Wiki Pages for the Othernet Dreamcatcher

This Wiki was started by @ac8dg and simplifies searching the Forums for answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Please Edit and add a note to the revision history at the bottom saying what you added.

Check this YouTube Video produced by Forum Member, Matt, explaining the Dreamcatcher v3.05 running Skylark 5.7


  • How to Setup an Othernet Dreamcatcher Receiver Running Skylark
  • Power Supply Options
  • USB Cables
  • Dreamcatcher Placement
  • Dreamcatcher Satellite Acquisition Guidance
  • Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams
  • Using a Cone or Horn to Improve Reception
  • Unique Information Specific to Which Satellite is Selected
  • Viewing Tuner Status Tab when Logged in as GUEST
  • Updating Previous Versions of Skylark
  • PB1 Button Functions
  • Trouble Shooting Guide for Dreamcatcher v3.05 with Skylark 5.8
  • Othernet On-Line Status Reporting
  • Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) function in Skylark
  • Othernet Satellite Radio
  • Port Forwarding
  • Hardware Information
  • Software to Use for Other Applications
    Specifically, the Dreamcatcher Chat Application
  • Other Software Options
  • Sources of Useful Software to do a Skylark Install
  • Wiki for Dreamcatcher v3.02Q Board
  • Wiki for Dreamcatcher 2
  • Wiki for SDRx
  • Wiki for moRFeus
  • Note/Revision History

How to Set Up an Othernet Dreamcatcher Receiver Running Skylark

Power Supply Options

  • Power Cubes (referred to by many as “wall warts”) with a minimum of 5.1 vdc at 2 .4 amps are recommended

  • Buck Converter Another viable solution to powering the Dreamcatcher is to use a buck converter . Simply put, a buck converter is a DC-to-DC power converter which steps down voltage (while stepping up current) from its input (supply) to its output (load). Specifically, the one I am using steps voltages from 6 to 26 vdc on the input (supply) side down to 5.25 vdc at a maximum of 3 amps on the output (load) side. This current is plenty to run the Dreamcatcher, and the 5.25 vdc is also within the Dreamcatcher’s operational range that goes up to 5.5 vdc. What makes it most useful is you can use any dc voltage power cube to run the Dreamcatcher - - you don’t have to use a USB power cube which may be hard to find with the required voltage and current capability. My Dreamcatcher runs off a 12 vdc power cube drawing 0.3 amps on the input (supply) side. The output (load) going into the Dreamcatcher is 5.35 vdc (a bit higher than it’s spec) drawing 1.1 amps. An example from [ costs $3 complete with a standard USB plug to connect to the Dreamcatcher.

  • Raspberry Pi Power Supply running at 5.25 vdc at 2.4 amps are the best choice, and are available from several companies to include Amazon. Make sure when you order it, it comes with a micro USB plug which is compatible with the Dreamcatcher. Also suggest you purchase a REGULATED power supply that maintains the same voltage as the load changes.
    These regulated power supplies have a larger tolerance for low voltage from the usb cable. Dreamcatchers brown out when there’s low voltage - - the main cause of Dreamcatchers not working normally is bad power.

  • It’s best to check the dc voltage being applied to the Dreamcatcher board with a VTVM to make sure it is above 5.00 vdc. Do this with a probe touching both ends of the micro USB plug on the positive and negative terminals:

    The holes on the circuit board
    image are post-PMIC, so will show a regulated 5V output.

USB Cables
When selecting a USB to micro USB cable, select one less than 4 feet long that is relatively thick. These cables usually use larger gauge wire - - AGW 22 or 24 Price is also a method of choosing the best cable. Generally the more costly the cable - - the better it will be. Often cables marked as “quick charging” do a fine job running the Dreamcatcher. Many Forum Members have good performance from IHome, DeWalt and FuseBox cables.

