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Old 05-21-2022, 08:01 PM #1
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Need battery/power advice for Starlink

Hello!

My wife and I are doing some traveling this summer. We do still have to work much of the time, but have the luxury of working remotely.

We have the option of getting Starlink internet, and I'm trying to figure out the optimal route to get it powered.

Requirements:
1. Power Starlink ~100 watts for 8+ hours a day. We won't always need it that much, but need the option.
2. Power ARB Zero 73QT, 0.8Ah 12v
2. I'd like to avoid solar for the time being.
3. Room for added accessories in the future (lights, compressor, etc).

I can do any wiring/upgrades needed, but I'm trying to avoid doing things twice. I put in a group 31 battery last year, but other than that the electrical system is stock. No other accessories yet.

Is this as simple as:
1. Upgrading altenator
2. Installing 2nd identical battery
3. Isolator + fuse block setup
4. Wiring new 12v ports in the rear for fridge
5. Wiring 500w-1000w inverter to 2nd battery (or just plugging it into one of my new 12v sockets in the rear?)

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Old 05-21-2022, 08:12 PM #2
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Or, is this as simple as buying a Jackery 1000wh (or similar) setup and calling it a day? I could charge it from the 12v socket while the engine is running.
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:13 PM #3
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Doesn't starlink require a non-mobile address to work?
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:56 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooplstilskin View Post
Doesn't starlink require a non-mobile address to work?
Kind of. You can change your address as often as you'd like. You just can't use it while mobile (even though people are doing that, too).
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Last edited by formerly; 05-21-2022 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:38 AM #5
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A Wi-Fi Hotspot with an unlimited data plan may be a less expensive option and easier to manage than taking a Starlink system.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:56 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerly View Post
Kind of. You can change your address as often as you'd like. You just can't use it while mobile (even though people are doing that, too).
Yeah, I'd test this all out. The official FAQ says it won't work with travel, and they purposefully will disable it.

This Youtube video has someone trying, and it not working after the second stop, though it is a year old.

To power it, you could do two deep cycle AGMs, hooked to a 2000W inverter, and some solar. then hook that to your 4runner a number of ways to help charging, etc. That would also be able to charge your computer, and other goodies for a bit.

edit: Watt not Amp

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Old 05-22-2022, 10:59 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobsTrail View Post
A Wi-Fi Hotspot with an unlimited data plan may be a less expensive option and easier to manage than taking a Starlink system.
This is what I run.

dedicated wifi hotspot from my carrier (verizon), a 4g/5g cell booster, and a ecoflow expanded electric battery/generator, with the solar. Gets me all the power, and I can get pretty far out sometimes, and still get enough 4g to boost for work stuff. Though I do have my camera off a lot in meetings for that bandwidth saving.
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Old 05-22-2022, 11:36 AM #8
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I have a similar setup right now in my rig except running a lifepo4 battery inside the rig and solar. I run 2 panels for total of 300 watts paired with a Redarc 40amp charger which fully recharges the house battery in about 3hrs with the alternator.

I have a 4G/5G router that runs 24/7 that gets me enough speeds working at most places but will bust out the Starlink as necessary in most remote places or if TMobile decides the throttle.

I have the rectangular dish with the POE mod and router delete which runs around 40-45 watts average (Round dish see a little bit more power usage depending on version). I would recommend doing that so you run DC power straight to dishy rather inverting DC to AC then back to DC.
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Old 05-22-2022, 11:46 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobsTrail View Post
A Wi-Fi Hotspot with an unlimited data plan may be a less expensive option and easier to manage than taking a Starlink system.
The reason people are mounting starlink on their trucks is that they are going into areas where cell coverage is non existent or awful.

You CAN use starlink on vehicles Starlink Portability/Roaming Mode Explained - Starlink Hardware - so ~$135/m which is not great but not bad either..

The downsides of starlink of course is that you are still mounting a giant ****ing sail on your car and I can't imagine the further MPG hit for it and technically are not allowed to use it in motion, how that is enforced if it even is remains up in the air - but I wouldn't want to be driving around with a giant dish up on my truck either...

The "money is no object" setup would be both an LTE hotspot and a starlink setup...

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Old 05-23-2022, 10:49 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agloukhoff View Post
The reason people are mounting starlink on their trucks is that they are going into areas where cell coverage is non existent or awful.

You CAN use starlink on vehicles Starlink Portability/Roaming Mode Explained - Starlink Hardware - so ~$135/m which is not great but not bad either..

The downsides of starlink of course is that you are still mounting a giant ****ing sail on your car and I can't imagine the further MPG hit for it and technically are not allowed to use it in motion, how that is enforced if it even is remains up in the air - but I wouldn't want to be driving around with a giant dish up on my truck either...

The "money is no object" setup would be both an LTE hotspot and a starlink setup...
Im guessing youd probably want to just stow the dish away until stationary and then deploy at your destination as needed. Otherwise, these are very valid concerns.
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:12 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerly View Post
Hello!

My wife and I are doing some traveling this summer. We do still have to work much of the time, but have the luxury of working remotely.

We have the option of getting Starlink internet, and I'm trying to figure out the optimal route to get it powered.

Requirements:
1. Power Starlink ~100 watts for 8+ hours a day. We won't always need it that much, but need the option.
2. Power ARB Zero 73QT, 0.8Ah 12v
2. I'd like to avoid solar for the time being.
3. Room for added accessories in the future (lights, compressor, etc).

I can do any wiring/upgrades needed, but I'm trying to avoid doing things twice. I put in a group 31 battery last year, but other than that the electrical system is stock. No other accessories yet.

