starlink 12 volt conversion

How To Power Starlink Satellite Internet on 12 Volt DC

Starlink satellite internet has been a game changer for us. Allowing us to venture further off grid while still having internet to work remotely. The only hassle has been the fact that it’s only powered by 110v AC. Well that has now changed! Here’s how we converted our Starlink Satellite Internet to 24 volts DC. And yes this works for 12 volt and 48 volt systems as well.

How Does Starlink Work

This guide is based on the V.2 square Starlink system. I’m not familiar with other versions so I can’t say if this would work for different versions.

The basic components of Starlink internet are fairly simple and are composed of just 2 parts. The satellite dish is what houses the actual modem which connects to the router by way of a Cat5 ethernet cable. The router is a 110v AC powered router that broadcasts a WiFi signal but also serves one more important function and that is to provide power to the dish.

starlink satellite internet

Since the dish itself does not have a dedicated power cord the power for the dish is provided by way of the Cat5 ethernet cable. This is termed POE or power over ethernet. When you look at the Starlink system it’s not obvious that the cables are just Cat5 ethernet since Starlink uses its own proprietary connections.

Because the system needs POE to power the disc it’s not as simple as just cutting the cable and attaching a standard RJ45 ethernet connector. In addition to installing standard RJ45 connectors there also must be a POE injector to provide the needed power.

Click below for a video going over the steps of converting your Starlink Satellite Internet to 12 volts.

Benefits of Starlink 12 Volt Conversion

In addition to the obvious benefit of powering from a DC source there are several other perks to this conversion. The big one for us was shortening the lengthy 75 foot cable that comes hard wired to the dish. For residential applications this isn’t a problem but for RV and Overlanding all that extra length is a lot to deal with.

starlink internet overland truck

We find that we typically mount our Starlink dish to the roof of our overland truck which needs only 5-10 feet of cable. By cutting the Starlink cable and replacing the connections with network RJ45 connectors we can choose whatever length we need. The remainder of the cable can also still be used and simply added into the system should you want the Satellite dish a littler further away from your RV or camper.

Another benefit to converting the Starlink connectors to RJ45 fittings is that there are some nice wall pass through connectors that can be wired into the side of your camper box that can provide water tight connections for the Starlink cable. Previously you had to run the cable through a window or other compartment.

Beginners Guide To Campervan Electrical Systems – A great place to learn or refresh on the basics of campervan electrical systems. We go over Watts and Amps, 12v Vs. 24v systems, charging sources, and the difference between standard batteries and Lithium.

What’s Needed to Power Starlink on DC Power

In order to build a Starlink internet system that will run off 12 volt, 24 volt, or 48 volt DC power you will need the following components.

1. Power Over Ethernet(POE) Injector

This device is what connects inline with the ethernet cable to provide the power that the dish needs to operate. Now this device doesn’t actually provide the power as it is just the mechanism that provides a way to introduce power.

POE Injector
POE(power over ethernet) injector – Check Prices

2. DC to DC Converter

To provide the needed power to the POE injector we need a source of 48 volts to power the Starlink. These DC to DC converters are available in various configurations for either 12 volt or 24 volt systems but must be capable of at least 150 watts at 48 volts.

With the DC power supply connected to the POE the ethernet cable can now be powered with the 48 volts needed for Starlink.

DC to DC converter
12 volt to 48 volt DC converter – Check Prices

3. DC Powered Router

The final component needed for this conversion is a DC powered router. This is an easy one as almost all routers are powered by 12 volt even if they have an AC plug.

The router that we will be using is a router that also has an internal cellular modem which takes a dedicated SIM card for cellular data connections. This single router now can provide internet by way of cellular SIM card or Starlink. In addition some routers can even load share or load balance. This is where the data is split between the different sources of internet which can increase upload and download speeds.

