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  1. #1
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    Default Outernet - FREE Satellite Filecast Service

    I've been playing with Outernet and I think it's pretty interesting.

    Outernet is a FREE L band Satellite Filecast service that runs on Inmarsat's satellites

    To get up and running on outernet all you need is their $79 kit http://store.outernet.is/products/de...nt=26966503113

    Or you can put one together with the following parts:

    $30 L Band Patch antenna http://store.outernet.is/products/ou...h-antenna-rhcp
    $25 LNA https://www.amazon.com/Outernet-Inma...K2BTAPKJP4TXYS
    $20 RTL-SDR https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-...eywords=rtlsdr Will need to enable the Bias T for the LNA to work
    $9 C.H.I.P. SBC https://getchip.com/pages/chip or the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 https://www.amazon.com/Raspberry-Pi-...raspberry+pi+3

    Forum Link https://discuss.outernet.is/

    Once you have your receiver up and running you simply leave it on all day and it will automatically download new data. The power requirements are minimal just a few watts

    If you have trouble finding the satellite to get a good signal, there is an android App that will help you find the bird in the sky https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...dreality&hl=en

    It's not the fastest service, running at 2000bps, think of a 1980 2400 baud dial-up modem for a speed comparison.......SLOOOOOOOOWWWWWW, but it's free and with the content delivered it doesn't have to be fast.

    So far I've found the weather information on Outercast alone worth having, it will download GRIB weather files and then has a very nice google earth overlay in which it shows global weather patterns from the downloaded GRIB files.





    Outernet also has a news section and a section where it re-transmits APRS messages from the ISS Digipeater. So if you can hit the ISS you can get a message to anyone globally on outernet

    You can even submit files (under 10kb) to outernet that will then be downloaded worldwide to everyone on outernet. https://outernet.is/filecast-center/

    Thought I pass along this info to y'all, here is the link to the setup manual https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...ual+v03.00.pdf

    And below is a video going over an Outernet setup

    Last edited by Tdale; 11-29-2016 at 01:00 PM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  2. #2
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    Another set-up video for those interested in the project

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  3. #3
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    Interesting. The APRS aspect even more so. I haven't used it n several years. Need to get that started back up this winter and see what's gong on locally.

    TDale, do you run APRS on 2M or HF? Ever use Winlink 2000?
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacpacker1513 View Post
    Interesting. The APRS aspect even more so. I haven't used it n several years. Need to get that started back up this winter and see what's gong on locally.

    TDale, do you run APRS on 2M or HF? Ever use Winlink 2000?
    I usually run APRS on 2M on my HT (144.390Mhz for those wondering the Freq) The FT2D makes APRS very easy

    I've run Winlink in the past, but haven't used it for quite some time now, don't even know if my account is till active (I remember Winlink being a use or lose account). I guess I should check on it and re-activate my account
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  5. #5
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    I have a Kenwood D-7 and D-700's I used for APRS, again makes it very easy. And I think you are right about Winlink being a use or lose system. I'm sure mine has lapsed as well.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacpacker1513 View Post
    I have a Kenwood D-7 and D-700's I used for APRS, again makes it very easy. And I think you are right about Winlink being a use or lose system. I'm sure mine has lapsed as well.
    While I've been mostly focused on the weather portion of Outernet APRS seems to be a growing part of Outernet

    Bob Bruninga, the guy who invented APRS, is now on outernet and is a driving force for APRS deployment on Outernet

    He goes over how APRS is being implemented on Outernet much better than I could

    http://aprs.org/outnet.html

    It's a good read if you want to get into Global APRS via satellite
    Last edited by Tdale; 11-29-2016 at 02:20 PM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  7. #7
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    Good link to see what the outernet weather data looks like

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren...0.90,36.27,634

    Click on the word "earth" on the bottom left to access the menu, it's a very nice weather platform
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  8. #8
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    Update on the Outernet

    I'm still running it in a mobile set-up, Soon I'll permanently install it

    With the C.H.I.P. SBC (Single Board Computer) It runs at about 3.5 watts/hr (84 watts a day) , this is total consumption for the entire outernet system including the Antenna, the Amplifier, the RTL-SDR receiver, and the C.H.I.P. running a wifi hotspot for access to the Outernet data

    I'm testing out the C.H.I.P. SBC in place of the Raspberry Pi 3 because it uses much less power than the Raspberry Pi 3.

