Hardware and software setup

Yes - - that’s what Syed said in one of his posts. I never saw a solar panel with a USB connector either, but I’m not a big fan of solar panels.

The way I used the 2 solar panels was to plug one (the shinny one) into the bayonet, and the dull one into a USB to Micro USB charging cable and then into the micro USB port on the Lantern.

As I have said, the combination of the 2 solar chargers can’t keep the internal 5,300 mAhr battery charged to run the Lantern 24/7, so I use an external 2 amp wall wart to operate my Lantern. Ken

Okay, I must have missed that then.

I actually enjoy solar panels, but I mess with them on a larger scale (RV applications), so it’s no surprise I haven’t seen any looking like this.

As for battery, I live in Arizona so I should be able to get maximum output from the panels, if it’s still not enough, I shouldn’t have any trouble splicing something else in. I’ll just need a permanent setup for the antenna before I do something like that.

Slight change of subject.

Thinking about that, I’ve noticed that I can’t seem to get a wifi connection about 30 feet away, and standing right next to the thing I still don’t get full signal. Are other people experiencing the same thing?


Oh, cool, I apparently hit a reply limit because I don’t have enough posts. Yea, that makes sense ><

Anyway, kenbarbi if you see this,

Yea a repeater wouldn’t be a bad idea, I’ve never used one before, so this is a good excuse to go buy one.

Firstly, the Lantern draws about 600 mA from the Boston Power battery (when the battery is fully charged and external power is not connected). This goes into running the CHIP, Wifi, and RF. I would estimate you would need a 10 - 15 watt solar array to charge/run the Lantern 24/7 without external power. That’s pretty large by Lantern standards, but not by RV standards.

Since I haven’t been able to connect the Lantern to my router yet, I’m relying on the WiFi which - - yes, is weak. I put a Cisco WiFi Repeater close to the Lantern to blast the signal in my house. Ken

@logenkain The USB solar panel is something that was custom made for us. We were going to include it in Lantern (which is why there is a rectangle slot on the cover), but now we’ll be either soldering the leads directly to another charger, or just making the cable with a microUSB connector.

I was hoping to sell the USB solar panels, but the market is too saturated and we sold none on Amazon over the course of a month. Seems like a good deal for $10–at least I thought so.

Another person on the forums was using a 10W panel with good success. That make sense as power consumption of the receiver is under 3W.

The radio on the CHIP is very low-power. The thing to keep in mind is that most of the parts on the CHIP come from the cellphone industry. We are repurposing those parts to act as a wireless access point. The maximum range that I have gotten was 50 feet.

I still can’t get a decent connection. Nothing over 0.5 :disappointed:

Have you received even a signal packet yet?


We only received one file today in the Philippines.

Eight more ebooks coming down the pipe.

@Syed got the package! What do I do with the RTL-SDR?

That was fast. You can use it in lieu of our radio, in case it gives you any trouble. It’s basically a backup radio.

I was dismayed to find the replacement radio performed the same as the one I originally had. Even outside I couldn’t get more than 0.75. The R820T2 is a beast though. On my front lawn with no obstructions I got 9dB. In the gazebo in my backyard I’m getting around 2-3dB and saw packets being received so I’m going to leave it overnight.

Are you seeing packets coming down through the UI?

Oops, I should have read more closely. Yes, you are receiving packets.

Yep and I can see files now. My only concern is that it’s too hot in my gazebo. It gets hot during the day and the receiver was painfully hot when I checked it earlier. Should I be worried?

If you are using the R820T2, we have tested that at a temperature (literally in an oven) of 85C continuously for 7 days. I do not recommend you replicate our efforts, but I am not particularly concerned about the radio being in a gazebo. That being said, the silver cubes do tend to fail at extreme temperatures.

Good to know, thanks!