Here’s the router we are using which I highly recommend. They also have a similar version that lets you use two different cellular SIM cards at once.

mofi router cellular modem
MOFI5500-5GXeLTE-EM9191-COMBO CAT20 LTE + 5G ROUTER

Now keep in mind the most basic of routers will work here. You certainly don’t need one as feature rich as the model above. This $30 model below would work just fine.

WiFi Router – Check Prices

So these are the three pieces of hardware needed to make the Starlink DC conversion from a 12 volt or 24 volt system. If you already have a 48 volt system you would not need that DC to DC converter mentioned above.

Best Off-Grid Air Conditioner For Camper Vans – We took an in-depth look to find the best air conditioner that we could run off-grid in our Overland truck. What we found might surprise you and so far we are loving it.

Starlink Satellite DC Conversion Overview

Here’s a diagram outlining the general setup of the DC conversion. This design is what we used because we wanted to shorten the main cable length. There is another way of doing a 12 volt conversion that doesn’t require cutting the main cable so that you could always return the system to stock down the road. This might be useful in the future if you wanted to sell the system. I’ll go over that option here in a bit.

12 volt Starlink Adapter

The system is fairly strait-forward but let’s run through each part one more time. From the dish you will cut off the proprietary Starlink connector and replace that with a standard RJ45 connector but wired in a unique way that we will refer to as the ‘swapped’ wiring.

That swapped connector from dish is then plugged into the POE injector. The DC power source which provides 48 volts and at least 150 watts of power is also wired into the POE device. On the other end of the POE device is another swapped network connector. This cable is what goes from the POE device to your standard router.

On the router end of that cable you will have a standard T568B wired connector that connects to the router. With this configuration you can now plug your DC powered Starlink into ANY router.

Our DIY Overland Camper Build Facebook group is for people just like you that want to learn more about building your dream rig. Wether it’s a campervan, box truck, skoolie, or airplane with wheels, you’ve come to the right place.

Starlink DC Conversion Using Ethernet Adapter

Here’s the other option I talked about above that doesn’t require the cutting of the main Starlink dish cable. For this setup you will need to purchase the Starlink ethernet adapter and replace the proprietary connector on that adapter with a swapped ethernet connector described above. The ethernet adapter has an RJ45 port which you won’t actually use.

Starlink Internet 12 volt power

Once you replace the Starlink connection on the ethernet adapter with the swapped connector you just simply plug the Starlink connector from the dish to the ethernet adapter. The swapped connector on the ethernet adapter then just plugs into the POE injector and the rest of the setup is the same.

starlink ethernet adapter
Starlink Ethernet Adapter

Wiring The Swapped RJ45 Starlink Connections

Ethernet cables are composed of 4 pairs of wire. There’s an orange and white pair, green and white, blue and white and brown and white pair.

I should mention that Starlink uses a shielded Cat5e cable which means there’s an additional layer sheathing as well as a bare wire that helps reduce interference. The shielded wires require a shielded RJ45 connector which has metal on it to maintain the shielding.

Standard RJ45 Connector Wiring – T568B

There are a couple standards for the wiring order of ethernet cables but the one that we will be using is T568B. This is the wire order that will be used on the cable end that plugs into the router. That same cable will have the swapped or different wiring order on the end that plugs into the POE injector.

RJ45 Standard T568B Wiring
Standard T568B Wire Order

Swapped RJ45 Starlink Connector Wiring

Next we have the swapped wire order that is needed to provide a path for the power from the POE to the dish. These connections will be used on both sides of the POE injector and if used, the pigtail on the Starlink ethernet adapter.

Swapped RJ45 Starlink Wiring

RJ45 Pinout Wire Order

Now that you have an idea of the different wire orders let’s have a look at which side of the RJ45 connector is the number 1 spot vs number 8 spot. If you’re holding the connector with the metal contacts facing you and facing up then number 1 is on the left and number 8 will be on the right.

