Here's another prototype for the NODE server family, it's called the Pocket Server. As the name suggests, this one is an on-the-go, battery adapter for the Pi Zero-W, allowing you to carry out a variety of portable wireless tasks in person.
- 500mAh LiPo Battery (503035)
- 3.7v to 5v charge/boost board (DD05CVSB_5V)
- Mini Surface Mount SPDT Switch (SSSS810701)
- Micro USB Surface Mount Port
- 2x 9.6mm Pogo Pins (0851-0-15-20-82-14-11-0)
The pocket server basically combines a custom PCB with a charge/boost board, and a 500mAh LiPo battery.
Assembly is pretty simple, with a 3D printed protector covering the PCB, which stops the battery and other components from being touched.
The actual connection between the board and the Pi Zero is through 2 pogo pins, which push up against the 5v and GND GPIO pins underneath the Zero. To connect it, you simply screw it into place.
The entire thing then slides into a 3D printed cover, which further protects the Zero. The PCB is slightly wider than the rest of the parts, and this is so it can slide into the groove in the cover, keeping everything in place.
An end cap also snaps on the end to stop anything from touching the electronics and shorting something when it's in a bag or your pocket.
The dimensions of the device measure in at 72mm long, 37mm wide, and 17mm thick. Weight comes in at around 35g.
So, using this is pretty simple, you just pull the computer out using the ridged handles on each side, then set the switch into the on position to power everything on.
One thing to mention is that since this is a smaller and cheaper charging board, it has less features than say an Adafruit Powerboost, so you will need to turn the switch to the on position when charging through the micro USB port.
The battery is the same 503035 type that Adafruit sell, and they suggest not charging at over a 500mA rate, so I'd recommend using a USB 2.0 port on a computer, just as a further safety precaution.
Depending on how hard you're pushing the Zero, you can get about 3 hours worth of battery on a single charge.
That means it is ideal for access point type applications, like as a file-sharing device, or ad-hoc chat room with a piratebox.
I suspect it could also be useful for some pentesting applications, especially in-person captive wifi portals, or bluetooth analysis.
As always, the designs for both the PCB and case, along with the component list are available above. I'd be interested to see how you guys can modify this design to make it even more useful.
If you do have any ideas on how it can be improved, email them to me. In the meantime, I think I'll make a small batch for testing and put them in the shop. Alright, thanks for watching, and see you in the next video.