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Starlink Internet coming to Mexico


KevinR
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2 hours ago, Lou Quillio said:

SNIP....

But that's neither here nor there because this map embeds business logic we don't know about. It's a business tool, not a science project. 

That's interesting Lou.  If one looks at that map and zero in on Colorado, one will see that Starlink is NOT available to the vast majority of Colorado.... population-wise. Probably 85% of the population of Colorado exists on the "Front Range"... north-south along I25 from Cheyenne Wyo to Raton NM. (If you have been in Colorado you know that east of I25 it is basically flat... think Kansas.... and west of I25 the terrain abruptly reaches 12-14,000' in a matter of miles!) Another 10% of the population lives along I70 from I25/Denver to Grand Junction near the Utah border. 

That availability map shows that these two areas have virtually NO Starlink coverage but other, sparsely populated areas in Colorado... the remaining 5% of the population... can get it.  

So from this, it would appear that Elon's business model is 'offer Internet service to those places where we will have no/little Internet competition'. Another way to think about it might be to 'give service to the have-nots first'. They'll probably be grateful that they have anything and won't bitch at us too much nor overload our 'customer service' folks here in the early goings.

.... but then, maybe NONE of this is accurate.  

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

east of I25 it is basically flat

Right. I drove from Omaha to Denver a few times long ago, during my U.S. Chair Force service, expecting everything to be different at the Colorado border. Nope. The terrain doesn't change till you hit Denver. By Golden it's getting steep.

1 hour ago, RickS said:

So from this, it would appear that Elon's business model is 'offer Internet service to those places where we will have no/little Internet competition'.

I mean, they've got what, 300,00 customers globally? And the terrestrial infrastructure is maybe more important than the satellites? and the whole service is in a controlled, beta+ launch with no guarantees or service-level agreements? And it's not even profitable yet? Might be a little early to hatch conspiracy theories, sí?

Maybe it'll always be a boutique / hobbyist / rural-necessity product. Nobody knows. Even SpaceX doesn't know. Maybe there's no Starlink future where it dukes it out with Comcast for household customers in Denver -- and if there is, it won't be soon. The masses are highly price-sensitive, and really like their "bundles" -- something Starlink doesn't have.

The Silicon Valley mindset, in my experience, famously includes what Larry Page (a Google founder) used to call "big bets." The expression was meant to calm stockholders after we went public, but what he mean was, "Look, we've got some ventures that lose money. They're supposed to lose money. But we've got plenty of cash and a lot of big brains, and when we look down the road we see world changing innovation in X technology. And when it arrives, we'll already be there. We'll have made all the mistakes and learned the ins and outs. So, yeah, it loses money now. Get used to it. Any more questions?"

Starlink looks like that to me. It's placing a big bet, and needs not go hat-in-hand to investors to do so. Business model? Probably fits on one printed page. Double spaced.

It's super-early days, and Starlink will be reinvesting anything it does make back into the service for years. I personally don't see anything diabolical in that.

Importantly, companies like Google and SpaceX can move the ball harder and faster than other entities, which matters one hell of a lot.

Think about atmospheric carbon extraction. Drop global atmospheric CO₂ emissions to zero today and the earth still warms dangerously, because there's already so much. Extraction will be necessary. Will the U.S. Dept. of Energy crack that nut soon enough, or at all? No way. Maybe the U.N.? Fuhgettaboutit.

Let me extend this rant by pointing out that nobody expects Apple or Amazon or Facebook to solve the world's hard problems, yet they and Google are lumped together under the simpleton's rubric, "Big Tech."

But Facebook sells shit, Apple sells cool, and Amazon sells almost everything (quite well, actually). Google is not like the others. Google is Star Fleet. There are no assholes at Google, because they're not let in. Whatever their specialties, Googlers all have good manners, and can write well, and do eight other things better than the average person, for fun. Googlers don't need to be at Google, because they can get a great job tomorrow without trying. They're there to make a difference. In some measure, SpaceX is like that. They're not trying to screw anybody, they're too busy with more important stuff.

