Reception Issues with Dreamcatcher v3.05

I cannot seem to receive the signal with the hardware shipped Nov 14th, 2019. I have setup and configured the hardware per the setup guide for Americas. I am located in Kansas City, so I am well within the beam coverage. When I point the LNB at the satellite, I am seeing an RSSI of -75 dBm and SNR of -17. Interestingly, when I point the LNB at the ground I see a RSSI -75 dBm and SNR of -17. I have checked the coax from the Dreamcatcher to LNB and it is good. Is the LNB bad? I’ve talked to another person here in Kansas City and he’s seeing the same issue. He received his hardware the same time as me.

Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone else had this issue?

Since you have signal… or did for few seconds since the tuner status screen is not “blank”

Can you describe the other fields in the tuner-app, status tab screen
Like the number of packets received example screen

Make sure you are pointed at 167° magnetic. Then slowly sweep up from the horizon. If there are any obstructions you most likely wont get a signal without a dish.

Did you receive the Avenger dual band LNB? If so, can you make sure that the LNB setting is changed to match that?

I wonder if there are a few bad LNBs being shipped. I could not get the “Universal Single LNB” that came with my last v.3.05 to respond correctly. It showed a SNR of -17.5 in Tuner, no matter whether it was pointed correctly or not. The DreamCatcher was set properly for it. The Hot spot worked flawlessly, but the LNB would not. I replaced it with a Maverick 1, re-set up the DreamCatcher 3.05, and it worked properly. I intend to experiment more with this unit later on.

Sorry for disappearing after posting. Life and weather got in the way of outdoor testing.

I was able to source an old, compact DirecTV dish (early 00’s era) from my father-in-law. I am now able to pick up the signal with SNR of -13 to -9.75. It appears it takes more than just the LNB in a suburban Kansas City neighborhood. RSSI is only -74 dBm, a 1 dB improvement. Also, looking at the SES-2 signal chart, I should have excellent signal level. This makes me think I had more of an interference issue than signal. I believe the dish is allowing me to spatially filter out some noise source. I might to some experimenting in the spring with my RTL-SDR and splitter to see if that’s the case.

I used a universal single LNB bracket from eBay. The dish is only mounted on my back porch currently, with a relatively clear line of sight to the sky.

I hope this helps others that are wondering why the LNB only setup is working. Most people will give you their old dishes for free if you just come get it. Just make sure you seal up any holes with liberal application of caulking or roof sealant. You don’t want any leaks coming back on you! In total, I only had to pay for caulk ~$2 at Harbor Freight, the $5.20 LNB bracket.

The RSSI value is not too important. As long as it’s -85 or stronger, there should not be a difference in reception. The number to focus on is SNR. The RSSI is the power of the signal. The quality of the signal is based on the signal-to-noise. Full bitrate is achieved at -12 SNR. That should be about 1% PER (packet error rate) or better. At that level the audio stream will be clear and all of the files will properly reconstruct.

That’s what made me think there is an interference issue. There’s plenty of power, even when pointed at the ground with just the LNB. A directional antenna should help eliminate interference if the interferer is out of the radiation pattern.

The lnb uses a bias t that will fry your rtl-sdr. Using a splitter isn’t recommended. However you can get a power injector so you can use your rtl-sdr seperatly.

Also, Dreamcatcher placement can affect SNR. Degraded download performance and system lock-ups have been reported when the Dreamcatcher was located too close to a WiFi Access Point. In some situations, AC power pick-up on the charging cable has caused problems. AC pick up problems can be reduced by using a ferrous choke around your power cord. Ken

Don’t most SDRs have a coupling cap at the ant connection point to kill DC?

Those problems get especially bad when you have a floating ground in your mains power, this issue is even worse in 220v areas. I just buy ferrite snap-on beads by the box in assorted diameters and add a few to the crappy stock wall-wart power supplies, audio lines, etc.
Adding ferrite beads also reduces getting the floating ground RF case zaps.