Starlink officially launched their RV service tier way back in May of 2022, but the lack of official accessories made for RV’s continues to baffle me and many of my readers. The most requested accessory for Starlink RV is a 12V DC power supply. Right now, there isn’t a plug and play solution, even from 3rd party manufacturers.
With a bit of modification, you can build your own DC power supply for Starlink. It can be powered by your existing 12V, 24V, or 48V power system. If you don’t want to deal with inverters, and wish to run Starlink directly from your battery system, this is the guide for you.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to build a 12V DC power supply for Starlink. I will first explain why you would even want one. Then I will talk about all the supplies needed for this project. Finally, I’ll walk you through the process step by step.
Warning: Use this guide at your own risk. Electricity can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren't followed. Modifying any of the Starlink hardware will void your warranty.
Why DC Power?
RV’s, vans, overlanding rigs, and even off-grid cabins use batteries for electricity. Efficiency is extremely important to maximize the amount of energy available. The Starlink RV router doubles as a power supply for the dish. It converts AC power from the wall plug into usable 48V DC power for the dish.
That’s fine for residential applications, where you are connected to the grid and have AC power readily available. But with an off-grid battery system, you need an inverter to get AC power. So you would be going from DC to AC, and then back to DC in the router. That extra conversion to AC creates an efficiency issue, and wastes precious energy.
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Before you can get started, you need several supplies to create the DC power supply:
- Starlink Ethernet Adapter – In this tutorial I am modifying a Starlink Ethernet Adapter instead of modifying the Starlink cable directly. I prefer this method because I can easily move my dish back to my home and plug it right into the Starlink router. If you prefer, you can skip the Ethernet Adapter and just modify the Starlink cable instead.
- 48V DC to DC converter – This DC/DC power supply takes either 12V or 24V from your battery and converts it to the 48V required to power the Starlink dish. If your battery system is already 48V, you can skip this.
- POE injector – A POE (power over Ethernet) injector takes the 48V from the DC power supply and sends it to the Starlink dish. It has 2 Ethernet ports, one for the dish, and one for the Wifi router.
- Wifi router – You can’t use the Starlink router with this method, so you’ll need an aftermarket router. Almost any of them will do, but make sure it uses 12V like the one I linked, so it can be hooked up to your battery.
- Wire cutters/strippers – You need something to cut the Starlink cable and to strip back the wire on the PoE injector/power supply
- Screwdriver – A small flat head, eyeglasses screwdriver would work fine
- Crimp/splice connectors – For the battery, DC/DC converter, and POE injector wiring
- Crimp tool – To crimp the electrical connectors, some pliers would work
- RJ45 crimp tool – We will be installing our own RJ45 connectors, so you will need a tool that can crimp them on the cable.
- RJ45 shielded connectors – We’ll be replacing the proprietary Starlink connector with a shielded RJ45
- Ethernet cable – You will need a Ethernet patch cable to go from your router to the POE injector. Usually the aftermarket router will come with one. We will be modifying one end of the Ethernet cable.
Step 1 – Modify The Starlink Ethernet Adapter
The first thing we need to do is replace the proprietary Starlink connector on the Ethernet Adapter with a shielded RJ45 connector. This will allow the dish to be powered by our own power supply, instead of the Starlink router. If you have opted to skip the Ethernet Adapter and modify the Starlink cable directly, the steps are the same. I’m modifying the Ethernet Adapter so I don’t have to cut into my Starlink cable, but it works fine either way.
Converting To Starlink POE
There is one caveat, though. The POE (power over Ethernet) pinout used by Starlink is different than the standard POE pinout. To solve this problem, we just need to wire our RJ45 connectors a bit differently from the T-568B standard normally used when terminating RJ45 connectors. Here is the pinout that you need to use for the shielded RJ45 connector on the Starlink Ethernet Adapter (or Starlink cable):
Prepare The Cable
Use wire cutters to cut the Starlink router connector off the Ethernet Adapter (or Starlink cable). Then, strip off about an 2 inches of insulation to expose the conductors and shielding. Most crimp tools have a wire stripper blade just for this job. Peel back the shielding foil and fold it back down the cable, we will deal with that later. Also find the drain wire. It’s the bare conductor. Fold that back out of the way for now. You should now be left with 8 twisted pairs, 16 wires total. 4 of the pairs are larger gauge wire, the other 4 are smaller in size. Trim back the smaller pairs, we won’t be needing them.
Untwist all 4 pairs and do your best to straighten out each of the 8 wires. Once they are straightened out, hold the cable in your left hand, with the wires pointing across your body to the right. Arrange the wires according to the pinout above. When they are in the correct order, do your best to flatten and straighten them out, using your left thumb and index finger to hold them flat, tight together, and in the correct order.