There. I've successfully managed to avoid hanging a ceiling fan and assembling a bunch of patio furniture today. But I did get the asador de gas connected to el tanque, so I'm declaring victory, ordering delivered ribs from Adelita, and settling into the Warriors game. Maybe this retirement thing ain't so bad after all. 😉

LQ

 

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The only questions their map can answer are (1) "Is Starlink even available to me?" and (2) "If it's available and I order, will Starlink send my kit now, or will I go on a wait list?" That's all it's good for.

Wow, having read that, we were just lucky. I had no idea there was a problem w/orders, just that we'd be on a list and get it when it was our turn. Now, I see that we just happened to be in the right spot...or not, depending on the results of my electricity monitoring, lol. 

FWIW, I really appreciate your explanations, Lou. It's like opening a Russian doll...each time I learn something new (not surprising since I'm a technodino), it opens the door to something else. 

 

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The are some YouTube videos of people on the waiting list "moving" their location pin on the map slightly to be in an area where immediate order shipping is possible. Apparently that is the location you say you will be using it, not necessary to change the shipping address. Several people report that it worked fine at the original location. It's very helpful to full time RV'ers who can thus choose a camping spot based on the map. YMMV 

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OK, this is a VERY rough guesstimate, but it looks like the Starlink is drawing 4kw/day. We're fortunate as our panels are still producing more than we use, including with the system, but that seems high. Regardless, it's worth it to us as the speed and consistency of service are top-notch. 

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Wow. That's a lot. My whole house averages 5 kwh/day. Is there a way to turn it off when you're not using it? Or will that create other problems? I'm interested for a friend who bought a house in Chapala Haciendas.

edited to add: Found this and thought it might be of interest to those interested in Starlink... if you keep scrolling, there's also stuff for RV's... 

 

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1 hour ago, Ferret said:

Is there a way to turn it off when you're not using it?

I don't see why you couldn't just power it down at night (or if you're away), maybe using a timer. If it were me I'd use a "smart outlet," because they're cheap, can function as a timer, but the timer can be overridden with a tap in your home automation app or with a voice command.

I'd name the smart outlet "Starlink," plug it into the wall, then plug the Starlink gateway device into the smart outlet. The power-over-ethernet (PoE) cable runs from the gateway to the dish, so powering off the gateway kills the whole shootin' match.

Then I'd be able to do something like,

Hey Google. Turn Starlink [on/off].

I'm always thinking about how to make stuff like this simple so that others in the house can operate things if I'm not around.

So, most of the time, Starlink's power is cut and restored on a schedule you choose in your preferred home automation setup, but that can be overridden as a one-off. If somebody gets up earlier than usual, they just give the "Starlink on" command, wait five minutes, and they're good to go.

For staying up late, just give the "on" command when it goes down, and it's on you to turn it back off when your sleep aid kicks in. Or, add a couple of extra "off" events to the schedule. Suppose the outlet timer switches power off at 12:00am. You could add an "off" at 2:00am as a backup if Starlink happens to still be on at that hour. If it's already off, nothing happens.

With out-of-home controls, which are pretty standard by now, you could even turn the thing on and off when you're away from home. Or suppose you wanted to power cycle Starlink for some reason. "Turn Starlink off" followed by "Turn Starlink on" does the job.

Heck, inveterate hacks who never turn computer gear off (I'm looking at you, mirror) should set this up automation. Lemme get on that.

The reason we know it's cool to just pull the plug is that there are no special Starlink instructions for recovering after a power outage, and killing the power yourself is the same thing.

LQ

 

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I do not have a "smart" house. LOL. I can't see the point in "telling" Alexa to turn something off when I can do it myself. I do have all my sensitive electronics plugged into a quality surge bar which is plugged into a voltage regulator which is plugged into a grounded wall outlet. I just turn off the electricity on the surge bar at night.

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I'm with Ferret. Heck, we have a "dumb" house since technology has long passed us after tap dancing on our bodies.

On a more serious note, I agree that it seems like a high number for kw in a day for just one item (albeit a major one),  so I will keep monitoring for a full week to be sure. Everything I've read made me think that it would be a worst-case scenario of around 2.4kw max, but numbers don't lie.  I know we can turn it off at night, but first I wanted to do a relatively controlled check of pre- and post-usage. I'll have a more definite idea by Tuesday.

