Wiki Pages for Othernet Dreamcatcher

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

Wiki Table of Contents

Click on a Section Link for the Information Contained in the User’s Guide

  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
    Free0to-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 A: Power Cubes and Cables

  10. Annex B: Trouble Shooting

  11. Annex C: LNB Enhancements

  12. Annex D: Dreamcatcher v3.03 Unique Features

  13. Annex E: Over the Air (OTA) Skylark OS Updating

  14. Annex F: Low-Noise-Block (LNB) Devices

Guide to Quick Tuner Setup

Selecting the Correct Satellite and Tuning To It

Forum member @Tysonpower has developed an App for Skylark to Automatically Tune and Find the Correct Operating Frequency for your LNB shown in Fig. 21a. You can download it from @Tysonpower 's web site https://tynet.eu/storage/downloads/DC3_tuner_app_1.12.html, Software Downloads or if you had been connected to an Othernet satellite before find it in the downloads:////uploads Folder Fig. 22. You must use log on Othernet (Guest won’t work) to continue.


Fig. 21a Tuner App & Frequency Finder Version 1.12
In North America on SES-2 Freq is 12.0894 GHz & Beam Type is 36
In Europe on Eutelsat 8WB Freq is 12.6231 GHz & Beam Type is 36

If you chose not to run the APP from downloads:////uploads Folder or have never been connected to an Othernet satellite, install the APP in your Skylark program. You must use log on Othernet (Guest won’t work) and upload it from your computer to your Skylark Program micro SD card or external micro SD card. Fig. 21b shows the initial File Manager TAB before ever being connected to an Othernet satellite - - the downloads:////uploads is not present. Keep in mind if you upload the file into the home:///directory on your Skylark Program micro SD card, it gets deleted when you reboot your Dreamcatcher so you would have to reinstall it, so an external SD card is the best solution to keep it permanent. After you select Upload, you will be directed to Browse your computer to find the correct file to upload.

Fig. 21b Initial File Manger TAB before ever being connected to an Othernet Satellite

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Note: You will need to find the file to upload on your computer after you click the Upload TAB

Step 2a - Automatic Frequency and Beam Type Selection. Before you do anything else, go back to Fig. 13a, in the satellite list and - - select Custom then click Apply. You must start this process with a Custom Satellite selected . You can no longer select the Americas or EU satellite settings because after a reboot, they revert to the old default values and retune to those values when rebooting.

In Panel 1 of Fig. 21a, type in your Frequency and Beam Type as shown for Americas or Europe. Save the frequency and beam values by clicking the Orange Save button on the bottom left of Panel 1. Because you started in the Custom Satellite mode, this new Frequency and Beam Type get automatically saved in the Custom TAB. If you get a signal (Fig. 23 showing a good connection), you are done. All the settings are automatically saved and will continue work after a reboot so long as you selected Custom then click Apply above.


Panel 1 of Fig. 21a Manual Tuning

Fig. 13a Reset Satellite Frequency and Beam Type

If you get no signal in the Status TAB Fig. 23, proceed to the Autotune setup in Panel 2.

Step 2b - The Autotune Setup

Here’s where it might get a bit difficult if the Bias-T voltage is OK, you sited your LNB correctly, and you selected the Custom Satellite with the correct Frequency and Beam Type. Because Othernet is now using a narrower bandwidth (reduced from 800 kHz to 200 kHz), it is more difficult to select the correct operating frequency for each LNB since they all have different local oscillator (LO) frequency stabilities. Even if you correctly site your antenna, you may not be able to receive until you fine tune the Dreamcatcher’s operating frequency. (It is also possible that you have not sited your LNB correctly, so check that again.)

Even on paper, the packets won’t appear with a frequency offset greater than 25% (50 kHz). So far we’ve noticed that 25 kHz of offset is a pretty reliable window. It is said the Maverick will work - - but some Forum Members have been unable to achieve lock with it . The offset is probably just much farther out. Please keep in mind that most commercially available DTH LNBs are specified to a 1,000,000 Hz offset (aka +/- 1000 kHz). See Annex F for more information on LNBs.

The Maverick Single LO: 10750 MHz was shipped with Dreamcatcher 3.02Q - - one of the first units we were using on the KU band. It has a stability of ± 1Mhz. With the Dual LO 9750/10600 MHz LNB, shipped with Dreamcatcher 3.05, it has a stability of ± 200 Khz. The Bullseye Dual LO LNB (soon to be released with a new Dreamcatcher Version and currently available in the Othernet Store), has a stability of ± 10 Khz and operates as a Dual LO: 9750/106000 MHz in Skylark.

Rechecking the Panel 1 of Fig. 21a settings to make sure you have set the correct values for Frequency and Beam Type for your location, and have clicked the Orange Save button on the bottom left of Panel 1 which puts those values into your Custom Satellite TAB. Go to Panel 2 of Fig. 21a - - you should see either 12.0894 or 12,6232 and Beam Type 36. Select the orange button Start Auto Tune which will start to tune to whatever frequency you set. When you run it, it takes some time to complete, so watch its Autotune Status timer. When successfully completed, it will say Got a Lock at 12.08931 GHz, new Frequency set: 12.089331 GHz as in this example. If you don’t get a lock, increase the steps button to 20, and retune as this widens the tuning range. The new Frequency set: will be automatically saved to your Skylark program as a Custom Satellite setting, so even if you reboot your Dreamcatcher, it will remain in effect.


Panel 2 from Fig. 21a Autotune

Step 3. Once you have set the Dreamcatcher’s Tuner App & Frequency correctly, slowly physically move your LNB horizontally and vertically to maximize the SNR (dB) making it as large (less negative) as possible.