Install The RJ45 Connector
Keep holding the wires with your left thumb and index finger. With all 8 conductors in the correct order, flat, and straightened out, make a flush cut across all the wires with wire cutters, taking off about a half inch. With a clean, straight end, now take your RJ45 connector and insert it onto the wires. Tab side down! After you do this, triple check that the wires are still in the correct order. As you hold the cable in your left hand, the order from top to bottom should be: White/Orange, Orange, Blue, White/Green, Green, White/Blue, White/Brown, Brown.
The foil and drain wire should be folded back along the cable at this point. Slide the RJ45 connector back so that as much of the cable jacket, foil, and drain wire are inserted into the connector as possible. Then, use your crimp tool to crimp down on the RJ45 connector to terminate the cable. Trim off any excess wire that remains. Also trim off any foil and drain wire that extends out past the connector.
Step 2 – Build The Power Supply
In this tutorial, I’m just building the power supply by screwing the components to a scrap piece of wood. For your own power supply, get creative if you want. I’m just using wood screws to secure the POE injector and DC-DC converter to the wood. Eventually, I’ll mount this in my RV in a utility cabinet.
Assemble The Components
First, take a look at the DC-DC power converter wires. They should be labeled for voltage in and voltage out. The voltage input wires, red (positive) and black (negative), will hook to your battery system. We can set these wires aside for this tutorial. Identify the voltage output wires. White for positive, black for negative.
Route the voltage output wires into the DC input of the POE injector, making sure to match white to positive, and black to negative. You may need to strip about 1/4 inch of insulation off the wire if it doesn’t already come stripped. Use a screwdriver to secure the exposed part of the wire into the terminal, double checking that you have the correct polarity.
At this point, the power supply part of this project is complete. Like I mentioned before, the two other wires on the DC-DC converter connect to your battery system. How that looks depends on your individual application, so you’ll need to figure out the best way to supply DC voltage from your battery to your Starlink DC power supply. In my case, I have a fuse block in my RV with an unused slot. I ran some wire from the fuse block to where my power supply will mounted. Then, I connected the wires with butt splices. I went ahead and removed the fuse beforehand, so that power is not being applied to my project until I’m ready to test.
Remember, practice electrical safety! Don't hook up to your battery until you are ready to test! Please consult an electrician if you are not comfortable and knowledgeable working with your RV/cabin/van/etc. electrical system.
Step 3 – Modify The Router Cables
Before we begin to modify any of the router cables, it’s a good idea to go through the router setup and configuration. It’s just easier to do this now rather than worrying about it later. The specifics will depend on your router model, but follow the manufacturer instructions for how to perform the initial setup. You should set up a Wifi name and password on your router before continuing, so that when it comes time to test your power supply, you can connect and test it right away.
Router Ethernet Cable
Next we need to reconfigure one end of an Ethernet cable. This cable will be what we plug our router into the POE injector with. Remember how I said the Starlink POE pinout is different? Since we had to modify the dish side of the connector, we also need to modify the router side connector to match. We only have to modify the end that plugs into the POE injector, not both ends. Your aftermarket router probably came with an Ethernet cable that you can use. Otherwise, you can find a 6ft, 12ft, etc. Ethernet cable at any electronics or home store.
Repeat the process that we used in Step 1 on just one end of the Ethernet cable. The pinout will be the same. The Ethernet cable won’t be shielded, so it won’t have the foil or the drain line conductor. But you can still use the shielded RJ45 connectors, no worries there. The modified RJ45 connector end of the Ethernet cable plugs into the POE injector. The other end of the Ethernet cable plugs into the Wifi router.
Router Power Supply
Most Wifi routers, including the one example in the supplies list in this article, run off DC. The power cord has an AC to DC converter built into the part that plugs into the wall. If you are using a different router, it might have a power brick that sits in between the wall plug and the router. Since we want the router to be powered only by DC, we can simply cut the wire after the power brick, so that we can utilize the same DC power connector that comes with the router.
For the TP-Link router I’m using, the wire with the white strip is positive, and the one without is negative. Verify the polarity for your router if you are using a different one. Connecting to a DC power source with the wires reversed can result in damage to the router!
Now we just need to connect the 12V battery system to the power wire from router. In my case, I ran a wire from my RV fuse block to the router location. That gives me 12V DC power, and I just connected the wires with butt splices. I’m mounting my router in the same location as my power supply, so routing the Ethernet cable that connects the router to the POE injector isn’t difficult. If you are going to mount the router in a different location, you will need to plan how to route the Ethernet cable back to your new Starlink DC power supply.
