A Starlink user, Steve Birch, has a setup on solar energy which allows them to live an off-grid lifestyle.
In a Reddit post last week, Birch wrote that he has a “remote fully off-grid Starlink station installed in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho.” The station includes a 300-watt solar panel setup made up of three 100-watt panels and a 450Ah battery bank, and it’s “been running like a champ 24/7 for the last week,” he wrote in his post.
Birch used lead-acid batteries to keep the cost down after figuring he’d need about 200 amp-hours to run the system 24/7. He also has an impressive wi-fi setup.
The off-grid Starlink station owner said he “like to make it open, to allow people to use it,” though he’s worried about safety — as it’s his access point — and he’d be open to a potential collaboration with a cybersecurity expert if he decides to make it accessible to people on the trail.
Shortly after the beginning of Russia’s Ukraine invasion, Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov appealed to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to provide Starlink internet coverage in the country. The private space company has since donated more than 3,000 Starlink terminals as well as equipment to run the service off-grid, allowing up to 150,000 users to connect daily.
SpaceX has also faced criticism for its Starlink service due to price increases because of inflation, and long delivery times. NASA has also warned that the growing orbital Starlink satellite fleet could negatively impact its ability to detect a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact in the future.
However, Birch has a different viewpoint: “I can enjoy the hot springs in the morning. Get a little bit of work in and then you know, five o’clock, four o’clock, whatever your time is, you just bug out. Hit the mountains, do whatever you want. Sit by the campfire.”
He also said that “it’s a double-edged sword,” as now he’s “always reachable.”