Is there an API (paid most likely) that would allow us to post short bursts of data to be transmitted? The project I’m working on needs to broadcast some transactions, they are about 64 bytes in length and need to be repeated 3-4 times for redundancy. Willing to pay for it, we’re doing a PoC with the Blockstream Satellite API https://blockstream.com/satellite-api/ but the Othernet hardware is cheaper and smaller. Thank you!
How soon are you planning on doing this?
@Razvan_Dragomirescu This is just my personal curiosity. Does quasi-real time broadcasting of the BTC blockchain require a 13 kbps stream? I’m assuming 1 MB as the block size, or 8 Mbits, which is created every 10 minutes, or 600 seconds.
How large can a receiver/antenna be, while still being convenient for portability? Is is the price of the Othernet receiver that is most interesting, or the size?
Thank you @Syed , probably 4-6 months from now, not immediately.
I don’t have a Blockstream receiver yet, they’re out of stock at the moment. I have no idea how they allocate bandwidth, we don’t plan to use the blockchain functionality at all, just need a way to broadcast our transactions (that are not blockchain transactions) over a large area, for a fee.
The size of the Othernet receiver is more important than the price, it’s more important for it to be somewhat “stealthy” (also looking into solutions like Iridium Burst that can receive pages inside buildings, so the receiver could be completely hidden).
If indoor reception is important, then a 30cm dish can be placed indoors to receive the Othernet broadcast.
Has there been any progress on this? Blockstream have introduced a new all in one unit https://store.blockstream.com/product/blockstream-satellite-base-station/ (but they’re out of stock again …). So there is interest in this, they offer a paid API to broadcast private messages in addition to the blockchain updates. My only issue with that is that they insist on cryptocurrency payments, I would prefer to be able to buy a set of “credits” and use them to send messages when needed or pay a monthly fee or a combination of the two.
Blockstream uses ‘established’ DVB-S IP data streams over satellite. The so-called Base Station is nothing more than a stock KU-Band flatbed antenna with a sat-ip server. You can buy that antenna on the free market for around €350, or use a linux based commercial sat-tv receiver (with an existing antenna) and run a minisatip server on that. But since the receiver is linux based anyway, you can run the blockstream clinet on it as well.
BUT - as i said, this is all bread-and-butter dvb-S and requires an outside dish of a considerable size. The othernet broadcast can be received with a bare LNB or indoors with a small dish. I have made a stress test with a 30cm dish outside and lost only about 20 packets over a period of 4 weeks (most of them due to the fact that i shade the dish while answering the front door). So it’s not even required to repeat the message four times, twice is enough.
As for the paid dissemination, i am preparing a proof-of-concept system that does exactly what you need, via an API.
That sounds great, anything I can do to help or speed things up? I see that the new Dreamcatcher is out of stock again, I’ll register for stock updates, am I going to need anything else to test?
@Razvan_Dragomirescu What is the size of the payload you want to transmit over the satellite?
@Syed Our payload is 74 bytes, but we may want to send some metadata with it or send it encrypted, so the size may be the multiple of an AES block (16 bytes), so let’s say 96-100 bytes per transaction. Real time delivery is not required (so the system can assign it a lower priority), but we’d like to know on average how long it normally takes for it to be queued and transmitted to inform our users. Thank you!
Othernet is in-between Dreamcatcher boards right now, the DC3.03 is out-of-stock permanently and the DC4 is in its final design stage. So the ‘out of stock’ on the webpgae actually means ‘not yet in stock’. For the finer details of manufacturing timing you’d have to as @syed though. There are a few beta DC4 boards online, they work fine and cost about half as much as the predecessor.