The Tuner Status screen in Fig. 23 will show the SNR (dB) line fluctuating at a value above -14 dB (sometimes as high as + 10 dB), the Lock line saying yes , and the Rssi (dBm) line fluctuating at a value between -60 and -95 dBm. Lower Rssi levels such as -100 dBm may carry signal, but the Dreamcatcher is not sensitive enough below -95 dBm. On the top of the Tuner Status Screen, you will see what type file is being downloaded at that moment - - either audio or files . At the very bottom of the screen you will see what file is being downloaded or just finished downloading at any time. This picture represents a successful connection at latitude 39 deg N longitude 76 deg W in mid afternoon with an accurately pointed LNB, and a fine tuned LNB. Additionally, LED 6 will be fast blinking dim green if data packets are detected.


Fig. 23 Tuner Running Correctly on SES-2 at Latitude 39 degrees N

New Additional Othernet Content

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCewB_PuvDk&feature=youtu.be

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 this Spring, but is not for sale yet.
  • User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 with Skylark 5.8 is at User’s Guide This is the latest edition on April 2, 2021, and includes new information regarding the March 2021 Bandwidth reductions, location of newly developed Satellite Finding and Tuning Apps; and the new European satellite. If you print this PDF using the Adobe Acrobat Reader program and select print to fit, it will paginate with the assigned page numbers.
  • 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 March 17, 2021)
  • Live On-line Eutelsat 8WB at 8 West Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board running Skylark 5.8 is at http://obereip.selfhost.de (Current as of March 17, 2021)

WIKI FOR DREAMCATCHER v3.02Q BOARD

  • This board version was only available for a short period of time. Information for the Dreamcatcher v3.03 is applicable to the v3.02Q, and Skylark v 5.8 works for some Forum members - - not all. So be advised. Use the above User’s Guide to set it up. There are some different LEDs and parts, but the layout is generally the same. Earlier versions of Skylark before 5.3 no long work on Dreamcatchers.

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 https://www.buydisplay.com/default/qvga-2-4-inch-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 http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBTTLSerial.htm 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

  • Alternative Uses for Dreamcatcher 2 Ambian. Flash this image to your sd card: Software Downloads (readme file in that folder useful to get started, guessing you’ve done this part before though. Then before updating any software via apt-get upgrade! Follow the info on this post Dreamcatcher - DONT UPGRADE KERNEL BEYOND 5.27!

Revisions

  1. Wiki cleanup March 26, 2021, by @kenbarbi
  2. Wiki addition of new daily VOA Daily News Briefs March 28, 2021, 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)

Return to Table of Contents

User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 Running Skylark 5.8 - Revised for Reduced Bandwidth and a New European Satellite
(March 24, 2021) Best Practices from Multiple Forum Members
Compiled by Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

Introduction

This User’s Guide is designed for users who purchased components from Othernet to set up their equipment using a WiFi capable Windows, Linux or Apple computer. It is a collection of the best advice from multiple Forum Members as to how to operate a Dreamcatcher v3.05 running Skylark 5.8 Software. We try to make it clear, but if you have questions, please post them on the Forum at http://forums.othernet.is/

With the March 2021 changes in Bandwidth from 800 kHz to 200 kHz and a new European satellite (Eutelsat 8WB at 8W), pre-programmed Americas and EU satellite detail is no longer correct. The new setup requires manual installation as described in this User’s Guide Section II - Step 8 because the defaults in the Skylark 5.8 program have not been revised. It also seems harder to achieve Frequency Lock requiring a more detailed Section III Step 5 Fine Tuning of your receiver, and some Forum Members are having difficulty using the older Maverick LNB.

Note: An internet connection is not required for this set up except for 2 steps: 1) Downloading the Skylark OS ( Section I - Step 4) , and 2) Connecting to a Local Router as a WiFi Client ( Section IV - Step 3 ).

Section I - Purchase, Unpack, and Assemble

Step 1. The Dreamcatcher v3.05 is not available for purchase, but may be available from some Forum Members.

a. The Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board came with an EDUP USB WiFi dongle (Fig. 1), a F-type female to F-type female Adapter Connector, and a Universal Single LNB (Fig 2).

Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board with Shipped Components

Fig. 1 EDUP USB WiFi Dongle

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Fig. 2 Universal Single LNB - Dual LO: 9750/106000 MHz

b. You don’t need anything else. The Dreamcatcher Board has a permanent 9 inch cable with a male F-type connector at the end to connect to the LNB. You can use the F-type female to F-type female Adapter Connector to connect to a longer cable going to the LNB if you plan remote your LNB.

Step 2 . Purchase the following from an electronics store:

a. 5.1 vdc 2 Amp (or more) Regulated USB Power cube (the voltage and current rating is extremely important ) with a micro USB plug a one end. See Annex A for additional information.

b. Short length (less than 4 feet) high quality USB to micro USB charging/sync cable. See Annex A.

c. High quality fast micro SDHC or SDXC card sized between 4 and 128 GB for the Skylark program - - a micro SD larger than 16 GB is unnecessary and not required, but can be used. See Step 5 below for more information on recommended micro SD cards.

d. If you plan to remotely connect your Dreamcatcher away from you LNB, purchase the required length of low-loss RG6 cable with F-connectors at both ends. (Othernet performed a functional test of all Dreamcatcher Boards with Skylark, WiFi, and reception from a live signal coming through a bare LNB over ten feet of RG-6 and three feet of RG-58. Some users have successfully sited their antennas up to 500 fee t away from the Dreamcatcher.

Step 3. Assemble the equipment.

a. Connect the F-type male LNB connector attached to the Dreamcatcher Board to the female F-type connector on the LNB. You don’t need to be outside pointing to a satellite at this point. If you are using the new Bullseye LNB, connect to the green F-type connector. See Annex F for more information on LNBs.

b. Mount the LNB on some sort of stand or tripod so it points toward the satellite when you take it outside - - see Section III - Acquiring the Satellite for information on how to find the satellite.

c. Plug the WiFi Dongle into the female USB receptacle on the left side of the Dreamcatcher Board.

d. Connect the micro USB charging/sync cable to the USB Power Plug on the lower left side of the Dreamcatcher Board. Wait until Section II to energize the Dreamcatcher.

