Dreamcatcher v3.02: Feedback Thread


Sorry for my possibly misplaced post: I dug around a bit and can’t find what I’m looking for.

Where, as of today, is the address or method to suggest / submit items (e.g. wikipedia) to be put in the download queue for download?

I dug for a good 10 minutes, but It’s Friday…and the beers in me are telling me, “Just post, you could have cracked the next can open by now.”



A little more tech details on decoding GOES et al…

High resolution weather satellite.

Needs a decent 1m dish I believe.



Reception Report Santa Barbara, California

Finally closed a link with an 8"x4"x2" aluminum horn on SES-2. Maximum SNR was -10.75 dB, maximum Rssi was -80 dBM, and had frame lock.

Without the horn, I was not receiving sufficient signal to ever achieve frame lock

Additionally, the NOMADIX INC WiFi network at the hotel would not render my Dreamcatcher an IP address, nor report back in the Outernet Status system. The Dreamcatcher allowed me to connect to the WiFi, but I was never able to access the DC. I had to rewrite my SD card to get back to the Outernet Hotspot. Ken


How many of the Outernet 3 Frame locked units are doing it without a Dish?


(Bellevue, WA) I’m not using a dish. I’m using a stainless steel cocktail shaker like the one in this picture as a cone over the LNB. I cut the bottom off, inserted a small plastic sleve between the stainless steel and the LNB and tied it on with a radiator hose clamp. The shaker gave me about 3.5 dB gain over the LNB alone. It was enough to get over the marginal -15.5 dB SND signal I get without it. If the weather is good tomorrow, I will take a picture of the shaker mounted on my LNB.


This is my tripod with the LNB mounted to it using a cable bundling tie.

Hanging from the tripod is a waterproof case that holds my dream catcher, TP-Link USB to Ethernet dongle and TP-Link PoE splitter. On the other end of about 50ft of CAT-5 is a TP-Link PoE injector where it connects to my router. I don’t use WiFi in my setup at all.

Screenshot from 2018-04-21 23-21-10

–Konrad, WA4OSH


My signal was without the dish (just the 6" stove pipe) for about 10 day earlier this month (april 2018) until an 19+ inch snow fall buried everything… I dug out the coax and connected by up a 18" dish on a tripod for most of the past week.

When Ken made his post, I was on the lnb looking thru the 16" x 6" piece of stove pipe.


No dish here in NC, even though the coverage maps show me on the outer edge of the footprint. I’m just using the cone shown in my earlier post.
Currently, SNR -9.75, Rssi -81, Locked, Bitrate 20185.


Just using the cone?

As someone in Philippines I am trying to get a handle on this.

Syed got the unit to work in a test environment with just a sat receiver LNB (no dish or cone).

I would be very interested in how many beta testers have achieved…

LNB only success.

LNB + Cone Success

LNB + Dish success.

My thinking from very much outside this project is… Outernet should SLOW down the data transmission rate and improve the received Signal to noise ratio. So that Outernet 3 does not need a cone.

A product used by hackers and Experimenters can be happily patched together and put up with, but a device sold to the third world has to be KISS and robust and small and portable.

Similar to what Ken made. Solar with LNB.


` Thanks Konrad.

3.5 db is a lot of improvement.

Has any one confirmed this is antenna Gain GAIN. Or noise reduction and there for a improvement in Signal to Noise.

Either way it is a gain, I guess that is the main thing.

If Outernet halved the data rate and kept everything else equal i assume that would create a 3db or 6 db gain at the LNB?


Yes, using just the mesh cone or horn, or whatever it should be called. LNB only was not successful at my location.

I think one of the big variables is the erratic footprint of SES-2. The coverage maps show that the effective signal varies greatly from 48-52 dBW EIRP over most of the country here.


@Seasalt, In Salt Lake City, UT, we can receive successfully with a bare LNB. However, it is borderline of -12.5 to -13.5 SNR, and with significant packet loss. When we add a solid cone or screen cone, we can maintain reception at at -8 to -10.5 SNR. Our addition of the cones does not increase the RSSI, or gain, but rather slightly decreases it in the area of 6 dB. However, at this good of a signal, 100% good packets and a solid framelock is achievable.
025 grid cone 8 inch cone shield applied


Yes, it’s significantly better. I’m being conservative with my estimate of 3.5 dB improvement of SNR. The problem that I have with making these measurements using the satellite instead of a nearby RF source is that I’m dealing with 150 miles of atmosphere and another 22,000 miles of free space. All of this is probably the reason that SNR bounces around.