    I'm going for an off grid EMCOMM type setup, I'll use outernet for getting high quality weather data in an emergency, the Pi 3 is vastly more powerful but so far I've not seen a need for that extra power, I'll keep monitoring the set-up with the C.H.I.P. because if the S ever HTF it will be easier to keep this going with the C.H.I.P. SBC due to the much lower power requirements.

    With the Raspberry Pi 3 it was running about 6 watts/hr (144 watts a day) so going with C.H.I.P. saves me 60 watts a day in power consumption, this is rather significant when powering off a small solar setup

    Power consumption with the C.H.I.P. SBC



    The Antenna on a small tripod out front



    The Patch Antenna, Low Noise Amplifier, RTL-SDR, and C.H.I.P. Single Board Computer



    SNR is running over 8dB






    The entire Outernet kit (Antenna, LNA, RTL-SDR, and C.H.I.P. SBC) is only $79 http://store.outernet.is/products/de...nt=26966503113
    Last edited by Tdale; 11-29-2016 at 08:37 AM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  9. #9
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    You just wrinkled my brain man. So the kit is all you need? Or do you have to have a radio as well?
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak474u View Post
    You just wrinkled my brain man. So the kit is all you need? Or do you have to have a radio as well?
    The $79 kit is all you need...........Well you'll also need a USB power source to power the whole thing and you'll also need a clear view of the southern sky.

    A regular micro USB cellphone charger works to power the system.

    You access the Outernet over wifi.

    The C.H.I.P. SBC (Or Raspberry Pi 3 if you go that route) will act as a wifi hotspot, you simply connect to the hotspot with a computer, a tablet, or your cellphone, then you go to the Local "my.outernet.is" Webapp (which is 100% hosted on the C.H.I.P. SBC) to access the data that is downloaded over the outernet satellite filecast system

    It's all very simple to set-up as the kit comes pre-configured

    And as a bonus the RTL-SDR that comes with the kit is the new RTL-SDR V3 dongle http://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/ so when you're not using it for Outernet you can disconnect it from the LNA and use it with a regular antenna and use HDSDR or SDR# to receive other radio transmissions, it's a very versatile Software Defined Radio that will receive from 500 kHz to 1.7 GHz and has up to 3.2 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth.

    You can set-up a virtual aircraft radar by monitoring ADS-B signals at 1090mHz, you can monitor local HAM repeaters, NOAA weather Radio, FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, Shortwave, FM, local PD, if you use DSD+ you can even decode digital radio like P25, NXDN, D-Star, C4FM, (It's takes two RTL-SDR's to monitor a trunked radio system, but it's definitely possible)

    The list goes on and on, these little RTL-SDR's are amazing.

    SDR# http://airspy.com/download/
    HDSDR http://www.hdsdr.de/index.html
    DSD+ http://wiki.radioreference.com/index...tware_package)

    +++EDIT+++

    Thought I should include this for anyone interested in setting up their own outernet system

    It takes 12 to 24 hours for the system to download the app files and the initial weather data. I was worried the first day that it wasn't working properly. I could see I had a good SNR at 8dB (anything over 3dB is good) but I could not pull up the weather map. I could see the GRIB weather files being downloaded, but no nice global mapping program to show the weather.

    What I found out is that the outernet system has to download it's apps and updates over the satellite, so it's a little slow to get all the initial apps up and running.....just give it 24 hours to download the initial files and you should be up and running

    This whole thing is a work in progress and Outernet is still trying to figure out what content should be delivered. It's mostly HAMs on Outernet, so it seems that HAM's will have a large say in the future direction of outernet. The ISS APRS back-channel messages being rebroadcast on outernet is an example of HAM's influence on the project. I think there are some plans to further implement APRS messaging on Outernet.

    One change recently announced is that they have decided that Outernet will only use the L band going forward. Outernet used to transmit on the Ku band as well but going forward Outernet will be L Band only, this is good for us as DIY people. The L band patch antennas are small, inexpensive, and very easy to aim with 40 degrees of coverage.....so no need for a Ku band 3' dish aimed with sniper like accuracy.
    Last edited by Tdale; 11-29-2016 at 02:19 PM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

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