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CaptainRisky
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Outdoor Starlink

Thu Mar 28, 2024 7:39 am

Hello all, and thank you for having me in the group.

I am not very strong at all in all things Wifi, but am reasonably strong at custom fabrication. At least I like to think so.

I am designing a sealed and weatherproof enclosure with 12v DC conversion for the new Starlink V3 dish, for use in my business of agricultural drone spraying. The plan is to mount it on top of our vehicles and connect laptop, controllers, mapping drone and weather station to it wirelessly. We are not needing cellular connection, in fact it is Australia's terrible cellular service which is driving us to Starlink. While blistering speeds are not critical, it would be nice to have a solid and fast wireless connection, and the choice of 2.4/5gHz. A bit of range around the vehicle would be handy.

These 12v conversion mounts are nothing new, but they are often a bunch of very cheap Amazon parts cobbled together a bit haphazardly. They often used a "decased" gl.inet Slate or Beryl, which apparently work reasonably well. I'd just like to do something a bit better.

I've got a "Beryl" here, but it requires an extra adapter from 12v to USB C in the design, which I don't really like. I've ordered a hAP ac lite, as it has the widest range of DC input (10-28) and both 2.4/5gHz wireless, the case clicks off easily for mounting as a card in my CNC machined housing and for it's compact size. I watched a video on the RouterOS app, and the quick set area looked fine for my needs and skill level.

Is this a good choice for this custom application? My team and I aren't coders. We'll be looking for it to be durable and effective, as well as reasonably easy to use.

EDIT:

I've just now noticed the CAP AC and in particular the CAP XL (with much more powerful antennas). These are interesting, as they are the only ones I've ever seen with 57v PoE, which is what my PoE injector is supplying. Would this be the best choice?

Please tell me your thoughts, and thanks in advance for any advice.
 
kevinds
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:48 am

Set the Starlink system to bridged with the Starlink Ethernet adapter, use it as the internet connection on the MIkrotik router. set for DHCP.

With our Starlink-Mikrotik setup we needed to open a ticket because the DHCP renewal didn't work properly, but that was fixed with the ticket.

What voltage are your vehicles? IMO it would be better to no mess with needing to adapt the power, use the same voltage your vehicle does (10-28 should cover just about all vehicles).

Other than that, I don't see a problem or concern with what you are trying to do.
 
CaptainRisky
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:35 am

Thank you very much for your reply.

The approach we are taking is as follows:

1. The vehicles are 12v. The new V3 dish is 56v. This supply can be wound up to 57v (confirmed by manufacturer) and is known to work well.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BZ ... UTF8&psc=1

2. This is the latest PoE injector, made for the new V3 dish.
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0CSBYJLPV ... ct_details

So whether I use the vehicles 12v or the step up power supplies 56v doesn't really matter. They are both inside the enclosure. But I only have one PoE supply, and that is used by the Starlink adapter, so it has to be a DC jack on the board.

This one's got potential as well:

https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_ac

The hap lite ac looks like a great little wireless router perfect size and mounting, I'm just a little worried about the wifi signal power due to the PCB antennas which are 1.5/2 dbi (2.4/5). In one of the reviews where they opened it up, there actually were IPEX sockets on the board, so I'm wondering if I couldn't add a set of flat antennas to it.

Or, is there a more suitable 2.4/5gHz wireless router I could use with more powerful antennas from the Mikrotik range? I don't mind spending a bit more to get the right one.
 
kevinds
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:47 am

The hap lite ac looks like a great little wireless router perfect size and mounting, I'm just a little worried about the wifi signal power due to the PCB antennas which are 1.5/2 dbi (2.4/5). In one of the reviews where they opened it up, there actually were IPEX sockets on the board, so I'm wondering if I couldn't add a set of flat antennas to it.

Or, is there a more suitable 2.4/5gHz wireless router I could use with more powerful antennas from the Mikrotik range? I don't mind spending a bit more to get the right one.
How much WiFi range do you need? Also where you are talking about I wouldn't be expecting much interference other users in the area, just your own equipment..

Second question.. What would the Mikrotik devices offer? Why not just use the Starlink provided WiFi?
 
CaptainRisky
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:14 am

As much range as possible would be good, as sometimes you have to wander a good distance from the vehicle to keep the drone in view. It doesn't affect the control of the drone, that's not over wifi of course, but the onscreen map starts to glitch if the connection's bad.

The main reason not to use the Starlink modem is that it can't be installed in the enclosure, and it's said to be of poor quality but I must admit I haven't checked that. Basically, everyone who does a 12v conversion seems to change the modem, but certainly you've got a good point in asking why.

As it goes, the Wap AC costs just a bit more, has more powerful omnidirectional antennas, a 1gig ethernet port and meets my voltage requirements. Plus it'll fit in my enclosure and is in stock at an Australian distributor, so I think that's my choice. I'll test the others against it to compare.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
 
jebz
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Fri Apr 05, 2024 4:38 am

Have you considered a Mikrotik GrooveA 52 with high gain 2.4GHz external aerial?
Paired with a RFI CD2409 aerial it will give you good range outside the vehicle.

https://www.telcoantennas.com.au/rfi-85 ... fi-antenna
.
 
