The NEXT Step In Outernet Delivery

I think the system still needs a lot of things upgraded/fixed/changed/upgraded, etc. so that the product is past the early adopter stage. The early adopters are the DXers, FTA Enthusiasts, Hams, and other techies. Applications like Rachel, paging, one-way e-mail, etc. still need to be fleshed-out.

Konrad, WA4OSH

All of those applications are contingents upon a much higher bitrate service, which is exactly what we are working on (hence the radio silence).

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I’m assuming you will stay on L-Band and need to go to a more complex modulation scheme and perhaps a higher symbol rate. This will of course need a bit more receive SNR to support it.

BTW, I’m a member of the Microsoft Pacific Northwest Software Defined Radio Special Interest Group (pnw sdr sig). I will be sharing what I learn with the rest of the group as soon as your “skunk project” is revealed!

–Konrad, WA4OSH

No comment on technical specifications at this time, though I can say that the modulation will be significantly different and and the bitrate will be significantly higher. For more mainstream applications, we have no choice but to focus on a path to 100kbps.

What does Microsoft do with SDRs? Or is the group simply composed of Microsoft-employees? Was the group around during the old Microsoft DirectBand/SPOT days?

You wrote…

This all stands to reason. We’ll hopefully hear the big announcement soon.

It’s a small group of current and ex-Microsoft-employees and vendor-contractors. I’m an ex vendor-contractor at Microsoft. It’s a nice place to meet like-minded SDR enthusiasts.

I don’t know how long the pnw sdr sig has been in existence. But we do meet monthly at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Our next meeting is in a week from now, on the 28th. I will be sharing my DreamCatcher board with the passive airgap antenna. I might post photos and feedback.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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We would like to deploy a dozen or so of the Ku Band Dreamcatchers in Northern Africa. Is Ku Band service even available? These communities really need education with current events/content. OER2Go is awesome (, but can a Ku Dreamcatcher keep OER2Go updated? Or will it have to be synchronized/archived separately?
The most important question: is there Ku Service over Africa?

There is no Ku-Band service currently anywhere besides Lower-48 US and parts of Canada and Mexico.

I have not looked at OER2go yet. but if you have a Raspberry Pi and can take the time to download 64GB of data take a look at Rachel Pi also.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

Yeah, we are actually doing a Rachel instance (400GB) on a tiny x86 atom server. We would just need a way to have Outernet provide current information, news, and weather in a location where we have ZERO Internet. How do you think we should do that? Do you still have L-Band Outernet in Africa? Do you have Ku-Band service planned for the future?
I really want to help.

Yeah, we are actually doing a Rachel instance (400GB) on a tiny x86 atom server.
This is a great start.

Deploy the Rachel server. Then when Outernet on Ku-Band is available in Africa, add that service.

No. L-Band service was too expensive. They had to drop it.

@Syed would have to answer that question.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

Just wondering how long the usual shipping delay is. I am used to ebay shipping orders out on the same day of purchase when payment is immediate. Really want to play with the new 3.03 board if it ever gets shipped!

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Please let @Syed Syed address this. Ken

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We are up to date on deliveries. What is your order number?

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