RJ45 Wiring

Required Tools

If you haven’t checked out the YouTube on this DIY conversion now would be a good time to give it a look. Here you can see the actual process of ordering and sorting the wires along with crimping of the RJ45 connectors. You can also get a good view of the finished system and how everything goes together.

Starlink DC Conversion Step by Step YouTube

YouTube Starlink DC Conversion

Our DIY Overland Camper Build Facebook group is for people just like you that want to learn more about building your dream rig. Wether it’s a campervan, box truck, skoolie, or airplane with wheels, you’ve come to the right place.

Does The Starlink App Still Work With a 12 Volt Conversion?

Yes, the app works just like before.

16 thoughts on “How To Power Starlink Satellite Internet on 12 Volt DC”

  1. I already have a battery power box that uses EGO 56 volt batteries – and then (with “inverters” I have installed) delivers 12 volts, 24 volts, and the straight output of 56 volts. It looks like your suggested PoE will accept this 56 volts – and simply pass that through to the Starlink antenna – do you think that 56 volts to the Starlink would be acceptable? I could not find a 56 to 48-volt inverter.

    I am thinking that it would probably be OK. I use these same 56 volt batteries to run a rather sophisticated telescope mount that requires 48volts – and that all seems to work just fine.

    By the way – EXCELLENT article on the Starlink conversion to DC!!!

      1. That definitely wouldn’t hurt but I would do a little more research and I think you’ll find that 56-58 volts is just fine and likely better than 48 volts.

    1. I think the 56 volt will be fine and many people mention that 56-58 volts is actually ideal and closer to what the original Starlink router delivered. The facebook group Starlink Hacks has some great information on this topic. Sounds like a great setup you have.

      1. Thanks again August – that is what I suspected. Similar to most things that say they want 12 volts – running 13.5 to 14 is just fine, if not better.

  2. Great video – thank you!! One thing that puzzles me – it makes perfect sense that if you are injecting 48 volts into the PoE, then that 48 volts will go out to the Starlink antenna – however, will the PoE also put out 48 volts to the Router. Is that OK? Does the Router need its own (typically) 12 volt power supply – or is the PoE giving it the voltage it needs with the ethernet cable plugged into the Internet port of the Router?

    1. My understanding is that the POE only injects the power to one leg of the network cable. So the cable going to the dish will be powered but the network cable going to router is not powered. The router does need it’s own 12 volt power supply and most routers are designed for 12 volt DC power.

      1. August – EXCELLENT – the separate 12 volt to the Router makes perfect sense – no problem – and that is what I suspected. You may wish to add that little tidbit to the article and diagram that you have so thoughtfully put together already. It is so thorough that one tends to just stop thinking about how to do it – and simply follow your directions exactly – wire by wire by wire – but you do not show that 12-volt wire to the Router – and the PoE thing sort of confuses it.

  3. Thank you for article (and the video), very helpful

    I still don’t own the system so pardon with my possibly ignorant questions:

    1. Where the starlink app connects to? Is the control software running on the starlink dish or the starlink router?

    2. When going the “starlink ethernet adapter” route. Do you think it will work if we use the ethernet port of the “starlink ethernet adapter” to connect the 3rd party router instead of the thernet port on the “POE injector” (use POE injector only to inject power)? Seems like it would require disabling starlink router in starlink app as shown in https://youtu.be/4zHlgJhgyfg?t=377

    Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      1. The starlink app connects to the dish by way of ANY router. All the functionality of the app is retained as that is not dependent on the router.
      2. It’s my understanding that the ethernet port on the ethernet adapter does not provide the needed POE power for the dish. Where would you power the dish with POE power?

  4. Hi there, I cut the plug of the Ethernet adapter and it has 2 sets of pairs? One is thicker than the other set. Do I use the thicker set of pairs?

    1. Dan,
      I’m not sure, I have not cut one of those open yet but I know a lot of people have. The Starlink Hacks group on Facebook has some good info on these conversions. I’ll see if I can dig anything up.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.