Building a base archive for preloading a Outernet Receiver

Hello @all,

i will soon finish my diy outernet receiver around a Raspberry Pi 3.
Since outernet transmits about 20mb per day it would be nice to have a base file system, for example with wikipedia, older news and so on already installed, so that it only needs to be updated over the air.

Does someone have any hints how to build such an archive? Is there already an archive available for download?

You build an archive by leaving the machine run and download data. Give it a couple of days and you will have your weather app up and going and some news waiting for you. There is data that is sent regulatory from the carasel that completes the Librarian, ie Weather, APRS, and AMSAT. The only way to have a preloaded archive if someone would image their HDD/SDD and send it to you, then you would apply the image from there. CHIP is the main computer of choice for Outernet. Rasperry Pi and the other platforms are going to the wayside. I suggest that you browse the forms to get introduced to Outernet and how it works. I also recommend that you get a CHIP and use it instead. I think Skylark is only going to be supported on CHIP, and it will be released in a few days. I believe that you should just be patient and wait, like a lot of us did. It will be easier.

This is a great idea.

We could put a 2, 5, 10 Gig Outernet Base file on the Internet and News articles could possibly “meta link” to the data file.

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Well you all know @wsombeck has the right idea. You probably saw his terminal on line at

He pre loaded Rachel’s 32 GB USB data base on the 64 GB USB stick he plugs into his terminal, and can use the Librarian to access all that data. He did the same with music too.

Essentially, he’s got off line content plus whatever comes down on Outernet. Just what a small remote village might need.

When Outernet starts selling Lanterns, I’m going to suggest they pre load material like that. I remember Outernet tried once in the early Raspberry Pi2 days when we were up on Ku band satellites, but the idea failed because of their implementation approach.

I haven’t seen Wolfgang’s idea run on Skylark, so when I get home and install the new Skylark coming out tomorrow, I’ll duplicate the idea and see how it goes. Ken

@kenbarbi Pardon my ignorance, but when and why did Outernet switch from Ku band to L-Band? I have read that the Ku Band had better bandwidth. Maybe I am mistaken. Do you think Outernet will switch to another band in the future? We all know that if this catches on in the remote area’s people will want more data and the ability to transmit as well.

Last August 2016, Outernet discontinued its Ku Band transmissions, and moved exclusively to L-Band. The beta terminal they are using is called an “Alpha Lantern” which got limited distribution at the time. I was one who opted to receive one as a backer of the Crowd Funded Project.

That said, Outernet is offering the components for a do-it-yourself (DIY) L-band terminal consisting of a low noise amplifier (LNA), RTL software defined radio (SDR), and CHIP processor (all the stuff in the Alpha Lantern less the enclosure, battery, and solar charger). There is also a Raspberry Pi3 version, but Outernet is trying to ween the “early adopters” away from that to use a CHIP based computer.

While Ku-band has a greater throughput, it presented installation difficulties around the world in remote areas where people simply couldn’t get a Ku-band antenna/LNA set up and pointed correctly, or because of the size of the installation attracted too much interest from the authorities in countries where information is controlled/censored. Another factor coming into play was the tailored down-link patterns of some of the Ku-band satellites. With 3 Inmarsat satellites, the entire Earth is covered except the North and South Pole areas.

The L-band terminal handles 20 MB of data per day (way less than Ku-band), but is an elegant device:

You can see the live data on-line from an Outernet backer in Germany, @wsombeck, who has his DIY terminal port forwarded to



By the way, I was asked by message where to get the Rachel Data Base I was talking about. You can FTP download a 20 GB ZIP file that contains the 32 GB Rachel package (which will run on Windows and other OSs to include Outernet’s Librarian) from

in English, Spanish, and French. It’s called rachelusb_32EN or ES or FR



I understand what your asking now. Sorry.

it would for sure be useful to add a complete wikipedia (and other .zim-files like wikisource, wikimed) maybe by help of kiwix or gozim. I guess that could be hosted additionally in the RPi. But thats beyond my computer knowledge :frowning:
a virtual library can be hosted by
or (It runs in my home network on a synology since months very stable)


I fully agree with Wolfgang. These type files (which collectively are in the 10s of GB range) should come on the external USB stick or micro SD card with the production Lantern.

There should be no need to send the files by L-band - - just updates and additions.

What Outernet needs to develop is a fool proof procedure for clients to request (let’s say new Wikipedia files), and then an automated process (like we have with the weather and news today) to get them retrieved and up-linked.

I plan to start agitating for this to happen - - I’m good at that :grin: Ken


Thanks @all for the reply. i packed rachel on my receiver and some other small stuff. is there a export script for the format outernet uses?

i use the raspberry pi in my diy-receiver because of the ports and cpu power. i need an usb for an external storage (128gb stick) and the lan port.

I used the FTP function on my computer to move files from local storage to the Outernet device’s (in my case a Lantern - CHIP based device) USB stick.

I think you can do the same with the rxOS on a Pi. Ken

I think it would be a good idea for Outernet (or Rachel) to sell 64GB SD chips that could be put into the SD2 data slot of the DreamCatcher. This way, there could be a Rachel directory full of a huge collection of all sorts of resources.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

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