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Fig. 4 Dreamcatcher v3.05 with Connections Identified Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #1

Step 4. Download the latest version of Skylark 5.8 for Dreamcatcher which is located at Software Downloads It is called skylark-dc-2003041129.img.gz

Unzip the .gz file to an image file with any standard ZIP File program such as 7-Zip available at: https://www.7-zip.org/

Step 5: Make sure you use a high quality fast micro SD card for the Skylark OS. Recommended size is 16GB since the Skylark OS automatically cleans old files, so never fills up. Don’t skimp on quality here, as some users have discovered inexpensive micro SD cards don’t last. Some recommended micro SD cards are: Strontium Nitro 32GB Micro SDHC Memory Card, SanDisk Ultra or Extreme, and Kingston.

When you write the Skylark image on a new micro SD card, the act of writing the image takes care of the partitioning and formatting the card correctly for Skylark. There is no need, ever, to try to partition or format the micro SD card manually, before or after writing an image. In the specific case where the micro SD card already had an older version of Skylark on it, refer to Step 8 below.

Step 6. Write the Skylark image file to a micro SD card with an image writing program such as Etcher (Fig.5) available at: https://www.balena.io/etcher/ which is cross platform compatible or Win32DiskImager (Fig. 6) available at: https://win32diskimager.org/

Fig. 5 Balena Etcher Fig. 6 Win32 Disk Imager

Step 7. Insert the micro SD card with the Dreamcatcher Skylark image into the Dreamcatcher Board’s SD0_OS which is the micro SD card holder half way up on the right side of the board. If you use a computer to look at the micro SD card with its newly written image before you insert it, it will appear to have 1 formatted sector and 2 unformatted sectors.

Step 8. Updating Previous Versions of Skylark - Upgrading to Skylark 5.8 just requires a re-write of the micro SD card if the micro SD card already had an older version of Skylark on it. Writing the new image preserves the old Tuner and Network configurations; and downloaded files. The micro SD card will have 5 partitions on it from the previous install and initialization, however, only 1 will appear formatted. When you insert the micro SD card into some computers, you may get error messages for the 4 unique Skylark partitions which you should ignore, and proceed to re writing the micro SD cards as in Step 6 above.

Optional Step 9. Over the Air (OTA) Update Skylark has a feature to allow older Skylark versions to be updated by a preliminary test for OTA. The procedure is attached to this document as Annex E. It is not being used for Skylark 5.8 but will be in the future. Eventually, it should happen as an automatic satellite download.

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Table of Contents

User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 Running Skylark 5.8 - Revised for Reduced Bandwidth and a New European Satellite
(March 17, 2021) Best Practices from Multiple Forum Members
Compiled by Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

Section II - Energize Dreamcatcher Setup

Step 1. Energize the Dreamcatcher for its first time startup by plugging a 2 Amp (or more) USB power cube into an AC outlet. Don’t forget, if you are using too small a power cube, the board’s lights will blink and look correct, but there won’t be enough power to run the Dreamcatcher WiFi or its satellite receiver correctly. Use a short length USB to micro USB charging/sync cable. Many Forum Members have good performance from IHome, DeWalt and FuseBox cables. See Annex A for more details on Power Cubes and USB Cables.

Step 2. Access the Skylark Program by using your computer operating through its WiFi to connect to the Dreamcatcher’s Othernet WiFi Hotspot also called an Access Point. At this point you can alternatively use a tablet or SMART Phone to continue the setup, but the procedure is illustrated with a Windows computer. Wait no more than 5 minutes for the Skylark program to install itself for the first time so that the WiFi components can become operational.

Step 3. To be able to access the Dreamcatcher’s Othernet WiFi Hotspot, you should be within 10 feet of the Dreamcatcher.

Step 4. Find the Othernet WiFi Hotspot by going to your computer’s WiFi TAB; selecting and connecting to Othernet (Fig. 7). For the rest of the Sections II & III of this procedure, you will be accessing the Dreamcatcher thru this Othernet WiFi Hotspot.

Fig. 7 Finding Othernet WiFi Hotspot on a Windows Computer

Step 5. Wait another 5 minutes before you open your Web Browser for the Skylark Program to finish initialization housekeeping functions. Then type (in the URL TAB) 10.0.0.1 and you will see the Skylark Guest Logon Screen (Fig. 8). Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #2

Fig. 8 Skylark Guest Logon Screen

If you don’t see the Guest Logon screen (Fig. 8) on your computer, or you don’t see an Othernet Hotspot, something is wrong. First thing to check is if the green LED light on the EDUP WiFi dongle is blinking green. In any case, the next step is to power the Dreamcatcher OFF then ON (referred to as a Power Cycle) with 1 minute of rest in between for 4 times. You must be able to connect to the Othernet Hotspot to proceed. If a problem still persists and your Dreamcatcher is power on, do a Factory Reset as described [here](https://www.gamblinfamily.org/dreamcatcher/#What Else Does The PB1 Button Do?) (Section IV - Step 6) using the PB1 Button to perform a Function 3 operation. If this fails to fix the problem, re write the Skylark image to the micro SD card as in Section I Steps 5 - 8. If this still fails to fix the problem, use a new micro SD card and start over again. If you still have no response you may have insufficient power to the Dreamcatcher or a bad Dreamcatcher board.

The Dreamcatcher v3.05 Board has a power button located on the bottom right which you press for 10 seconds to activate a complete shutdown. Do not simply unplug power as that may corrupt the micro SD card.

Unique Problems Encountered After Updating Previous Versions of Skylark

Upgrading to Skylark 5.8 just required a re-write of the micro SD card if the micro SD card already had an older working version of Skylark on it as mentioned in Section I Step 8. Because old session cookies may be retained in your Web Browser, the new version of Skylark may not come up properly the first time you boot the Dreamcatcher. This is caused by old session cookies cached by your Web Browser clashing with the new version of Skylark which doesn’t recognize them. Wait for 2 minutes following the first power on of the Dreamcatcher with the new image while you are looking at your browser, then clear cookies. In most browsers, a Ctrl + F5 will clear site data and cookies. This is the easiest/fastest fix, but a reliable alternative is to Power Cycle the Dreamcatcher by turning it off, then back on. If you use the Ctrl+F5 right after powering it up, Power Cycle (turn on and off) the Dreamcatcher. If it still doesn’t come up, do 4 more Power Cycles.

