An Arizona beta user of Starlink internet service from SpaceX, a company headed by Elon Musk, was recently forced to resort to an unconventional method to get back online after his satellite dish overheated and went into a thermal shutdown. Following the service disruption, the Starlink app displayed an error message, that read, “Offline: Thermal shutdown. Overheated. Starlink will reconnect after cooling down”. “This could be a problem. Only noon in AZ,” he posted on Reddit. The user, who goes by the account name SocietyTomorrow on the platform, wrote that the temperature in the state was 112 degrees Fahrenheit and that he was knocked off the Internet for 7 hours due to the shutdown.
When the user reached out to Starlink’s customer support service, they said: “Dishy will go into thermal shutdown at 122F and will restart when it reaches 104F.” The users said if what the customer support service said was true, then he will “have to switch away” — highlighting a critical drawback of the satellite internet from SpaceX.
But the solution he employed to get back online is what kept the discussion going. Here’s what seems to have worked for him: “Well, this is about the dumbest thing that actually worked. I pointed a spike down sprinkler at Dishy. Once it turned on I immediately heard YouTube resume playback.”
“Water cooled internet, nice,” was among the many reactions the workaround got.
Answering user queries on Reddit, the Starlink beta user said that the weather wasn’t as bad just yet and that by July it would be 125 degrees Fahrenheit to 131 degrees Fahrenheit on most days in the state. This means that the ‘thermal shutdown’ could be a serious problem for a lot of users who are hoping to get on to the satellite internet service.
“If it helps, I did submit a ticket and they only said it will shut down at 122. Sadly, tomorrow will be 122, and Wednesday will be 123. Dishy is already out at 112,” he added.
Deeper into the conversation, another user (w7rh) said that Society Tomorrow wasn’t the only one facing the Starlink shut down due to the weather. “My Starlink is located 50 miles south of Grand Canyon in remote area. It’s been off and on also,” the user wrote.
While SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet connection continues to battle the heat, looks like the company will need to come up with a long-term solution to ensure that the connection isn’t disrupted in extreme weather. If not, as one user suggested, “a small contained fountain, with dishy gettin a nice little drizzle all day” is what others might have to resort to.