In anticipation of joining the Starlink internet beta program in January or February when it reaches my latitude, I’ve been planning how to hook it up. The trees are too tall here for the satellite terminal on the ground or even the roof to see enough of the sky for continuous coverage during the early sparse days of the Starlink constellation so I think my only choice is to go up a tree with the dish.
As luck would have it, there’s a nearby large Doug fir that was topped by a previous owner. It doesn’t have much in the way of limbs and it’s about 4 foot diameter so I’m hopeful it won’t sway much in the wind. It’s basically a massively scaled up,living utility pole :-)
My first thought was to mount to the cut top of the tree but after thinking about it some more I’m not convinced that even long lag bolts would be strong enough going into end grain. So now I think I’ll mount to the side of the tree and I’ve been working on the design for a simple mast that stands off of the tree a bit and rises just above the cut top for the dish to be able to orient in any direction.
The first draft of the mount required some fabrication, cutting and welding, that I wasn’t too happy with so I worked at it for a bit and this week came up with an alternate design that should work and doesn’t require any fabrication beyond drilling a couple of holes in a piece of 1 1/2 inch pipe.
The main horizontal support is a 3/4 inch diameter, 12 inch long lag bolt (why are they called bolts when they’re actually screws?) and the spacers off of the tree, the tee, and the mast itself are all simple iron pipe and fittings that I can screw together.
Here’s a diagram I whipped up in Sketchup. Let me know what you think? Will this iron pipe mast work to support an 11 pound satellite terminal? Will it be easy to build and then install 100 feet up a big tree? Feedback welcome.