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gravastar

Jack of all trades, master of none
Supporting Member
Aug 31, 2018
81
88
Dallas
I drove 2,610 miles round trip from my home in Dallas, TX to the San Juan National Forest earlier this month. I spent roughly a week using Camp Mode at Cayton Campground along the San Juan Skyway loop. Of all the many outdoor activities you can do, one thing must be at the top of your list -- driving the Million Dollar Highway from Silverton, CO and Ourway, CO. I can vouch that FSD beta on this stretch of highway will really get your heart pumping!

There is no cell coverage at the campground. But thanks to a little dishy called Starlink, I had plenty of bandwidth to do whatever, such as watch the US Open after sunset, docker pull, or git clone (don't worry if you don't know what those last two are, it's not important). The speedtest.net app recorded 212 Mbps ⬇️ and 12 Mbps ⬆️
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People did not know how to react to seeing a red hatchback sedan parked in a spot usually occupied by some sort of RV unit. It was interesting to see how many people walked up to take a picture. And vice-versa. You can capture some funny stuff with Sentry. Like a guy on a mountain bike unicycle?! Haha! That really caught me off guard and gave me the giggles. But the joke's on me because apparently unicycling in this area is not uncommon. Here's a thumbnail, see attached for full.
mountain-unicycle.gif

Charging​

If you go on a similar trip, don't forget your NEMA 14-50 adapter like I did for your time at the campground. However, forgetting mine ultimately was not a problem because the Telluride supercharger was about a ten-minute drive away.

A strange dichotomy captured in this picture at a supercharger in New Mexico with a car (mine) charging its battery next to an installment of coin operated pay telephones.
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And there is a place to stay in Silverton CO when you realize that five days at the campground could have been just as much fun as on two or three days and you value a shower after that more than anything else. The hotel had four Tesla fast-charging stations available, no additional cost, FIFO.
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Efficiency​

My wh/mi number was not a metric I was watching on this trip. The 346 in the 'Since Last Charge' section was from the last leg of 118 miles from the last supercharger to home. Needless to say, I was simply trying to get home.

Tips​

  • Bring bug spray. I underestimated how many flying insects there was going to be in that area for that time of year.
  • Don't forget your NEMA 14-50 adapter like I did.
  • I mean no disrespect to the wonderful people living here... but avoid driving the stretch between Wichita Falls, TX and Dalhart, TX. It truly is the armpit of Texas (if not America).
 

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BTW, from what I understand, Ourway is ironically pronounced more like YOUR•ey (I think). From Googling its pronunciation, it sounds more like the 'oor' in Coors Beer without the leading C or trailing S.
Except the town name is actually “Ouray”…and yep, it’s pronounced “Ooray”, like “hooray” without the “h”…

Also, I’ve driven that stretch between Wichita Falls and Dalhart a few times - pretty desolate indeed.

That said, a local/independent auto repair shop (remember those?) in Dalhart once went WAY out of their way to fix my car at 6 pm on a Saturday, including getting the local auto parts store owner to go to his store after hours so the mechanic (remember those?) could get the needed parts. And they charged me almost nothing for all of that service. Therefore Dalhart will always have a special place in my heart…
 

gravastar

Jack of all trades, master of none
Supporting Member
Aug 31, 2018
81
88
Dallas
Except the town name is actually “Ouray”…and yep, it’s pronounced “Ooray”, like “hooray” without the “h”…

Also, I’ve driven that stretch between Wichita Falls and Dalhart a few times - pretty desolate indeed.

That said, a local/independent auto repair shop (remember those?) in Dalhart once went WAY out of their way to fix my car at 6 pm on a Saturday, including getting the local auto parts store owner to go to his store after hours so the mechanic (remember those?) could get the needed parts. And they charged me almost nothing for all of that service. Therefore Dalhart will always have a special place in my heart…
You are absolutely right. Some of the best people around.
 
Are you able to pull the Starlink unit into the power outlet in the Tesla? I have a Y that I use for several long (3-5 weeks) trips each year and having internet would be a huge upgrade (especially when I'm "working").

