Outernet Lighthouse Satellite System Review

Outernet satellite receiver mkme.org

This is my full review of my new Outernet Satellite receiving system. A few months back I purchased the Lighthouse receiver system from Outernet to allow me to receive data from satellites anywhere in the world.   I am happy to conclude my initial testing and provide a review here.

The Lighthouse receiver hooks up to a satellite dish via standard co-ax cable and is deigned to receive the content provided by Outernet anywhere in the world. You can watch my initial overview and unboxing video here:

I have a large mobile project in mind for this setup so I needed to have a portable dish system for the receiver to interface with.  I found a DirectTv foldable/portable dish system which seemed to fit the bill fine.  You can find this folding dish here.

For me to receive the Galaxy 19 satellite here in SW Ontario I knew I would need to swap out the LNB for a KU band unit on the dish. My initial purchase failed miserably and did not work at all on the satellite. It ended up being that the receiver could not switch the LNB over to a linear polarized only receive function so I had to find one which could work by default.

On eBay I found a dedicated KU band Linear LNB for a reasonable price and this turned out to be the key to success.

Outernet receiverLNB

I have since added these Linear style LNB’s to my Amazon store here.

To install you simply need to measure the distance of the old LNB to the dish face and ensure the new one has the receiving face in the same spot. I did this by measuring the overall distance as well as marking the support arm with a sharpie marker and a t-square.   Just remove the clamp and swap for the new one. Most LNBs have the same size barrel- if not- you will need to get a bit more creative.

changing KU band LNB

Important note: This is an offset dish so remember to subtract 10 degrees from the elevation value for your area (this is noted on a sticker on the side of my particular dish but yours might not be)

Once the dish was retrofitted I was then able to receive the data stream Outernet is sending on the Galaxy 19 satellite. The news, educational lessons and even Twitter feed began downloading with no issue.

Here is the FULL review video:

My hope is to use this system in an upcoming “Without Borders” project which I should have mostly finalized by mid 2016 and ready for in-field testing (I hope).

Although the system now works well for me I have to admit it still belongs in the realm of “DIY” type people as you may need to do some tinkering with a dish and setup. If you run into issues (like I did initally) make sure you check out their forum for help.

Here is my forum thread where I worked through the LNB issues initially. It is a good read I think if you are interested in seeing the troubleshooting process etc. Branko on the forum was fantastic to deal with. Amazing support!

The content being sent by Outernet is pretty comprehensive and I have little doubt it will evolve quickly as more people realize this system is an option in areas without easy access to internet/data.

Facebook and Google have plans for several internet systems in remote areas- oddly enough, a suitable “first step system” already exists and works very well…

Stay tuned!