On December 1st, 2021, the FCC gave Starlink the greenlight to launch satellites for the second generation constellation. To that end, Starlink unveiled a smaller and lighter gen 2 dish that’s easier to produce in bulk. But how exactly does this dish differ from the previous gen 1? This article on Starlink Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 answers outlines nine differences between the two models.
Table of Contents
- 9 Differences Between Starlink Gen 1 and Gen 2
9 Differences Between Starlink Gen 1 and Gen 2
1. Shape and Size
The primary difference in shape is that Gen 1 is circular while Gen 2 is square-shaped, although it’s also referred to as a rectangular-shaped or v2 dish. But the two dishes also differ in diameter, weight, height, and mast width.
(Caption: Image of the round-shaped dish)
First, Starlink Gen 1 has a diameter of 23.2″ whereas Gen 2 has a diameter of 19″ x 12″
Also, Gen 1 is larger and heavier, weighing about 16 lbs compared to Gen 2’s 9.2 lbs. Further, Gen 1 has a mast diameter of 1.4″, while Gen 2 has a mast diameter of 1.3″.
While these differences don’t impact the performance of the dishes, the lighter and smaller Gen 2 dish allows more options for mounting it.
(Caption: Image of a router)
Regarding the router, the Gen 2 router can support three users, each concurrently streaming data effectively without delays, while the Gen 1 dish handles two users. And any increase in the number of users will strain the bandwidth, causing data lags.
Interestingly, both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 routers have an inbuilt IP54 rating, making them water-resistant.
Also, the Gen 2 router has an operating temperature rating of -22 to +122 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Gen 1 router has a temperature rating of 32 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great improvement as the Gen 2 dish can work under extremely cold or heat without getting damaged.
4. Ethernet Port
The Gen 1 router has an in-built power adapter and ethernet port. In contrast, the Gen 2 has no ethernet port. Therefore, Gen 2 limits the number of applications a user can use. For example, if you’re trying to extend coverage, you can’t use a mesh Wifi system or third-party router on Gen 2. Similarly, you can’t have a wired connection for gaming.
However, there’s a way out, as you can purchase an ethernet adapter from the official Starlink online store to provide the ethernet functionality.
(Caption: Image of an ethernet adapter)
5. Power Consumption
Starlink Gen 1 consumes about 65W to 100W of power, while Gen 2 consumes a lower amount of 50W to 75W.
Generally, the designers and engineers take a shorter time to produce Gen 2 dishes because of their shape and size dimensions. That’s primarily because the technology they apply is advanced, and the quality and functionality are guaranteed.
Subsequently, Gen 2’s profitability is higher due to its reduced production cost than gen 1, which consumes more raw materials.
Generally, the cost of the dishes varies depending on the shape, size, and technology used in building the dish. However, Gen 2 is cheaper than Gen 1 due to its smaller shape and size. Consequently, the shipping costs are also lower since it’s lighter than gen 1.
Because the Starlink Gen 1 dish has a cable attached, it’s more vulnerable to damage. If the cable is faulty, there’s no way to fix it other than get a new dish.
On the other hand, the Gen 2 has a detachable cable, which is easier to handle, and the cables are of different lengths. Thus, unlike with the round dish, all a user has to do in case the cable gets damaged is replace only the cable.
The Gen 2 dish uses a four-legged stand, which provides solid support for the mast and a firm mount, unlike the Gen 1, which uses a tripod stand.
(Caption: Image of a dish’s tripod stand)
Also, the smaller shape and size of the Gen 2 dish make it easier to mount anywhere. In contrast, the Gen 1 dish’s round shape makes it challenging to mount as it faces much resistance when you place it on either side of the stand.
Is Starlink Gen 2 Dish Better?
Yes, because it consumes less power and costs less to produce, production is higher, and so are the profits. Also, it can withstand harsh weather conditions and is easier to mount. Because of the detachable power cable, it’s easier and cheaper to rectify the problem if it gets damaged.
What’s the Difference Between Gen 1 and Gen 2?
First, Gen 1 is round in shape, whereas Gen 2 is square or rectangular shaped. Secondly, Gen 1 is larger and heavier than gen 2 and has an ethernet port, while Gen 2 does not. Also, Gen 2 has the attached cable, while Gen 2’s is detached. Further, the maintenance cost of the Gen 1 is higher than the Gen 2 dish.
What Is the Starlink Version 2?
The Starlink Version 2, or Gen 2, is an improvement of its predecessor Gen 1. Thus, it significantly changes the router’s capability and operating temperature. Also, it’s easier to maintain and install.
Now you have a better understanding of Starlink Gen 1 vs. Gen 2. While the features on the Gen 2 have no impact on performance, some, like the dish’s shape and size, detachable cable, lower power consumption, and higher operating temperature rating, make the dish superior. However, Gen 2’s non-detachable cable and lack of an ethernet port are major disadvantages.