Wiki Pages for Othernet Dreamcatcher

This Wiki is a User Guide and simplifies searching the Forums for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

*Please Note - - we have revised the User’s Guide to accommodate the new European Satellite Astra 3B (23.5E) that started to operate in May 2022. The current May 31, 2022 User’s Guide is ready for your use.

Wiki Table of Contents from User’s Guide

The following Sections are extracts from the May 31, 2022, User’s Guide in higher resolution

  1. Section I - Purchase, Unpack, and Assemble
    Addition equipment to purchase
    Assembly
    Software download
    Micro SD Cards
    Updating Previous Versions of Skylark
    Over the Air (OTA) Updates

  2. Section II - Energize Dreamcatcher Setup
    Energizing for first time
    Accessing the Skylark Program
    Finding the Othernet WiFi Hotspot
    User Names
    Unique Problems Encountered After Updating Previous Versions
    Navigating the Skylark Program

  3. Section III - Acquiring the Satellite
    Setting Up Your Satellite and LNB Type
    Verifying LNB Bias-T voltage
    Satellite Footprints
    Finding your correct look angle to the satellite
    Tips on pointing to the satellite
    Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams
    Selecting the Correct Satellite and Tuning To It
    Dreamcatcher Placement
    Cones and horns to improve performance
    Free-to-Air Antennas
    Inline Satellite Amplifier

  4. Section IV - Connecting the Dreamcatcher to Your Local Router WiFi as a Client
    The Network App
    Finding your Dreamcatcher’s local IP address
    Changing Administrator and WiFIPasswords
    Rebooting and Resetting the Dreamcatcher to Factory Default
    LED indicator meanings
    WiFi repeaters
    Ethernet Dongles
    Calls (Rotating progress bars)
    Port Forwarding
    Dreamcatcher Reporting Status to Headquarters Stealth Issues

  5. Section V - Additional Storage
    Micro SD Cards - Size and Format Requirements
    USB Flash Drives
    Installing and Running The Rachel Data Base and Other Programs

  6. Section VI - Printing and Othernet Satellite Radio
    Printing
    Othernet Satellite Radio
    Use of a speaker or FM Player Transmitter
    Adjusting the Volume

  7. Section VII - Skylark Content
    File Manager
    -VOA News Summary Audio Feed
    Messages
    -Automatic Packet Reporting System (ARPS) Function in Skylark
    -Non-APRS General Messages
    News
    Tuner
    -Viewing Status Screen when Using Logon Guest
    Weather
    What’s New
    Wikipedia

  8. Section VIII - Viewing Skylark Content from Your Computer

  9. Annex TABS
    Annex A: Power Cubes and Cables
    Annex B: Trouble Shooting
    Annex C: LNB Enhancements
    Annex D: Dreamcatcher v3.03 Unique Features
    Annex E: Over the Air (OTA) Skylark OS Updating
    Annex F: Low Noise Block (LNB) Devices

New Additional Othernet Content VOA News Summary Audio Feed

In the Skylark File Manager - look for a new Content Addition - -

VOA News Summary Audio Feed

Forum members @Cheaha and @caveman99 developed a method of providing an automatic Daily 5 Minute VOA audio news feed. You must open the File Manager Icon and cursor down to Uploads to find it. Select the audio/mpeg file you want and play it.

Other Valuable Information

VIDEO EXPLAINING OTHERNET
Check this YouTube Video produced by Forum Member, Matt, explaining the Dreamcatcher v3.05 running Skylark 5.7 OTHERNET - Free Data Anywhere - For everyone! - YouTube

PRINTABLE PDF USER’S GUIDE, and LIVE LINKS TO VIEW SKYLARK OPERATION

  • The Dreamcatcher v3.05 is currently out of production. A new terminal is coming in the Summer of 2022, and will be for sale then.
  • A User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 with Skylark 5.8 is at User’s Guide This User’s Guide has all the new information you need to connect to Astra 3B (23.5E) Pan Europe.
  • Link to Skylark software Software Downloads
  • Live On-line SES-2 North America at 87 West Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board running Skylark 5.8 is at http://98.204.166.71/ (Current as of May 31, 2022)
  • Live On-line Astra 3B Pan Europe at 23.5 East Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board running Skylark 5.8 at http://lan.tynet.eu:8080/ (Current as of May 31, 2022)
  • When you see this screen:

image

Just close it and click to Status and then click on the Tuner Status Screen:

image

and then you will see:

image

SOURCES OF USEFUL SOFTWARE TO DO A SKYLARK INSTALLATION ON A DREAMCATCHER

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR DREAMCATCHER USERS

  • Hardware Information
  • Software to Use for Other Applications
    Armbian Linux
    Dreamcatcher Chat Application
  • Other Software Options
  • Wiki for Dreamcatcher 2
  • Wiki for SDRx
  • Wiki for moRFeus
  • Note/Revision History

