Starlink - Pros/Cons and power draw

Just came back from East Glacier and literally probably 4/10 campers had starlink running.

Looking for some of the pros n cons from those of you that currently run it.

Have you been in a spot where you never had service?

What’s the power draw like? How long would something like a 500 or 1000 Jackery last?

No contracts correct? So could theoretically Subscribe in summer months, suspend in winter?

before anyone says “what about disconnecting…I work remote so spending 3-5 days out there is something that would be amazing to do if not longer…

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I’m with you. I got Starlink back in May, used it for 30 days and paused service until August when I pick up my GFC. Getting Starlink will greatly increase the time I can spend exploring due to the nature of my job (hybrid - in office 3 days, remote 2). I have an Ecoflow delta 2 but haven’t run Starlink off it yet.

To answer one of your questions, yes, you can start/stop the sub as you please, one month at a time.

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No charge to pause correct? I know some companies charge a small amount or like $5-10 to “pause” service.

Nope. No fee.

It does draw quite a bit when it’s searching, so if you’re not clear view it’ll draw a bunch. Otherwise it doesn’t draw much, maybe 2A. I’m in Canada so location significantly matters with how well the starlink works.

This is the version that replaced ‘RV’ it allows you to pause service. It’s pretty sweet, but…it’s $200/month when you activate it.

adding this in

I have 100w solar, so that would never keep up to constant use. It does however make it through the night if you so desire. The solution I came up with is a DC to DC charger.


Good to know about the draw. Makes sense that if searching, it’s going to pull much more.

I was looking at the “Roam” which costs $150 USD a month in the states. The say the draw is 50-75w which means I guess a Jackery 500 would last ~5-6hrs?

Most people running Starlink on desert cars and off-grid situations are converting it to DC. Out of the box Starlink consumes 120-150 watts. With a DC conversion the consumption drops to 36-72 watts.


Mine consumes minimal power. I can power it via the AC outlets in my truck, but they only work when the engine is running. I usually power it via an aftermarket inverter (Amazon) plugged into the DC outlet (cigarette lighter port). These ports remain powered when the truck is not running. My truck’s batteries have more than enough storage to power the Starlink, via the aftermarket inverter, for the duration that I use it.

The ability to pause and unpause depends on the plan. The ROAM plan does allow this, but you are billed in 1 month increments.

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Thanks for clarifying that @christiansonbp

:wave: :artificial_satellite: Currently posted up working in middle of nowhere Canadian Rocky Mountains on my Starlink! Here are some facts sent straight from the source:

*Boot sequence usually lasts 5 minutes, but can take up to 15 minutes in wooded area. This is when it draws around 55 – 75 watts.

*Once in position and stable the dish and router draw a constant 35 – 45 watts with factory AC power supply.

*On sunny days I’ll always input more than the Starlink + Macbook draw resulting in battery holding steady at +90%. (via 200w nomad)

*I’ll typically power down 2 – 3 hours after sunset which sees battery drop down to high 70% / low 80%.

*I’m always able to make the evening drop in charge back up to full capacity in AM with ease. (My Yeti is set to max out at 94% to extend battery life)

*If I’m experiencing cloudy or rainy stretches simply plugging the Yeti into truck when moving campsites will boost the battery back up to full charge in no time.

*I’m running a standard rectangular dishy on RV Service (Rebranded to “Mobile – Regional”) that allows pausing month to month when not in use w/o penalty.

*I have plans to integrate my Starlink’s power system solution into truck’s existing electric system eventually (e.g. more powerful solar panels on roof of GFC). Starlink purchase came after and was not accounted for in my original build plans… has been fine as is, would just be a fun project and remove step of setting up portable panel.

*This is my consistent lived experience with my Dishy + Yeti after 75+ nights out in the GFC this year :metal:


This doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. Why would it consume less when powered off of DC?

My guess is because converting AC to DC is not an efficient process. Cars/batteries run off DC and Starlink runs off of DC. So to run Starlink you would have to convert DC to AC just for the Starlink to convert the AC back to DC. By running Starlink off of DC you’re removing two inverters from the system.

Even low quality inverters are usually pretty efficient. There is some power loss there, maybe 10-15% but that wouldn’t make it use half or less than half when powered on DC. Unless I’m missing something.

thanks @julian I’ve been hoping for a post like this.

re: AC, it’s true that switchers are efficient, but it’s also a 2-way process, going from battery to AC, then AC to DC starlink side. Whatever inefficiency is present doubles. Accounts for at least some of the losses.

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Amazing. I wanted to hear your experiences the most with it since I know you’ve been using it the most probably!

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This thread motivated me to finally pull the trigger.

Anyone have a case they like? Thinking about going with this one. It’s spendy but I really like that it has a built in mount and leaves everything connected. I’ve heard of people having issues with the connectors breaking on the cables that go to the dish.

I get that case has a mount, but I"m not sure it’s worth the extra $$ over the actual Starlink Travel Case, at least for my use cases.

I purchased the case a few months after getting my starlink. I like it well enough, and ist offers decent protection, but it has some odd things I don’t like - backpack straps that get in the way (I don’t really see the need for them) and an odd shape that is fairly large and causes me to do some tetris-packing at times.

I realize I could get this type of data elsewhere, but is anyone using starlink for zoom calls with video by multiple participants and sharing your screen? Any lag or quality issues with that type of use case?