Starlink’s new Dishy McFlatface is smaller and lighter, still $ 499

A roof-mounted Starlink satellite dish.
Enlarge / The new version of Dishy McFlatface.


Starlink replaced its user terminal with a new model that is smaller and cheaper to produce, and the company updated the Wi-Fi router that ships in the hardware kits that ship to new subscribers. The $ 499 price that new Starlink users must pay for hardware has not changed.

New versions of the Starlink router and satellite dish.
Enlarge / New versions of the Starlink router and satellite dish.


The rectangular satellite dish to be shipped to new users measures 19 inches x 12 inches, compared to the original circular antenna diameter of 23.2 inches. The weight of the plate is 9.2 pounds, down from the original 16 pounds. The operating temperature range of -22 ° F to + 122 ° F (-30 ° C to + 50 ° C) has not changed, so the thermal cuts that have affected some users of the original satellite dish “Dishy McFlatface “could continue to be a problem.

The Federal Communications Commission approved New Starlink user terminals on Wednesday. The main differences between old and new equipment are described in the specifications section of a support frequently asked questions.

There are some additional mounting options for the new satellite dish, including wall brackets that come in two different sizes and are “designed to be installed on an exterior wall near the top of the gable.” You can view the mounting options for the new operator terminal at this document and mounting options for the terminal above here. Each user terminal comes with a base for installation at ground level, while mounting hardware is sold separately.

Another view of the new Starlink plate.

Another view of the new Starlink plate.


New Wi-Fi router lacks Ethernet port

The Wi-Fi router in the upgraded hardware kit uses 3×3 MU-MIMO instead of the 2×2 MU-MIMO above, so it can transmit in three spatial streams instead of two. There is a degradation in the new router as it does not have an Ethernet port like the original. The Starlink website notes that users can purchase an Ethernet adapter from the Starlink store.

“To connect a third-party mesh system or router, you will need to purchase the Ethernet adapter from the Starlink Store to allow a wired connection to the network. Bypass functionality is coming soon and we are actively working on developing a Starlink mesh product, “the website says.

The original Wi-Fi router supported operating temperatures of + 32 ° F to + 86 ° F (0 ° C to + 30 ° C), while the new one supports a wider range of -22 ° F to + 122 ° F (-30 ° C to + 50 ° C), according to the support FAQ. The new router also has an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance, the same rating indicated for old and new satellite dishes. These changes suggest that this new version of the router could be used outdoors, but the FAQ says that the router is still “configured for indoor use.”

Both old and new routers support the 802.11a / b / g / n / ac standards and operate on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Here is a screenshot of the FAQ showing the differences between the old and new dishes and routers:

The starting price of $ 499 could eventually drop, but when it might happen is unknown. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in June that the company is losing money on every Starlink user terminal because it costs more than $ 1,000 to produce. “We are working on next-generation terminals that provide the same level of capacity, roughly the same level of capacity, but cost much less … Over time, we would like to reduce the cost of the terminal from $ 500 to, I don’t know. , $ 300 or $ 250, or something like that, “Musk said.

SpaceX recently warned that global chip shortages are affecting “our ability to fulfill” orders. There was also a strange occurrence where customers had their shipping dates delayed by a year or more when making small changes to their service locations using a mapping tool on the Starlink website. Starlink later said that “if you move to a new location, your place in the queue at the new location will still be based on the date of your initial order.”

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