I just got my kit on Friday, and was happy to see that most everything came pre-assembled. I didn’t have any doubts that I would be able to set up the kit as I read a bunch of posts prior to ordering, and tinker around with RPi as well as SDR.
Getting the image onto the SD card was super easy with the instructions from the image directory (thank you balenaEtcher). I did need to use the ‘network reset’ button a couple of times to get it to connect to my wifi router (didn’t like my 5ghz network for some reason). The wifi issues may also have been because of power issues, as I switched to a 2.5a power adapter which seemed to work much better. Once up and running, I was able to access Skylark with no problems. I will probably go back and statically set the IP as I like services to be in fixed locations but ‘othernet.local’ is working fine for now.
The hardest part was getting the LNB aimed properly. The Dreamcatcher will live in my wiring closet, feeding about 60 feet of shielded RG6 out to the south side of the house. I have the LNB on a camera tripod, affixed with some trusty painter’s tape for now until my bracket comes in. Using the numbers from dishpointer and the level app on my phone I was able to get close, but Dreamcatcher wasn’t getting any signal. I did change the LNB type a couple of times(I have the Maverick), but if you do that remember to reboot. After checking, rechecking, and re-aiming, I started out with about -16 dB SNR. From there, I was able to move a little, check SNR impact, and have now gotten it to about -10.
I also did some basic maintenance, changed the ‘othernet’ password, and looked at the log files while I was trying to figure out IF I wasn’t getting signal. It might be helpful if instead of nothing in the window, we could display ‘no signal detected’ I also notice that my board has 256MB of RAM. It seems to work just fine, the website says it has 512MB and probably needs to be corrected if this version only has 256MB.
Overall, this is a good experience for me with the project and I would say that getting to mass market is looking more possible with each release. I know many of us spend a lot more money on gear with less functionality than Dreamcatcher all the time.
I did also notice my frequency offset was crazy high, almost 200khz. I put in the custom value 11902.2 for the frequency with the 228 beam type and now the numbers look nicer to me.