The NEXT Step In Outernet Delivery


I think the system still needs a lot of things upgraded/fixed/changed/upgraded, etc. so that the product is past the early adopter stage. The early adopters are the DXers, FTA Enthusiasts, Hams, and other techies. Applications like Rachel, paging, one-way e-mail, etc. still need to be fleshed-out.

Konrad, WA4OSH


All of those applications are contingents upon a much higher bitrate service, which is exactly what we are working on (hence the radio silence).


I’m assuming you will stay on L-Band and need to go to a more complex modulation scheme and perhaps a higher symbol rate. This will of course need a bit more receive SNR to support it.

BTW, I’m a member of the Microsoft Pacific Northwest Software Defined Radio Special Interest Group (pnw sdr sig). I will be sharing what I learn with the rest of the group as soon as your “skunk project” is revealed!

–Konrad, WA4OSH


No comment on technical specifications at this time, though I can say that the modulation will be significantly different and and the bitrate will be significantly higher. For more mainstream applications, we have no choice but to focus on a path to 100kbps.

What does Microsoft do with SDRs? Or is the group simply composed of Microsoft-employees? Was the group around during the old Microsoft DirectBand/SPOT days?


You wrote…

This all stands to reason. We’ll hopefully hear the big announcement soon.

It’s a small group of current and ex-Microsoft-employees and vendor-contractors. I’m an ex vendor-contractor at Microsoft. It’s a nice place to meet like-minded SDR enthusiasts.

I don’t know how long the pnw sdr sig has been in existence. But we do meet monthly at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. Our next meeting is in a week from now, on the 28th. I will be sharing my DreamCatcher board with the passive airgap antenna. I might post photos and feedback.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


We would like to deploy a dozen or so of the Ku Band Dreamcatchers in Northern Africa. Is Ku Band service even available? These communities really need education with current events/content. OER2Go is awesome (, but can a Ku Dreamcatcher keep OER2Go updated? Or will it have to be synchronized/archived separately?
The most important question: is there Ku Service over Africa?


There is no Ku-Band service currently anywhere besides Lower-48 US and parts of Canada and Mexico.

I have not looked at OER2go yet. but if you have a Raspberry Pi and can take the time to download 64GB of data take a look at Rachel Pi also.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


Yeah, we are actually doing a Rachel instance (400GB) on a tiny x86 atom server. We would just need a way to have Outernet provide current information, news, and weather in a location where we have ZERO Internet. How do you think we should do that? Do you still have L-Band Outernet in Africa? Do you have Ku-Band service planned for the future?
I really want to help.


Yeah, we are actually doing a Rachel instance (400GB) on a tiny x86 atom server.
This is a great start.

Deploy the Rachel server. Then when Outernet on Ku-Band is available in Africa, add that service.

No. L-Band service was too expensive. They had to drop it.

@Syed would have to answer that question.

–Konrad, WA4OSH


Just wondering how long the usual shipping delay is. I am used to ebay shipping orders out on the same day of purchase when payment is immediate. Really want to play with the new 3.03 board if it ever gets shipped!


Please let @Syed Syed address this. Ken


We are up to date on deliveries. What is your order number?