Starlink Dish Placement – Which Way Should It Face?

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When most people think of satellite communications, they think of satellite TV such as Dish Network. We’ve all seen those popular satellite TV dishes mounted on roofs, usually facing south. If you’ve ever had one yourself, you know it has to be pointed in a very specific direction in order to function.

If you are a potential Starlink satellite internet customer, you might be wondering about where you should place the dish, and which way it should point. 

In this article we are going to cover some best practices when it comes to placing your Starlink dish. We will also answer the concern about which way it should be pointing, and whether or not you even need to worry about it. 

Optimal Starlink Mounting Position

Other satellite communication services, such as Viasat or Dish Network, require a line-of-sight to their satellites, but aren’t nearly as sensitive as Starlink. With Starlink, the dish needs a completely unobstructed view of the sky. 

The optimal placement of the Starlink dish is somewhere near the peak of your roof, which is likely to be the highest mounting location available to you. The more trees and objects you have around your house, the higher the dish will need to be mounted. Those living in areas without tall trees can mount it lower on the roof, but must still be aware of other obstructions like chimney’s or buildings. 

Starlink Dish Placement

Fortunately, Starlink makes it easy to check potential mounting locations for suitability. Using the Starlink app, you can use your phone’s camera to check for obstructions before you attempt to install the dish in that location. 

For further details on mounting and installation, check out our guide covering all the Starlink mounting options

In general, we recommend J mounts for Starlink.

Which Way Does the Starlink Dish Point?

It depends on where you live in the world, but for people in the northern hemisphere, Starlink dishes point north. The angle of the dish is nearly vertical, but it has a very wide angled field of view. That is why Starlink needs a clear view of the sky all around it, even if the satellites are in more of a northern direction. 

The only way to tell which direction your dish will face is to use the Starlink app obstruction tool in the area you plan to mount it. When you use the obstruction tool, it will tell you which area of the sky needs to be completely clear for the Starlink to get a good signal.

How Can I Aim the Starlink Dish?

The Starlink satellite dish is motorized and self-aligning. The user does not need to aim the dish in any way once it is mounted according to the Starlink specifications. In fact, attempting to manually move the dish can damage the internal motors.

It is also important to make sure the dish can move freely. The dish can spin and tilt on it’s own, at any time. Some customers have run into issues when mounting the dish too close to chimney’s or other obstacles, resulting in an error message on the app when the dish isn’t free to move freely.

Does the Dish Move By Itself?

Yes, the Starlink dish will align itself by moving with its electric motors if necessary. Under typical usage, the dish does not need to regularly move. Once it is locked to the satellite constellation it shouldn’t need to readjust very often. During the initial booting period, Starlink automatically finds the best dish orientation.

Starlink satellites move across the sky regularly. The dish does not need to move in order to track a satellite. Starlink antennas are phased array, and they are able to adjust to the signal without physically moving the dish.

Users who take the dish on the road, such as on an RV or boat, will probably notice the dish moves on its own if they travel a far enough distance away. Starlink will seamlessly aim for the most optimal satellite, even on moving objects! It is important to note that using Starlink in motion is not supported at this time, and will void your warranty.

Will I Ever Have to Aim or Move the Dish?

You won’t ever have to aim or adjust the Starlink dish in order for it to align to the Starlink satellites. You might, however, need to change the mounting location if trees or buildings start to obstruct the view. We recommend checking for obstructions on a regular basis if you have tall trees, just to be sure your signal isn’t degrading over time due to obstructions.

The app has a handy tool that shows you if your dish is obstructed. If that is ever the case, you will need to use the app to find a more suitable mounting location away from the obstructions. 

Conclusion

The Starlink dish will face north for most customers in the US. But, depending on where you are in the world, it can point in different directions. The Starlink dish is self aligning, and doesn’t require you to aim it. It will automatically tilt and spin to achieve the maximum signal from the satellites.

The main concern for mounting the Starlink dish is obstructions. Using the Starlink app, you can check the mounting area for obstructions like trees. Starlink won’t operate properly without a clear view of the sky.

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Tony P
Tony P
10 days ago

My Starlink is in the backwoods with 400 trees on our property
Against all advice including the app I set up using a 16 ft post
The obstruction readings are all doom and gloom with interruptions every 24 seconds
But Alas ! The system works just fine I get some slowdown from time to time but it still blows away the 4 MB we get from TDS
I see speeds from 25 to 130 MB
I have yet to see any service interruptions
I think that the obstruction warnings are way overblown

Branan Edgens
Branan Edgens
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony P

Thanks Tony, this eases my mind as I’m about to set up my dish in what sounds like a similar spot to yours. We have almost no other choices, the cell boosting antenna barely gives us any service at all so we’re really counting on the Starlink to connect our off-grid cabin.

Dan
Dan
23 days ago

my Starlink is a beta. It points nnw 330 degrees the are tall trees to the west. So I get some obstruction but still get 250 down. No buffering when streaming 4k. My problem is dropped calls from obstruction. My Nextdoor neighbor just got an rv system and it points 27 degrees and no obstruction. Rv systems must use different satellites.

TrongNguyen
TrongNguyen
3 months ago

I ordered a RV Starlink dish, only 5 days I got it ,then installed it on top of my home, took about 2 hrs done.
I have internet with 50 mbps to 120 mbps ( on the cloudy time, speed drops). Happy with it since I live in nowhere in small town in Texas.

rc12345
rc12345
2 months ago
Reply to  TrongNguyen

Hello. Quick question. Where you live in Texas is it on Starlink’s Map of wailisted areas. I am on the same boat in NC, and wondering if i purchase the RV option if it will work on waitlisted areas.

David
David
5 months ago

Need to purchase a 150 foot cable to dish.