Improvements to Dreamcatcher

I suggest the following HUGE improvements…

  1. wide range power input 5V to 21v with a regulator to regulate the power for the DC and the Bias power AND also have solder pads for soldering power cables to for those with longer term aspirations for building in to an enclosure.

  2. Additional USB port, like cable power extensions, you can NEVER have too many USB ports.

  3. RJ45 Ethernet port, not all of us want to have WiFi, I don’t, sick of my wifi being attempted hack by the computer science students over the road, so prefer a hardwired option. If you want WiFi then I suggest you build it as a daughter board and offer RJ45 as the basic standard and WiFi as an option.

  4. SATA option to plug an SSD or large hard disk on there or a flahs option that is not SD card based because SSD’s are designed for this type of use, not SD cards!

  5. You have TWO SD slots… why not have a third and have a mirror raid arrangement for people who want some security…

  6. the Antenna cable is a joke, seriously, how short is that? 6cm of usable cable on a 16cm antenna cable.

  7. Save on cost, shipping by doing away with the acrylic cover, a thin pressed piece of tin is not only cheaper but much lighter and on weighing the one I have in my hand, accounts for 50% of the weight in just the acrylic top cover. … or in english, I paid top dollar for something I could get a 1 meter square sheet for £[email protected] that the one you ship with the Dreamcatcher, works out that Gold is cheaper…

  8. Instead of the acrylic dead weigh, ship an SD card ALREADY IMAGED with Skylark…

  9. LNB could be sipped with an attachment that allows easy attachment to a tripod, we are talking pennies for the part, if you are prepared to ship a lump of plastic that serves NO FUNCTION other than keeping dust off the board, then you can shipp a suitable LNB mounting bracket.

  10. Shipping items, PLEASE INDICATE CURRENCY… I got shafted for a higher price in import duty that I got levied with to get the item, the customs office treated the price as UK pounds and NOT US Dollars which meant I paid a sh*t load more in tax than I really had to. I even emailed Othernet about this and got ZERO RESPONSE from them. Othernet need to be planting a clear sign before the cash amount, having it in a colum heading is pointless as it is open to people like customs to treat USD as GBP because companies do not declare CLEARLY the currency, had this been marked up properly, then I would have likely not had to pay duty because its value in GBP was less than that set as a break point in the vat system, in otherwords, had it been priced in DOLLARS and said DOLLARS and a sign stating it was DOLLARS then the dollar value would have brought the UK conversion down to… Just under taxable amount.
    Get how a little thing can have a huge affect on the end users experience?

  11. I don’t know many products that are made that do not have some form of enclosure or enclosures suitable for the device… I mean, people are paying $100 a pop for something that is not properly boxed… It may be a kit but plenty of kits I have had in the past have a box as part of the kit or was an optional extra which came with the power supply built in already, etc (hint)

  12. Software does not work on Linux, despite following compiling tutorials and the download of the recommended burning tool, it does not work, so I have to buy windows just ti image the SD card…


So far this is turning in to a bit of a bitter experience as the cost of this is mounting up and I don’t even know yet if I can get a decent signal, so this is a very expensive risky project for my to be building on a chance that it will work.

I haven’t gotten round to building the kit as I am still waiting on parts and have yet to experience the DC’s software…

On the import duty / VAT threshold, in the UK it is currently GBP 15 reduced from GBP 18 based on the CIF value (Cost, Insurance and Freight) so you are not going to get a dreamcatcher without the taxcatcher getting involved. Although showing the correct currency should reduce the charges.

What I am POINTING OUT is the FACT that I paid DOLLARS for the item, if the $ had been there in front of the number and not hidden in a column field of a declaration sticker, then HMRC would not have charged me TAX as if the value was £’s

In laymans terms, you calculate $100 as UK GBP and its about £76.
If you look up £100 in Dollars and its about $131.

So, I have been taxed on an item as if its £100 not $100 and because it has a valuation number 100 with no clear currency.

In terms of tax on items, its a big chunk and MINE NOT THE TAX MANS.

Write in and request a refund with supporting documents.
the currency should be shown on the invoice, you could always ask othernet to email you one with it clearly shown.
its easy these days, in the past I had to get invoices on telex or make imaginative use of correction fluid and the photocopier :slight_smile:

  1. maybe an option, but USB is just fine for 99% of the users i think.

  2. the older versions had two usbs, good idea to add a bit more USB :+1:

  3. Could make it way more expensive, and most of the people, especially in Africa etc. use wifi as a hotspot for others to access. this is the way it should be used in the end.

  4. the CPU has NO SATA, so not easy to add that. SD cards are also cheaper and just fine working 24/7. They are also fast enough.