Hardware Information

  • Transceiver Semtech sx1280/1
  • Allwinner A13, is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor is the heart of the Dreamcatcher Board Series
  • Single USB type A for connecting devices
  • One micro type B USB plugs for 5vdc 2amp power
  • Speaker jack and Speaker pin connector 1/8" (3.1 mm) mini both speaker
  • Antenna one SMA connector pre-wired to a short cable with a male SMA connector on the Dreamcatcher v3.05 and two female SMA jacks on the Dreamcatcher.
  • Supplied LNB and female Type F to female Type F coax connector
  • Maverick Satellite MK 1-PLL single standard Ku band LNB 11.7 - 12.2GHz 10.750 GHz LO Powerered at 13 or 18 vdc max 135ma (included with Dreamcatcher v3.03) or Othernet Dual Band LNB
  • Touch screen display only on Dreamcatcher v3.03 or v3.02Q QVGA 2.4"TFT LCD Touch Shield 320x240 Serial Module Display,ILI9341 Power requirements 5v or 3.3v and 100ma. A 40 pin GPIO extension ribbon cable can be used to remotely mount the display.
  • The two sd card slots tested with up to 64GB micro SD cards. Must be good quality
  • Mounting holes
  • Various “points” on the main board (no longer has a jtag) uart terminals are typical interface is provided typical USB TTL Serial Cable Series - FTDI and
    http://www.amazon.com/Armorview-PL2303HX-Cable-Module-Converter/dp/B008AGDTA4
  • EDUP Wifi mini usb device is supplied http://www.szedup.com/product-item/802-11n-mini-wifi-adapter/ 8011n,g,b 2.4 GHz with rf power 13~17 dBm Chipset Ralink5370
  • Power on/off Reset button - push and hold 10 seconds to interrupt the intermediate power buss
  • Ventilation and cooling requirements - - infra red scan shows the display, power regulator chip U-1 and Allwinner A13 to be warm

Software to Use for Other Applications

  • Armbian Linux Based: Customized for the Dreamcatcher
    Software Downloads
    Suggested starting points are: “sudo nmtui” or armbian-config

  • Dreamcatcher Chat Application
    The Dreamcatcher v3.05 is capable of transmitting text messages to other Dreamcatcher v3.05 boards on frequencies between 40 MHz and 6 GHz using the Dreamcatcher Chat Application. The application achieves this by controlling both the mixer and radio peripherals present on the Dreamcatcher board. It uses a different set of software to achieve this capability that is available at https://github.com/Othernet-Project/dreamcatcher-chat. Two Dreamcatchers side-by-side - - one is the transmit end and the other is the receive end. The link is half-duplex. If you separate the Dreamcatchers, you can perform half-duplex messaging between them. Don’t forget, you may need a license to transmit depending upon where you are operating.

Other Software Options

  1. Future options may allow the setting to be stored: type “sudo alsactl store”
  2. Selecting Coax inputs Note: The only valid configurations are when rfswitch1 is off and rfswitch2 is on, or the other way round.
    a. Selecting Direct SMA Code block
    sudo su
    cd /sys/class/leds/rfswitch1/
    echo 1 > brightness
    cd /sys/class/leds/rfswitch2/
    echo 0 > brightness
  3. Turn on Bias-Tee to the Coax Connector
    a. Code block for 14 volt dc at both sma input connectors
    sudo su
    cd /sys/class/gpio
    echo 119 > export
    cd gpio119
    echo out > direction
    echo 1 > value
  4. Adjusting SDR parameter
    ** RF Amplifier Gain
    ** Lora and other SX1281 parameters
    The default for the chat application found in main.cpp:
    modulationParams.PacketType = PACKET_TYPE_LORA;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.SpreadingFactor = LORA_SF7;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.Bandwidth = LORA_BW_0400;
    modulationParams.Params.LoRa.CodingRate = LORA_CR_4_5;
    PacketParams.PacketType = PACKET_TYPE_LORA;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.PreambleLength = 0x08;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.HeaderType = LORA_PACKET_VARIABLE_LENGTH;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.PayloadLength = 50;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.Crc = LORA_CRC_ON;
    PacketParams.Params.LoRa.InvertIQ = LORA_IQ_INVERTED;

Wiki for Dreamcatcher 2

Revisions

  1. Wiki cleanup May 31, 2022, by @kenbarbi
2 Likes

The stub of the wiki is this thread. If you scroll all the way up to the top of this thread, you’ll see the post that is editable by anyone on the forum. This thread is meant to be used as the wiki directory. Additional wiki-posts can be created when there is sufficient content for specific new topics. The links at the top of this page come to this post.

2 Likes

Android app “Satellite Pointer” by “Cappsule” much easier to use to point at SES-2 than compass and inclinometer.
“Satellite Director” by “Zekitez” app is useful, but the display is not easy to interpret - start with azimuth holding phone parallel to ground, then hold phone vertically and tilt until line crosses middle of “bubble”.
“Satellite AR” by “Analytical Graphics, Inc.” is very promising but it crashes on me if i choose “simulated sky” background. it also annoyingly demands compass calibration every single time before displaying satellites - even when the app was never exited.

1 Like

Hi all,
for spanish speakers. I have made a full repo with docs, instructables and useful files:
[https://github.com/McOrts/OTHERNET_GroundStation](https://OTHERNET acceso libre a datos desde el espacio)