L-Band Outernet is gone. So if you don’t have a DreamCatcher 3.02Q or 3.03 board with a Marverick MK1-PLL LNB, you need new receive hardware.
Second, Outernet is only currently broadcasting in the United States. It’s quite possible that new services will be available. We’ll have to wait for those announcements.
Correct. No L-band Outernet data broadcast.
The DreamCatcher 3.XX platform is working just fine. It does download news articles, Wikipedia articles, weather, etc. As far as I can tell, the hardware platform is not “soon-to-be obsolete” The change between the 3.02Q and 3.03 boards was extremely minor. Both of them work fine. The hardware appears to be stable.
So is Outernet still plug and play? Of course it is.
Is your TV “broken” if Netflix does not work? Of course not.
So what’s my rant about? (for the benefit of people reading this thread).
Using an Application Programming Interface (API), I’m trying to read APRS messages that come down as part of the Outernet data broadcast. APRS is a ham radio protocol that relays messages, location infomation, weather information, telemetry, etc. I’m using an external computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc.) to make sense or interpret that data using a very new language called Node-RED. Node-RED on the top layer is a language that allows people to build software graphically like clicking together Legos. I have already used Node-RED to report my DreamCatcher’s status via twitter. It works like a charm.
So what’s my point?
My rant about APRS not working correctly is about a relatively small oversight – There is no timestamp data associated with a received APRS message when using the /DIRECT/getAPRS API. So if you parse through the data that’s in the DreamCatcher’s database you could run into old data and accidentally present it as current information. I have no idea if a weather station reporting heavy storm conditions is current or weeks old. I don’t know if the location sent from my Son’s vehicle in the depths of a deep Washington forest is current or from weeks ago when he was out there camping. I have no idea if the message sent to me saying “No worries - all good” is current. A time stamp is essential.
I’m trying to get the API fixed so that much more functionality can be added to Outernet by the tinkers, hackers and programmers.
Bugs and imperfections are unfortunately the nature of software and firmware. Tinkers, hackers and programmers are rarely ever finished. This is how bugs are fixed and new features are added. It’s actually a large part of my enjoyment of Outernet is being able to improve what’s there and create more functionality.
No worries, your DreamCatcher will work just fine without APRS being honed to perfection.