Outernet for sailors (weather forecast grib files)

@syed can you tell me please which is the manufacturer and the model number of the LNB sold with the new Dreamcatcher? I am currently doing a complete re-design of my tracker and I would like to fit it to the new LNB. I’d like to order one here in Germany so I can get it as soon as possible.

@Martin That is an Avenger PLL-321-S.

@Syed Thanks a lot! unfortunately it seems they are not cheap to get over here. I’m going to use another one for now.

Here is a short update on what I have been doing. The new setup is designed for the Dreamcatcher 3.5 (the grey template) and the new LNB now. I also designed a new smaller PCB and downsized the mechanical parts and reduced their number. The magnetometer was moved away from the motors. I squeezed everything together as much as possible and together with the smaller dimensions of the Dreamcathcer and the LNB it now fits into a PVC pipe I got from the construction market. When ready the whole thing will be inside a cylinder with 15 cm (5.9 inches) diameter and 20 cm (7.9 inches) height, including built-in batteries to use it as a mobile unit as well.
Yesterday I wired and tested the PCB and I hope to have everything finished and working when the sailing season starts again to test it on the water.


Action videos, please!

Unfortunately, there is nothing new to see. It is just doing the same things as the bigger version. I’ll do the battery part next and then I will make a new video.

Now the new version is finished so far. Everything seems to be working as planned. Action videos will follow soon :wink:


That is very slick.

@Syed Thank you very much!
here comes the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx7ZrqJhl1M


Were you getting GPS reception indoors? How did the receiver know where to point?

Actually, the GPS isn’t connected yet, because I used the two analog pins of the arduino which are not capable of working as digital pins for a serial connection, so I’ll need to change them on the next PCB I make. I’ll also still need to implement a formula to calculate the direction to the satellite relatively to your position. But that shouldn’t be that hard to do. And I lately work a lot with those GPS modules and it is possible to get a fix with them indoors. But that can take quite some time. So far the receiver is still programmed with azimut, elevation and skew from my last field test.

Wow, this is great. Could you summarize a cost estimate or possible bill of materials ?

I would probably add an aluminum mounting bracket / rail clamp and something to weather seal the 5 vdc and switches. But this sure looks ready for a sail !!! and my spring fever is longing for a cruise.

Thank you very much! I’ll try to calculate the costs the next days. But I got the parts mostly from the construction market/ebay. It shouldn’t be too expensive
I thought about adding some kind of screw to mount it on a stativ like a camera. Then I could use some acion cam mountings to place it on my handrail or on top of my hard dodger (non metal and not magnetic), which would be as far as I can keep it away from the steel hull.
The switches can be sealed on the inside using hot glue, epoxy or sikaflex. But I’ll wait with that until everything is tested enough.

Hello to everyone! I hope you are all fine and healthy. I did a test today with the new Dreamcatcher mounted and it works fine. https://youtu.be/cGkX3BjjwyE I can’t go to the boat at the moment, but I’ll test it underway when the situation allows it again.


That is so slick! I want one!

@Martin, do you have a git or something where we could get and hack your code for the 3D parts, PCB, and AVR? Parts used too please, what is that white container?

@biketool Sorry I don’t have a git. And my files are still pretty chaotic + the code is mostly in german. When I’m finnished making changes I will sort it all out. The white container is a piece of PVC pipe with a CNC made top.

I hate my code too, but there is always online translation to figure out the comments or if uncommented then the code is universal.
If you started with a FOSS project or two it would be nice to know a good place to start after seeing your implementation.
What can I say, I am a hack, I would prefer to start a few cm from the finish line than a few km re-solving problems you already solved!

Good evening everyone! I have got a new update of my tracking antenna project: https://youtu.be/THoQVlFhIhE


One possible ‘enhancement’, could a cone extension be added to the lnbf to increase the signal strength.
Maybe (a 4 inch long x diameter of lnbf) extension…

This would affect the motor power required to adjust a more massive load. And it means the size of the enclosure would to be larger… which means more mounting problems… among other issues…