  5. that is overkill…no one despite a few would use that.

  6. A longer one would be nice :+1:

  7. i don’t think shipping cost is dependent on the weight, at least in my experience with shipping things that size.

  8. good point, maybe an option, especially with the low sd card prices :+1:

  9. there was a bracket in the past, but it wasn’t really nice tho. Maybe you know something the could ship?
    10.Adding DOLLAR or a $ would be nice, but maybe the UK customs are just a bit dumm :slight_smile: Items from the US are to 99% of the time in Dollars, mostly even everything that comes outside from the UK if nothing is indicated.

  10. there are fdifferent plans, but they have problems with the manufactures as i read in the forums. They want to make that happen asap

  11. well just use DD to copy the IMG to the sd card or so. Should work with things beside etcher just fine.

Ahhh…so you didn’t even use the thing yet? well…maybe just try it before raging about a piece of Acrylic…kalm down

You should have a great signal in the UK btw.

I weighed the item, the whole unit is 121 grams.

Take the lump off, the board is… 59 grams

So… a lump of plastic, that has no real worth, takes up more than 50% of the weight of the item, which really would be better off being a tin lid of el-cheapo pressed and formed tin that is going to provide some more level of shielding.

On the WiFi front, it may be fine for majority of users, but I want security of mind that the possibility of wifi hacking is removed by hardwired option.

I live opposite the student block for the local Universities and in particular, it gets filled out with Geeks and Jocks. I gave up trying to use wifi and turned it off and found that suddenly, hardwired network worked just fine whereas wifi wouldn’t cut it as there are multiple signals, at least 67 signals according to my PC sniffer and that does not include those living around me as I live in a low-rise building which is multi occupancy.

So when you have airwaves that are saturated and people trying to hack everything going, you too would want hard wired options.

Yes, I am eager to try it out.
I am stuck, waiting for parts to arrive before I can finish and turn the beast on for the first time.

For now, I am going to cable tie the LNB to a portable tripod I bought for the job and hop it is small enough to go where I want it to go…

I also hope I can find the satellite! I have seen it on the dish site thing, know where it is, just have to sort the LNB out, waiting for a cable to turn up because the cable on the DC unit is way too short…

According to the user manual the TP-Link TL-UE300 works with dreamcatcher. So you can use ethernet if you want.

Maybe it does, but its more money and something that the board only needs to have the port added and the network adaptor added, most of the networking stuff is there, that much is evident.

People going on about cost, do you really want to penny pinch over parts manufactured in their millions and used everywhere and are literally 10 a penny… is it REALLY going to add that much cost? Really? And a very standard network adaptor, again, cheap as chips, a penny a go.

The cost of implementing a very standard Ethernet port is actually less than the cost of the wifi dongle that comes with the kit.

stop the rage about the acrylic piece…that is just stupid to even talk about that.

Well, WPA2 is still secure but yeah, if they can add Ethernet for cheap, why not. I like cables as well :slight_smile:

THERE IS NO SECURE WI FI not even with the strongest encryption and it has been shown to have flaws at many a hackfest like hackcon.

The Acrylic lump IS RELEVANT because it constitutes MORE THAN HALF THE WEIGHT of the device, serves little purpose, especially if its going in an enclosure already. So it should be an OPTION to offer people, DO they want a cover or not?

So 60g postage, its about £3.65 to send a 60g item to the US so its not going to be that much difference US to UK.

So that is a fair chunk of the purchase cost and shipping costs.

As I bought one of these things, I am stating the things I would suggest are improvements to the board and shipping.

I’d go as far as to also suggest that the LNB is not shipped either as these can be purchased 10 a penny and found on many dishes already that can be recycled and should be an option for people wanting to cut on cost and I don’t see why Othernet would object to offering a more economy method of shipping and buying the unit.

People complaining about my comments really need to go bark up another lamp post because its not getting you anywhere.

What I have suggested is entirely sensible and would allow many more users to tie in to the board, even maybe add a set of headers for breakout or daughter boards with co-processors, making the units dual core in effect…

oh goood…can you please stop with the acrylic? They don’t have a case, so the send a cover. Better then nothing…also just take a look at shipping rates of usps…

There are categorys as always when shipping something, so 225g is the same price as 60g… So it doesen’t matter if the DC has 120g or 60g…

A option buying a DC without LNB would be nice :slight_smile:

I think a usb ethernet adapter is the better option. That way there isnt any additional cost to everyone else. It might not seem like it would cost much to add to the board but it will. After you account for having the board revised, buying additional components, paying extra to have those components added. More components means more quality control. Having ethernet built into the board means they have to officially support ethernet in software. The cost adds up quickly.

@demandzm You hit it on the head. More stuff is more problems.