Sometimes carrying-over old configuration files cause problems. Do a Factory Reset as described [here](https://www.gamblinfamily.org/dreamcatcher/#What Else Does The PB1 Button Do?) (Section IV - Step 6) using the PB1 Button to perform a Function 3 operation. If this fails to fix the problem, re write the Skylark image to the micro SD card as in Section I Steps 5 - 8. If this still fails to fix the problem, use a new micro SD card and start over again.

Step 6. To access all the full administrative features of Skylark, you will need to logon with Username othernet and Password othernet (Fig. 9) - - it is case sensitive. The Guest Logon will not allow you full access to the Network or Tuner Apps.

Fig. 9 Skylark Logon Screen for full feature Administrative Control

Step 7. You will now see the Skylark Welcome Screen (Fig. 10) . When it pops up, you may also hear a bell.

Fig. 10 Skylark Welcome Screen

Step 8. Open the Applications Icon (Fig. 11) on the top left to reveal Skylark Apps (Fig. 12).

Fig. 11 Click on the blue icon to bring up the Applications Icons

Open the Tuner Icon (Fig. 12) to run the Tuner App to begin the satellite setup process.

Fig. 12 Skylark Applications Icons showing Tuner App highlighted

The default tuner screen (Fig. 13) shows Americas with a Frequency of 12.1032 and Beam Type of 164 (Coverage of SES-2 87W is shown in Fig. 18) .

Fig. 13 Tuner Screen

As a result of the reduction in downlink bandwidth in March 2021 and a change in the European Satellite, you must set up your satellite manually in both North America and Europe . After opening the Tuner Icon, select the Satellite TAB and chose Custom. Then select the Custom TAB and enter the announced Freq and Beam Type. In North America on SES-2 (87W) the Frequency is 12.0894 GHz and the Beam Type is 36. In Europe on Eutelsat 8WB (8W) the Frequency is 12.6231 GHz and the Beam Type is 36. Now, you must go back to the Satellite TAB and select APPLY to save the changes…

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After you have sited your LNB as described in Section III , the fun starts to fine tune the satellite frequency which is described in [Section III - - Step 5 ](https://www.gamblinfamily.org/dreamcatcher/#Go back into your Tuner App)

Make sure your LNB TAB has your installed LNB type selected - - either Single or Dual. The Default LNB (Fig. 13b) is the Dual LO: 9750/106000 MHz . The Dreamcatcher v3.05 was shipped with the Othernet Dual Band LNB however, the older LNB (Maverick 1 shipped with the Dreamcatcher v3.03) should be selected as Single LO: 10750 MHz, however some Forum Members have not been able to get it achieve lock with the Maverick LNB .

Fig. 13b Tuner LNB Selections

Tuner Status (Fig. 15) will appear blank when you go to the Status TAB because the LNB has not been pointed toward the satellite to receive a signal.

Fig. 15 Tuner Status TAB – Blank with no Signal

In the Log Viewer App (Fig. 16) there is a TAB called Diagnostics which will confirm in (Fig. 17) at the very bottom of the screen the presence of your Bias-T voltage which powers the LNB.

Fig. 16 Applications Screen showing Log Viewer App-Left (and the Diagnostics TAB-Right)

If you see any Bias-T error messages at the bottom of the TAB in Fig. 17, you have a power problem to address before going any further. Your most likely problem is too small a USB power cube or too thin a USB to micro USB charging cable. Make sure your thin rf cable wire connection between the Dreamcatcher Board and the LNB hasn’t broken under the black wire wrap (do a continuity check on the connectors). This has been reported by some Forum Members.

If everything looks good, shut down the Dreamcatcher. You are now ready to take your device outside and point it toward the satellite.

Fig. 17 Diagnostics Showing Normal Bias-T Operation

Satellite Footprints

Fig. 18 Americas SES-2 (87W) Ku-band Fig. 19 Eutelsat 8WB (8W) Europe Ku-band

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User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 Running Skylark 5.8 - Revised for Reduced Bandwidth and a New European Satellite
(March 17, 2021) Best Practices from Multiple Forum Members
Compiled by Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

Section III - Acquiring the Satellite

Step 1. Power up the Dreamcatcher/LNB outside, and point to the satellite. In North America, Othernet is on SES-2 on their Ku-band North America Beam (87W), and in Europe after March 2021 is on Eutelsat 8WB (8W) Ku-band Europe .

Fig. 20 Locating SES-2 in Washington , DC

Step 2. Based on where you are, find your elevation angle, skew, and magnetic azimuth from a site such as http://www.dishpointer.com (Fig. 20). For your first satellite acquisition effort, select a location with a clear unobstructed view of the equatorial sky . (Later, once you confirm your system is working, you can try to find a better more permanent location. Many people are able to operate thru windows or off balconies with partially obstructed views. )

Example: For Washington , DC , mount the LNB on a camera tripod with the appropriate skew angle set to 12.1 degrees clockwise (more on skew below). Using a magnetic compass chose the Azimuth (magnetic.) to get a sight line on close in objects which you can use to point your LNB towards the satellite at 206.4 degrees magnetic. If you use a cellular phone, you may have to use Azimuth (true) to get a sight line.

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Using an Adjustable Sliding Bevel and a carpenter’s level to get a precise elevation angle (EA) of 43.8 degrees for Washington, DC, set on the LNB, I do the following: In the picture below, the obtuse angle inside the Adjustable Sliding Bevel is 180 degrees - EA degrees or 180 - 43.8 = 136.2 degrees with the vertical side of the Adjustable Sliding Bevel perfectly perpendicular to the ground. If you were in Churchill , Manitoba , Canada , with an EA of 23 degrees, the obtuse angle would be 180 - 23 = 157 degrees.

