Stability for DC v3.03 and Skylark v5.5


in any case, the price of the wifi thingy does not affect the DHCP service from your network nor how the WPA supplicant on the DC functions.


Unless the WiFi dongle is marginal or flaky. Hardware can be inconsistent.


I agree with you. My Dreamcatcher is so close to my router (about 2 feet) that I have to enclose it with a metallic wrap to minimize router interference with Othernet signal processing.

I have to look back on past experiences with the Skylark 5.3 and 5.4 programs that experienced the “non connect to router on reboot” problem. I have used the same DC 3.03 with all three versions, and only the 5.5 has been generally reliable. I kept a Lipo and charger connected to give my DC giving it uninterrupted power until a recent accident where I burned up my charger and my DC. I’m now back using a DC 3.02Q until I get another 3.03. Ken


Lockup occurred with the USB dongle removed. I’m about at the end of things to try. Ken’s recent comment about being close to the home router made me realize my DC is sitting next to my router as well. Moved it few feet away. If it locks up now, I guess it’s time to buy another kit.


I am experiencing low SNRs, low bitrates, hi packet errors, and lots of loss of Frame Lock here on the East Coast. Seems as thou others are having the same problems. Here’s a current Frame Lock status map (April 28, 2019, 1537 EDT). My Rssi is jumping around by 15 dBm from low to hi. My SES-2 signal levels when viewed with an FTA signal are strong and solid.


Middle North America seems OK. I know Jerry’s @maxboysdad terminal is working like gang busters. Any thoughts as to the cause? Ken


FWIW I checked my DC status within about 15 minutes of Ken’s post yesterday, and my SNR appeared to be baseline for daytime operation. I currently don’t have a bubble on the map, as I am running w/o a WiFi dongle, trying to sort lockup issues. I am in central VA (roughly 38N, 78.5W). I checked the status map about 30 minutes after Ken’s post, and the red balloons had cleared up significantly.


I can only speak for my own terminal, but recently I have had two lockups, following 71 days of continuous operation. I am sure the last one of them tracks to a heavy lightning strike Friday PM about five miles to the south and east of me, (almost directly in line with the SES-2 from here which actually took out a mile of overhead wire on the TRAX commuter rail system, but the only factor I can put blame on would be frontend overload, I guess. This was my 3.02Q unit, and as Ken mentioned, it is still working after the re-boots. I don’t know if lightning is the cause for sure, but until the t’storm season hit here, nothing atmospheric seemed to bother this unit.


My RSSI on the west coast has definitely gone down in the last week.


I will probably jinx it by saying this, but after moving the DC about 3’ away from my DSL modem and WiFi AP, I just achieved 48 hrs up-time, which is the highest I’ve had since I got the kit. 48 hrs isn’t a great data-point in itself, but the fact I haven’t seen this much up-time since I’ve started using the DC, it’s a step in the right direction. Doesn’t exactly make sense that was the problem, but if it continues to run w/o locking up for another day or two, then it seems that will have to be the answer. I will slowly add things back in like the WiF dongle and 2nd SD card.

Nice graph @sv_sigint . Any thoughts on the daily RSSI signal dip? Where is midnight occurring on the graph?

A long time ago at my first real job, I monitored WWV carrier against a local oscillator reference in order to calibrate the in-house standard to NIST. I would see diurnal shifts due to propagation changes in the atmosphere. It seems with Ku band satellite, it’s simply “urnal” as in once-a-day cycles. While I was monitoring SNR on the DreamCatcher, I was able to note that the worst SNR coincided pretty darn close with the Sun passing through the SES-2 azimuth (within an hours time window). That was pretty cool data to see.

@kenbarbi , has your reception cleared up?


Midnight generally occurs near the RSSI peaks; the day label is centered at noon.


Very interesting - - my problem has cleared up. Rssi is solid again without radical changes (I show a low value at -101dBm because my DC is 500 feet way from my offset 80 cm Ku-band dish). At this time April 29, 2019, 2012 EDT I’m solid again. My Frame Lock balloon is green again - - I wish I could say I kicked the tires and something happened, but the space gremlins mush have done their job

This a screen capture of my Tuner from my DC - - you can access it as a Guest at Just click thru the Tuner app to the Status tab. Will wonders never cease!! Ken


IMHO the stability discussion add the importance of some shielding in the productions models to prevent stray interference from other devices (routers, modems, power supplies) to limit Dreamcatcher undesired problems. I don’t think this solves a lightning strike nearby that would affect the LNBF … or worse.

The open… development board has proven to be be very unprotected.

It may require that the wifi (either usb or the wifi antenna) be routed away from the main Dreamcatcher


use a 6ft USB extension cable (with ferrites) for the wifi dongle?


I forgot to add that I need to check on the correlation of the position of the sun relative to SES2, and whether LNB temperature might have an impact on noise/apparent signal strength. Maybe putting a sheet of cooking parchment (silicone impregnated paper) might act as a very simple radome…


FWIW I believe I used this site to determine the Sun’s azimuth:


Things continue to go well since I moved the DC about 3’ from my WiFi AP. I’m at 6 days of up-time… 3 days without anything but the LNB plugged in… and since then, the WiFi is back in, connected to my home network as a client, 2nd SD card in, and I have another computer logging Tuner Stats and File Count data periodically via the API (thanks again @sv_sigint).

Does anyone know if/when file copies are performed to the 2nd SD Card, other than at boot? This is the only time I see the file-count grow on SD #2.


I guess I’m not the only one that lost all signals from the satellite

last file in what’s new: 5/2/2019 Wikipedia Suthida.html

edit: operator error… I did a config reset… and forgot to readjust the frequency when I restarted
all is back to normal now…


I show about 85 new files on my system in the last 3 days for the Wikipedia directory (using find ./ -mtime -3 | wc -l) command

My signal was a little bad earlier today, and lost lock some, which I attributed to weather moving through (my current setup doesn’t have enough margin for weather)


I have 16+ days uptime on my DreamCatcher now, after having moved it about 3 feet away from my WiFi access point. I consider it case-closed that was the problem.

Thanks to all for the help on troubleshooting this one!


Yes - - being too close to your Wifi router does mess things up. Several of us have found that to be true. Ken