Thoughts on adding a community chat app to the DC

If the DC is connected to a more powerful router a community chat app might be useful. The library box has a similar feature.

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Like a 1980’s bulletin board?

Like Rachel-Pi?


I think Wifi is essentially poorly suited to this, it’s good for connecting to the end client.

For something that would cover useful distance it would be much more interesting to me to do stuff with LoRa in ISM bands.


Not sure if the current Dreamcatcher hardware can do this though…

Looks interesting. I am curious how that would work out here. I live on an Indian reservation, where the closest towns are about 12 miles east and west of me. Link that up with the Outernet, and you have an information and communications tool.

But in any application the absence of data compression much like end to end encryption currently implemented for HTTPS is hampering data distribution across wifi? We don’t know what we’ve got until we try.

I wonder how many people can connect to a DC? Maybe one user can run a chat server and the others run the app. The DC would have to act as an access point.

DreamCatcher 3.xx can either act as a Wi-Fi router or as a Wi-Fi client. Dream Catcher serves up web pages. Multiple users can connect to the webpage as either a guest or as a user.

I understand that you can have multiple users e-mail and chat with each other over Rocket.Chat. What I don’t get is how Rocket.Chat would integrate into the Outernet platform.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

If one user runs the server and each user has the app, couldn’t it work the same way, just like a normal network?

Web is client-server
Chat is basically peer-to-peer

There’s no reason that users that are connected wirelessly to an Outernet Server can’t also run chat between each other’s clients. I just don’t understand what you are trying to solve.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

Outernet uses LoRa’s PHY to transmit data from the Satellite to the DreamCatcher ground station. There’s no reason that the wireless network could not be extended from the ground station to another location using LoRaWAN.


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The DreamCatcher has an SD Slot for the firmware that runs it. It also has another slot that I’ve put a 64GB SD card into. I have downloaded it full of the Wikipedia, Khan Academy and a handful of other resources. The DreamCatcher can serve-up all of this.

When combined with a small LoRaWAN, you can distribute not only new content that arrives by satellite, but content that is in the SD Card.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

I used to work at T-Mobile, where we deployed Wi-Fi in Starbucks, airline clubs, hotels, copy shops, etc. That network had two SSIDs. One was open for guest users. The other SSID used 802.1x authentication and was secured end-to-end at the PHY layer. It is also possible to run HTTPS in the server to encrypt the session end-to-end at application layer.

Don’t confuse encryption with data compression. They’re not the same.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

Why not try to expand the functionality of the DC? It appears it can only connect 1 device at a time as an AP. I was going to try an app called Talkie. It is capable of wifi calling, chat, and File sharing. Wouldn’t it be nice to share what the DC provides and provide a method of communication?

I think I’m hearing several things here.

  1. Are you not able to connect to the DreamCatcher with multiple client laptops? Mine is set up on my network via Ethernet. I can access the downloaded data from multiple laptops in my house.

  2. Talkie is a peer-to-peer application that allows Wi-Fi calling, chat and file sharing.

I don’t quite get how you want to connect the two together. Describe how you would use talkie to access the DreamCatcher web server.

–Konrad, WA4OSH

No biggie.

I’m honestly trying to understand what you are trying to do. If you can describe it, maybe we can have it done.

–Konrad WA4OSH

This looks interesting:

We’ll see when they divulge the details. My experience after working with data radios and broadband radio solutions for over 30 years is that there are no easy fixes. Also what is good for one type of radio PHY may not be good with another radio PHY. There’s a good reason there are both Link and Network layers in IP protocols. His solution does not address whether it supports connections and/or connectionless datagrams. Has any of this been run through simulations? We’ll see.