Skew allows you to match your LNB’s horizontal/vertical orientation with the satellite’s horizontal/vertical orientation to maximize signal strength.

When you set the skew, make sure you rotate the LNB so that skew angle is pointed directly overhead. Skew is given in degrees either clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW). If the reported LNB Skew direction for your location is shown clockwise, you stand behind the LNB looking at the satellite and rotate the LNB clockwise until you arrive at that number. For Washington , DC , you set the skew to 12.1 degrees by turning the LNB in a clockwise direction. Viewing the same satellite on the same longitude, but from South of the equator, result in an opposite rotation skew angle.

Skews less than 10 degrees CW or CCW don’t make much difference, but if you live on the far edge of a satellite beam, skews may approach 30 degrees which is significant. Use the Skew for your location that http://www.dishpointer.com provides.

Step 3. Forum Member @Tysonpower has developed an App called Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams Fig. 21 that is available at @Tysonpower’s web site Satellite Calculator by Tynet.eu or in thr Othernet downloads:////Apps Folder Fig. 22. It is written as an HTML file and will run in Skylark as a native html program (whether you are connected to a satellite or not) and any other Java equipped computer. You can download it to your computer and save it to run later. After you select the satellite you want to find, you insert your Latitude in digital degrees and your Longitude in digital degrees (making sure if you are in a West Longitude you enter a minus sign). It will report back your magnetic heading , elevation, and skew. Currently North America SES-2 (87W) is set as Americas, but the EU satellite (Eutelsat 8WB) has not been added - - it is still the older EU satellite. It is being updated.

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Fig. 21 Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams
Note: Currently Europe is set to the old Satellite

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Fig. 22 File Manager Location to find Satellite Calculator for Othernet Beams App

Step 4. Go back into your Tuner App from your computer’s WiFi which will be connected through the Dreamcatcher’s Othernet WiFi Hotspot, and select the Status TAB . You should see information in the Status TAB as in Fig. 23 if you are correctly pointed at the satellite and everything is working. If you are not receiving packets or your Bias-T voltage is not present, the Status TAB will be empty as in Fig. 15. Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #3

Step 5. Selecting and Fine Tuning the Correct Operating Frequency in North America and Europe.

Here’s where it gets a bit difficult if the Bias-T voltage is OK and you sited your LNB correctly. Because Othernet is now using a narrower bandwidth (reduced from 800kHz to 200 kHz), it is more difficult to select the correct operating frequency for each LNB since they all respond a little differently and some, like the Maverick, do not have sufficient oscillator stability. Even if you correctly site your antenna, you may not be able to receive until you fine tune the Dreamcatcher’s operating frequency. It is also possible that you have not sited your LNB correctly, so triple check that first.

Go to the Status TAB Fig. 23 and see what you have, then perform this very important routine if it is still blank.

Just keep in mind that even on paper, the packets won’t appear with an offset greater than 25% (50 kHz). So far we’ve noticed that 25 kHz of offset is a pretty reliable window, but your mileage may vary. It is said the Maverick will work - - but some Forum Members have been unable to achieve lock with it . The offset is probably just much farther out. Please keep in mind that most commercially available DTH LNBs are specified to a 1,000,000 Hz offset (aka +/- 1000 kHz).

The Maverick was issued with Dreamcatcher 3.02Q, one of the first units we were using on the KU band. It has a stability of ± 1Mhz. With the Dual LO Single LNB, issued with Dreamcatcher 3.05, the stability is ± 200 Khz. With Bullseye LNB (soon to be released with a new Dreamcatcher Version), it is ± 10 Khz that operates as a Dual LO: 9750/106000 MHz .

In Step 5a below, the fine tuning process has been automated If you want to perform the fine tuning manually, read Optional Step 5b.

Step 5a. Automated Process Forum member @Tysonpower has also developed an App for Skylark to auto tune your LNB shown in Fig. 21a. You can download it from @Tysonpower 's web site DC3 Frequency Finder It will soon be in the downloads:////Apps Folder . Make sure to use the values shown below the image in the Figure name. The values for Europe in the App are wrong. An older Tuner App called DC3_freq_finder_1.1.html appears in the downloads:////Apps Folder but is soon to be replaced.


Fig. 21a Frequency Finder App Version 1.11
In North America on SES-2 Freq is 12.0894 GHz & Beam Type is 36
In Europe on Eutelsat 8WB Freq is 12.6231 GHz & Beam Type is 36
Note: Use these values, the App itself has older values for Europe showing

If you chose not to run the APP from downloads:////Apps Folder or it hasn’t downloaded yet, install the APP in your Skylark program. You must use log on Othernet (Guest won’t work) and upload it from your computer to your Skylark Program micro SD card or external micro SD card. Keep in mind if you upload the file into the home:///directory , it gets deleted when you reboot your Dreamcatcher so you would have to reinstall it. If you have external storage, upload it there to keep it permanent. When you run it, it takes some time to complete, so watch its status timer.

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You will need to find the file to upload on your computer after you click the Upload TAB

Optional Step 5b . Manual Process With no reception shown and being correctly pointed to the satellite, go back to the Custom TAB and increment the frequency by 5,000 Hz (.000005 GHz) or 10,000 Hz (.00001 GHz) - - then go back to the Satellite TAB and click APPLY. There is no need to close the Tuner Icon and reopen it even thou the Freq shown in the Satellite TAB will not have changed - - the Tuner will have retuned. Go to the Status TAB to see if you are receiving. If not, add another 5,000 Hz (which is .000005 GHz)

For example, on the North American satellite SES-2 starting at 12.0894 GHz, the frequency was incremented19 times by 5,000 Hz = 95,000 Hz to get some sort of Status. Your Custom Freq setting would now be 12,089,400,000 Hz plus 95,000 Hz or 12.089495 GHz added in increments of 5,000 Hz. Be PATIENT!

image\ 252x53

As you approach the optimum Freq, your flashing Status Screen will start showing no Lock with fluctuating SNRs and Rssi (or maybe going in and out of Lock). When you get consistent Lock, take a look at the Freq Offset (Hz)

In this example, we started at 12.0894 GHz and got Lock at 12.089495 GHz after 19 trys. The Freq Offset (Hz) shown above requires adding another 15,193 Hz more to this 12,089,495,000 Hz to get a final Freq setting of (12.089495 GHz + .000015193 GHz) = 12.089510193 GHz which will have the least Freq Offset (Hz). It is 12.089510193 we would enter in the Custom TAB now - then click APPLY in the Satellite TAB. If the Freq Offfset (Hz) was negative, you would subtract it. Keep in mind we added almost 100 kHz to our LNB Frequency to get a good link!