Looks like the Starlink router needs AC power. That would require a 12V lighter socket/plug plus a 12v-110V power inverter.

There's no native AC power outlet on the 3 or Y, at least as far as I'm aware... (I don't honestly know whether they have lighter sockets or not - I never looked!)
 
Looks like the Starlink router needs AC power. That would require a 12V lighter socket/plug plus a 12v-110V power inverter.

There's no native AC power outlet on the 3 or Y, at least as far as I'm aware... (I don't honestly know whether they have lighter sockets or not - I never looked!)
That's what i thought. The Y has two (one in the trunk and one in the center console). An inverter would be a simple solution. My next road trip is in December. I'll report back on how the set up works out!
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
849
953
Sunnyvale, CA
That's what i thought. The Y has two (one in the trunk and one in the center console). An inverter would be a simple solution. My next road trip is in December. I'll report back on how the set up works out!
I don't know about the recent ones, but I believe Starlink terminals can draw 150w, which is too much for an inverter on the 12v port. One wishes there were a way to get more power -- and even more importantly, to get power without having turn on the car's main computer which draws 250w. To run my 30w fridge I have to turn on the 250 watt computer. I ended up getting a buffer battery.

The RV spots will have 20a 5-20 sockets you can plug the Starlink into (or the TMC with 5-15 or 5-20.) Going to an RV park without your 14-50 definitely must have merited a "Doh!"
 
I don't know about the recent ones, but I believe Starlink terminals can draw 150w, which is too much for an inverter on the 12v port. One wishes there were a way to get more power -- and even more importantly, to get power without having turn on the car's main computer which draws 250w. To run my 30w fridge I have to turn on the 250 watt computer. I ended up getting a buffer battery.

The RV spots will have 20a 5-20 sockets you can plug the Starlink into (or the TMC with 5-15 or 5-20.) Going to an RV park without your 14-50 definitely must have merited a "Doh!"
Interesting. Plugging in at an RV park solves it but I do a lot of dispersed camping without power hookups so I need a way to power the starlink unit from the Y.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
849
953
Sunnyvale, CA
Interesting. Plugging in at an RV park solves it but I do a lot of dispersed camping without power hookups so I need a way to power the starlink unit from the Y.
Good news. The newer terminals are not that bad, and draw about 50-70 watts, less when idle. So you can run that on your 12v port. The bad news is people report as much as 170w when booting, and your 12v port won't do that.

So you may have to get an external battery, which runs the starlink and can boot it. Some batteries are "pass through" but it's actually pretty hard to get really high wattage pass-through, however, 65w is possible with the battery I have (only by using USB-C charging, not direct charging!) In that case you can boot, and then run, and even restore the battery when the terminal is idle, or off.

And you can let your Tesla go to sleep and run the terminal on just the battery, or decide to power it off then.

You would do better if you use a DC converter to provide 48v for the Starlink directly, or get a battery that outputs 48v perhaps. Then maybe you would not even go over the max on the port, who knows?

Sadly, if you tell the car not to go to sleep it will lose range, about 1 mile per hour of not being asleep, on top of the power for the Starlink.
 
Good news. The newer terminals are not that bad, and draw about 50-70 watts, less when idle. So you can run that on your 12v port. The bad news is people report as much as 170w when booting, and your 12v port won't do that.

So you may have to get an external battery, which runs the starlink and can boot it. Some batteries are "pass through" but it's actually pretty hard to get really high wattage pass-through, however, 65w is possible with the battery I have (only by using USB-C charging, not direct charging!) In that case you can boot, and then run, and even restore the battery when the terminal is idle, or off.

And you can let your Tesla go to sleep and run the terminal on just the battery, or decide to power it off then.

You would do better if you use a DC converter to provide 48v for the Starlink directly, or get a battery that outputs 48v perhaps. Then maybe you would not even go over the max on the port, who knows?

Sadly, if you tell the car not to go to sleep it will lose range, about 1 mile per hour of not being asleep, on top of the power for the Starlink.
Thanks! This is super helpful
 

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