Dreamcatcher Placement

In your final setup, it is recommended to place your Dreamcatcher a few feet away from any RF generating sources (good example being a WiFi Access Point). Degraded download performance and system lock-ups have been reported when the Dreamcatcher was located too close to a WiFi Access Point. In some situations, AC power pick-up on the charging cable has caused problems. AC pick up problems can be reduced by using a ferrous choke around your power cord. One method of determining interference problems after you have acquired satellite access, is to look at the % valid packets and packet rate shown in your Tuner App Status screen. It should show 100% Valid packets , with a Bitrate (bps) approximately 10,000 in North America on SES-2, and approximately 10,000 in Europe on Astra 3B.
Dreamcatcher Satellite Acquisition Guidance

Power up the Dreamcatcher/LNB outside, and point to the satellite. Othernet is on SES-2 on Ku-band North America Beam (87W), and Astra 3B on Ku-band Central and Europe Beam (23.5E).

Based on where you are, find your elevation angle, skew, and magnetic azimuth from a site such as For your first satellite acquisition effort, select a location with a clear unobstructed view of the equatorial sky. (Later, once you confirm your system is working, you can try to find a better more permanent location. Many people are able to operate thru windows or off balconies with partially obstructed views.)

Example: For Washington, DC, mount the LNB on a camera tripod with the appropriate skew angle set to 12.1 degrees clockwise (more on skew below). Using a magnetic compass chose the Azimuth (magn.) to get a sight line on close in objects which you can use to point your LNB towards the satellite at 206.4 degrees magnetic. If you use a cellular phone, you may have to use Azimuth (true) to get the sight line.

I use an Adjustable Sliding Bevel and a carpenter’s level to get a precise elevation angle (EA) of 43.8 deg for Washington, DC, set on the LNB, I do the following: In the picture below, the obtuse angle inside the Adjustable Sliding Bevel is 180 degrees - EA degrees or 180 - 43.8 = 136.2 degrees with the vertical side of the Adjustable Sliding Bevel perfectly perpendicular to the ground. If you were in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, with an EA of 23, the obtuse angle would be 180 - 23 = 157 degrees

Skew allows you to match your LNB’s horizontal/vertical orientation with the satellite’s horizontal/vertical orientation to maximize signal strength. When you set the skew, make sure you rotate the LNB so that skew angle is pointed directly overhead. Skew is given in degrees either clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW). If the reported LNB Skew direction for your location is shown clockwise, you stand behind the LNB looking at the satellite and rotate the LNB clockwise until you arrive at that number. For Washington, DC, you set the skew to 12.1 degrees by turning the LNB in a clockwise direction. Viewing the same satellite on the same longitude, but from South of the equator, result in an opposite rotation skew angle.
Skews less than 10 degrees CW or CCW don’t make much difference, but if you live on the far edge of a satellite beam, skews may approach 30 degrees which is significant. If your satellite has a built-in offset as in EU’s Astra 3B, use the Skew that provides which is correct.

Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams

A new Othernet Skylark App to help point to the satellite was developed by one of our Forum Members @Tysonpower.

It is available on Othernet in the downloads:////Apps Folder


It is written as an HTML file and will run in Skylark as a native html program (whether you are connected to a satellite or not) and any other Java equipped computer. After you select the satellite you want to find, you insert your Latitude in digital degrees and your Longitude in digital degrees (making sure if you are in a West Longitude you enter a minus sign). It will report back your magnetic heading , elevation, and skew.


Using a Cone or Horn to Improve Reception

Several users living on the fringe of SES-2’s ERIP area have discovered using a cone or horn around their LNB improves SNR by as much as 6 dB in some cases being the only way to close the link. The cones and horns being used are 8 inches tall with an upper diameter of 4 inches (either in diameter, or 4 inches by 4 inches square), and a lower diameter of 2 inches (either in diameter, or 2 inches by 2 inches square). Both martini shakers, collapsible stainless steel drinking cups, and solid aluminum or garden mesh wires are being effectively used. Pringles potato chips tubes (which are aluminum lined) also work well and allow you a snack while sighting your LNB.

