Mystery failure

I received my radio and got it going with a bit of effort, but ending up with +3db signal and no packet loss solid for a week.

Sadly its now gone offline. the condition I see is that the wifi router the dreamcatcher logs into shows its mac address but no IP gets assigned by the DHCP server, which is otherwise working OK and has been rebooted.

I presently only have remote access to the site its installed at but can power cycle the equipment and look at the access point.

Anticipating micro sd card issues I used a sandisk extreme micro sd so doubt its failed already.

Any suggestions ?

If I understand you correctly, you have configured the Dreamcatcher as a WiFi client. There can be several reasons why no IP address has been assigned. On the one hand, the password may have been entered incorrectly. It is also possible that your WiFi router is configured to only allow certain Mac addresses.

Best you press the PB1 button. This means that Dreamcatcher will no longer be configured as a WiFi client and you can log in directly. The settings may be reset.

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The password was entered correctly as it has been running unattended for a week. Yes pressing the PB1 might well sort it out but you miss the point
that I do not currently have physical access to the equipment.

There is so much that could have gone wrong, but until you have physical (or remote) access to your dreamcatcher it would be nearly impossible to troubleshoot. The only thing I can suggest in the mean time is to try assigning a static ip to your dreamcatches mac address.

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Already did that so I could access it via the internet.

Progress: I switched it off overnight and have just powered it up and now can access the dreamcatcher control panel and its showing on the status map. The receiver is getting nothing, but it seems nobody else in Europe is either so I’ll consider it a win on mine and await something to happen.

Jim, nice to see you back in the Forums! Your situation sounds similar to some problems I was having mid-2018 into 2019. I was convinced that I had a great power supply, but started having new kinds of problems after it had been running about six months. We decided to monitor it with a device that would record sags and peaks in my voltage (this was a hobbyist’s meter called a Watt’s Up Meter). We found that in spite of what a regular digital volt meter would claim as a steady 5.1 volts dc, this meter recorded that the voltage at times would sag to 4.9 and even 4.8 volts. This creates the strange things we would not normally see (a lot of them wifi oriented), other than a loss of voltage or much greater change in voltage that would normally just shut the unit down or give a gross indication of failure. My recommendation is that you very carefully monitor your 5.0 volt source and see if it is actually dropping slightly sometime while under load. I managed to stop the problem by using a chinese-made buck device on a 12 volt source, which gave me an extremely stable 5.2 volt output with no sags. Just an idea for something to test… Jerry.

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Jerry’s response harkens back to Abhishek’s comment about using a Raspberry Pi Power supply ($9.99 from Amazon except for tax and shipping).


They are a very reliable power option is to use, and have a larger tolerance for low voltage from the usb cable (it just throttles itself). The Dreamcatcher browns out when there’s low voltage.

The main cause of Dreamcatchers not working normally is bad power. Ken

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The dreamcatcher is powered by a raspberry pi power unit from CPC (a reliable trade supplier) which promises 5.1v at 2.5a I am using these on my pi3’s.

Looking at the data stored I suspect it was working but the net connection was down. It was a bit strange as the access point registered a connection but no IP address was allocated. The AP is a fairly ancient unit but solid and also adequately powered.

My initial problems were solved by fitting the LNB which came with the package. Previously the old univeral LNB had been receiving BBC off 27w for over a year OK - and originally it gave +3db on the DC but it gave up after a couple of days. I’m using a 1m dish as I have one spare and have been doing tvro since it started in Europe, have the tools … meters and spanners :smile: also have a purpose built site with a clear view of the satellites of interest.

The dot on the map is Gibraltar not Spain.

Looking at the ‘watt’s up’ meter, there seems to be two kinds, a mains power analyser and a hobbyists meter aimed at RC enthusiasts. I would be keen to buy a mains logger but the meters on e-bay are US voltage and I’m 240v and don’t want smoke signals

One of the weak links in powering devices is the cable and have had issues with Chinese usb A to micro usb cables not up to raspberry pi current levels. I have a usb current and voltage meter for checking that.

The psu I am using has a captive cable and was specified for pi3 use.

The “Watt’s Up” that I am using derives power from the DC (direct current) source being measured. It can also be powered by an external DC source. The mains logging meter would not be the unit I am using. I agree about the cables, a person has to choose them carefully. It would appear that you have used a good power source, so it may not be the suspect here. Your receiving site sounds interesting!