If you're like us just joined as a Starlink customer, waiting for their permanent mount to be shipped, but already paying for the Starlink Network stay tuned. I'm going to tell you how to build a simple DIY Starlink Temporary Mount.
Rural Regions and Remote Areas - SpaceX's Starlink Maybe Your Permanent Solution for an Internet Service Provider
If you live in rural areas, have a clear view of the sky, and need an internet connection a Starlink dish might just be the answer for you. I don't exactly live in remote areas, but you would think I did to look at our internet access options.
There were several problems we were facing when it comes to internet connectivity
- 01 Lack of Options for High Data Speeds. There is one high-speed internet provider where I live and they do not even have an unlimited data plan.
- 02 Lower Cost Option while not sacrificing upload or download speeds.
- 03 An Option That Wasn't 5G related. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I didn't want a 5G Router in my home. The idea of satellite service seemed like a good idea. And our best option for the long term.
- 04 A Permanent Solution for Rural Internet for a "someday" Homestead. I always want to keep in mind the future, especially when making any larger financial investment.
- Rural Regions and Remote Areas - SpaceX's Starlink Maybe Your Permanent Solution for an Internet Service Provider
- The Low Earth Orbit of the Starlink Satellite Constellation Allows for Minor Disruptions
- Watch the Video
- How to Build a DIY Starlink Temporary Mount - Steps 1-6
- Step One - Get Your Supplies, Tools, & Download the Free Plans
- Step Two - Start Your Making Your Cuts from Your Printable Cut List
- Step Three - Start Your Assembly of your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount
- Step Four - Now Comes The Trickier Part
- Step Five - Securing Your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount to a Solid Structure
- Step Six - The Final Step, Installing the Satellite on the Top of the Mount
Internet Access is a Rural Struggle Even in Today's Technological World
For 8 years we struggled using a company constantly paying upwards of $200/mo. We finally had had enough and switched to the only other feasible company. We were fortunate to get a free wi-fi router that worked with that company, as well.
However, the maximum speed we were able to achieve was 10 Mbps. Which if you know nothing about internet speeds, is incredibly slow. Never mind that the upload speed was almost non-existent.
If we were simply consumers we probably could have just made due. But because my husband and I are both content creators, the speed was torture.
This started me on my journey looking into what other options there could possibly be. It's sad that so many communities in the United States still struggle to get reliable internet.
The Low Earth Orbit of the Starlink Satellite Constellation Allows for Minor Disruptions
Yet another issue many of us in rural America face is regular service interruptions. In my area, you get heavy rain and your internet is out.
The lines in my city are outdated and need to be replaced. But try getting these companies to invest.
And when people get home from work in the evening and usage skyrockets you're lucky to get even 5 Mbps. Which feels slightly better than dial-up.
As of June 2021, there are over 1,500 Starlink active satellites, making Starlink the largest satellite constellation around Earth. In fact, SpaceX now owns more than half of all active satellites circling our planet. Ultimately, Elon Musk plans for Starlink to consist of many thousands — or even tens of thousands — of satellites, providing the entire globe with high-speed, low-latency internet.Astronomy.com
When designing my temporary mount I wanted it to be tall for two reasons.
- 01 I live in a subdivision and have a lot of obstructions for any ground stations to be installed properly. Which meant the higher I went, the less chance for service interruptions. Obstructions equal brief periods of no connectivity.
- 02 Wanting to keep it far from ground level because of children.
Why Build a Temporary Mount and Not A Permanent Structure?
Because of our current living situation, in a subdivision, we chose to do a side mount on our home. However, they won't be shipping out for at least another month.
In the meantime, we're paying for Starlink Service. Therefore, it seemed illogical to pay $110/mo for internet service while the Starlink kit sits in the box.
I decided I'd put a bunch of free untreated 2x4s to good use. Bonus is, I could secure the entire structure to my deck which solved four problems.
- I didn't have to worry about its stability in high winds.
- The cord could easily be run under my deck into my house for the time being. Keeping it safe, also.
- This was the least obstructed area in my yard.
- It could be installed quickly and was near a power supply.
To find a good spot to install your temporary or permanent mount structure you will want to download the Starlink App. It didn't work on my phone unfortunately but worked great on my husband's.
The app will help you to choose the best location to secure your mount by how much of the sky is unobstructed.
Watch the Video
How to Build a DIY Starlink Temporary Mount - Steps 1-6
Before you begin building your structure you want to consider a few minor details like becoming a Starlink customer. If you aren't a customer and have any of the same struggles we did, I would recommend heading to the Starlink Website.
Who knows, maybe you do online gaming (like my teenager) or need to make video calls (like my husband). Then again, maybe you're just living in one of the areas of the globe like we do, which has no great local options.
We signed up for it last month and expected to not be eligible to receive it until 2023. Many people in my area who signed up for it last year are just now receiving theirs.
But we were fortunate and they are quick. Our wait was a mere week.
Step One - Get Your Supplies, Tools, & Download the Free Plans
Now is the time to start prepping to build your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount.
The list of supplies is pretty small. I used a total of 5 - 2x4x8s to build this DIY Starlink Temporary Mount. I was gifted untreated ones, but you could purchase treated lumber to ensure they last longer if you're concerned.
