Dreamcatcher Case for Travel


#21

Good pickup, Zoltan.

I purchased and tried a Razormax 6000mAh portable charger today from BestBuy. It is billed as quick charge device with a 2.4A input and a 2.4A output. It did find running my Dreamcatcher off the portable charger at about 1 amp when plugged into the ac mains charging itself.

The problem I had, was when I pulled the plug on a running/charging system - - the portable charger did a quick shutdown then a restart. So my Dreamcatcher also rebooted and came back fine. That’s not what I’m looking for.

Maybe a device called a “battery bank” is the right answer. For now my 6000 mAh Solar Charger does the job without shutting down, but can’t keep up recharging what the Dreamcatcher draws. Ken


#22

Yepp, uninterrupted power supply type power banks quite rare, one of them is EasyAcc what one of a forum member shown here for us too.


Dreamcatcher on sale
#23

my no-brand china-bought power bank works as a UPS - as long as the charging power source is powerful enough to both charge the battery and drive the load at the same time. If not, it will turn off the load.


#24

OK yes - - I hear you, but if it doen’t work - - you own me a drink when we come to Budapest. Ken


#25

Ken, Challenge accepted! :smiley: I know some good handcrafted beer pubs around so I’m confident on this :smile:

btw EasyAcc was mentioned here first: How useful is the RavPower battery?


#26

I can’t find the No Brand Company. :blush:

Can you share a name? Ken


#27

Maybe a small 12 volt motorbike battery and a solar charge controller might be the simplest technology for people who want to run the Outernet receiver on Solar power.


#28

Results of my power bank experience: As noted in previous post, I tried to assemble a ups using a 5v battery pack being charged from a 25w solar panel with back up from a 110vac. Failure: battery was not enough, It was not consistent in keeping the 5v output during varying charge/discharge/starts/stops. I don’t know exactly what/when the DC quits… I only messed with it for 2 days…

My goal is for nominal 24+ hours on battery power w/auto recharging when the sun is out

So I am on to round two (or three) … the lesson… must go to higher volt battery

Battery 12v-9800mah- amazon B00R3VDL46
Regulator: DC-DC Buck Converter 3A 5v - amazon B016XI9CZQ

Since I erred and bought a 24w solar panel w/integrated 5v regulator I have to add
a 5v to 12v booster so I can recharge my new 12v battery … lesson to be learned here…

Of note the li battery has an expected voltage droop during discharge (from 12v down to 8v), the little 5v regulator seems to deal with this ok.


#29

Hello Zoltan

I ordered the 10,000mAh EasyAcc version due to size constraints to fit it into my Alpha Lantern case. Should have it next week to try out. Amazon sells it for $15 plus an extra $6 for shipping and tax.

I’ll let the world know how it works then (and how many beers who owes who) :blush:

Ken


#30

This might work out, but might not still be enough power to get you through the night between even 2 sunny days, but it might depending on the solar panel angle, etc. I also found out yesterday that my 6000mah EasyAcc only requires you to push the button on it to provide power output if it turned itself off automatically due to no power draw. I let it run dry, then I plugged in the charger and it gave power to the Dreamcatcher right away. So I think EasyAcc packs might work out assuming they all have this behavior. I’ll be buying a larger one sometime this week to see what I can get working. I’m still in need of a weather proof case as well, right now I have things sitting in a plastic container that my breakfast came in last week… :slight_smile: With some holes so it can vent. Went through one rain storm just fine so far. I had to switch to the passive antenna because I need to put it right above the Dreamcatcher board and the active antenna wasn’t doing very well like that. Passive works great though.


#31

Good input Unixpunk - - but I’m not trying to operate off the grid with a solar charger. I realize a 10,000 mAh power bank device might only work less than 8 or 9 hours with a 1 Amp draw, but I’m looking for portability when I might only be off the power grid for less than an hour moving around looking for sweet spots and want an uninterrupted power source (UPS). I want seamless service from ac to battery back to ac in that short time.

My EasyAcc 10,000mAh power bank come this Wednesday, so I’ll have a report by Thursday. Ken


#32

I harvested (2) 12v 12ah SLA batteries from an old UPS. I tied them in parallel for 24ah. This and a old 65w solar panel with a cheapo ebay 6 dollar PWM charge controller, 5v buck converter…I have a 24/7 off grid setup! Thanks for the ideas here guys! @Seasalt, greatly appreciated. I was looking at solar with an inverter…but decided to save on the losses and go directly DC.


#33

sounds like a nice setup! :slight_smile:
share us a photo if you can please :slight_smile:


#34

Lol, here you go. :slight_smile: Dreamcatcher inside the box it shipped in, under the patch with the EasyAcc 6000mah pack on the right.


#35

I’ve seen someone place a Dreamcatcher inside of a large DVD case. I assume that two of those cases could hold the radio and antenna side by side.

As I have not tested this, I don’t recommend it. It is just an idea. The cases are way less than $1.


#36

Before I start re-inventing the wheel, Maybe @Syed can described that ‘official’ schedule for upcoming product releases (like a lantern style case, variety of antennas, complete turn key kits with things like power supplies, sd cards) I would like to support the cause in purchasing additional products.


#37

We have a draw here :relieved: @zoltan

When the EasyAcc 10,000mAh power bank is connected to the Dreamcatcher for first use, it works fine. The problem is, when I disconnect external power to the EasyAcc, Dreamcatcher reboots automatically - - then stabilizes. If I reconnect external power to the EasyAcc, Dreamcatcher again reboots automatically - - then stabilizes.

I’ve tried this several times with the same results. (None of the other power banks I’ve tried come close to this level of performance - - they all shut down the Dreamcatcher forcing me to have to manually restart it.)

In any case, even with the automatic reboot, Dreamcatcher recovers without having to open the case and restart it which is good news to me. Now, I have to mount a power-off switch on the case to activate a complete shut down. I’m planning on installing a push button connected in parallel with the Dreamcatcher’s off switch, and put the EasyAcc inside the Alpha Lantern case.

@zoltan by any chance is there a pin out set on the Dreamcatcher where those terminals are easily accessed? Thanks, Ken


#38

The power button doesn’t do a clean shutdown, its not set to as far as I can tell at this point, Armbian does, but not the Skylark image. It shouldn’t be difficult to add this though. Still disappointing that the new EasyAcc packs cause a reboot when input power is applied/removed…Mine doesn’t do this, but its not all that new. It means missed packets that will have to be received later, if possible.


#39

Looking for a builder. . .I know this is not how things are supposed to work, but I am looking for someone that can build the entire system and a enclosure that is water-resistant. Would like it be able to powered from a 12-volt (external) battery. I am looking at integrating a handheld radio for APRS uplink with an laptop for processing the Outernet signal. I can provide the cash, and someone will provide the expertise. Any takers? Looking at U.S. only due to other concerns. Email me at [email protected] and we can start a conversation.

KE7WWT


#40

Lesson learned on stacking the active antenna above the DC. If I use the supplied coax that mounts on the back of the groundplane (pointing opposite the antenna) then I get a loss of signal if the coax is routed anywhere near the dreamcatcher main board. However, an easy fix was to install a 90 sma M-F fitting and keep the coax off the dc. Total loss of SNR occurs if the coax gets within 1/2 inch. I can’t tell from the db signals (bounces -117 to -105) what is the EMI/RFI but my guess is it is just good to keep the coax away from the board. I have the boards nested at spaced at 1 3/4" with no additional shielding. I have a SNR ~9 when separated 6" and it drops to SNR ~6 when I place as described above.