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


Let me get this right.

You are pressing the power button on the CHIP.

The chip led lights.

It boots,

I can not remember but does it flash a few times and then it should be turning on the wifi.

is this happening?


Plug in the CHIP, press the power button on the CHIP, both LEDs come on.

No flashing, no wifi.



I suspect it has not flashed.

I could not get mine to turn on until I read the whole forum "that you needed to push the power button.

In the mean time what happened with me was that after I flashed the chip with the Virtual box flasher the chip even with the FEL Cable still installed and USB still connected, would reboot and bring on the WIFI and run Skylark. outrenet / outernet password.

Is this happening to you?



could you tell me which CHIP this is? Where did you buy it? From our store or from

If from, does it have a large IC labelled “R8” and a tiny 2D barcode on the back (the side without the connectors)?


It’s straight from It does have the R8 IC and the tiny 2D barcode.


Ok, thats the “new” CHIP 1.0 that NTC started shipping some weeks back. They changed some hardware on it, hence the issues you see.

I have implemented support for this in the next release of Skylark, which should drop later this week. But it won’t work with the current release.

One thing you might want to verify before that though: After you do the FEL flash, and the CHIP boots, gets to LED blinking. (DO NOT REBOOT) - Please verify that you can see the “Outernet” SSID at that time. I hae found that the “new” CHIPs have a high probability of bad wifi.

For the rest, as I said, just wait a couple of days - support is coming.


Yep, verified that I can see Outernet SSID before rebooting.

Glad there’s a good explanation - that’s what I get for repurposing hardware that had been intended for something else :wink:

I’ll keep an eye on the forums for new release and let you know how it works out. Thanks for the quick response.


Hey folks - get this on every USB controller I have
…,Uploading SPL
usb_bulk_send() ERROR -7: Operation timed out

Anyone else seeing this? Do I have one of the incompatible useless CHIPs that wont take the flash?

Happy New Year!!! DSR


@davidsaintruby Where did you get that CHIP? I treat that error as a busted CHIP. If we sold it to you, please contact us through the form on the website for a replacement. If it’s not one of ours, then unfortunately, I don’t have any solution to the problem. I have a stack of ERROR -7 CHIPs.


To everyone who has been using the Skylark beta:

First of all, a big thank you! You have been amazing with your feedback and bug reports and help with the diagnoses. Most importantly, I am grateful for your patience while I get the release into usable form :slight_smile:

The first (non-beta) Release of Skylark is now just a couple days away, and I am asking for final feedback on the beta: a month later, how has it performed in terms of stability and performance.

I know Mobile experience is an ongoing pain, and that is unfortunately going to take some more time to fix.

What other things have you liked, disliked?


I have downloaded 200,000 packets non stop since I installed it a week or so ago and it has stayed on the google map for that period as well. So I would certainly say I like the reliability.

Skylark seems fast enough for what it does.

I love that it runs on the $9 CHIP.

It makes for a COMMON low cost platform that is the same for everyone. Making software bug and hardware issues easier to diagnose and remedy/

I think the APRS messaging is essential and fantastic thing to have but it possibly is still a bit flaky, but until I sort out my Antenna overshadowing issues it is not fair to judge.

I would like more visual telemetry coming out of the CHIP and RTL-SDR.

NEWS Ticker. I think is a essential KILLER App a satellite download service has to have.

Weather App is a Killer App, itis s Awesome and works well. It sells the Outernet product to every one I show it too.

I would love to be able to get tweets or messages as a “service” as was offered in the OLd Ku Band satellite service by Outernet.


Yes, APRS is currently having some backend issues - one of those being that the source feed itself keeps dropping connection. But theres a couple bugs in my system that I am working to resolve. A bigger issue is that the message stream is still very low traffic. A bit more traffic would show up more reliably.

Could you explain what you have in mind? I have plans for a scrolling chart of the SnR values, but if you have ideas, I am all ears.

Yes, thats high on the agenda. Once again, I would like to hear what kinda feature set you expect. Replicating tweets with #OUTERNET in them is one (though I am personally not sure how much utility that offers), but at this time all that is wide open. Hearing feedback on use scenarios will help me solve this requirement better.


An encrypetd TEXT ONLY forwarding of my Gmail messages when I am out of internet range would be handy but I would not need it that often. But people who are in remote locations would love it.

I also think you need to add a APRS software module to Skylark that could control a bluetooth controlled VHF radio and automatically send APRS messages up to the 3 APRS satellites as they go over 4 or 5 timers a day.


This will be a rushed post, as I am supposed to be working :wink:
If what I say sounds harsh, please don’t take it personally… I used to Manage a large software QA department, and learnt that it is best to just say it as I see it ( QA professionals are NEVER popular people anyway LOL!)