If I could just afford some good lab-grade equipment at home…

We know this much: It’s either an improvement in signal, a reduction in noise, or a combination of both.

  1. Improvement in signal. By doubling the effective diameter of the waveguide into the LNB, it would be reasonable to see a gain fo 6 dB. So this is quite possible.

  2. Reduction of noise. There are two possible sources of noise that I can think of:
    a) Noise from the ground. It’s warm. It radiates nf=kTB
    b) Terrestrial sources. There could be other stuff out there.

So it could be that the shaker shields the LNB from the ground or some terrestrial source. There may be some experiments that I can do in order to determine what’s going on. So far my hunch says it’s antenna gain and not noise reduction.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


I am using a discarded Dish Network dish that I found laying around on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation (South Dakota). I didn’t want to sit around wasting time on trying out different things. It’s spring time, lots of chores and gardening to do. I get anywhere from +4 - 2.75 db. I am sure I could fine tune it better, but it is stable. Perhaps in the fall, when everything is done and all the wood is cut, I will begin playing again. outernet


I’m running only bair lnb still just fine

The snr moves between -12 and -13 but still great bitrate


Here are the pictures of my DreamCatcher 3.02 LNB with the mixer cone:

I still need a tupperware top to keep the rain water out.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


The big variation of the SES-2 footprint signal strength can be seen easily in the interactive map here: interactive map.

Those in the 48 dBW EIRP areas have approximately less than 40% of the signal strength of those in the 52 dBW areas. This is derived by simply converting dBW to Watts and using that as the effective available signal, which could be over simplifying things.

This could explain the large variation in results of those successfully using the bare LNB in different locations across the country.


Thanks for the link. It’s a nice tool.

There’s no doubt that there is a relationship between EIRP and our SNR. In fact, when @Syed ran the satellite choices by us, I was already aware that signal strength might be an issue. But SES-2 was better for the whole country compared to the rest of the choices.

It’s not exactly our signal strength, but related to it. However, SNR has two factors: Signal and Noise. There may be assumptions made by this model that are not accounted-for in a real-life situation. For example, at this location, there is a hill just to the south. part of the hill, or trees can actually be in the Fresnel zone. The ground may be radiating noise on the Ku Band (Np = kTB). The reason I suspect this is because I get a better signal in a location not far from here where there’s a much better path to the satellite.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


This is Coca Colas latest attempt to reach out in the 3rd world.

I think it is a great idea. It shows I guess the reducing cost of VSAT two way satellite antennas and the new incredible Bandwidth additions that High Throughput Satellites have in effect started to GLUT the Satelite Data market and force incredible competition in the Data satellite market.

Note…The next HTS Satelite to go up. (Viasat 3 ) WILL have More Data capabity than every other Data Satalite currently in orbit COMBINED. (Think about that for a while.) It will in effect DOUBLE the amount of Data in Space.


Internet of Coke Machines?

How can I say this? I used to work for T-Mobile in their Hot-Spot group. It’s AT&T’s contract now. The primary reason now for a Internet connection at Starbucks is the Point of Sale network. The “Free Wi-Fi” hotspot is the side-show.

What’s my point? The Point of Sale equipment lets them know which Coke stands need re-filling so that people with very little money get addicted to buying cans, plastic bottles or in some places returnable glass bottles full of flavored water. All of this is hidden behind philanthropy. Again, the VSAT powered Wi-Fi hotspots are really the side show. Later, the people working at the EkoCenter will be replaced with Coke machines. The hotspot will require a credit card. Don’t kid yourself. Coca-Cola is there to make money. There’s a lot of money in World Bank projects like these. Someone’s going to make a fortune selling rent-to-own tablets and cell phones.

–Konrad, WA4OSH



There is one more obvious source of noise that I failed to mention:
c) The sun. The sun adds a lot of noise. It’s warm. This is why SNR is better at night.

I get about 1- 1 1/2 dB better SNR at night.

–Konrad, WA4OSH