Starlink’s Self-Heating Dishes Are Attracting Cats

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Image: Starlink

Starlink has experienced a level of dissatisfaction with customers in the past year, but a recent discovery may cause it to gain some favor with animal lovers. One such customer looked out a window after a recent snowfall to witness five cats huddled together on top of the dish. Apparently, Starlink had upgraded its satellite dishes with a snow melt mode back in 2020, and it produces just enough heat to attract the chilled felines.

Twitter user Aaron Taylor posted a pic showing them and said, “Starlink works great until the cats find out that the dish gives off a little heat on cold days.” Others have already responded to the post, calling it a “Catellite” dish or “Intercat” connectivity. Aaron replied back that despite having a heated cat house with food and water, and the outside temperature being sub zero, they still prefer hanging out on the dish during the day. At least one other person has added another picture showing a bird, who has the same idea regarding the optimal usage of the dish.

The snow melt mode is one of the constant upgrades that Tesla has been rolling out for Starlink. Another includes the ability for the dish to seek out satellites to download and upgrade themselves, along with receiving up-to-date info on the location of the constellation or other active satellites in deployment. Starlink engineers provided some details on the power-up process that initiates the tracking abilities of the dish during a Q&A roundup in 2020.

The Starlink actually has no knowledge of the satellites when it powers on; the constellation is updating all the time so this would be difficult to keep up to date. The Starlink is able to electronically scan the sky in a matter of milliseconds and lock into the satellite overhead, even though it’s traveling 17,500 mph overhead.

When it detects a satellite the Starlink hones in on its position and makes a request to join the internet. After that, the dish is able to download a schedule of which satellites to talk to next, and with that, it can point right at the satellites when the time comes.”

This would help explain the upward-facing position of the dish that the animals are finding so appealing. Aaron said that even though internet speeds dropped and movie streaming was interrupted, the dish still managed some functionality, even with the crowded kitties. There’s been no word from engineers on the maximum supported wildlife weight.

Source: TESMANIAN (via Gizmodo)

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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