When is the Latern coming?
Yes, wondering the same thing. Looking forward to it, just wondering on when it’s expected to ship!
I reckon there’s a 50/50 chance of it shipping.
I paid in the region of $100 for mine. They are now trying to take a $800 product and make it cheap enough to ship for $100. At the moment the updates are mainly around design, with very little in the way of engineering detail.
If you need the money it seems they are refunding people pretty reliably, so that’s an option. In terms of actually getting a product, maybe autumn if they do somehow manage to reduce the price of this box 10x. The official estimate is summer, but I’d take that with a pinch of salt.
On the upside if they do manage to pull off this remarkable engineering feat then you’ll be getting a two way device rather than a downlink only.
Keep in mind, folks, with Richard Branson’s One Web running into regulatory problems, and Elon Musk’s worry’s about costs causing him to back out, Outernet is the only game in town (actually working today globally on Ku band satellites) for those who can’t afford Inmarsat or Iridium internet access.
Sure - - a small portable L-band device (and a 2 way capability) would be revolutionary, but I am highly impressed with what Outernet has done to date! Ken Barbi
19 days ago @Syed suggested a update was due: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lantern-one-device-free-data-from-space-forever#/comments No sign of @ThaneRichard for months.
No sign of any software being written specifically for the Lantern: https://github.com/Outernet-Project
Is it time to just refund people and focus on the lighthouse which seems like a perfectly good product?
The L-band software demodulator is not open source, so you won’t see a repo for it. Other than the software demod, all of the software for Lighthouse will be used for Lantern.
Thane is no longer with Outernet.
We’re still actively working on Outernet and Lantern, so there is no reason to unilaterally issue refunds for a product that is still under development. However, if you would like a refund, we are happy to provide one.
Could you just give some idea of how it’s going. You’re going to be shipping these in 8 weeks? Right?
So the design must be finalised? Prototypes approved? Can we see a photo of them?
I heard the Lantern will come pre-loaded with Half Life 3. That is what is holding it from being released. Just kidding.
@ebarranco You found the hidden feature!
@sam_uk We’re shipping the first units in July, which is 12 weeks away. We’re using a lot of commercially available components, but some of the RF pieces are still being tested (filter LNA, etc). The compute module is the Raspberry Pi 3. @branko is currently working on Pi 3 support. I think the only thing holding up the release is getting wifi to work. We’re using a 2W panel and a 12Ah battery.
Sam, it seems that you are really uncomfortable with the development process, which I can appreciate. Are you sure you wouldn’t like a refund?
Hi @syed thanks for the mini-update, Just a few of these details helps to restore some confidence. I was thinking there was a 50/50 chance of shipping, just those few lines have increased confidence levels to 70/30
I’d really advocate spending an hour writing an update for the indiegogo backers next week, with a few of these details;
Here’s a photo of a box of solar panels at the factory.
Here’s a photo of a box of Pi 3’s that we’re going to be using.
A few details like that would really help to restore confidence for your backers.
Pi 3 looks pretty power hungry? What do you need the compute power for? Mainly for the web interface?
Compute power will be used primarily for demodulation (SDR).
Ah fair enough i guess that’s pretty unavoidable
For demodding a small channel, resource consumption on a Beagle Bone Black is about 17%. That is a single core 1GHz processor. The software demod was designed to take advantage of multiple cores, if they are available. Based on the BBB figures, the Pi3 should have no issues with demodding, but that’s only BPSK at 5 kHz. If/when we go up to larger symbol rates and QPSK, their will be even more resource consumption.
It’s also nice to not fiddle with a USB dongle for wifi.
@Syed How’s the signal testing going? Has the solar panel order been placed? Have the antenna & LNA part arrived yet?
Yes, signal testing went really well. We ended up with more link margin (quality of the signal) than I expected. Starting Friday the permanent Americas signal will go up and the Africa/Asia beam will be turned on next week. We’ll be releasing software in the coming weeks to allow anyone to receive the broadcast files (similar to what we do with our Ku-band service).
The antennas are still being negotiated, but orders for the solar panels and batteries have been placed. The radio and LNA are currently in pre-production.
Great to hear thanks @Syed, especially link margin. Will it be possible to decode using a cheap SDR & a Pi? That would be exciting news if so?
You mean an RTL-SDR? Yes, definitely. For someone who doesn’t buy a receiver from Outernet, they’ll need to acquire an LNA and high gain L-band antenna, but those aren’t that hard to come by (it’s possible to hand-make the latter). Some tv dongles work better than others.
rxOS will initially have Raspberry Pi 3 support, but the CHIP from Next Thing Co is really a much better fit. We’re waiting for them to go into production next month so that we can port the firmware.
Will we be getting more updates about the Lantern? I backed this in 2014 and have not received anything. I moved and am not sure if things got lost in the mail or if it’s just not out yet.
Can I contact someone to look up my account?
Are you not receiving the email updates? They are also available on the project page. Your Lantern has definitely not gotten lost in the mail–we have not sent any out yet. We will be shipping our first units this summer.
Before we start shipping units, we will be sending out a notice to update the street address. But you can always contact me for additional information.