Step 4 – Plug Everything In
At this point in the process, all of the following should be completed:
- An RJ45 connector has replaced the Starlink connector on the Ethernet Adapter (or Starlink cable)
- The output from the DC-DC converter has been connected to the input of the POE injector
- The Ethernet cable from the router to the POE injector has a new RJ45 connector on one end that is using the modified pinout shown in the previous section
- The router power supply has been modified to wire into the battery system of your application
Apply Battery Power
If all of the above is done, now we can test it out! Apply battery power to the input of the DC-DC converter, in whatever way you have decided to hook it up. In my case, I just need to reinsert the fuse on my RV fuse block to apply power to my Starlink DC power supply.
Connect The Dish And Ethernet Adapter
If you are using the Ethernet Adapter in this tutorial, plug the Starlink dish cable into the Ethernet Adapter. Then, plug in the modified RJ45 connector on your Starlink Ethernet Adapter (or Starlink cable) to the power POE port on the POE injector.
Plug In The Router
Next, make the connections on the router. There should be an Ethernet cable connecting from the data port on the POE injector to the WAN or Internet port on the router. Also, plug in the router power supply to DC power. Verify that the router turns on. If you didn’t already go through the router setup before, now is a good time to do it. You’ll have to reference the instructions for your particular router.
Step 5 – Test Your Setup
Set up your Starlink dish nearby with a clear view of the sky. The first thing to check is your aftermarket router. Make sure it’s powered on and broadcasting a Wifi signal. Grab your phone and connect to the Wifi network of your router.
Check to make sure that the Starlink dish is powered on. There are no LED’s or indicators, but the dish should move itself into a vertical position within a several minutes of power being applied to the Starlink cable. It searches for satellites in the vertical position, and then it will aim itself in its ideal direction. You can verify the dish is on by opening the Starlink app on your phone (your phone needs to be connected to the router Wifi network). Alternatively, you can use an internet browser on a device connected to your Wifi network and browse to http://dishy.starlink.com/
It may take up to 10-15 minutes for the dish to boot up and become available to view on the app or website. The app will let you know if the dish is working or not. If you have an active subscription, the status should change to Online after several minutes of booting up and searching for satellites. Check for internet connectivity by performing a speed test. Speeds with this setup should be similar to what you get with a normal setup.
I tested my new Starlink 12V DC power supply for about 30 minutes to verify that it stayed connected to the internet. I performed several speed tests, watched a video, and checked email. The battery that I was testing with has a limited capacity, so I didn’t get to do any long term testing. I’ll have to wait until my RV is out of storage to install it, and really run it through its paces in the real world.
But for now, it seems like this simple little DC power supply works as expected. It should be easy enough to mount in a cabinet in my RV. All I will have to do is route the Starlink cable inside, plug it in, and apply power via a switch on the 12V RV circuit.
This isn’t the easiest project to do, especially if you have no prior electronics experience. If you decide to tackle this yourself, I hope you find this guide helpful. Just make sure to exercise caution when working with electricity. And also keep in mind that modifying how your dish is powered can result in damage that won’t be covered under your warranty. With all that said, let me know if you have any feedback or questions in the comments below!
Hello Sir Noah, I like this article. I am in the midst of this project myself with the exact poe injector and dc to dc converter, I have a different router on hand and I’m waiting for the dc converter to come in from the mail. The router came with a Poe injector that plugs the router in one and then another for the wan port. The router in self has a Poe connection in it alone as the Poe injector has the plug outlet to it. Question for you is can I bypass this routers Poe injector that came with it and just directly hook up to the aftermarket injector used to the router?
router information name on Amazon;
TP-Link Omada AC1350 Gigabit Ceiling Mount Wireless Access Point, MU-MIMO, Seamless Roaming & Beamforming, PoE Powered w/PoE Injector Included, Centralized Cloud Acces
I am eager to attempt but I’m worried it will backfire without the provided poe injector the wifi came with.
thank you sir for your time
Hi Noah, great tutorial, thanks! Would this also work with the router connected to the starlink Ethernet adapter via a non modified Ethernet cable? Thanks in advance!
No, the Ethernet port on the Ethernet Adapter is non-functional after replacing the Starlink connector. The wires for the port go back to the Starlink router where the connection is made. So when I eliminated the Starlink router and change the connector, it no longer works.
Just looked at your pin out…. Why did you do it this way. When I make a crossover cable I swap pin 1-3 and pins 2-6 looks like you swapped 3-4 and 5-6, can you explain so I know if this was a mistake or if this is what I need to do? Thanks!
This isn’t a crossover cable like you would typically find in networking, this pinout is just how Starlink has decided to do the polarity for the POE pairs. It is not standard, so we have to flip a couple of the pairs in order to interface with the POE injector that uses standard POE pinouts.
so the dish does all the work and the router that comes with it is just a router and Poe supply? That’s awesome, I’m ordering one for the motorhome! I have made thousands of cables with rj-45’s over the years and have all the things here to do it…. Just need to order the 12 volt to 48 and the Poe inserter… 👌
Correct, the dish is the internet modem, so the important Starlink stuff lives there. The Starlink router just supplies power and router functionality. This should be a walk in the park if you have experience with RJ45 connectors!
