There are four items currently in the store:
- A DreamCatcher board. It includes an integrated LNA and SAW filter. (currently sold out)
- An SDRx board
- An (active) L-band antenna with an integrated LNA and SAW filter.
- A passive antenna.
There are two pieces of software for download that run in the DreamCatcher board:
- Skylark – for receiving Outernet
- Armbian - an operating system that allows experimenters to run the DreamCatcher board. This does not include an application to access Outernet. It’s intended for experimenters to have access to the DreamCatcher board for other projects.
They continue to support skylark for a CHIP computer from NTC, but the CHIP is no longer being produced.
Currently the DreamCatcher board will work with either the passive or active antenna through two separate antenna ports and with the firmware for either receiving Outernet or experimenting with the DreamCatcher board.
The advantage of the active antenna is that it’s powered by bias voltage supplied through the coax. This means the signal is amplified before it goes through a length of coax. The tiny coax is very lossy at 1.5GHz. I don’t know how far the active antenna can be separated from the DreamCatcher board.
There used to be software that ran on a Raspberry Pi to drive the SDRx and the passive antenna. It also worked with the Raspberry Pi in combination with the active antenna. This has been discontinued.
Currently, the DreamCatcher board is sold out. There is something in the works that will improve the download speed by perhaps an order of of magnitude. However, it’s not been announced yet, At this point, I would read the FAQs and this forum to understand the technology involved.
Reading between the lines, I would expect that the DreamCatcher will be replaced with one that has more processing power.(to handle a more complex modulation mode and/or a higher symbol rate). I would also expect that antennas will need to improve for people like me in the upper and lower latitudes. Here in Seattle, the Inmarsat 4-F3 is pretty low on the horizon already. This becomes much more pronounced in Alaska for example. I will be working on an L-Band helical antenna to get some more receive gain.
Hold on for a couple of weeks. I think something great is in the works.