Unique Information Specific to which Satellite is Selected

Using linear transponder 12.1032 MHz vertical polarization Beam Type 164

Using linear transponder 11.681242 MHz vertical polarization Beam Type 164

Viewing Tuner Status Tab when Logged in as GUEST

When looking at the Tuner Status Tab when logged in as a Guest, you will get this message:


select Close and click thru to see the Status of the Tuner.

Updating Previous Versions of Skylark
Upgrading to Skylark 5.8 just requires a re-write of the micro SD card if the micro SD card already had an older version of Skylark on it. Writing a new image preserves the old configuration and downloaded files. The micro SD card will have 5 partitions on it from the previous install, however, only 1 will appear formatted. When you insert the micro SD card into some computers, you may get error messages for the 4 unique Skylark partitions which you should ignore, and proceed to re writing the micro SD cards.

Because old session cookies may be retained in your Web Browser, the new version of Skylark may not come up properly the first time you boot the Dreamcatcher. This is caused by old session cookies cached by your Web Browser clashing with the new version of Skylark which don’t recognize them. Wait for 2 minutes following the first power on of the Dreamcatcher with the new image while you are looking at your browser, then clear cookies. In most browser, a Ctrl+F5 will clear site data and cookies. This is the easiest/fastest fix, but a reliable alternative is to Power Cycle the Dreamcatcher by turning it off, then back on. If you use the Ctrl+F5 right after powering it up, Power Cycle (turn on and off) the Dreamcatcher. If it still doesn’t come up, do several more Power Cycles.

Every once in a while though, this carrying-over of old configuration files may cause problems . In such cases, you must do a Factory Reset described below using the PB1 Button to perform a Function 3 operation. This will reset all configuration files and clear all downloaded files as well, bringing up the Access Point mode. You will need to reconfigure everything essentially starting over again. The Tuner Satellite and LNB selection; and the Client Network Setups must all be reset.

PB1 Functions
The Dreamcatcher v3.05 has an important new process using the PB1 Button to return to the Hotspot mode after you leave a network. To enable a return to the AP Mode, press PB1 once. LED 1 will light solid green. After about 7 seconds, all the LEDs will glow solid and the Dreamcatcher will reboot into the AP Mode . This function is important if you leave a network and have to reenter a new network name and password, or if you incorrectly entered your own network information. After you initiate this option, you must completely restart Section IV from the Othernet WiFi Hotspot , and reconnect to your local router by WiFi as a Client.

What Else Does The PB1 Button Do? You do not push the Power On/Off Button at all when using the PB1 Button. The PB1 Button cycles thru three Functions (which used to be selectable on the Touch Screen on the Dreamcatcher v3.02Q and V3.03) selecting the one of your choice rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode.

Function 1: Switches the Dreamcatcher to the AP mode and Reboots into the AP mode.

Function 2: Resets the configuration - - any WiFi configurations, AP/STA mode settings, hostname changes, password changes, beam selection, custom beam settings, LNB selection - all of that. BUT it does not clear downloaded files from storage. Then it Reboots into the AP mode.

Function 3: Does everything Function 2 does, plus it clears all downloaded files as well. It is a factory reset. Then it Reboots into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 exactly once, LED1 turns on and flashes a “1” pattern: Long green, long green, then repeating. This action selects Function 1 rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a second time within about 7 seconds of the first press), LED1 now flashes a “2” pattern: Long green, short green, long green then repeating. This action selects Function 2 resetting and rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a third time within about 7 seconds of the second press), LED1 now flashes a “3” pattern: Long green, short green, short green, long green, then repeating. This action selects Function 3 resetting and clearing all the downloaded files; and rebooting the AP mode. It is a factory reset.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a fourth within about 7 seconds of the third press), the LED1 turns off and selects NO FUNCTIONS . This gives you a way to cancel out of selecting one of the functions.

  • When LED1 is flashing functions 1, 2 or 3, and you do not press PB1 within 7 seconds, that specific function takes effect. Only 4 quick pushes in the 7 second window cancels out a Function Selection.

