Size of the Outernet Pillar


I was roped into Outernet with the fundraiser and the image of this TINY little box with solar paneled sides.

Can someone explain what that prototype / graphic design is supposed to represent in the project? I take it that is a miniature individual style device, but I don’t see dish or other things that are needed to feed such today. Optimistic future design?

I like the concept here and am a FTA novice, but active interest that comes and goes.

I was thinking about form factor and design of realistic deployment, say for a town, village etc.

My thoughts are old phone booth meets satellite installation meets cement piling.

Simply, tubular steel sections able to be affixed with hand tools and fasteners. That arm vertical from sub-soil level up to needed height – 8ft~ ? The entire section on center in a column of poured concrete. Perhaps some modular cut outs for gear and boxes on the column [i.e. where the Pi goes and related radios + power gear].

Rather cheap to do, all with hand tools and locally sourced materials.

Top of pillar stack would resemble a communications cluster - satellite dish, perhaps a real external wifi antenna or several depending. Of course solar panel up there also.


Lantern will have built-in tuners and antenna. It will be able to receive SW, UHF, and L-band. For satellite signal, you will need both a dish (not part of the kit) and an external power source. If not connected to external power (e.g., when on the road) it will use its solar panel and automatically power-off modules that consume a lot of power (e.g., satellite tuner, WiFi).


Forgive my confusion but will these bands be able to reach less developed countries or countries where governments want to censor that information? Or is support for these bands more intended for developed areas?

In other words, what good would a lantern without a dish be in these less developed countries? Is a lantern device intended for more developed countries whereas remote villages would be expected to have a dish to connect it to?

If it can’t broadcast wifi while on solar power then I don’t see the purpose of the solar panels. What good would a lantern without wifi be except for charging phones?

Side note, what is the Pillar? Is that another name for the lantern or the dish?


Everthing is blockable, but it is intended for worldwide access.

A lantern can be useful for news and weather, and a variety of theoretical other uses.

It can, its just a matter of building up power. It automatically powers down when there’s not enough power.

Pillar is the dish only outermet implememtation.


So the folding dish shown at the beginning of this video is a Pillar concept?





No. :smile:

This is pillar (well, early concept art anyway):

It’s a 3-part box which contains a motor, dish and LNB in the top portion, battery and solar panels in the middle, and tuner, receiver, WiFi radio, and storage in the bottom part. Top portion has an access panel on the side (handle visible in the image) through which you can access the dish and motor. At least top portion should be in plastic enclosure so it doesn’t interfere with radio signals. Oh, and it’s meant to be installed outdoors, obviously, so it has weather-proofing.

At least that’s the original concept. I haven’t really followed developments since then, so I’m not sure how much it has deviated from the original plans.