Useful information on installing a STARLINK satellite internet dish on a longer pole
This page is purely about the installing of a Starlink dish, particularly on to a longer pole, it is not about the system's technical specifications or effectiveness.
Starlink requires a 100 degree cone unobstructed view of the sky. This figure should improve (i.e. the requirement may well drop to less than 100 degrees) as more satellites are put into orbit.
Starlink recommend installing the dish in the highest elevation possible consistent with safety, but not neglecting the rigidity of the install as one should be aiming for minimum movement in the mounting. Longer poles have more flex in them, though that can be countered by using masts of increased diameter and/or wall thickness (see pole tests), or using guy wires. It makes sense to try and install Starlink in a sheltered spot if possible, but that may be incompatible with getting the required unobstructed view of the sky! Just like aerials and satellites generally we recommend keeping Starlink out of any smoke as far as possible.
Illustrated is the "genuine" Starlink pole adapter, and I have to say it is a poor piece of design, in fact I'm told it is often criticised on Starlink forum groups, and if that is the case it would not surprise me. The manufacturers appear to be more concerned with it being compact and light (for cheaper carriage) and able to adapt to more than one pole diameter which it does by using bolts to take up the slack. The latter would be a poor idea at the best of times but considering the sets of bolts are only about one and a half inches apart the idea is an absolute joke. I thought all those geeky scientists at Starlink were supposed to be super clever ? At electronics and orbits maybe.....
If I was attaching a Starlink to a pole it would depend on the length of the pole I needed :
If I was using 1.5" x 1.6mm (wall thickness) steel masting I would go up to around 7ft unsupported length. The problem is that's a non standard size steel pole and the standard wall thickness for 1.5" steel poles is only 1.2mm which is not significantly stronger than a 1.6mm wall alloy pole.
Steel rusts of course so pretty much all steel masting is galvanised, but pre galv (which is by far the most common) has very much thinner protection than hot dip galvanising, in fact they're like chalk and cheese, see pre galv v hot dip galv corrosion tests. The problem is it is very difficult to get hold of hot dip galv steel poles because it is a lot more expensive to manufacture and it is therefore a specialist product. We have our hot dip galv steel 1.5" cranks specially made for us, hence their relatively high price. Anyway, bolt the Starlink to the 1.5" pole as per the instructions in the paragraph above.
Our Starlink install kits are based on a 6.5ft x 1.5in crank.
Note : our 1.5" pole coupler will actually clamp down to the 35.8mm diameter of the (thinner) lower section of the Starlink pole and even just using that end 60mm of the pole will still be far stronger than Starlink's pole adapter. However, if it was me, I'd definitely be going further up the pole (to maximise the strength of the install), up to just before the point where the cable exits and then packing the thinner end out to match the diameter of the wider section, see above.
If I needed to put the Starlink onto a longer pole I'd either :
1 - Couple together a longer 1.5" diam pole (using more pole couplers) and support it with guy wires (note only the 3 hook collar fits the 1.5" pole),
2 - I'd be sleeving the pole of the Starlink into an alloy scaffold pole.
The alternative to a pole coupler or a "sleeved install" is a 2x2 pole clamp as in the adjoining picture.
It will look a bit agricultural but will work fine. For outside use recommend the galvanised / stainless version.
Normally we would recommend two (rather than just one) to maximise the stability of the install. That said, even just one would be stronger that the Starlink "genuine" pole adapter !
None of these recommended mounts utilise the Starlink pole's "sprung pins" which are simply compressed inwards (out of the way), but that is good thing. The idea of holding a satellite dish onto its mounting pole using "sprung pins" is unique to Starlink (other than satellite systems for caravans) and that has to tell you something.... In fact, apparently "SpaceX advises that for maximum security and safety, a tether is recommended to keep the dish attached to the building" ! I was incredulous when I read that, I have never heard that advice for any aerial or satellite, ever. Have they really so little confidence in how sturdy their product is ? ! ? So, basically, if it was me, I would not be relying on the "sprung pins" to keep your Starlink from, err, flying off.
Fairly early on you need to decide how long you want the pole to be (upon which you will install your Starlink) and how far out from the wall it needs to be in order to clear any fascia (or gutter or whatever), this is the "stand off". The latter wants to include a gap of at least 2" to avoid any chance of the pole banging against the fascia and to facilitate any future maintenance of the latter. We recommend you get up there and check exactly what stand off you need before ordering your bracket !
Will the install be on the wall or the chimney (as different brackets should be used for each) ?
Bear in mind that the Starlink, like any satellite dish, should be mounted as rigidly as possible, to minimise any movement caused by the wind. Thus the brackets pole you select should be of the heavy duty type and spaced appropriately (where applicable), plus the pole should be of sufficient diameter and wall thickness to minimise any flexing, see article on "satellite poles".
An alternative to brackets with a large stand off is, of course, the cranked pole, and they can look neater.
However, in order to minimise movement of the Starlink installation, we would only recommend three cranked poles for it :
3ft x 1.25"
4ft x 1.25"
6.5ft x 1.5"
Plus the Supercrank or 10ft crank if cut down, maybe by 2ft?
If using a cranked pole consideration should be given to using saddles with the V bolts (not required with low profiles brackets as they have saddle type clamps).
The fact is that the risk of lightning striking your house really is quite remote. More to the point, if your house does actually get struck by lightning it probably won't have been due to the Starlink being there, and the chances are that half your roof would get blown off anyway, so under those circumstances whether your Starlink has been damaged really would be the least of your worries…..
I would not have thought the lightning threat with Starlink is much different to that of TV aerials, and we have a page devoted to lightning risk with TV aerials already.