The Good:

  • Flashing using the VM :slight_smile:
  • the UI itself is an OK idea, but too much “active” stuff in the browser will create compatibility issues (with browsers) in the long run ( just saying)
  • I had mine running continuously for many days without any crashing … the CHIP was in -2C too!
  • Love the APRS , great idea… I can send regular test “pings” from a beacon on VHF if you want traffic… but I will be travelling again next week and won, be able to for a week or so after that.
  • Wx application looks good, and works well

The Not-so good:

  • Having to open a new viewer to read each news article (open, close, open, close)
  • When doing the above lots of time, the new window gets lower, and lower, and lower, and has to be dragged up , until it is just the window header at the bottom of the screen! ( remember to support low resolution monitors in poor areas!!)
  • Same as above with APRS (of course)
  • (Opinion/observation) it would be nice if there was som sort of magical, auto-updating index,html file for news & wikipedia, so you could go back & forth inside one of the “HTML browser” windows within you application
  • the “Apple” type of interface is a bit… well…
  • I understand that you may need to have the API indicators on the bar, but must they “spin”? it is distracting to me.
  • After closing the browser & opening it again , Skylark sometime asks for the “default viewer” again for HTML files ( noticed in the news )
  • The initial size of the newly opened window is too small to fit in the text ( HTML files at least) and the first thing is ALWAYS to resize it , every time, always… arrrggghh!! :slight_smile:

Bugs (reported or discussed):

  • Dropping of the “tuner data” to the UI
  • weak WiFi ( I now have the CHIP inside and the ant outside, so not so much of a pain)
  • UI impossible on mobile

Other observations:

  • Last night the actual background image was fading & brightening… It was very disconcerting… I assume it is a bug…
  • Keep up the good work!!!
  • This is a roughly typed list, but I did this as you asked for it :slight_smile: I have probably forgotten somthing, but I am late for work now


Any data that goes to only one/some users, not all, would have to be limited and would probably have to be paid for on a per message/ per kb basis. Its something we have kicked around as an idea - and I think we would like to do it at some point.

A sending side system is something we consider important and are actively considering options. I am not sure APRS can be used this way though.


yes, please! Whenever you can. It’d be also great if you write a post about how you setup the beacon, what hardware/software you used, etc.[quote=“neil, post:254, topic:2660”]
Having to open a new viewer to read each news article (open, close, open, close)* When doing the above lots of time, the new window gets lower, and lower, and lower, and has to be dragged up , until it is just the window header at the bottom of the screen! ( remember to support low resolution monitors in poor areas!!) * Same as above with APRS (of course) * (Opinion/observation) it would be nice if there was som sort of magical, auto-updating index,html file for news & wikipedia, so you could go back & forth inside one of the “HTML browser” windows within you application

All that is fixed in the imminent release.

The problem is thats the only indication that the api call isn’t “stuck”. But i see the distraction part of it - I have to think of an alternative.

With the new way to read news, this should no longer be an issue.

If you logout of a session while your apps are open to their desired size, at logout select “save session”. When you login again, the apps will automatically open and resize them to their saved size.

The background should not be doing that :smiley: Theres no fade function, so it might be worth checking if it repeats - maybe the display was autoadjusting to ambient light?

forgot to mention: thanks for taking the time for this detailed list!! :thumbsup:


All you would be doing is adding the functionality that is already in the amazing Android APP DROIDAPRS. It has Bluetooth connectivity already.

I think the DROIDAPRS code is open source so it might be easy to add to Skylark.

Everything I am saying is Based on a APRS user being a Licensed Amateur Ham.


Can you link me to one of these bluetooth-APRS transmitters?


You have 2 satellites right?

Why not use tht IMS frequencies to send messages up to your two satellites and then store and forward them down to a earth-station and into the internet and then Outernet.

The industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands are radio bands (portions of the radio spectrum) reserved internationally for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy for industrial, scientific and medical purposes other than telecommunications.[

433.05 MHz 434.79 MHz A 433.92 MHz only in Region 1, subject to local acceptance AMATEUR SERVICE & RADIOLOCATION SERVICE, additional apply the provisions of footnote 5.280
902 MHz 928 MHz B 915 MHz Region 2 only (with some exceptions) FIXED, Mobile except aeronautical mobile & Radiolocation service; in Region 2 additional Amateur service


A satellite uplink has huge requirements in terms of money, power, regulatory compliance - thats why VSATs are so expensive to buy and use. For something like outernet, we’d need to something different. Also, store/forward is a function of custom satellites, not generic bent-pipe transponders. In vast majority of satellite applications - all satellite tv, radio, even satellite internet - the satellite never even demodulates the data, and is not capable of storing any.