Trouble Shooting Guide for Dreamcatcher v3.05 with Skylark 5.8

The new Dreamcatcher v3.05 is a different board with a unique switch that restores it to the AP mode or does a Factory Reset. If you run into problems, the following may be helpful. Most times when the Dreamcatcher v3.05 fails, a simple reboot by shutting down the Dreamcatcher by powering it off then on (referred to as a Power Cycle) will work, but if that does not restore Skylark 5.8, follow these guidelines:

  • Problems Operating in the AP Mode

    1. No display of in browser*
      Make sure Othernet AP Hotspot is still broadcasting - - if not, go to LAST RESORT and select Function 1 with the PB1 Button to return the Dreamcatcher to the AP Mode , then, redo your setup making sure your computer is still connected to the Othernet HotSpot - - if not, reconnect it. If problem persists, go to LAST RESORT and select Function 3 with the PB1 Button to do a Factory Reset and start over again .

    2. Display available in browser, but no signal is being downloaded (Tuner App Status Screen Blank)*
      Check presence of Bias T voltage. If Bias T voltage is deficient, check LNB selection to make sure it is still set up to the correct satellite , and to the correct LNB Maverick or Outernet Dual Band. Correct as necessary. Also make sure your wire connection between the Dreamcatcher Board and the LNB hasn’t broken under the black wire wrap (do a continuity check). If problem persists, go to LAST RESORT and select Function 3 with the PB1 Button to do a Factory Reset and start over again .

  • Problems Operating as a Network Client

    1. No display of Skylark on assigned local IP address in browser*
      Make sure Dreamcatcher did not revert to the AP mode by seeing if AP Hotspot Othernet came back on line. If it reverted, reconnect the Dreamcatcher to your network. If your computer is still connected to the same Network you set Skylark to operate, and your Network WiFi password did not get changed to that of your router, go to LAST RESORT and select Function 3 with the PB1 Button to do a Factory Reset and start over again

    2. Display of Skylark in browser, but no signal is being downloaded (Tuner Status Screen Blank)*
      Check presence of Bias T voltage as in Fig. 17. If Bias T voltage is deficient, check LNB selection to make sure it is still set up as in Section II Step 8 to the correct satellite , and to the correct LNB either the Maverick or Outernet Dual Band. Correct as necessary. Also make sure your wire connection between the Dreamcatcher Board and the LNB hasn’t broken under the black wire wrap (do a continuity check). If problem persists, go to LAST RESORT and select Function 3 with the PB1 Button to do a Factory Reset and start over again.

  • does not find your Dreamcatcher’s IP address

    1. It is possible you are not connected to the Internet or you are on a different Client Network. Verify you have an Internet connection on your router, and that you connected to the correct Client Network.
  • Last Resort

    1. If the above steps do not resolve your problem, recommend using the PB1 Button on the Dreamcatcher v3.05
  • Problems Reconnecting to a Client Network After a Power Failure

    1. An AC power failure to the Router and Dreamcatcher create a unique problem for the Dreamcatcher to reconnect to the Router. The reason is most Routers take longer to boot up than the Dreamcatcher. As a result, the Dreamcatcher is trying to reconnect to the Router before the Router is ready to accept a connection and assign a Client IP address.

    2. The Dreamcatcher must be the last device to power up after a power failure.

Othernet On-Line Status Reporting

Once your Dreamcatcher is running and connected to your local area network, Skylark has a component that reports the program’s “heartbeat” via the internet to Othernet’s Chicago, Illinois, USA, headquarters. This status screen can be viewed at and looks like this - -

When reporting, Skylark sends 1.6 MB per day. It cannot be turned off. The best option to disabling this reporting is to block your router from communicating with

Automatic Packet Reporting System (ARPS) Function in Skylark

As in previous versions of the Skylark operating system, reception of Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) messages continues. Licensed amateur radio operators can send messages to Othernet to be broadcast if they include the word OUTNET or OTHER (both case sensitive) anywhere in the body part of their message. If a ham is able to get the message to an iGate, then Othernet takes it and relays it over both beams (North America and Europe). All Othernet users can read these messages - - you don’t need to be a ham to receive and read the messages.


