Can Othernet be considered a SHTF solution?

I’m asking just because I do not really have an understanding of what is occurring on the uplink side of Othernet…“can Othernet be considered a SHTF solution…really?”

  • My concern is that the uplink is being fed via an internet link and Othernet doesn’t currently have the ability to send content directly to the satellite.
  • Most if not all of the content that is being distributed via Othernet is being pulled FROM the internet, either via RSS feeds, or other sites. Should the internet go dark…what will Othernet have access to?
  • Would it be possible to test and prepare for senerios in which internet connectivity is interrupted for Othernet on a routine basis (monthly test with a feed of some kind)

Thanks. In a SHTF scenario I can see Othernet as being THE goto source for news, updates, and content if it is available. Having access to weather, news, messages, radio would be absolutely invaluable.


Cheaha’s comment is very interesting and well worth considering. Yes, what if Othernet was the only source of information I would receive? Where would that information come from? With no Internet, we Forum members would not be able to contribute anything, so that presumes Syed’s team needs to have a fall back emergency plan. Ken

In a true zombie style no order apocalypse the tech savvy survivors could just grab or make some L-band transmitters and dishes and as I understand it just uplink to many TV transponders and use them like pirate Skype with your zombie-pals.
Syed is a amateur radio operator and also has portable equipment uplink the SES-4 satellite over North America so that works in most situations where SES cant do the work for him.
Just remember that amateur radio and satellite will still work in any natural or societal crash and burn, commercial shortwave stations will still probably around too outside of the problem areas.

Thanks, I get that. I’m just curious how much independence Othernet could squeeze out as a stand alone platform. Seems like it would be ideally situated to provide important digital data. Radio and shortwave are great, but there really is something about digital file casting that elevates it as a platform. How about it, is there a way to supplement the normal internet based distribution feed?

Syed, can you do this in an emergency situation when FCC grants radio amateurs exceptional privileges? Ken

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Othernet has already paid for the slot on the transponder so he has said elsewhere that there have been times when the uplink has been him direct and not through the SES big dishes. I am assuming it is a certified L band block upconverter as you cant use DIY off of amateur bands. Look at QO-100 rigs if you want to see what DIY would look like, just tune out of amateur bands and see how fast the radio police take to find you.

@Cheaha Yes, it would be technically possible to do these types of tests, but it would introduce additional costs to do so.

@biketool You are spot on. If you’re really into zombieland preparedness, I would suggest buying a cheap VSAT and wide-band spectrum monitor. This will allow you to get up and running much chaster than home-brewing some equipment at a moment’s notice. You are correct that it is possible for me (any authorized user) to uplink directly to SES-4, we just don’t because it’s much easier to rely on SES’s datacenter/uplink facility.

Commercial shortwave would still be able to radiate energy as long as the local grid does not fail. Those 100kW transmitters can’t run long at all on backup generators. But basically everyone in the content delivery business relies on the internet for playlist generation, remote tools, etc. Without the internet, all commercial broadcasters would be reverting back to announcer-style programming.

@kenbarbi Uplinking to SES-4 has nothing to do with my amateur license. I can do that even now. The contract with SES is for raw satellite capacity. As long as we are not interfering with anyone, we can do with it as we please.


This is very good news. Thanks for sharing it. Ken

Thanks. I appreciate the response and I’m glad to know that Othernet has the ability to uplink directly if necessary.

Here is info on SES 4.

I could never track it, for it’s minus 13.8 degrees below my horizon !


@donde Where are you located?

did you mean to say donde est @donde?

Los Angeles County


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What else comes down of SES 4? How do we receive it? Does the dreamcatcher provide interface, if so, other than pointing angles, what information is needed?

here is the SES-2 ransponders list/directory.
The Dreamcatcher is pretty specific but you can get a cheap DVB-S2 receiver to see some stuff though most beams spotting CAN/US are not compatible.
You can also make a bias-T and connect a rtl-sdr DVB-T dongle using a hacked debug mode SDR driver to scan medium speed data for analysis.
Most of the non-TV/audio data on these feeds are encrypted private stuff like trading data, financials, market prices, and cryptography.
It is a little disappointing from the 80s-90s onward that there is really only Othernet and over Iran Toosheh even trying to do open satellite data like this. I guess it was partly the small amount of transponder space available vs today with larger more reliable and more powerful satellites and dropping cost of a kg to geo. Also more mini-dish stuff on Ka/Ku vs big 2M C dishes.

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Many thanks. Glad you sorted through my typo. Yes, I meant SES2. I like to have a plan to get as much information possible while using/reusing existing equipment. I look at SHFT and ask myself, what else is available. . . .yes, I have subscriptions to this and that. . .yes I am a amateur radio operator and well as a few other things. I can get information, but can always use more.

Sort of related, but separate from the above, but within releam of SHFT is maybe have to sort of a ham gateway station that can receive SMS type messages by HF for only a few registered users. That removes all but the last mile dependence on the internet

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Please see this thread: Keyword Notification

Having the ability to monitor the messages app with keywords would allow you to close the loop as you suggested. Radio operators could setup and work to get a APRS message out via HF, break gear down, and then return to basecamp where Othernet can act as the inbox when the answer comes back.

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Message Search / Keyword Notification - Othernet

look there

As a former Fire/EMS and pilot I was trained to constantly look for SHTF possibilities even if it is just a heavy patient or distracted driver passing my scene, in electrical engineering too as far as exotic failure modes.
It is fun to imagine Syed out in some desert with a little self aiming stabilized dish in the back of a dented camo human resistance 4x4 belting out the data we need to save humanity at 70mph.
I am curious if there are any other satellites(other than Toosheh) with data worth hacking a rig to rx.
For those in middle east through western south Asia this is the info you need to know to get Toosheh: 52.5°E 11766MHz Vertical Polarization
You need a DVB-S2 receiver with a USB PVR function to save the stream, you also need the decoder app.

This is my SHTF uplink system. And breakfast.