Does Outernet just need more money?


#1

Would that allow them to speed up the… whatever they’re building. At this point I literally don’t even know what I paid for but I’m also not really bothered. Even if I never see an actual device in my hands, I can see from this website that this isn’t just a ‘hoax’ or something as other backers have insinuated.

I can see that the organization here have in fact launched some sort of tiny satellites (I’d like to understand the significance of all this, but I don’t currently, other than the obvious basics that that is how content will be broadcast).

I can see that others with their own hardware (or beta lanterns?) are already making use of Outernet and that’s very exciting. What they’re actually using it for, I don’t yet know. Is it more the idea that it’s working, or is anyone on the forum (who obviously also have Internet access) getting use out of this that they couldn’t more easily get from their computer or phone, I don’t know.

But the way I see it, I made a pledge to financially support an idea–more than anything, it was the hope that it would help, along with all the other financial backings, to cause the ball to roll in the direction we want: free information to as many humans as possible.

It does seem like the snowball started down that hill. Has it picked up speed? slowed down? hit a tree and broken up? Honestly, it’s hard to tell if it’s slowed or sped up or hasn’t changed speed, but it does appear it is still in motion. I hope it doesn’t hit a tree!

And I hope someone more deeply aware of the goings-on at Outernet will be able to tell us what is happening at the company. Not just regarding the lanterns but regarding everything happening there. There may not be anything to report every month regarding hardware devices, but isn’t there something interesting to report every month? or is that not how this works. I don’t know anymore, but I haven’t given up all hope.


#2

You’ve found the Forum. Did you read any of it? Did you read the main page? Did you read the blog entry?

Outernet had not launched any satellites, but rather it rents a small part of a transponder on a geostationary satellite on the Ku-band – SES-2.

The bugs are being worked-out of the latest version. We’ve already learned from DreamCatcher 2. And now, several of us are Alpha-testing the DreamCatcher 3.02 hardware. I’m the green flag on the edge of the coverage area in the Seattle area. Things are picking up speed. It does not take ages any more to download tons of news, weather, Wikipedia articles, APRS messages, etc. It’s snowballing. It’s not going to hit a tree.

Outernet status

@brandon, don’t be a stranger and read the forum. Get involved again. We sure could use your help.

I’m going to read my news.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


#3

Wow … some test content for Africa. This could be interesting, especially for my friend in Nairobi, Kenya.

A shortwave schedule …

Ham Radio APRS Messages… I have not sent one yet to test it for myself.

Wikipedia pages

Etc. etc.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


#4

Ohhh and here’s what today’s news looks like:

–Konrad, WA4OSH


#5

I don’t have any hardware that connects to satellites. (that’s what the lantern I paid for years ago was for…)

What exactly would you like me to do?


#6

Some people pay lots of money drinking beer or smoking cigarettes. Others go see a lot of movies or ball games. Some people pay for college classes. Some people want everything for free - the hardware and the service.

I’ve gladly funded my education into learning about microwave technology by buying Outernet kits. Buying the Outernet kits barely funds keeping the lights on on the satellite end.

I never got in on the original Ku-band project. Had I joined in, I would have gladly bought the hardware then.

I was too late for Lantern, it was a new L-Band project. Had I joined in, I would have gladly bought one. I did get in on the tail end of the L-Band project though. I bought new hardware last October to get in on SDRx and DC2.0, knowing full well they were end of life and something else was coming up. My DC2.0 shorted out because it was exposed to rain outside. I still have my SDRx and have used it for experiments since.

I bought new hardware again in January to get in on DC3.0, a Ku-Band project that utilizes LoRa technology.

I bought a moRFeus earlier this April so that I could learn about a frequency converter.

I’ve also bought other hardware that does not support Outernet and their efforts - RF attenuators, LNA, LNBs, antenna hardware, tripods, etc.

I think it’s all about what you want out of the project. Are you buying an appliance and expecting free service forever, or are you spending a little pocket money to learn something? For me, it’s all about learning something and helping a project whose ultimate goal is datacasting to places that do not have Internet. Maybe later, it will evolve into a super-low cost two-way Internet service. Who knows?

If you really want to get involved in this current Alpha testing phase, there may be one or two kits still available. Ask @Syed

–Konrad, WA4OSH


#7

@brandon I’d imagine it’s quite frustrating to see people playing with hardware whilst the original crowdfunder remains unfulfilled.

I was an early backer too and got an early L band receiver instead of my ‘Lantern’ whatever that ends up being.

@Syed and the team are certainly trying to make the original promise come through. If you’re really keen to get some kit then you could ask to be sent one of these prototype boards instead of the final polished lantern.


#8

Stumbled across this thread doing some research to find out if any of the original Indigogo orders would be fulfilled, or if there were any substitute equipment available for early backers (maybe something that would sort of work with a little technical finesse).

I was order #186 in the first 24 hours, and I support the concept for many reasons (a global library available to those who have limited access is the primary reason). I even upgraded “storage capacity” when the request for shipping costs came out to give a little bump to the project.

My current interest is a little more selfish: I’ll be working on a research in the Gulf of Mexico and would enjoy daily downloads of news and reading material. I’m a ham, and I’d love to have some radio equipment to geek out on during sea time.

Just saw the moRFeus while poking around the main site. Looks like a really versatile tool! Are they still shipping?


#9

@kk4umj I am happy to send you a Dreamcatcher if you would like that instead of a Lantern. It’s not at all a finished product, but it does do what was described in the campaign.


#10

I did want to make sure you got an answer to this part of question. @Syed can tell you about availability.

Incidentally, I bought a moRFeus. I like it a lot.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


#11

You should be able to buy it direct from our website. Please let me know if there are any problems doing so.


#12

Can somebody comment on the reliability of this company? I am working with a global non-profit who recently had an infusion of funding for providing remote low-datastream services to less developed areas of the world.

Looks to me like the products advertised here would fit right in but is this company a one-man-and-a-dog outfit?

Is there a way to contact management/etc.?

If an order of 100-1000 units would be placed - a) would they be delivered in timely manner, b) would they each be tested and guaranteed, etc.?

Thank you — Tomas.


#13

Hi Tomas,

The general company email address is listed on the main website in the footer. You can also contact me directly by sending a PM and then we can move to regular email/phone call.

We aren’t a huge team (four of us now, with another two engineers starting next month), but we are doing something no one else in the world does. We’ve specialized in this area for a few years and have considerable expertise as well as intellectual property in this area.


#14

Patience is a virtue, persistence is another thing entirely