Othernet Satellite Radio

Othernet Satellite Radio is available by either use of the native Skylark App, or plugging a standard 3.5 mm stereo speaker into the speaker output plug on the Dreamcatcher Board. Audio is not stored in Skylark - - it is a live event. Othernet Satellite Radio is broadcasting Voice of America (VOA) News. New feeds will be announced on the Forum…

Method 1 - - Native audio/sound is found in the Radio App in Skylark Version 5.8. Select this method by going to Radio App the Applications Icons Screen

Play Othernet Satellite Radio directly or select Othernet Satellite Radio and open it in a new browser window. You can also run it in a RealPlayer or Windows Media Player if you copy your network URL to the player. For example

Method 2 - - Use of a speaker plugged into the standard 3.5 mm stereo output plug. Some users connect the speaker output to an FM MP3 Player transmitter so they can tune to Othernet Satellite Radio on a standard FM radio. If you use a device that requires external power from a USB cord, make sure to power it from a separate power source. The Dreamcatcher power budget cannot support it.

In order to increase the volume of the audio/sound for the Dreamcatcher speaker plug, it is necessary to make an “on the fly” software modification to Skylark that only remains in effect as long as you do not reboot the Dreamcatcher. This change has no effect on the Native audio/sound mentioned in Method 1.

To make this adjustment use a program like PuTTY (available from to gain access to Skylark through its Secure Socket Shell (SSH) by entering your IP Client address into PuTTY.

Download PuTTY and run PuTTY
Enter <[email protected] address> and leave it in SSH

Click OPEN which will log you into the Dreamcatcher


Type your password "   "
Type “sudo alsamixer”
Enter your password “othernet”


Port Forwarding
When your internet provider allows Port Forwarding, it is easy to do with most of the new routers on the market. If you can’t use that approach, there are many on-line sites that offer subscription Port Forwarding which are generally easier to use.

Forum Members use Port Forwarding options on their network routers to be able to see their Dreamcatcher remotely. To be able to grant full access to all of Skylark’s functions, you will need to Port Forward two different ports illustrated by an Asus RT-AC68U router. Port 80 gives access to the Skylark screen, and port 8090 gives access to Skylark’s Radio. This is how I view my Dreamcatcher from remote computers when away from home.

Not all internet providers allow Port Forwarding, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) don’t always Port Forward, and older routers do not always have a Port Forwarding option. I use an Asus RT-AC68U connected to my internet provider and port forward my Othernet terminal. I feed a second Asus RT-AC68U (daisy chained) to provide VPN protection for the rest of my network.

You may also be able to install the Tomato Router (from on an older router to enable Port Forwarding.

Often times, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does not provide a static IP address for your connection. If this is the case, and you want to publish a unchanging URL, go to a source such as Duck DNS where you can establish a permanent URL. The way it works is you select an address such as and keep the referring IP address up to date as your ISP changes it.

Hardware Information

  • Transceiver Semtech sx1280/1
  • Allwinner A13, is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor is the heart of the Dreamcatcher Board Series
  • Single USB type A for connecting devices
  • One micro type B USB plugs for 5vdc 2amp power
  • Speaker jack and Speaker pin connector 1/8" (3.1 mm) mini both speaker
  • Antenna one SMA connector pre-wired to a short cable with a male SMA connector on the Dreamcatcher v3.05 and two female SMA jacks on the Dreamcatcher.
  • Supplied LNB and female Type F to female Type F coax connector
  • Maverick Satellite MK 1-PLL single standard Ku band LNB 11.7 - 12.2GHz 10.750 GHz LO Powerered at 13 or 18 vdc max 135ma (included with Dreamcatcher v3.03) or Othernet Dual Band LNB
  • Touch screen display only on Dreamcatcher v3.03 or v3.02Q Power requirements 5v or 3.3v and 100ma. A 40 pin GPIO extension ribbon cable can be used to remotely mount the display.
  • The two sd card slots tested with up to 64GB micro SD cards. Must be good quality
  • Mounting holes
  • Various “points” on the main board (no longer has a jtag) uart terminals are typical interface is provided typical and
  • EDUP Wifi mini usb device is supplied 8011n,g,b 2.4 GHz with rf power 13~17 dBm Chipset Ralink5370
  • Power on/off Reset button - push and hold 10 seconds to interrupt the intermediate power buss
  • Ventilation and cooling requirements - - infra red scan shows the display, power regulator chip U-1 and Allwinner A13 to be warm

