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 installing it on to a longer pole and/or avoiding the use of its "sprung pins". It is not about the system's technical specifications or effectiveness and we do not sell the Starlink system.
Installing your own Starlink really is pretty easy, it is easier than installing a conventional satellite dish, or even a TV aerial, because the Starlink dish aligns itself !
Subject list :
- Field of view required for Starlink
- Dimensions of the Starlink mounting pole
- Dimensions of the smaller Starlink rectangular dish
- Starlink pole adapter mount for longer poles
- - The superior alternative to the Starlink pole adapter
- - The Starlink pole's "sprung pins"
- Installing the longer pole on bracket(s)
- Mounting Starlink on a flat roof
- Size of hole needed for Starlink cable
- Lightning and Starlink
- Starlink pole install kits (wall mount) :
- - With a straight pole
- - With cranked poles :
- - - Full length cranked pole
- - - Shortened cranked pole (for cheaper carriage)
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. Apparently Starlink do an "app" to check this but we have had reports it is "unreliable and doesn't give repeatable results".
To be frank it's not exactly difficult to check is it? If you haven't already got one I'd just buy a protractor... A refinement is to take a photo of the potential site (for the Starlink install) from as high as possible and/or as far away as possible, then use that to check out the angles and dimensions. The latter by taking relative measurements to something of known size (e.g. a window) in the picture at approx the same distance from the camera as the proposed installation.
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.....
A superior alternative to the Starlink pole adapter.....
NOTE : When installing an aerial or a satellite dish on pole you would almost always install the item on the pole then install the pole on the bracket, unless the top of the pole was very easily accessible (which it isn't usually).
If I was attaching a Starlink to a pole it would depend on the length of the pole I needed :
* The 6ft x 1.5" x 1.6mm straight pole or the 6ft 6in (or 4ft 1in) cranked pole would do this job perfectly. The cranked poles (or the straight pole if less stand off is required) combined with a pair of low profile brackets makes a particularly neat install, a further advantage (if used with a cranked pole) is that the low profiles even have saddle type clamps.
Our Starlink install kits (straight pole kit / cranked pole kit) are based on the 6.5ft x 1.5in (or 4ft 1in) cranked poles or the 6ft x 1.5in straight pole. Low Profile brackets are available with either kit, as well as brackets with more stand off.
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 resistance. The problem is it is very difficult to get hold of hot dip galv steel poles because they are 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 cranked pole install kits are based on a 6.5ft x 1.5in crank (or a shortened 4ft 1in pole to allow us to send them abroad).
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 :
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 (though the 1.25" diameter poles do not easily fit the 1.5" pole coupler") :
3ft x 1.25"
4ft x 1.25"
6.5ft x 1.5" (or the 4ft 1in shortened version)
Plus the Supercrank or 10ft crank if cut down, maybe by 2ft?
If using a cranked pole, particularly a Supercrank, 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 with TV aerials, so see lightning risk with TV aerials.