How To Power Starlink Satellite on 12 Volt DC
The method you are going to employ involves plug and play approach to setup a DC power supply for Starlink RV internet. It’s therefore an easy approach for general users. Using a few components, you can operate a standard Starlink dish for your van/RV/off-grid battery system.
As highlighted above, before you build a 12V DC Starlink power supply for your RV, you need to understand the role of two basic Starlink components.
The first component is Starlink satellite dish and the second component is Starlink power supply and Wi-Fi router.
The satellite dish is what provides all functionality of the Starlink system including the Starlink router and app. The dish connects to the Starlink router/power supply by way of a shielded Cat5 Ethernet cable.
The Starlink power supply and router performs two functions. First, it broadcasts the internet Wi-Fi signal. And secondly, it takes in 120 volt AC power and then converts the voltage down to 12 DC volts.
This 12 volts of DC power is then fed into the Ethernet cable by the Starlink power supply, which is how the dish gets its power.
The dish itself does not have a dedicated power cord. It gets the power through the main cable called power over Ethernet (POE). The Starlink system uses its own unique proprietary connections.
However, in order to power Starlink on DC power, you need to remove the Starlink router and power supply from the system. You then need to replace the Starlink power supply and router with three components: the DC power supply, POE injector, and the standard Wi-Fi router.
In order to build a Starlink internet system that runs off 12 volt DC power, you need these 3 components: Power over Ethernet (POE) Injector, DC to DC converter power supply, and DC powered router.
Power over Ethernet (POE) Injector is a device that connects with the Ethernet cable to provide the power that your Starlink dish requires to operate. Combining the POE Injector with the DC to DC converter power supply is what constitutes the Starlink 12v power supply.
The role of DC to DC converter power supply is to provide the required power to the POE injector – a source of at least 48 volts to power the Starlink internet system. Once you connect the DC power supply to the POE injector, the Ethernet cable is now powered with the 48 volts required for the Starlink dish.
A DC powered router is the last component that you’ll require for converting the 120 volt AC power down to 12 DC volts. This router is powered by 12 volt and has an internal cellular modem that takes a dedicated SIM card for cellular data connections.
These are the three components of hardware you need to make the Starlink run on DC power.
Starlink DC conversion summary
This Starlink satellite DC conversion system is straight-forward and so you can easily set it up.
From the dish, cut off the proprietary Starlink connector and replace it with a standard RJ45 connector (standard Ethernet connector), wired in a unique way commonly known as the “swapped” wiring.
From the dish, plug the swapped connector into the powered port of the POE injector. Then wire the DC power source (which provides 12 volts) into the POE injector.
On the other end of the POE injector is another swapped network connector. This cable is what goes from the POE injector to your standard router. On the end of that cable, you’ll have a standard T568B wired connector that connects to the router.
This cable has a standard T568B wired connector that connects to the DC powered router. This is the setup of your DC powered Starlink internet.
Keep in mind that you’ll need the following tools in order to do this task: a RJ45 Crimper tool, plenty of shielded connectors, a good pair of wire cutters, RJ45 couplers (optional), and a network cable tester (optional).
Testing it out
Now it’s the time to test your DC powered Starlink internet. Ensure to follow the setup instructions.
Ensure that the Starlink dish is turned on and getting a signal. Also, ensure that there are no lights or other indicators. After plugging in the expected Starlink connectors, the dish should automatically rotate to an upright position, looking for satellites in the sky.
Use the Starlink app on your smartphone (connected to the router’s Wi-Fi network) to check whether or not the dish is active.
My Final Thoughts
The guide above shows that it’s possible to power your Starlink internet system on 12 volt DC power. The setup is beneficial as it helps to save as many watts as possible if you run on battery and solar power off-grid.
Follow the guide and you’ll be able to improve your energy consumption by around 15% by setting up your own DC power supply to run off 12V.
However, ensure to exercise caution when working with electricity. Also, remember that modifying how your dish is powered can cause damage that won’t be covered by the Starlink warranty.
If you doubt your ability to set up the conversion or need further guidance in crimping and swapping the Ethernet cable, contact a professional for assistance.