Plan for Testing Setup

I’ve determined that I need to run power out to a tree in in the back yard to make Starlink work. But it’s possible that the tree mount itself won’t work — that even 100 feet up in this particular Douglas fir the Starlink antenna won’t have a clear view of the sky. There are much taller redwoods all around that may still obstruct the view enough to make this location impractical.

So, before I spend a bunch of effort (digging the trench, laying the conduit, pulling the wires, hooking it all up) and a bunch of money (the NEMA enclosure, the conduit and tools, the wire and tools, the equipment rental) I’m going to verify that the tree mount actually works and I’m going to do that with an experimental setup.

The experiment needs to be low cost and low effort but it also needs to work for a while, weeks possibly months while I determine if this Starlink mount location is going to work. We could still get some light showers so the experiment setup needs to be water resistant if not water proof.

I think for the final job, I’d like to go with a $300 Altelix 14x12x8 fiberglass weatherproof vented enclosure with a thermostat controlled cooling fan. For the experiment I’ll go with something like a $15 Plano plastic toolbox and a $10 generic muffin fan. For the final job, it’ll be a couple hundred bucks for the wire plus (maybe) conduit and the trencher rental but for the experiment I’ll go with a $25 generic outdoor multi-outlet extension cord.

So, my ultimate Starlink power and enclosure setup will cost a bit and take some effort but if Starlink works, it will be a small price to pay. The $50 experiment will let me run with the Starlink service for long enough to determine if the location is going to work. That’ll save me the cost and effort of running power to where I don’t need in case that the location doesn’t work.

(If this tree mount doesn’t work, I suspect I’ll be investing a lot more money and effort in a very tall tower.)