Starlink launched their latest generation dish, along with a handful of accessories, in late 2023. Product launches aren’t new for the satellite internet company, now on its 3rd hardware iteration. But, in a first for Starlink, they are recalling a popular mounting accessory, asking customers to throw them away as a precautionary measure.
When customers order a Starlink kit, they receive a mounting base for the dish that is mainly intended for temporary or portable situations. For permanent installations on a roof, Starlink offers several types of mounts in their online shop. Starlink also supports third party mounts with an adapter accessory, called the “Standard Pipe Adapter”. For $35, the adapter allows you to use a Gen 3 Standard dish with almost any kind of mast or pole.
Now, only a few weeks after the accessory launched, Starlink will be replacing each and every Standard Pipe Adapter sold, due to a potential design issue. Starlink notified affected customers via email:
In the email, Starlink explains that the locking mechanism design is insufficient to properly secure the Standard Pipe Adapter to a pole. In the photo below, you can see the design of the original adapter uses a single bolt, with no thread lock or mechanical locking mechanism.
I’m not surprised that they decided to pull the current design from the market. There have been several complaints on social media regarding the Gen 3 Standard Pipe Adapter accessory. The complaints started surfacing almost immediately after the product was released.
This comment in the Starlink subreddit on Reddit notes that the adapter doesn’t seem to hold well to the pipe:
“It does not hold. Very little force is required to pop it off. Adding the weight of the dish and the likely wind that will be hitting it, this dish is going to quickly become a very expensive kite.”u/zenzic64 post on Reddit
Another comment points out that additional depth is needed to properly secure a pipe to the adapter:
“I too think the design is flawed and bolt should contact the pipe at least an additional 1/2″ further down the pipe.”u/libertysat post on Reddit
In previous generations of the accessory, several inches of the pipe can be inserted into the adapter, with multiple fasteners securing it in place. With the third generation Standard Pipe Adapter, less than an inch of the pipe is inserted, and a single bolt secures the adapter in place. No thread locker is included with the adapter, and there is no lock washer or other mechanism to ensure the bolt doesn’t loosen over time.
Starlink says they will be replacing all Standard Pipe Adapter’s completely free of charge. If you ordered one, expect the replacement to ship out sometime in January. A free month of service will also be included, in an effort to compensate affected customers for the inconvenience of having to replace the mount.