Software to Use for Other Applications

  • Armbian Linux Based: Customized for the Dreamcatcher
    Suggested starting points are: “sudo nmtui” or armbian-config

  • Dreamcatcher Chat Application
    The Dreamcatcher v3.05 is capable of transmitting text messages to other Dreamcatcher v3.05 boards on frequencies between 40 MHz and 6 GHz using the Dreamcatcher Chat Application. The application achieves this by controlling both the mixer and radio peripherals present on the Dreamcatcher board. It uses a different set of software to achieve this capability that is available at

Two Dreamcatchers side-by-side - - one is the transmit end and the other is the receive end. The link is half-duplex. If you separate the Dreamcatchers, you can perform half-duplex messaging between them. Don’t forget, you may need a license to transmit depending upon where you are operating.

Other Software Options

  1. Future options may allow the setting to be stored: type “sudo alsactl store”

  2. Selecting Coax inputs Note: The only valid configurations are when rfswitch1 is off and rfswitch2 is on, or the other way round.
    a. Selecting Direct SMA Code block
    sudo su
    cd /sys/class/leds/rfswitch1/
    echo 1 > brightness
    cd /sys/class/leds/rfswitch2/
    echo 0 > brightness

  3. Turn on Bias-Tee to the Coax Connector
    a. Code block for 14 volt dc at both sma input connectors
    sudo su
    cd /sys/class/gpio
    echo 119 > export
    cd gpio119
    echo out > direction
    echo 1 > value

  4. Adjusting SDR parameter
    ** RF Amplifier Gain
    ** Lora and other SX1281 parameters
    The default for the chat application found in main.cpp:
    modulationParams.PacketType = PACKET_TYPE_LORA;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.SpreadingFactor = LORA_SF7;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.Bandwidth = LORA_BW_0400;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.CodingRate = LORA_CR_4_5;
    PacketParams.PacketType = PACKET_TYPE_LORA;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.PreambleLength = 0x08;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.HeaderType = LORA_PACKET_VARIABLE_LENGTH;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.PayloadLength = 50;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.Crc = LORA_CRC_ON;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.InvertIQ = LORA_IQ_INVERTED;

Sources of Useful Software to do a Skylark Install

Wiki for Dreamcatcher v3.02Q Board

  • This board version was only available for a short period of time. Most of the information for the Dreamcatcher v3.03 is applicable to the v3.02Q. There are some different LEDs and parts, but the layout is generally the same.

  • Keep in mind earlier versions of Skylark before 5.3 no long work on Dreamcatchers.

Wiki for Dreamcatcher 2

Wiki for moRFeus

Software to a usb for frequencies control at


  1. Wiki Updated Dec 13, 2020, by @kenbarbi to add latest Forum comments.

The post above is a wiki. I believe anyone can edit it. Please do.


Yeah, once we have more content in this and the other wikis, I’ll add a link up top.

1 Like

Bumping this to get more information into the wiki.

Maybe someone can come up / develop a standard formatting scheme. Involving a paragraph numbering, headings, bullets… My first try needs some help.

So where is the othernet wiki? I’d love to help.


The stub of the wiki is this thread. If you scroll all the way up to the top of this thread, you’ll see the post that is editable by anyone on the forum. This thread is meant to be used as the wiki directory. Additional wiki-posts can be created when there is sufficient content for specific new topics. The links at the top of this page come to this post.


