Setting up a Starlink service is easy - install the Dish, set up the Router, catch a signal, and you are all set. The hard part is signal reception since it can easily get impeded by obstructions.
Having had a considerable amount of time with Starlink, and with the knowledge I have since acquired, one of the things I came to understand quite early is that obstructions are a deal-breaker.
However, with some understanding of why this happens, you should be able to solve this issue.
If Starlink is obstructed, run the Check for Obstructions feature from the Starlink app to map out the impediments. Position the Starlink Dish accordingly, at a favorable angle. Avoid chimneys, trees, fences, antenna equipment, and other solid objects. Installing the Dish on elevated surfaces is ideal.
Check for Obstructions Feature on the Starlink App
Now that we have established that obstructions and opaque objects hinder signal reception on Starlink, let's look at how to prevent such inconsistencies.
Fortunately, Starlink does provide users with a way to check and avoid obstructions through the Starlink app.
The Check for Obstruction feature on the Starlink app (though not very reliable) might be your best bet at detecting and getting over obstructions in the path of the Starlink Dish.
Starlink Dish requires at least a 100 degrees view of the sky for syncing with satellites and enabling signal reception.
It all begins before powering ON the Dish, even before propping up the Starlink Dish on a desirable mounting surface.
Once you have found a suitable placement site for the Starlink Dish, it's probably the best time to open up the Starlink app and run the said feature.
Here's how it all goes with the Check for Obstructions feature:
1. After launching the Starlink app and logging into your account, tap on the Check for Obstructions tile.
2. Go through the instructions and select I'm Ready.
3. This then opens up the Camera of your device.
4. Scan the sky from the mounting surface. Follow the arrow on the screen as you sweep through the horizon.
Green patches indicate the areas that have been successfully scanned.
5. Select View Results once complete.
6. The Red dots on the hence-derived image indicates the many obstructions in the path of the Dish's POV. The Blue swathes indicate favorable angles to point at.
With this newly found map of the hindrances surrounding the Starlink Dish, you can now mount the Dish for optimal signal reception.
Obstructions to Look Out for When Mounting the Starlink Dish
While the Check for Obstruction feature does a decent job of mapping out the various obstruction in the path of the Starlink Dish view of the sky, it may not be the most reliable of sources at times.
No worries, though, for you can do the same job yourself.
All you need is a sharp eye and a careful understanding of what actually counts as an obstruction.
Generally speaking, most opaque objects and solid partitions pose a threat to the Starlink Dish when it comes to signal reception.
But that doesn't mean that other elements like foliage, tree canopy, and other porous portions are in the green. In fact, trees may be the most threatening of obstructions for the Starlink Dish.
Another substantial source of obstruction is interference from nearby Antennas and Dishes. Take especial care to steer clear of such elements while installing the Starlink Dish on an elevated surface.
With that said, here are some of the most crucial obstructions to look out for before mounting the Starlink Dish:
|Ground Level||Elevated Surfaces|
|Ground Vegetaions (shrubs, bushes, garden plants)||Other Antenna Equipemnet|
|Poles, Street Lamps||Poles, parapets, metal railings|
|Fences, Palisades||Walls and other Solid Partitions|
|Walls and other Solid Partitions||Chimneys|
If you can stay clear of these obstructions, you probably won't have to worry about signal reception and slow speeds on Starlink.
How to Mount the Starlink Dish without Obstructions
Taking care of obstructions alone won't solve the dilemma of establishing proper signal transmission channels on Starlink.
Mounting the Starlink DIsh properly also plays a very decisive role in avoiding obstructions and numerous crucial issues like getting Starlink stuck on Searching.
Even if Starlink is meant to be an impromptu internet setup, you can't just mount the Dish anywhere without giving it any thought.
In a similar vein of thought, making use of the temporary mount that comes with the Starlink Dish may prove to be adequate for the time being. But in the long run, this may not be the case.
First and foremost, let's talk about where to place the Starlink Dish.
Starlink supplies a lengthy PoE cable with every kit that can stretch about 150 ft.
That can easily stretch a good distance from the Router.
For temporarily mounting the Dish, look for an open ground with a stable surface, like an asphalt patch. Parking lots, playgrounds, grasslands, etc., may suffice.
If you plan on installing the Dish permanently, you may need to invest in a good mount, especially on an elevated surface.
J-Mounts work best for mounting the Starlink Dish on an elevated surface, like a porch eave.
Ladder mounts and Starlink's own Volcano mount works best for Starlink RV services.
Pole mounts are the best when it comes to avoiding obstructions, but propping one up could test you.
And just like that, there are quite a few Starlink accessories, third-party or proprietary, that could aid you immensely in avoiding obstructions.
How To Mount Starlink in Wooded Areas
As mentioned earlier, Trees and tree canopy affect Starlink communication severely.
But that doesn't imply that you have zero chance of employing the Starlink Dish in a wooded area.
All you have to do is to prop up the Starlink Dish farther away from the trees, with a clear view of the sky.
As a matter of fact, Starlink encourages potential users residing in wooded areas to verify a clear view of the sky in their premises to mount the Dish.
You could also mount the Dish on towering structures, such as poles, or even invest in a pole mount.
And as always, prioritize safety over everything else when mounting the Dish at a height.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on everything Starlink obstructions related.
Make use of the Check for Obstructions feature on the Starlink app to easily check and detect obstructions.
Mounting the Starlink Dish also plays a crucial role in effectively avoiding obstructions.
Once you have heeded these above-mentioned checks, you are sure to get the most out of your Starlink service.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you use Starlink with obstructions?
Yes, you can use Starlink even if the Dish's path is hindered by obstructions. Albeit, the signal reception will be poor, and you may have to deal with minimal networking speeds, high latency, and frequent network buffering.
Which direction is clear for Starlink?
Ideally, aim for the North when mounting the Starlink Dish. As to the angle with which to point the Starlink dish, shoot for an angle >45 degrees or point it exactly up in a vertical manner.
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