Step 5c. Once you have set the Dreamcatcher’s operating frequency correctly, Slowly physically move your LNB to maximize the SNR (dB) making it as large (less negative) as possible.

Step 5d. The Tuner Status screen in Fig. 23 will show the SNR (dB) line fluctuating at a value above -14 dB (sometimes as high as + 10 dB), the Lock line saying yes , and the Rssi (dBm) line fluctuating at a value between -60 and -95 dBm. Lower Rssi levels such as -100 dBm may carry signal, but the Dreamcatcher is not sensitive enough below -95 dBm. On the top of the Tuner Status Screen, you will see what type file is being downloaded at that moment - - either audio or files . At the very bottom of the screen you will see what file is being downloaded or just finished downloading at any time. This picture represents a successful connection at latitude 39 deg N longitude 76 deg W in mid afternoon with an accurately pointed LNB, and a fine tuned LNB Additionally, LED 6 will be fast blinking dim green if data packets are detected.

Fig. 23 Tuner Running Correctly on SES-2 at Latitude 39 degrees N

Step 6. Dreamcatcher Placement

In your final setup, it is recommended to place your Dreamcatcher a few feet away from any RF generating sources (good example being a WiFi Access Point). Degraded download performance and system lock-ups have been reported when the Dreamcatcher was located too close to a WiFi Access Point. In some situations, AC power pick-up on the charging cable has caused problems. AC pick up problems can be reduced by using a ferrous choke around your power cord. One method of determining interference problems after you have acquired satellite access, is to look at the % valid packets and packet rate shown in Fig. 23. It should show close to 100% Valid packets , with a Bitrate (bps) approximately 2,500 in North America on SES-2 (87W), and in Europe on Eutelsat 8WB (8W).

Optional Step 7. Cones and Horns to Improve SNR

Several users living on the fringe of SES-2’s and Eutelsat’s ERIP area have discovered using a cone or horn around the LNB improves SNR by as much as 6 dB in some cases being the only way to close the link. The cones and horns being used are 8 inches tall with an upper diameter of 4 inches (either in diameter, or 4 inches by 4 inches square), and a lower diameter of 2 inches (either in diameter, or 2 inches by 2 inches square). Both martini shakers, collapsible stainless steel drinking cups, and solid aluminum or garden mesh wires are being effectively used. Pringles potato chips tubes (which are aluminum lined) also work well and allow you a snack while sighting your LNB. Check Annex C by @wbrown for more detailed design information.

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Optional Step 8. Connect your Dreamcatcher to an outside free-to-air (FTA) Ku-Band LNB/dish antenna using the Othernet Dual Band LNB. The Dreamcatcher Board is powerful enough to operate at least to 400 feet of RG6 cable - maybe more! The only caveat is you cannot use a DiSEqC switch in series with your outside LNB/dish. Depending on the length of your cable, you may not be able to use a standard FTA antenna motor such as a STAB-HH90 or Sadoun DG-280. Some Forum Members have successfully used the STAB-HH90 at 125 feet.

Many use a Pico Digital LA-2150D Series Satellite IF Inline Amplifier which adds 20 dB of additional signal gain and significantly improves SNR. If you are running longer stretches of 75 ohm cable, this is a way of accommodating loss.

If you chose to use the Maverick LNB as your FTA LNB, your FTA must be tuned to 9750 - 10750. If you chose to use the Othernet Dual Band LNB as your FTA LNB, your FTA must be tuned to 9750 - 10600. Many stock FTA LNBs work with Skylark using the Tuner Setting for the Maverick LNB, but Forum Members have experienced some difficulties achieving lock with them.

There is a comprehensive discussion in Will Brown’s paper (Annex C) discussing the use of old Dish and Direct TV LNBs/parabolic dishes, and Circularly Polarized LNBs.

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User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 Running Skylark 5.8 - Revised for Reduced Bandwidth and a New European Satellite
(March 17, 2021) Best Practices from Multiple Forum Members
Compiled by Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

Section IV - Connecting the Dreamcatcher to Your Local Router by WiFi as a Client

In order to use the Network App, you must use logon Othernet

Step 1. On the Applications Screen (Fig. 24), open the Network Icon to run the Network App.

Fig. 24 Applications Icons showing Network App

Step 2. The default Network Screen (Fig. 25) is set to Create a Hotspot called othernet with no password.

Fig. 25 Default Network Screen

Step 3. Open the WiFi Client TAB (Fig. 26), and fill in your Access Point Name and Password. You cannot connect to a WiFi Client network that does not broadcast a SSID, but you can connect to a WiFi Client network with complex (8 or more element passwords such as [email protected]). Your network must be connected to the internet to perform this this step. A word of caution here because once your Dreamcatcher is connected to the internet, it reports back to Othernet’s Chicago , Illinois , USA , headquarters its location. If stealth is required in your country, do not perform this step. If you still want to connect your Dreamcatcher to you local network, block the outgoing signal in your router. Different routers have methods of doing that.

Fig. 26 WiFi Client Screen

After entering your Access Point Name and Password, go back to the Network Mode TAB (Fig. 27) and select Connect to a WiFi router. Then Click Apply and Reboot. At this time you will lose the WiFi connection between your computer and Othernet’s WiFi Hotspot as the Dreamcatcher connects to your local WiFi as a client, and gets assigned an IP address by your router. Sometimes it could take up to 2 or 3 minutes for the changes to load, so be patient. If you mistype your Access Point Name or Password, the Dreamcatcher will connect, but you won’t see it when you try to access it as in Step 4 below. To regain access to the Dreamcatcher, proceed as in Step 6 below to go back to the Hotspot mode, then redo this step.

