Combining The outer net kit with "Rachel" for the not so tech savvy

My outernet kit is due to arrive on Tuesday.

Will the “chip” computer only serve the outlet signal/info… or will the USB ports be available to serve out data?

Looking for a way to integrate “Rachel” offline info either as the 32gb USB version or better with the outnet box.

I have seen some information on this in the forum… but it is all Greek to me.

Would someone please share with me if this is a possibility… and if so a step by step procedure for the not so tech savvy.


I don’t quite understand what you mean, but i can give you the following information.

The CHIP receives the Signal from the satellite and decodes/converts it into files.
These files can then be viewed on the webinterface of the CHIP. You are also able to syncronize all files to a ftp server in your network or download them over to your pc.

The CHIP has enough internal memory to store months of data. You also can remove old files from the CHIP like News to free up some space if needed. If you do that, you not even need a extra usb storage.

But you can add a usb stick to get more space if you need. The SDRx is acting as an USB hub for that :slight_smile:

Hope that helped you.

regards from germany,

I have downloaded the entire Rachel USB Data Base onto a 64 GB USB Stick, but havn’t been able to get Skylark to see it. @wsombeck Wolfgang has done this too, but I’m not sure how his setup worked. Ken

I tried it on the Raspi with Librarian. That was easy, The directory structure un the USB-stick showed automatically in the Librarian interface. Also the content of the “www”-directory of Rachel was hosted and shown correctly by Librarian. The whole setup ran somewhat slowly the more I filled up the stick with movies, music, ebooks and audiobooks.
Since I am running Skylark I tried only once to connect a USB-stick: The content did not show in Skylark. @kenbarbi Ken, you experienced the same, didn´t you?
I am busy with other things these months and do not have the time to play with the setup. But I still believe it would be great for remote Outernet-receivers without Internet-access to host lots of knowledge like Wikipedia (Kiwix-server), Rachel and ebooks with Calibre-server. Perhaps somebody of the community manages to integrate this stuff into the Skylark!?

I see - - well, yes I did try something different this morning. Instead of using the passive HUB in my Lantern device, I powered my USB Stick with Rachel thru a POWER HUB, and now am able to see all the Rachel files. Yes, they do render slower, but they all show up now. I think the problem we’ve had is caused by the CHIP not being able to power the USB stick. That’s why a powered hub did work.

@Tysonpower and @Travis try using a powered hub with the USB Stick and SDR radio on the CHIP.

I don’t know what will happen with the new Outernet combined SDR/LNA board when plugged into a CHIP as I don’t have one yet, but I suspect CHIP power budget may still be a problem. Any thoughts on this @zoltan and @Abhishek? Ken

@kenbarbi the embedded USB HUB provides standard 500mA current / USB port, hope that enough.

Looking around the Rachel site and accompanying images, I see a bunch of people using laptops and desktop PC’s. Certainly looks like staged pics from highly socially curated locations that obviously do NOT offer anything to the truly remote communities of the world.

Where is the image of a bunch of Congo schoolchildren using $35 tablets to access the “slice of the Internet”?

I see a bunch of making money selling Rachel to Western culture would be do-gooders.

It seems that 400gb of “Rachel” including:
-Project Gutenberg (partial/100+ classic books)
-All of Wikipedia (25 million pages?)
-The K-12 curriculum for a school
-Kahn academy videos and interactive
-selected TED talks
-GFC training material
-medical encyclopedia
-health guides including “where this is no doctor/dentis” crop growing and sanitation
-As well as a bunch of other stuff and room to put more on.

It seems like a no brainer to integrate the two these two technologies. Get live news/weather and updates with the outernet and a large prefab (but updated) “slice of the internet” with Rachel.

It brings a masive library in a box to a remote location… where a cheap hand held or tablet could access it. Soon the “slice of the internet” you get could be pretty big. 1/2 a terabyte now might be 3-4 terabytes soon.

Properly combined, I think you might dramatically increase the excitement about the outernet.

That is an impressive library.

As I have said in another thread (, the 32 GB Flash Drive Version of Rachel (actually it is 21 GB large) can fit on a 32 GB Flash Drive and plug into the CHIP thru a passive hub. Unfortunately, the newest Skylark Version 4.4 won’t render Rachel correctly. The older Skylark Version 4.2 worked fine. Several of us are looking at ways to fix that for the “not so tech savvy” :wink: Ken

First, I tried a 256gb cruzer 3.0 stick, thinking that I could put Rachel and an impressive library together. Chip Wouldn’t see it. Then I reformatted with other file systems. With no luck.

Then I switched to a 64 GB Lexmark stick same problem.

I used a cheap Staples 32gb 2.0 with Fat32 and voilà.

All this was done WITHOUT an extra powered USB hub. (Just using the new outernet SDR / USB hub? that came in the kit)

The CHIP computer sees the drive in the “File Manager” app within Skylark 4.4 as “external”.

On a PC (chrome book) you can right click the HTML file for Rachel and choose “download to computer” and then you can navigate through the content/material… even stream the Kahn academy videos.

However, on a phone or tablet (iPad), when you click on the HTML file, it brings up the “choose application” window. In this window, there are 2 options “reader” and “text pad”. Neither of these will view the HTML.

Could a third orption be placed here (in the “File Manager” app) to be the equivalent to the “download to computer” option that could show up here to give viewablilty of HTML files to a tablet/phone. This might also allow media files a way to be played (as they can on a PC). is this possible to add? Where can I make that suggestion posted so that it might be seen by someone who might add it?

Thanks for the consideration.

Thanks for everyone’s help in this thread.

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That’s the answer Travis!! :heart_eyes: so simple - - it works great

Regarding the CHIP seeing Flash Drives, that is a problem I’ve found (like needing a powered HUB for some Flash Drives). Seems like the least expensive Flash Drives work the best. At one time (in the rxOS world), I could connect a 1 TB Western Digital Passport to my system, but the Skylark Versions don’t see it (just like not seeing a 64GB Flash Drive). You and I have succeeded in getting a 32GB Flash Drive to work fine with Skylark 4.4 without using a powered HUB.

Ultimately for Rachel content in other languages (Spanish and French are also available), you would need more external storage to hold all the modules, so getting this problem fixed would be helpful. @Abhishek @zoltan maybe you could put this drive issue on your list of things to think about.

Once you have opened Rachel on your computer out of Skylark, you can bookmark it and go to it any time you want at its Network IP address as long as you don’t close your browser.


Just out of curiosity how did you format the 64gb or larger drives? I had a 128Gb flash drive working with skylark. @Abhishek mentions here fat32, ext2, ext3, and ext4 are the only supported file systems.

Since windows wont allow formatting a partition over 32gb as fat32 I used 3rd party software.

Interesting - - I could only use exFAT or NTFS with my Windows 10 machine which the CHIP couldn’t recognize. I never tried ext2, ext3 or ext4. I’ll have to try that and see if the CHIP can see the drives. Thanks, Ken

Has anyone tried this on the Dreamcatcher yet?

Yes - - I have installed it on an external FAT32 formatted USB stick plugged into my Dreamcatcher, and can launch it from within Skylark. I have to “open it on my computer,” as Skylark won’t natively run an external html file. Ken

@Abhishek Is the new Skylark 5.1 capable of seeing greater then a 32 gb fat32 sd ?
Either in the main OS slot or the SD02-data slot ?

If so, would I use one of the third party windows partition managers to create an extended partition ?

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