Is this as simple as:
1. Upgrading altenator
2. Installing 2nd identical battery
3. Isolator + fuse block setup
4. Wiring new 12v ports in the rear for fridge
5. Wiring 500w-1000w inverter to 2nd battery (or just plugging it into one of my new 12v sockets in the rear?)

Picture for attention:

Alright, I reviewed Starlinks new RV specs, and first, I am getting one. Holy moly.

Secondly, This is getting into "Van building" territory and that's what I am keen in.

So, I reviewed the 4runner owners manual and specs (i have a 2016 Trail Preem for comparison):

Steps, in order:

1: Upgrade Alternator to 250a or 270a (270a is an OEM upgrade)
2: Upgrade first battery, install second battery (anything with more WH than stock. lots of options, I'd choose one with least amount of changes to your battery box as some batts can be...hefty)
3: Wire (do not plug in), inverter of your size, at least 1000w, better with 2k
4: Wire in inverter controls (this is a couple of buttons, usually near your inverter, or front dash
5: wire in the 2nd battery changeover
6: wire in extra outlets to 4runner from inverter as needed (lots of oem usbs, or extra outlets, just have to customize placement)

In a van, the above is fairly straightforward, I have built a few. But the 4runner will pose the challenge of blending in the new wires/electrical with the existing. Be sure to gather all the upgrades/mods (sound dampening, etc), that way when you take off the door panels, ceiling fabric, etc, get it all done at once.

Electrical specs minimum based on Starlink:

Operating normal stuff, and only starlink (no fridge, etc) based on some back of napkin math:

40-65w resting usage for Starlink, peaking at 175w on startup: 4 hours = ~260wh
stock battery is ~20hours at 65ah, if you simply double the stock: 43hours at 65ah
65ah/43h/260wh*electrical functions = 4.43

So a dual stock battery setup will probably get roughly ~16 Hours of straight starlink, plus other common usage. If you add in fridge, laptops, etc, that will only go down.


tldr: dual stock batts should get you ~16 hours of starlink usage before you have to stop and start the 4runner. up the alternator so you actually charge them, and get an inverter so you can plug in all of the things.

A better setup would be to create the above but stand alone from your system. Meaning, wire it up, and wire up the ability for it to charge off the alternator, but you can get 2 smaller batts, say ~35hours at 40ah, and that would power starlink, and everything else for 1+ days. then just have them strapped somewhere in the back like a van build.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:02 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerly View Post
Hello!

My wife and I are doing some traveling this summer. We do still have to work much of the time, but have the luxury of working remotely.

We have the option of getting Starlink internet, and I'm trying to figure out the optimal route to get it powered.

Requirements:
1. Power Starlink ~100 watts for 8+ hours a day. We won't always need it that much, but need the option.
2. Power ARB Zero 73QT, 0.8Ah 12v
2. I'd like to avoid solar for the time being.
3. Room for added accessories in the future (lights, compressor, etc).

I can do any wiring/upgrades needed, but I'm trying to avoid doing things twice. I put in a group 31 battery last year, but other than that the electrical system is stock. No other accessories yet.

Is this as simple as:
1. Upgrading altenator
2. Installing 2nd identical battery
3. Isolator + fuse block setup
4. Wiring new 12v ports in the rear for fridge
5. Wiring 500w-1000w inverter to 2nd battery (or just plugging it into one of my new 12v sockets in the rear?)

Picture for attention:
I've got a Starlink and have used it from my rig quite extensively over the past few months. 100W is a little conservative, mine usually pulls 60-80W the entire time it's on (it's the new style with the rectangular antenna, I believe the old style one used about twice that).

Without solar you're gonna be hurting unless you're on the move every single day, which from the sounds of it (working remotely like me), you aren't. If you and your wife are working you're probably going to need to charge a couple of laptops too which I don't see accounted for above. I'd put money on those laptops being your primary consumer.

Between my laptop, starlink, phone charging, fridge, etc, etc I typically use about 1 - 1.5 kWh in a 24h period. I've got 500W of solar blankets so on a sunny day I usually come in about even or just under, generally can sit still for 5-6 reasonably sunny days before I'm in danger of my fridge shutting down overnight. I run a 200Ah LiFePO and quite frankly, I wish I went a bit bigger. I'm likely going to get another 200W blanket at some point as well.

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Old 05-25-2022, 02:09 PM #13
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Im guessing youd probably want to just stow the dish away until stationary and then deploy at your destination as needed. Otherwise, these are very valid concerns.
This is exactly what I do, it takes about 3 minutes to set up. I actually ran into a guy broken down on the side of the road a few weeks ago and helped him out (on pavement but no cel service and hours from the nearest town). Had him online, help on the way and packed back up within 10 minutes.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:15 PM #14
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Originally Posted by rooplstilskin View Post
This is what I run.

dedicated wifi hotspot from my carrier (verizon), a 4g/5g cell booster, and a ecoflow expanded electric battery/generator, with the solar. Gets me all the power, and I can get pretty far out sometimes, and still get enough 4g to boost for work stuff. Though I do have my camera off a lot in meetings for that bandwidth saving.
I did this full time for three years and relied heavily on LTE until a few months ago. There's no comparison between the LTE network and Starlink. "Pretty far out" has nothing on "literally anywhere I can see the sky". Nevermind the lack of data caps, better latency, and additional bandwidth.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:20 PM #15
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Yeah, I'd test this all out. The official FAQ says it won't work with travel, and they purposefully will disable it.
This isn't true. If I'm not at my "designated address" it still sort of works but it's pretty painful. You'll get blips of service but basically the only thing you can do is (patiently) update your designated address if you've gone too far. I don't use roaming mode because I've never had a cel be full when I'm somewhere I actually need the Starlink for connectivity but that would certainly be an option as well.
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