Fig. 27 Network Mode TAB ready to Connect to a WiFi router instead of Create a hotspot
Click Apply and Reboot

Keep in mind that when connected to a WiFi router, reconnecting to it after a power failure presents a unique problem - - the reason is most Routers take longer to boot up than the Dreamcatcher. As a result, the Dreamcatcher is trying to reconnect to the Router before the Router is ready to accept a connection and assign a Client IP address. The Dreamcatcher must be the last device to power up after a power failure.

Step 4. You will be connected to Dreamcatcher’s Skylark Program through your local WiFi from your router. You can go to any computer on your router’s network, and use any Web Browser to access Skylark through its newly assigned IP address, or by typing my.othernet.is (which requires an internet connection to work). If you cannot find the Dreamcatcher’s IP address using your router or my.othernet.is , suggest you use a shareware program such as Angry IP Scanner (https://angryip.org) (Fig. 27a) for Windows, MAC, and Linux; or Advanced IP Scanner (https://advanced-ip-scanner.com) . Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #5

If for some reason, your Dreamcatcher did not get assigned an IP address on your Client Network, the application of the Connect to a WiFi router command may have failed . Power Cycle the Dreamcatcher 3 or 4 times. If you still don’t get an IP address assigned, return to the AP Hotspot mode as in Step 6 below, and start over with Section IV Step 1.

Fig. 27a Angry IP Scanner Results
Showing the New IP Address for
Dreamcatcher as 192.168.0.230

Another update implemented in Skylark 5.5 was that of receiver IP lookup. For those on Linux, Android, MacOS or iOS, you should also be able to access the receiver on you LAN by going to http://othernet.local For Windows users, this may work if you already have Bonjour Services installed; if not, Bonjour Services can be installed using this installer from Apple at: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL999?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Step 5. Changing the administrator user password and the othernet WiFi HotSpot password is sometimes required if you are sharing your Client connection, and don’t want anyone to gain administrative access to your Skylark program or connect to your Dreamcatcher.

Administrator Password Change Go back to the Network Mode TAB and enter a new password as shown in Fig. 29. Once the password is changed, everywhere where you had entered “othernet” as a password, you will use the newly established password a*3Bx54 Once changed and Applied and Rebooted , the new password will not show up in that block but it has been changed. If you want to change it again, redo this step.

Fig. 29 Network Mode TAB Showing Method for Changing Othernet Admin Logon Password
Click Apply and Reboot when Finished

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Fig. 29a Network Mode TAB Showing Method for
Changing Othernet Hotspot Password
Click Apply and Reboot when Finished

Othernet WiFi HotSpot Password Change If you want to protect your WiFi HotSpot of the Dreamcatcher, add a password *usY23RR to protect it by going to the Hotspot Config TAB (Fig. 29a). Don’t forget to go back to the Network Mode TAB to click APPLY.

Step 6. The Dreamcatcher v3.05 has an important new process using the PB1 Button to return to the Hotspot mode after you leave a network. Looking at the Dreamcatcher board pictured on the next page - - to enable a return to the AP Mode, press PB1 once. LED 1 will light solid green. After about 7 seconds, all the LEDs will glow solid and the Dreamcatcher will reboot into the AP Mode . This function is important if you leave a network and have to reenter a new network name and password, or if you incorrectly entered your own network information. After you initiate this option, you must completely restart Section IV from the Othernet WiFi Hotspot , and reconnect to your local router by WiFi as a Client. Make sure your satellite and LNB selections did not change - - they should remain the same. Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #6

What Else Does The PB1 Button Do? You do not push the Power On/Off Button at all when using the PB1 Button. The PB1 Button cycles thru three Functions (which used to be selectable on the Touch Screen on the Dreamcatcher v3.02Q and V3.03) selecting the one of your choice rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode each time.

Function 1: Switches the Dreamcatcher to the AP mode and Reboots into the AP mode.

Function 2: Resets the configuration - - any WiFi configurations, AP/STA mode settings, hostname changes, password changes, beam selection, custom beam settings, LNB selection - all of that. BUT it does not clear downloaded files from storage. Then it Reboots into the AP mode.

Function 3: Does everything Function 2 does, plus it clears all downloaded files as well. This is a FACTORY RESET. Then it Reboots into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 exactly once, LED1 turns on and flashes a “1” pattern: Long green, long green, then repeating. This action selects Function 1 rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a second time within about 7 seconds of the first press), LED1 now flashes a “2” pattern: Long green, short green, long green then repeating. This action selects Function 2 resetting and rebooting the Dreamcatcher into the AP mode.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a third time within about 7 seconds of the second press), LED1 now flashes a “3” pattern: Long green, short green, short green, long green, then repeating. This action selects Function 3 resetting and clearing all the downloaded files; and rebooting the AP mode. This is a FACTORY RESET.

  • If you press PB1 again (for a fourth within about 7 seconds of the third press), the LED1 turns off and selects NO FUNCTIONS . This gives you a way to cancel out of selecting one of the functions.

  • When LED1 is flashing functions 1, 2 or 3, and you do not press PB1 within 7 seconds, that specific function takes effect. Only 4 quick pushes in the 7 second window cancels out a Function.

Properly connected and operating, the Dreamcatcher v3.05 with an external micro SD card installed, will display the following LEDs
Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #4

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Step 7. In some installations, a WiFi repeater is desirable. Most Dreamcatcher installations can reliably connect with your existing WiFi device to your router, however, low WiFi signal levels do cause unexpected disconnects requiring you to manually reboot the Dreamcatcher. Many users install their Othernet gear outside their residence in open area such as gazebos, decks, sheds, garages, etc. In these situation a WiFi repeater assures reliability of Othernet reception. Install the repeater as far as possible from your WiFi , and as close as possible to your Dreamcatcher .

