Starlink

Starlink’s New “Standard” Antenna Sucks

Starlink "Standard" Antenna on an adjustable eave mount!

Avoid the new Starlink “Standard” antenna if you can.  As an installer, I prefer the older articulating model, and this is why!

I love Elon and everything he is doing for our World, however, his engineering team must be from southern California or someplace warm and less hostile than Montana, for sure!

The weather has been up and down for us here in Montana and it took us a couple of weeks, but we did our first installation of the new Starlink “Standard” Internet System the other day, and I have to tell you, I am not impressed at all and for several reasons. I will try to add more detailed photos to this post later.

The Starlink "Standard" Antenna comes with a Flimsy Plastic Stand

Although the installations we do usually require a pipe adapter, and I’ll get to that later, the flimsy plastic stand that comes with the new Starlink “Standard” Antenna is a joke.  I imagine they are going to be selling a lot of replacement stands and the market is open for something better for sure.   The way the flimsy stand allows the bottom edge of the flimsy antenna to touch the ground is completely unbelievable and should have never been allowed, and I’ll get two why later on that as well!  The stand will likely break or pop off after extended use and does not allow the antenna to be very stable on the ground or another surface.  The seemingly cheap plastic or fiber it is made from will likely not hold up, especially under conditions where the antenna is moved around frequently.

The Starlink "Standard" Antenna Reflector itself is also Flimsy!

Upon simply removing the customer’s Starlink “Standard” antenna from the box, I could see one corner of it was already peeling up and partially damaged just from the shipment apparently.  It is very lightweight and thin, which will make breaking the corners of it very likely if the antenna is moved around often.  It appears as though they decided to use thinner plastic, fiber, or whatever it is around the edge of the antenna as well, which is likely not going to end well.

The Starlink "Standard" Antenna Pole Mount Adapter is a Joke!

Even with the first pole mount adapters that Starlink came out with their first-generation and second-generation antennas were such a joke, that we designed and built our own pipe adapters/pole adapters and mount adapters to use with those antennas for our installations.  They were very popular online until our manufacturing facility was shut down for unrelated reasons.  We hope to have it back up and running soon!

So, first, you have to slide that crappy plastic stand out and off of the antenna so you can slide the optional pipe adapter into place if you are going to place the antenna on a pipe, pole, mast, mount, etc.  It is only held in place by a few small plastic ridges indented into the back of the antenna.

There is ONE bolt that tightens the antenna onto the pipe, pole, mast, mount, etc. and while we used to use 2″ exhaust pipe as a mast, I can tell you weren’t going to have to change that up for these pipe adapters as the single bolt just bends the pipe, so a heavier mast, pole, pipe, etc. must be used to have any hopes of the antenna remaining on the pole!

If that isn’t enough, we prefer to run the cable up through the mast, pipe, etc., and up into the antenna, however, the pipe adapter is built from a cast type of metal or something that would likely crack or break and be destroyed if we tried to drill a hole in it to get the cable up through the mast.

After all of that, guessing where a hole below the antenna should be in the pipe is a challenge since you will likely have to rotate the antenna upon setup so it sees the angle it wants to see.

I made my customer sign a waiver that, although I guarantee the installation and the mount will hold up, I cannot promise that the antenna won’t fly off of it in high winds or if snow happens to pile up on one end of it or another.  I know it has a heater, but, if the power goes out for a few hours in the Winters of Montana, things happen!  We went on 43 service calls in the Spring of 2023 just to replace broken Starlink OEM Mounts and Pipe Adapters, etc. which is why we will not even use them.  They were obviously not designed for Montana conditions!

The Cable Ends are Smaller Now, but even more Susceptable to Loosening up!

One of the biggest complaints we had with the 1st and 2nd Generation Starlink Antennas was the size of the hole we had to drill to get it in/out of a home or other building.  The modem end took like an 1 1/4″ hole while the antenna end took like a 3/4″ hole.  They did fix that, and now a 3/4″ hole is plenty, possibly even a bit smaller. However, the ends of the cable where it attaches to the modem and antenna are just another completely poor design that will likely come loose or pop out over time or if moved around, repositioned often.

What do I like About the new Starlink "Standard" Antenna

I like the smaller cable ends, the new modem design, the included ethernet ports, separate power block, and there are other features for connectivity that I’ve heard could make it better, faster, etc. But is it worth it?  Not in my opinion!

Contact Us for more Information

Contact Us if you want your Starlink installed properly around Northwestern Montana, and/or to purchase one of our mounts like the one shown above or another that we have used for many years with HughesNet and other Systems and Services in the Mountains of Montana!  Also, if you can avoid the new Starlink “Standard” Antenna, I recommend doing so until either we can find a better pipe adapter for you, or until they make something much more durable and reliable.  Try to get your hands on the articulating model instead if you can, at this point, even a used one would be a better option. And you know there will be people out there selling them now that a “newer” system is out!  You can always buy the ethernet adapter for it if you need an ethernet connection.  Fill out our Starlink Site Survey Request Form so we can visit your site, find the correct antenna location, cable path, modem location, and more and offer you a custom quote for installation!