Malfunction of my Dreamcatcher

“How can you detect a power supply unit that does not have a slow power drop?”

I personally use a hobbyist’s tester called a “Watts-uP” ( inline (between the power unit and the Dreamcatcher) with the power unit. It will log the sag in voltage over the period of time power is applied and you can read it directly while it is connected and powered on. With the Dreamcatcher, if the sag is lower than 4.98v, you will experience freaky things.

Normally due to the inexpensive nature of these items, it is best to just purchase a power unit with a proven track record, such as the official Raspberry Pi power supply, or PWR+ TBAM3-ul. I have used both of those with good success on the Dreamcatcher.

On 3.03, theres only one button - the power button. On 3.05 there are two, the power button and PB1 (the function button).

Its even marked as such on the board.

When I press the power button the Dreamcatcher does not turn off properly. It only seems to perform a reboot.

I’ll buy a power adapter for the Rapberry PI. But maybe you can add a voltage test (z-diode?) to the next version of the Dreamcatcher.

You need to press the button for 10 seconds to shut down.

Thats for a “hard shutdown” - same as on PCs. For a normal shutdown, just a momentary press works - it takes a few seconds to properly shutdown though.

A momentary press never did anything for me. I will try again the next time I need to shutdown.

I have now bought a power supply for the Raspberry PI and hope that the Dreamcatcher runs more stable. The Dreamcatcher has now survived a simulated power outage well.
@kenbarbi Can you include a reference to the Raspberry PI power supply in your documentary? Thanks

The Power Button probably only works if the system is running properly. The function of the power button in case of error is unclear. This is a major obstacle to troubleshooting.


Dreamcatcher V 3.05 SL 5.7 User Manual.pdf

User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet
Dreamcatcher v3.05 With Skylark 5.7 (November 17, 2019) by
Forum Member Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

See Annex B, Page 30.

“A reliable power option is to use a Raspberry Pi power supply which has a larger tolerance for low
voltage from the usb cable (it just throttles itself). Dreamcatcher browns out when there’s low voltage -
and the main cause of DC not working normally is bad power.”



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After a test with an ethernet dongle the dreamcatcher had a malfunction again. Only after numerous attempts (switch off, switch on, pull out the plug, …) did it work again. It would be nice if the Dreamcatcher was more robust.

Now I wanted to write a file to the second sd card. To do this I pressed the power button and waited until the LEDs were off. Then I took out the sd card and wrote the file to the card. After I put the sd card back in, I pressed the power button again. But the malfunction described above happened again. Let’s see what I have to try again to get the Dreamcatcher working again. This has nothing to do with a stable system! :frowning:

A power button should shut down a system properly and not bring it into an undefined state!

After numerous unsuccessful attempts with the power button and the PB1 button I formatted the sd card with the OS again and played the image on it again. Now it works again. But actually I wanted to do something else. :angry:

I noticed something else. No news from this year were saved on the external sd card.
When exactly should they be copied?
On shutdown or on startup?
Is there an error routine for errors on the external sd card?
Can you start this copy job manually to see possible error messages?

Maybe my external sd card is not ok. Files FSCK0000.REC … FSCK0008.REC were created.

Did you remove and re-insert the SD card while the Dreamcatcher was running? Perhaps @Abhishek or @Syed would comment here?

No, I didn’t do that. I did it the way I described it.

I repeat my questions:
When exactly should they be copied?
On shutdown or on startup?
Is there an error routine for errors on the external sd card?
Can you start this copy job manually to see possible error messages?

I would ask you to answer these questions so that we can narrow down the error.

Good question… the folders on my secondary sd don’t seem to get a regular cron type mirroring. I assume it is occurring “once” when the sd is inserted or recognized… but some clarification is needed.

I have problems writing files to the sd using my windows pc file manager… then ending with a corrupt sd that the rxos board can not read… I blame it on the windows caching the sd card write process.

Then I’m not the only one with this problem. It would not be the first time that Windows is the problem. :wink:

I will repartition and format the external sd card. I will copy files to the external sd only via SCP.

But why Skylark crashes when the external sd card fails should definitely be checked. An error routine is necessary. It should give a clear error message.

Let me add my memory card woes, First 32GB memory SD secondary card for the dream catcher was new and for what ever reason would not format past 300MB, it was quickly discarded.
Second card was a 32GB that my windows 10 machine liked, reformated to 32GB,and so far no problems.
Due to several data losses I have a rule as a programmer never pull a memory card out of a windows 10 machine unless it has been shut down.

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I always use the “safely remove hardware and eject media” feature with sd cards. Never had an issue.