When my permanent mount comes in these boards will be repurposed into potato boxes, so I'm happy they're untreated.
I go into all of the details and cut the list in the free printable plans, so don't forget to download that below for your ease.
Supplies and Tools Needed to Build Your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount
Supplies that I used to Build and Install My DIY Temporary Starlink Mount
- 5 - 2x4x8 Common Lumber treated or untreated
- 36 - 2 ½ in. Wood Exterior Screws (I recommend Star Bit)
- 4 - 4 in. Wood Exterior Screws Star Bit
- 4 - ¼ in. x 1 ¼ in. Zinc-Plated Fender Washer
- Cable Clamps/Clips
Tools that I used to Build and Install my DIY Temporary Starlink Mount
- Impact Driver
- Chop Saw (Miter Saw, Jigsaw, Handsaw, Etc.)
- Measuring Tape
- Carpenter's Square
- Extension Cord not required
Step Two - Start Your Making Your Cuts from Your Printable Cut List
I outline the cuts for each of your 5 - 2x4s in the plans above to make it easier for you, but it is a really simple build.
If you love other DIY and Home Projects make sure to check out my post How to Make Farmhouse-Style Trim Cheap.
Detailed Cut List
- 14 inches - x4
- 20 inches - x4
- 65 inches - x4
For your first and second 2x4 you will make a single 65", and two 14" cuts. Always cut the longest cuts first to avoid running out of wood for a long enough cut at the end.
65" + 14" + 14" = 93 inches approx.
You will have approximately 3 inches of leftover out of your first two boards. Minus the width of your blade.
Note: Always ensure when you mark your wood to cut on the correct side so you're getting your full piece.
For your third and fourth 2x4, you will cut a single 65" and 20" cut.
For your fifth and final 2x4, you will cut two 20" boards. And when you're done with this project you'll have a few scrap boards to be creative with as well! Which, is totally a bonus in my opinion.
Step Three - Start Your Assembly of your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount
The Header and Footer
The top and bottom are the exact same process. Therefore it took me less than an hour total.
First, line up the 14" boards on either end and place the 20" boards between.
And then, second, secure the 14" ends with 2 - 2 ½" screws holding them fast while you screw them in.
If you had two people this process will be even easier! But I built it fairly easily by myself, so don't worry about it if you're alone.
Step Four - Now Comes The Trickier Part
Installing the Header and Footer to the "Legs"
First comes the footer
01 Place the footer on the ground in front of you.
02 Then, place one of the 65" boards standing up on top in the corner of the base.
03 And finally, use 2 - 2 ½" screws, one on each end, and screw them in at an angle.
Repeat these steps for all 4 legs until they're secure enough for the next step.
04 Turn the entire structure over on top of the header.
Installing the Header
While the entire structure is upside down resting on the header repeat the steps above.
01 Secure one leg at a time by using 2 - 2 ½" screws screwed in at an angle.
02 Also ensure you're applying pressure to keep the boards as straight as possible. (We don't want a wonky structure).
03 But if you're struggling obviously try to get some help, extra hands are great. If you can't get extra hands, clamps would be a great option.
Those screws can sometimes be tricky. Especially when you're holding the leg with one hand and the screw is teetering at the end of your impact drill bit.
So, I've found It's helpful to get them started straight and then move them to an angle and apply a lot of pressure. You want them to grab as much of the board they're going into as possible.
Don't be afraid to take them out and try a second time to get a better angle.
Step Five - Securing Your DIY Starlink Temporary Mount to a Solid Structure
Obviously, there are a plethora of options for how you can build and secure a temporary mount for your Starlink Satellite dish. However, this was our best option to secure it quickly.
I hope I'm giving you an inspiration to problem solve and get the job done in the most efficient and secure way. $550 is a lot of money to invest in equipment if it gets thrown about in a storm.
Securing It to Our Deck with 4" Exterior Wood Screws
For this step, I opted to ensure the entire structure was as level as I could get it. Therefore, before screwing it in I put my level on the top.
I got my shovel out and tried to make the ground as level as I could as well.
When I was satisfied it wasn't the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I secured it using 4 - 4" wood exterior screws straight into the sides of my deck.
This mount is not going anywhere.
Step Six - The Final Step, Installing the Satellite on the Top of the Mount
Would you believe when I first started cutting the wood I totally got the measurements wrong? Yep. I made a rookie mistake and created the mount the exact size of the metal leg mounts.
Which meant it wouldn't be able to be secured onto anything. Thank goodness for trial and error and that those 2x4s were free. See, I make mistakes so you don't have to.
If you decide your needs require adjusting the plans you at least know the top measurements have to be at least 14x24" to be able to secure the dish to it.
Installing the Metal Dish Mount Legs to the Temporary Mount Structure
You're in the home stretch!
01 Take your 4 - ¼" x 1 ¼" washers and 4 - 2 ½" screws.
02 Put a washer through each screw.
03 Secure each leg one at a time using a screw and a washer.
Well, friends, I hope I have given you food for thought and hopefully helped solve a problem! But I'll settle for inspiring you.
Thanks for stopping by!