What to expect when the Skylark OTA hits


I really think we need to keep in mind that tuis is not anything LIKE a “finished” product at this point.
Everything that is happeing is a “proof of concept” and yes it will be a “YUGE” security issue now, I mean the biggest! :slight_smile:
IThat is why I have not made any attempt to "integrate2 the CHIP into my "real network at this stage. I have ONLE PC that connects to its wifi and that PC I control via a VPN - (It runs all my radio stuff)

Seriously , if you care about secuity, at this stage I would advise that the CHIP be not allowed to talk perminatly to you home network, (except for tests) unless you really know what you are doing!!

You can use a separte repeater if the wifi is to week for whatever devices you ant to connect to it…

All the points in the discussion above ate good BTW , I am not saying it is wrong, it is just not time to focus on them. @Abhishek needs to be aware of them of course, so keep up the discussion, but I am looking forward to seeing the results of the first test of the OTA updates! (even if it is a complete fail, that is still a great test!!!)


@neil: the point being - when we have not even tested out an OTA yet - this will be the first one - at that stage absolutely insisting that the OTA also manage to retain all sorts of unsupported user-mods, and not listening to the explanations of why thats not possible - thats where the issue is. I saw a post earlier where it was advised to lock the “outernet” login, add a new userid, change its password, etc. How is an ota supposed to handle such things? I need to make sure that OTA ends up in a known device state. Is it that much work really to simply change the password back after the OTA? There is no reason why anyone should get in such a huff about something that basic.

And honestly: show me another system which does OTA of a 150MB rootfs + support files, over a 2kbps, unreliable, unidirectional link, on a very resource constrained device, without user assistance. While the overall datacasting approach is itself innovative, I believe the OTA system is also un-equalled. And I want to test that out - see how it performs in the field. When people who genuinely don’t have internet access use this device, they won’t be able to update any other way. So OTAs are absolutely critical to the Outernet setup. If/When the OTA works - it would be a big achievement in its own right, even though I say so myself.

Instead of talking about that, we have been sidelined to a completely different topic. The user in question could very easily just change the passwords back after the OTA. Absolutely demanding that their mods be supported by the first-ever OTA and refusing to listen to all the explanations - thats just…not ok.


Absolutely :slight_smile:
Make it work first, then clean up the edges :slight_smile:


I looked it up: I wrote an implementation for a very similar system back in 1990.
It was for amateur radio satellites in low earth orbit. These broadcasted files using 9600 bps FSK
or 1200 bps PSK using a protocol that has nearly the same concept as what Outernet uses, except these
satellites were transmit/receive so the receiver could send up a “hole list” to request transmission
of missing parts of a file. Therefore it did not include a method to fix incomplete files using error correction.
The protocol was documented in the proceedings of the 9th ARRL/CRRL computer networking
conference (sep 1990) in a series of articles by Harold Price, NK6K and Jeff Ward, K8KA.
A reference implementation and the code running on the satellites was written by them around that
same time, mine was the first independent implementation. About 6-8 satellites were launched that
had this capability, and each of them had an onboard filestore holding the files in the current carousel.
They also transmitted packets indicating the current carousel content so you could see what would be
upcoming, and a file directory describing all available files with a number of different attributes.


This project is, at best, in Beta. It is not a production product and has not been advertised as one. It is, in fact, innovative. Think first electric cars vs Tesla cars. Defaults passwords, logging, auto-reboot settings and other such things are SUGGESTIONS for future improvement. Need I remind you that the Outernet service and software is FREE? Everyone on this forum is a hobbyist and beta tester, not an end user. I would imagine that Outernet is very much in the red with their financials having to pay for the satellite feed with very little income. Your most recent posts make you sound like an ass. This project needs constructive feedback not criticism so it can grow. If you don’t like how things are going with development, start submitting pull requests on GitHub with code you wrote since you claim to be a programmer. Otherwise cool your jets, or leave, your choice.

Apologies to @Abhishek for the grumpy post on his thread.


The only thing even close to it I can think of is updates that SiriusXM does to their car radios OTA. However they have far more bandwidth, MUCH stronger signal including land-based broadcast, many more developers and even they brick people’s radios on occasion!

What Outernet does is impressive and you should be proud of it. I would love to see the code for how it works someday, but I understand why it is proprietary. Keep up the good work, and I hope I can contribute something useful in the near future.


We are - and the fact that we have gotten so far is completely due to the ferocious support this community has offered us. Its absolutely addictive and dazzling. Just couple days back I was talking with Syed about this - the user community we have is so intensely awesome!

Thank you!


Only the demodulator is proprietary - and that due to purely commercial constraints. And we are actively working to change that.


No need for you to “actively work to change that”. We’ve already reversed-engineered all the proprietary parts of the software and publish open-source alternatives:


PS: I don’t swallow the “commercial constraints” thing.


excellent work, I have been following it!! :thumbsup: but we can’t use it.

Thats all right. Your beliefs are your own. Why you think I’d lie about something like that is beyond me. But thats ok.


Personally I am delighted with the progress of this project and fail to understand why it is that some forum members forget this is an outgoing effort and NOT a finished product. Changing passwords is simple, quick and painless. Grow up and get over it. If you are going to use a product, then you should be able to take responsibility for maintaining it including making (gasp!) manual updates to your password.


This guy needs to find something new to play with…he is a Troll


I guess the security isnt a problem really… a defaulted access password that works for write access on an ftp server thats connected to an open access point that designed for “community” access… yea nothing to see here…

Except that its ALWAYS harder to address security issues on the backend than the front.

You may very well have a plan, you darn sure arent giving any impression if it…


Oh, no he isn’t a troll, but a very clever, precise and strict technical person he helped us a lot already. It happens with all of us that sometimes we overdoes those thinks, thats just happens.


I guess, I just hate
to see people “bch” when its free.
This is not a bank!!!,dang!