Is Sale Price an OMEN?

I use my Othernet most of the time but don’t check the website. Is the $49 sale price an omen for a new set of hardware? Am I going to be good for the near future?

You will definitely be good for the future. The next version, 3.04, is a cost-reduced version of the receiver. You are getting an outstanding deal on the 3.03.

What do you use your receiver for? Is the VOA newscast useful?

I intend to use my receiver for an upcoming public event to demonstrate data reception from geostationary satellite. It’s Amateur Radio adjacent.
VOA News is interesting, though, for me, i think BBC News or a rotating selection of News in English would be more useful.
“Othernet Radio” in the works possibly? Commercial stations have audio files prepared and loaded on a disk and then a schedule sets the order of transmission and repeats. Send audio files and a schedule file, then run an audio output daemon locally.

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I, like KB3CS am an amateur radio operator so I use the Dreamcatcher to demonstrate geostationary satellite. The SES-2 is always in the same place so I don’t have to check schedules of orbiting satellites.
On a personal level, I like that a lot of the news sources are from overseas. It allows me to get a different point of view. I also like that the news focuses on Africa. I believe that Africa will be the next area of conflict and events happen there that I don’t see on my regular news sources.
Voice of America is interesting to hear as well. There are often disparities between what the government says domestically vs. what it says on the VOA. Today, I heard a Swahili guy talking about US basketball. Who would have thought?

@John I’m surprised more hams are not using it as an APRS relay.

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Ham radio is so vast that I have not even ventured into APRS yet. I do have the equipment to do APRS being that I use a packet modem to exchange, forward and store messages. I have been concentrating on digital transmission of text and images both locally and long distance. Although I can interlink with traditional email and text messages through the WINLINK system, my goal has been to communicate as much and far as I can with only radio. (Then there are guys who only care about putting a pin on a map to say that they talked to somebody from there. Like I said, it is a vast hobby with wide interests.)

i only found out about the APRS capability by looking at everything written to the SD Card by the DC.
if you build it and don’t tell anyone, will anyone use it? did someone alert Bob Bruninga WB4APR about this capability?

We built the APRS relay system with Bob’s input.

perfect! but has he been telling anyone about it? do you document it anywhere? like i said, i read up on the DC before purchase and knew nothing about APRS capability until i looked at every file on the SD Card.
and shouldn’t the routing identifier be changed from OUTNET to OTHNET?

Maybe even OTHER, as it would be easier to remember.

No, we’ve been doing a lousy job of marketing the service. Do you have any idea how much traffic goes through Winlink per day?

Do you have any pictures of the new dream catcher board and setup?

i think you mean APRS-IS. if so: “lots” would be a correct answer.
more than is processed by Winlink daily, i’m certain.

I definitely meant the Winlink email service. Why is that not more heavily used?

winlink is not a “ham chat” mode. it’s meant for Emergency Communications and for those far far away from any communications infrastructure (sailboats at sea, for instance).

As an amateur radio operator and involved in emergency management, I would love to see Winlink forms and FLDigi forms included on the content stream. The forms are small text files that allow easy transfer of standard emergency messages between ham stations. However, everyone must have the same version of the forms in advance. In an emergency, it’s not always easy to make sure everyone has the right form but with a Dreamcatcher running all the time, everyone would have the up-to-date forms ready to go!


Can you give an example of these forms? Do you mean a web form that can be used to broadcast standardized messages to all Othernet receivers?

Hi Syed,

I believe your company is also in Chicago.
I have run a Winlink RMS (Radio Message Server) for years.
Both on HF and VHF.
Pactor, Winmor, ARDOP, VARA and Packet.
It is a shame that only APRS texts can be sent thru your satellites.
VARA SAT (OFDM) is a much faster mode than Packet.
One of the Winlink Express modes is IridiumGO.
This gives it world wide coverage, but for the usual Iridium fees.

It would be very excellent, if Winlink can be operated both ways through your satellites.

There is now one Italian ham GEO satellite Winlink RMS, using VARA SAT through the QO-100 (Es’Hail 2) GEO satellite, at 26 deg East.
QO-100 is ham band transponder on Es’Hail 2.
The only one in the world, donated by an oil sheik from Qatar.

It would be great if we can have a few Othernet RMS’s somehow.

There is now an initiative by a group of hams to rent bandwidth on an old GEO Comsat.
Aggregator uplink and direct 12 GHz downlink.
But the progress is slow.

Othernet is already set up…!

kc9sgv AT gmail dott com

What frequency are they trying to uplink? I assume these would be standard commercial FSS bands, right?

Providing a two-service is possible, but I don’t see a way to do it a free service. We can do broadcast for free since it is one channel shared by everyone. Also, if we did two-way, it would not be on a ham band.

We are happy to review other services to support. All we ask is that there is the potential for people to actually use the new service.

Hi Syed,

For THIS proposal, they are still looking for grant money from served agencies for Emcomm.
Their rental offer for 1 MHz of bandwidth, was quite reasonable.
I have some details.

The uplink would be on commercial frequencies via the TS aggregator.
Of course, hams would like to uplink direct on ham frequencies for free.
Then receive on ham frequencies for free.
“5 and dime” (5GHz uplink, 10 GHz downlink), is the ham goal now for an eventual 6U cubesat in GEO.

But for the “Rent-A-GEO” interim solution, we will listen anywhere that the regs allow us to listen.

Please contact me direct.
I can put you in contact with them.

Yeah, a few tens of thousands for a 1 MHz carrier (per year). Likely even less (maybe much less) if the operator is discounting the satellite. But that’s real money, so I can understand how grant funding would be needed.

A hosted payload on a commercial GEO would be less than a standalone 6U placed in its own slot. But I can understand that the community really wants its own satellite.