioner.

Setup? Uhm…sure…you chuck it out with clear line of sight. Hit the WiFi unsecured AP and setup your SSID and password. I guess you can call that setup. The dish will self orient to flat horizontal, and after a while shift to tracking satellites. My experience was that connections were initially extremely spotty, but after a few hours – and several complete loss of WiFi SSID broadcasts which I presume happened as the gateway and dish downloaded updates from the mothership – it went into a normal tracking. In my case pointing well outside of the Starlink setup app “ensure you have clear sky in this area” augmented reality view to my north/west…the app has the clear view as needing to be more north/east (which…is interesting given how far north this deployment is).

The WiFi router and/or dish itself is definitely running a modified OpenWRT. They left the default reverse DNS setup in play so first hop is openwrt.local. I can’t really run their gateway with my local network so I tried to plug the white downstream port directly into my gateway (a pfSense box). As of my writing of this draft nobody has published attempting to do this. There’s no reason it would be unsafe, the injector claims to be standard PoE. Even if it’s not, standard Ethernet magnetic can easily eliminate a non standard 56VDC always on offset without issue.

So it’s a bit cheaty, but below is a mtr from my laptop on the Starlink over to DotBlag. Cheaty because $dayJob peers at the SIX and SpaceX/Starlink does as well. This eliminates a lot of terrestrial hops. I’ll show a normal mtr towards the site as well.