Any idea what is inside the adapter box or why Tesla changed the pairing of the Tx-Rx pairs?
Thanks for your excellent writeup.
The adapter has an Ethernet port and the wiring for that, in addition to the connector housing for the Starlink cable. The conductors for both the Starlink dish and the Ethernet port run through the cable on the adapter back to the Starlink router. You can see the wires for the Ethernet when I cut off the 4 pairs of smaller wires. No idea why they decided to deviate from the standard POE pairs.
I believe the reason for the deviation from the standard POE pairs has two benefits: Reduce RF interference both in radiation or receiving of as well as offering just a bit better overall ability to handle current over longer distance. I personally would not do this with a 150ft cable but instead only do this on a stretch of cable long enough for your needs.
Any thoughts on doing this for the high performance dish? It uses more power than the standard, and I can’t tell if this setup would work with it too. Also, I’m assuming that the cable has the same pinout, but I don’t know for sure
The High Performance dish uses different voltage so the components would be different. I believe the cable pinout is the same, but I haven’t done it so I’m not 100% on that. I think I’ve seen a conversion on the Reddit Starlink subreddit, you might try searching there, or the various Starlink Facebook communities. I haven’t looked into it too much because I don’t currently have the Flat High Performance version. I’m planning to purchase it for in-motion use later this year, so I will probably look to do a conversion at that point.
Did you have to route to 192.168.100.1 to get local app function?
Nope, didn’t have to do anything special, just connected to Wifi and I was able to access the Starlink app after Starlink finished booting up. Took about 10 minutes before I was able to finally connect via the app.
I feel like maybe you just got lucky… I used your pin outs, as shown above. While starlink is definitely online and working I cannot see anything via the starlink app or dishy website. I wonder if anyone can assist?
Make sure you are connected to the new router Wifi, and that your aftermarket router has been configured correctly. Default settings should work, but make sure it’s not in access point or bridge mode or something.
I have tried just about every conceivable configuration, but no luck.
Sorry about that, it’s odd that the dish seems to have internet but you can’t connect to it. I doubt it’s the wiring as the dish probably wouldn’t power on or get online at all if it was incorrect. You could try to re-do the RJ45 connectors. Did you modify one end of the router Ethernet cable the same as you did with the Starlink cable? Also, make sure the router side of the Ethernet cable is plugged into the WAN/Internet port and not just one of the LAN Ethernet ports.
It wouldn’t come online at all if it were plugged into one of the lan ports. I did try redoing the rj45 connections, even tried an alternate pinout and none of that allowed a management connection. I have tried using 192.168.50.100 for the management connection and using 192.168.100.1 to login, as someone suggested worked for them on a different peplink model. All I get is the 404 error screen, no matter what I try. I’ll will say that there’s some emi on the line coming from the cheap power supply (I have ordered a better one), but that shoudn’t stop me from connecting to the dish.
Have you tried http://dishy.starlink.com/?
So just to be clear, you can access the internet with the dish on your 12v power supply, you just can’t access the Starlink dish settings/statistics? Which model of router are you using?
Correct, we are using the internet. Our router is Pepwave MAX BR1 Pro 5G
Have you tried disabling the cellular connection and making sure the Starlink WAN is enabled and on the highest priority list in the router settings? I’m just browsing the user manual, and it’s a very complicated router due to the cellular, failover, etc. I don’t have any experience with these, but my guess would be it’s a router config issue and not a power supply issue. If it powers up, aims, and is online providing internet, it’s the router preventing your device from connecting to the dish statistics page.
Yes, starlink is the priority 1, cellular enabled or disabled doesn’t make a difference. I did see a thread where a fellow had installed a switch before the router and was able to see the dish, at that point, for some reason. I don’t have a switch available, so I cannot test that method. Seems to just be a case where it either works right away or you never have access, from all the posted I have searched, so far. I just happen to be one of the unlucky people. I put a ticket in with peplink and they just ignored the question and referred me to the reseller. Not very helpful on their part, as I’m pretty sure it is an issue with the router, whether it’s firmware or some setting that I haven’t tried yet or something else.
I did finally manage to get someone from peplink to respond to my ticket. It happened that there were a few ips in the “Additional IP Address Settings” area. They asked me to delete those and it immediately connected to the dish once that field was empty. Simple and yet not obvious…
Glad they got back to you, and that you have it working now! Thanks for the follow up, I’m sure it will help someone with a similar problem down the road.
Worked 1st time! I just followed the instructions double checking my wiring many times to match the tutorial. Plugged it all together powered up and in less than 8 minutes was good to go…
Good to hear it worked out for you!