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Amm0
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Fri Apr 05, 2024 5:39 am

There is also the new L11ug board, https://mikrotik.com/product/l11ug_5haxd - although the power 12-28V is more limited & only 5Ghz but AX.

The wAPacR internal antennas are connected with 2 x U.FL (not MMCX) so you use come pigtails to something else. The 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz are combined. It's a one screw to get the board, then board snaps out. So it's a bit smaller than L11 and has 11-57V range via DC jack. But no USB.
 
CaptainRisky
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:06 am

Have you considered a Mikrotik GrooveA 52 with high gain 2.4GHz external aerial?
Paired with a RFI CD2409 aerial it will give you good range outside the vehicle.

https://www.telcoantennas.com.au/rfi-85 ... fi-antenna
.
Thanks very much for the suggestion.

The external antenna is a bit of an issue as we are going for for a "car wash proof" housing, but it's more the PoE voltage of this one that makes it incompatible.

Since my first post, the PoE injector manufacturer has informed me that they're coming out with a new Gen 3 specific model which will have a fixed 56v on the LAN PoE. Basically I'm now definitely needing a router/access point that can be powered this way.
 
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:18 am

There is also the new L11ug board, https://mikrotik.com/product/l11ug_5haxd - although the power 12-28V is more limited & only 5Ghz but AX.

The wAPacR internal antennas are connected with 2 x U.FL (not MMCX) so you use come pigtails to something else. The 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz are combined. It's a one screw to get the board, then board snaps out. So it's a bit smaller than L11 and has 11-57V range via DC jack. But no USB.
Thank you.

Are we talking about this one:

https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_ac

If so, it's probably going to be powerful enough for this application antenna wise anyway for say 30m around a vehicle? And it meets my PoE voltage requirements, so that's good too. Also I have seen a tear down video, and yes, one screw and you can slide the board out of the housing which might be handy for mounting the bare board in my flat mount.

But this is where my lack of wifi knowledge kicks in... Is this product a router or just some sort of extender? We are needing to completely remove the stock Starlink router, so will this model work connected straight to the dish?

I have a good distributor here in Australia, so I'll confirm that with him soon enough, but it's the weekend and I've been too busy lately to contact him and ask. He did seem to think it was a good choice and could be set for some good performance, but I didn't talk about using it without the Starlink router.

I don't need USB for this application.
 
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Amm0
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:50 am

The wAPacR is a router, and is an AP by default. The newer wifi-qcom-ac drivers will get you Wave2 support on it.

So you should not need the Starlink router - assuming the third-party Starlink+PoE to Ethernet adapter works. The Amazon links seem to do that so the ethernet that be usable can be the WAN on the wAPacR.

The Wi-Fi is pretty flexible, so it can be repeater or PtP bridge depending how you configure it. By default, it be an AP, and I believe ether1 be a WAN already. But changeable.
 
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 3:01 am

Are we talking about this one:

https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_ac
Yes.

I mainly use the https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_r_ac which has miniPCIe slot, so I habitually add the "R". But the wAPac is identical, except no LTE modem. It's the plain "wAP R" you wouldn't want as that's only 2.4Ghz and slower.

Just note the PoE-IN voltage is 18-57 V, so need to use 5.5/2.1 DC jack for 12V.
 
CaptainRisky
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 5:17 am

Are we talking about this one:

https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_ac
Yes.

I mainly use the https://mikrotik.com/product/wap_r_ac which has miniPCIe slot, so I habitually add the "R". But the wAPac is identical, except no LTE modem. It's the plain "wAP R" you wouldn't want as that's only 2.4Ghz and slower.

Just note the PoE-IN voltage is 18-57 V, so need to use 5.5/2.1 DC jack for 12V.
Thanks again very much.

The PoE adapter I linked earlier is not the latest. They've got a new one coming that they've given me some info on. It has 56v PoE, which is going to be perfect for my application with this router/AP. It seems the other LTE models all are 12-30v with a plug in jack, which I'd prefer not to use.

I'll give this one a go. The distributor seemed supportive and seemed to think there wasn't anything else as good for that price. He also indicated he could set up a basic interface skin that was more consumer friendly and optimize the settings, all sounded good.

I don't recall seeing any connectors for the antennas for this model. I was under the impression they are mounted on the main board. I'll have a look when I get it.
 
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Amm0
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Sun Apr 14, 2024 5:44 am

Mikrotik has a pigtail part: https://mikrotik.com/product/acsmaufl

That get you SMA. Most Wi-Fi things RP-SMA. But AFAIK the wAPac is same as LTE ones with u.fl connectors on board for Wi-Fi.
 
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Re: Outdoor Starlink

Wed Apr 17, 2024 8:26 am

I know it's a Mikrotik forum, but I'll justify this by asking what the advantage of the Wap AC is.

https://www.amazon.com.au/Wireless-802- ... r=8-2&th=1

Is this also a router? If I connect this to my Starlink dish via my PoE injector, do I have wifi6?

Are there any downsides like security? There's one advantage I see with the Wap AC, is that it has a LAN port, but is wifi6 more powerful etc. Then this one seems to have a very approachable app.

Sorry about the nooby questions, but I'm keen to learn.

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