Step 8. Alternate Connectivity Approach is to use a USB to Ethernet Network Adapter instead of going through the Othernet WiFi Hotspot or Network Client approach. Be careful, NOT ALL USB to Ethernet Network Adapters work both natively under Skylark and Armbian. Specifically a TP-Link TL-UE300 works properly.

This Ethernet Dongle is natively supported, so works out of the box. Just replace the EDUP WiFi Dongle (Fig. 1) with the Ethernet Dongle. Make sure you set Skylark to run in the default WiFi Hotspot mode . The downside of this approach is you need to determine the actual IP address as in Section IV Step 4 using your router or another program.

Step 9. Calls The apps, when they make a “call” to the Skylark server over WiFi, show a rotating “progress bar” indicator of sorts. They vanish when the call successfully complete. Tuner app, for example, makes this call about once every second. The Wikipedia app makes it only once, when you open the app. The Log Viewer app makes it every time you click on a label in the left column.

Sometimes while this call is being made, we may experience a temporary connection loss over WiFi. That causes the call to fail, and the “rotating plus” associated with that call just hangs around. Meanwhile, an app like the Tuner app might give up on the failed call, and initiate another one. Every time this failure happens you accumulate another “rotating plus”.

These are really just showing failed calls. If too many of them are accumulating, you should check you WiFi signal. If you only see them accumulate every once in a while, the easiest way to clean them up is logout and log back in. They serve as a kind of record of WiFi connectivity loss.

Optional Step 10. Forum Members also use Port Forwarding options on their network routers to be able to see the Dreamcatcher remotely. To be able to grant full access to all of Skylark’s functions, you will need to Port Forward two different ports illustrated by an Asus RT-AC68U router. Port 80 gives access to the Skylark screen, and port 8090 gives access to Skylark’s Radio. This is how I am able to view my Dreamcatcher from remote computers away from home. Not all internet providers allow Port Forwarding, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) don’t always Port Forward, and older routers do not always have a Port Forwarding option. I use an Asus RT-AC68U connected to my internet provider and port forward my Othernet terminal. I feed a second Asus RT-AC68U (daisy chained) to provide VPN protection for the rest of my network.

Step 11. Dreamcatcher Reporting Status to Headquarters The Skylark program has a function that reports your Dreamcatcher’s data back to Othernet. Once your Dreamcatcher is running and connected to your local area network, Skylark reports the program’s “heartbeat” via the internet (if you have an internet connection) to Othernet’s Chicago, Illinois, USA, headquarters on a world map with colored balloons. The status screen can be viewed at https://status.othernet.is and is shown here in Fig. 25c. You can scroll in and out with your mouse wheel and move the map around by clicking on it and moving your mouse. This reporting amounts to about 1.6 MB/day of data. This reporting amounts to about 1.6 MB/day of data. It cannot be disabled in Skylark, but if you want to block it with your router or a Pi Hole, look for telemetry.othernet.is, and block it. This may be a Stealth Issue in your country.

Fig. 25c Dreamcatcher Report Back

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User’s Guide to Setting Up and Using Othernet Dreamcatcher v3.05 Running Skylark 5.8 - Revised for Reduced Bandwidth and a New European Satellite
(March 17, 2021) Best Practices from Multiple Forum Members
Compiled by Ken Barbi @kenbarbi

Section VI – Printing and Othernet Satellite Radio

Step 1. Printing frames from the Skylark data is possible if you use a Firefox Browser . MS Explorer, Opera, and Chrome don’t work properly in the Windows world. The technique is very simple. Right click on the frame you want to print, as in Fig. 36, select This Frame to pop up the Print Frame drop down, and then select Print Frame . It will print fully in as many pages that are necessary.

Fig. 36 Printing Frames Using Firefox Browser

Step 2. Othernet Satellite Radio is available by either use of the native Skylark App, or plugging a standard 3.5 mm stereo speaker into the speaker output plug on the Dreamcatcher Board. Audio is not stored in Skylark - - it is a live event. Othernet Satellite Radio is broadcasting continuous Voice of America (VOA) News at this time. If new content is added, it is reported on the Forum at https://forums.othernet.is

Method 1 - - Native audio/sound is found in the Radio App shown in Fig. 37.

Fig. 37 Radio Application Icon

Fig. 38 Radio Icon Screen with MP3 Player selected for listening to Othernet Satellite Radio

Play Othernet Satellite Radio directly here by clicking on the “play bar” shown in Fig. 38, or select Othernet Satellite Radio and open it in a new browser window. You can also run it with VLC (https://www.videolan.org/vlc/) RealPlayer or Windows Media Player if you copy your network URL to the player.

Method 2 - - Use of a speaker plugged into the standard 3.5 mm stereo output plug. Some users connect the speaker output to an FM Player Transmitter so they can tune to Othernet Satellite Radio on a standard FM radio. If you use a device that requires external power from a USB cord, make sure to power it from a separate power source. The Dreamcatcher power budget cannot support it.

FM Player Transmitter

Step 3. Increasing the Volume of the Othernet Satellite Radio can be accomplished “on the fly” with a software modification to Skylark that only remains in effect as long as you do not reboot the Dreamcatcher. This change will have no effect on the Native audio/sound mentioned in Method 1. Look at Annex D for v3.03 differences #7

To make this adjustment use a program like PuTTY (available from https://putty.org) to gain access to Skylark through its Secure Socket Shell (SSH) by entering your IP Client address (192.168.1.213 in this example) into PuTTY. You can do this from an Othernet WiFi Hotpot if that’s how you are connected, or as a Client in this example.

Logon with Password: othernet (Or your changed password done in Section IV - Step 5.)
Then type sudo alsamixer
Then enter Password: othernet (Or your changed password done in Section IV - Step 5.)

The following control screen appears - - with in red as the default.

Using your computer keyboard’s right arrow key, cursor to the right until the bottom label on second vertical bar turns red and appears - -

Using the UP arrow, move the green bar up to increase the volume from -24 dB (default) - - up to -6 dB or what you like.

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