Since we still make more power than we use, this isn't a major cause of concern. We may put in a couple more solar panels just to give us the "breathing room" that we had in the past. I know some won't agree but we'd rather feed CFE our extra power than risk going into DAC (been there, done that, bought solar). Most everything we have is electric/electronic and we like having that safety net. In the past, we made about 50kw extra/week or a rough average of 7/day  (over and above usage) and now it's about 2.67/day. I'm not complaining because in spite of Starlink's high kw, it's effing fast and more reliable (so far) than you-know-who. 

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2 hours ago, Ferret said:

I do not have a "smart" house. LOL. I can't see the point in "telling" Alexa to turn something off when I can do it myself.

To do what I'm talking about you don't need big home automation and you don't need to use voice. You need one smart outlet ($10 US), wifi, and a smartphone. Buy the outlet and install the maker's app on your phone. Pair the outlet one time with the app, in a spot with good wifi, where phone and outlet are close enough together to do Bluetooth. Success!

Now give the outlet a name, in the maker's app. You might end up with others, so naming keeps things straight.

Unplug the smart outlet from the wall outlet where you set it up, and plug it in where you plan to use it. Plug the device you want to control into the smart outlet.

You can stop right here and never use the smart outlet. Just leave it on (it'll have a physical on/off switch), and keep doing what you normally do.

But you've gained something: possibilities. And a bit of experience, too.

None of us knows when our mobility will degrade, or we'll become enfeebled somehow, and simple home automation gear can help keep you in your house. That's a big deal, to me at least. The time to learn how is now, not later when you need it.

Let's say someone experiences a rare pause in their otherwise robust Neo-Luddism, and decides to give that smart outlet they set-up two years ago a try. They don't have to speak to any machines; voice commands are overrated, anyway, and are by no means needed.

They just pull out the phone app, blow the dust off it, and tap the big on/off button for their smart outlet. Voilà. The thing that's plugged into it (a lamp? a whole powerstrip?) gets or loses power, same as if they walked across the room, or upstairs, or whatever, and flipped a switch.

Remember, you can have some of this (rather simple) gear and hardly ever use it. It doesn't replace, or take away or change anything you do now.

But now you have more possibilities. And once your feet are wet, I guarantee you'll think of other uses. That thing that's hard to reach? A lamp with a broken switch? An electric coffee pot you can turn on (or not) while still in bed?

One fine point, privacy-wise, is to limit the number of manufacturers you involve, ideally to one, or one that's sort of in charge of the others.

I may be Amazon's biggest shopper (here's hoping I'm invited to the annual retreat this year 😉), but I won't let their gear into my house. Broadly, one must choose a provider to trust, and that means Google or Amazon, not a mix. I choose Google. You have to trust somebody or you can't play, same as life.

Even this isn't completely accurate. I've also got a US$30 microcomputer (a Raspberry Pi) in my house that does nothing but run Home Assistant -- a free, open-source, manufacturer-agnostic system for controlling polyglot home automation setups. Can handle just about every device on the market. That's my fail safe.

LQ

 

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1 hour ago, Tingting said:

Since we still make more power than we use, this isn't a major cause of concern.

A question, here. Does CFE do net metering, like in the States, where you can actually get paid for excess power generation? Or is any excess juice just black-holed?

Or is it more that you draw on CFE less in the first place, because you're using locally-generated electricity at least some of the time? Thanks.

LQ

 

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Ha, ha! No, CFE doesn't pay for excess power generation. We make it, they get it. It's like a yearly bank account. We build it during the year so that we can use the excess during rainy season or whenever else we might use more than we make (with 20 panels, it's never happened, but...). They also wipe the slate at the end of the year, so we have to start fresh which is why we want to put on two more panels. 

For us, during the day, we're making way more than we're using so that our usage at night is covered.

I know that wasn't the tech term, but I hope I made sense. 

(ETA:  to show how much of a technodino I am, I had to look up "smart outlet")

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On 5/9/2022 at 4:22 PM, KevinR said:

23.49 dls in US Amazon
159 pesos  in Amazon.MX

 

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