No, nothing to do with licensing. Just one more thing to maintain. The thinking is that since there is still a lot of conversation and questions surrounding usage, it’s best to keep the information on the forum.

1 Like

So, Do I need install other operative system to run the chat application or it run over the Skylark?
Because I what to run Othernet and the chat application at the same time.


You can’t run Othernet and the chat application at the same time. The onboard radio hardware can only be used by one application at a time, so it can either be Othernet reception, or chat application.

Additionally, the chat application works on Armbian, while Othernet application is part of the Skylark OS. The chat application will not run on the Skylark OS.

You will need to get a second board if you want to run both.

1 Like

Thanks for the information, I’m new in this topic

Is there anything special I have to do in order to load Armbian onto the board without the chat application?

–Konrad, WA4OSH

The armbian image does not include the chat application. If you want to run the chat application, you have to install it specifically.

Android app “Satellite Pointer” by “Cappsule” much easier to use to point at SES-2 than compass and inclinometer.
“Satellite Director” by “Zekitez” app is useful, but the display is not easy to interpret - start with azimuth holding phone parallel to ground, then hold phone vertically and tilt until line crosses middle of “bubble”.
“Satellite AR” by “Analytical Graphics, Inc.” is very promising but it crashes on me if i choose “simulated sky” background. it also annoyingly demands compass calibration every single time before displaying satellites - even when the app was never exited.

1 Like

Regrettably, the SES-2 beam is only in North America


Corporate Othernet hopes to eventually add a satellite to cover the Philippines. Ken

Is the elevation angle of a satellite measured from the horizon (I think so), or is it measured from vertical up?

And If it is measured from the horizon, then I think the wiki section on aiming the LNB might be mistaken? It currently says to add the elevation angle + 90 degrees, and then measure that angle between the FACE of the LNB and a vertical reference. The example says “EA + 90 degrees or 43.8 + 90 =133.8 degrees”. But if I’m seeing the geometry right (angle from vertical down to face of LNB, not to body of LNB), it seems to me that it should be “180 - EA or 180 - 43.8 = 136.2 degrees”.

Since the example is so close to 45 degrees, it doesn’t make much difference (136.2 - 133.8 = 2.4 degrees). But if, for example, your satellite had an elevation angle of just 10 degrees, then the LNB should be pointing barely above the horizon. Using the equation given would put the FACE of the LNB at 10 + 90 = 100 degrees from vertical down, meaning the body of the LNB would be pointing nearly vertically up. But if you calculate that the face of the LNB should be at 180 - 10 = 170 degrees off vertical down, then the body ends up pointing close to the horizon as expected. Alternatively, you could simply measure the original elevation angle between the face of the LNB, and a vertical up reference… right?

Am I seeing this right, or do I need to get more sleep? :slight_smile:

Welcome Chris to out little community! Yes, you are correct that satellite elevation is measured up from your horizon, and my method to set up the LNB is WRONG as you say. It amazes me this description has been on the Wiki and in my User’s Guide for 2 years and no one caught it - - mea culpa and thank you. I guess I’m the one needing more sleep!

When I created the description of a quick way to set up the LNB, I combined a carpenters level with a adjustable sliding bevel. The correct formula should be 180 - EA as you said - - I corrected it.

Using a Washington, DC, EA gives a close enough answer so it looked OK - - but it was wrong by a few degrees which wouldn’t matter much in my siting test. With your suggested a 10 degree elevation angle, the adjustable sliding bevel has to be set to 180 - 10 = 170 to allow a proper siting using this method. Thanks, Ken

Hi Ken, thanks for the quick response! Great, I’m glad to help improve the docs! No worries, all those angles can be tricky, especially with multiple reference planes.

I received my first Dreamcatcher this week, and got it booted up, but haven’t had a chance to get it outside and aimed yet. Looking forward to the next steps! Thanks for maintaining this great documentation, I know such things can be a lot of thankless work. It’s much appreciated!

Keep us posted on your progress. Hopefully we’ll just see a message “I’m UPPP”. Ken