I thought that the PirateBox project by David Darts was a great idea, so I decided to implement my own custom build based on existing projects and some of my own work.
A PirateBox is a portable electronic device, often consisting of a router and a device for storing information, creating a wireless network that allows users who are connected to share files anonymously and locally.
Users (usually on laptops/cellphones) don’t need any password to connect. Once connected to the SSID all web traffic is redirected into a captive portal (this is not an internet providing hotspot) that allows users to browse files hosted on the device and upload their own. There is also a forum and other chat software available.
Inside this 17cm long, 7cm high, 10cm wide (beer spill proof) Tupperware box is:
- A Tp-Link wr703n router running OpenWRT Linux
- 4 port USB hub
- 32 GB USB Key
- Bluetooth dongle
- WiFi dongle
- [spare port]
- 6600mAh USB Battery (with 2 ports)
With just the USB key I get ~20 hours of uptime. With the other devices plugged in via the hub I get around ~10-12. I am still experimenting with how loads affect the current draw and plan to do some load testing/logging to get a better idea of power requirements.