Hello to all, I'm an electronics
engeneer working exclusively with marine
instruments, on youtube channel ElectronicMarine you'll find part of the instruments repair I'm doing and tips and tricks- just to present myself.
I'll try to make somme light on what's going on with Outernet:
Outernet is born as a solution to deliver part of the internet archives
in remonte places of the world (like books
, wikipedia ecc)and world wide news ecc, as someone mentioned it uses Inmarsat geostationary satellites on L band and transmits (for now) at aprox 90kb/sec (that's still faster than somme wheatherfax on ssb). This slow speed make the reception
possible with inexpensive equipament (like a usb rtl-sdr dongle-born as a tv tunner) and Lband antennas like the ones Inmarsat uses for part of the services provided. The whole system funcion like this: you have to have a computer with the outernet software
installed that always stay on and recive the data, this files get stored on an local drive and they are availeble either from a device conected wifi
or directly on the computer. There are somme small computers
like raspbery pi and chip (low power boards that work like a real computer) that can be used as main reciving system...
now from october 13-2016 they started to send the grib files and pictures Outernet Weather Updates Now Coming Down - rtl-sdr.com
Now let's talk about the service
: THE SERVICE IS FREE FOREVER
From a sailor's point of view the only problem is reciving the signal with the boat in movement (on ground or with the boat stayng still there is no problem reciving with a patch antenna).
The costs of the reciving systems are: if you buy one of them boxes 100usd aprox, if you build a diy system around 50-60 usd.. not counting the antenna
THE CHALLENGING PART is to make an antenna that can and will recieve the signal with the boat in movement, make the whole system in the way that is drawing power as low as possible, while recieving, and last but not liest make it waterproof and EASY INSTALL that way annyone can install it with no problems onboard.
The past days I'm gathering pieces and setup test ambients to make an omnidirectional antenna suitable for recieving outernet.
Since is working on relatively high frecvencyes i had to rent somme pieces of test equipament nedded for testing and building such antenna and still waiting for couple of bit and pieces for the antenna.
I'll keep you posted on how the tests are going and what results I've came with.
the goal is to make an antenna that cost under 150usd (one inmarsat L band antenna that could work is around 700usd) and an autonomus system under 300usd everything included.
Like outernet everythig is open source and who has the time and will to help is welcome, soon will be an online project
site dedicated to this topic.