Featured Image Source: Idaho Hill Homestead via YouTube
SpaceX started to provide Starlink service to select customers in Northern United States and Canada under a ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ Starlink test program which offers early access to the network. A couple living in a rural area in Northern Idaho became Starlink Beta Testers and shared via their YouTube channel called ‘Idaho Hill Homestead’, a video of how they installed SpaceX Starlink dish antenna in their home that is currently under construction. They also performed a couple internet speed tests while it was snowing (video below). “Living in rural north Idaho with no real internet options, I am now getting consistent download speeds of 70mbps+ [megabits per second] thanks to Starlink... [We] have been developing our 5 acres and building our home mortgage-free for the past year an are just moved in. We couldn't be happier with high-speed Starlink internet as a house warming gift to ourselves,” they shared in the video.
SpaceX currently operates approximately 960 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit out of thousands that will comprise the broadband network. Starlink customers purchase a Starlink Kit for $499 USD, which includes a phased-array dish antenna and a Wi-Fi router device to connect to the internet that is currently priced at $99 USD per month. –“Very nice looking router,” says the man in the Idaho Hill Homestead YouTube channel [he did not mention his name in the video]. The router looks futuristic with geometric pattern in white and silver hue, pictured below.
Image Source: bigskyreleaf via Reddit
The guy shared he bought a Starlink Ridgeline Mount Kit separately from SpaceX, which includes necessary equipment to mount the dish antenna without the need to screw a base onto a roof. “I got the rubber mat from Starlink. I am actually pretty impressed with the contents they gave me in the Ridgeline Mount Kit: the rubber mat, the actual ridgeline … and all that was $100 bucks, wasn’t too bad honestly,” he shared as he prepared to climb his 40-year-old ladder to install the Starlink dish antenna.
He quickly installed the dish on his roof; placed a matt, the ridgeline base, and settled concrete blocks on top of the ridgeline mount to hold down the dish in place. “Installation was simple other than climbing a very tall and sketchy 40-year-old ladder,” he said.
This month SpaceX told Beta testers the Starlink dish antenna features snow melting capabilities. “Starlink [dish] produces additional heat to mitigate signal attenuation caused by snow build-up on the face of the user terminal,” the company stated. In the video, the guy also briefly showed how snow was not accumulated on his Starlink dish, despite of his roof having some snow. “… We are really happy. We were able to watch Netflix, watched some YouTube videos and streamed, no problem. […] flawlessly streaming,” he said. –“Its really great, faster than anything we could’ve imagined having out here… We are really pleased with it,” his wife added. “If you want to follow more of our [home] building process […] we’re going to start posting videos as we go…” they said. You can subscribe to their YouTube channel called ‘Idaho Hill Homestead’ linked below.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.