Beta testing RxOS release 4.0 - Skylark. Link in thread!


Alpha Lantern with Skylark Failing

Still having issues here. Same as before - - Lantern goes into API calls when checking Tuner Status, and when I try to recover system logs - - I get no logs and plenty of new API calls

Any progress resolving this issue? I’m leaving this CHIP alone now (rather than reflashing it which is the only way I’ve been able to bring it back), and going back to my original CHIP also flashed to Skylark to see how it performs. Ken


Okay, it seems that my radio died.

What happened was that I left the system outside - not in the rain, well covered but cold like -5C. That was not even cold as the outside temperature can easily go as low as -40C where I live.

The system stayed up some days and died totally. CHIP seems to be working as I was able to re-flash it, LNA is also working (checked with AirSpy Mini and SDR#). The radio is dead. Device itself is not getting warm any more (it was very warm during operation), when connected to SDR# as a standard RTL-SDR device nothing works.

I opened the case to see if there were something broken that can be seen with a naked eye, but everything seems to be OK.

It seems that my tests with Outernet have ended - I’ll recycle the antenna and LNA in my other SDR projects, also the CHIP will get new firmware in the future as a WX or ADB-S receiver.


Power Issues

I have been monitoring my Lantern with the original CHIP (flashed to Skylark) and new SDR/LNA, and have noticed some unusual power readings on the dc side.

@Abhishek and @Syed please confirm these readings. With the unit off and connected to a 10 watt USB charger, I am reading 3.43 vdc on the Boston battery. The battery alone disconnected reads 3.48 vdc. If I start up the Lantern connected to the USB power source, then remove the USB power source, the voltage on the Boston battery slowly (about 1 minute) drops to 3.35 vdc and the Lantern shuts down.

Thoughts? Ken


How long did you leave the charger connected, with the battery attached?


I have been running for 26 hours with charger attached and no hitches with Skylark’s performance. The system only shuts down if I disconnect the external power source which leads me to believe I may have a battery problem. I can restart the system on battery only, but it shuts off in a few minutes when the Boston battery voltage drops to the magic 3.35 vdc. With external power connected, everything starts up and runs well. I hope to exceed a 48 hour run time soon :yum:

Another interesting point is, my original CHIP (the one I’ve just brought into Sklark service) draws 7 watts on my USB charger as measured with an external watt meter. The other “replacement” CHIP drew only 4 watts, and is now in need of a re flash to run Skylark correctly again.

Perhaps I should restore ithe “replacement” CHIP back to rxOS 3.1, but that’s not all that straight forward unless you have a VM machine re flash routine for it. Ken


I think I may be zeroing in on the power problem I’m experiencing and others in cooler climates are experiencing.

First the spec for the Swing 5300 at:

shows a nominal voltage of 3.65 vdc - - I’m well below it at 3.48 vdc - - so I’m suspecting a bad battery.

Second the Temperature discharge curves show lower voltages as temperatures drop below 0 deg C. Since the CHIP powers down at 3.35 vdc (which I believe was discussed several months ago when the Alpha Lantern was delivered to a few of us), in cold weather (and here in DC is is in the high 20’s low 30’s), we are very close to the border of operation/shut down.

If the CHIP shuts down at 3.35 vdc based on the battery level seen at the battery plug in port, even if the USB charger is plugged in and charging, the system can’t run. What do you think of this scenerio @Syed @Abhishek ? Ken


thats quite plausible!

3.48V is quite low, and does indicate a problem.

Is it possible for you to leave things off without a battery overnight (powered from mains) and confirm?

Also, if you happen to have a usb power bank, or any other source of a 18650 li-ion battery, you could try replacing the boston power battery with it temporarily and cross-verify.


Yes - - I was thinking of that. I have a Li Ion power pack I could connect in place of the Boston Power. Just have to figure out how to connect it in place of the Boston Power.

Regarding taking the battery out - - my Lantern won’t work unless I have the Li Ion connected to the CHIP. I assume that’s the only and correct way to operate. Ken


re: connecting the power bank, i was thinking more like if its easy to open (all of mine are, they just come apart and then easily snap closed as well) - the power bank could temporarily donate its internal 18650 battery to the CHIP. Most power banks have 18650 batteries, and one of those should fit in place of the boston power battery in the same holder.

re: lantern not working without battery - you mean it even doesn’t power up?


Is the Boston Power battery not taking charge?


It is getting charge, but not coming up to nominal voltage. As a result, it drops below minimum levels. Ken


Exactly - - if I don’t have the Boston Power red/black wire with white plug connected to the CHIP - - the CHIP won’t power up. Both CHIPs respond the same from the Skylark OVA file. (I even re downloaded the OVA file and re flashed my CHIPS from the new downloads - - in case I had any corruption).

Am I on track or wrecked? Ken


@syed, why would the CHIP not power up if the battery is not plugged in?

I use all my CHIPs without the battery, So I don’t understand how that could be.

Ken, does it power up and then immediately shut down, or not power up at all?

Pressing the power on button make any difference?


Without the battery connected, when I apply USB power, I get one quick flash - - then nothing. Nothing for a long long time, and then nothing - -ever.

So I assume, with Skylark, you need the battery connected, which I do. I can’t go back to rxOS 3.1 to see how that responds - - it may work differently. Ken



I’m sending both CHIPs and the battery back for you to take a look at in the lab.

I replaced the Boston Power with a standard USB supply from a battery pack, and booted up again, and got nothing. I felt my CHIP, and it was very very hot! Like it burned up.

So right now I’m dead in the water - - so to speak. Ken


Yes, it is best of I take a look at your hardware. As long as you supply it with 1A over USB, there should not be a problem. If the voltage is not increasing in the battery over time, then it is not charging properly.


It will be in the mail Monday - - Priority. Ken


FYI… you can damage lithium batteries if they are charged below a certain temperature.


Sounds like a cold solder joint. Inspect any connections near the usb input port.

Ok so it is a bit of a joke. But it still is a valid theory.



On to the real report.

CHIP running in a temp stable indoor temp of 15-20DegC has three days plus and 300000 packets with no battery connected.