Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 245 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm building a survival computer with all of my survival books in .pdf, including things like wild edibles, trapping, repairing small engines, permaculture, gardening, wilderness survival, home construction, and much more. It is going to be about the size of a book, 7" x 5" x 2.5", have a solar panel on the back, powered off of 4 rechargeable AA or AAA batteries, and a built in keyboard, mouse, and touchscreen. The solar circuit is going to be able to charge AA or AAA batteries so that I can use them for a flashlight as well as to power the computer. I am building a fiberglass case that has a clear plastic cover to water proof the whole thing. It uses micro-SD cards that can be switched out for more space and I'm going to include a ton of survival and informative videos, pictures, and even a few hundred games to pass the time. I may build an LED light into it. I'll also shock-proof it as well using rubber grommets to mount the computer board on. If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them. Do you think it's a good idea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Good idea. Spent a decade in LE dealing with cyber stuff. Your idea is way past my pay grade, however like the idea of a survival computer.
I deployed an older Dell mini, thinking about switching the OS from XP to Linux.
I don't have a lot of HD space so I have stuff on thumb drives.
I can use either solar or an external battery source for power.
Small enough to fit in BOB.
 

·
America First!!!!
Joined
·
11,567 Posts
Why not a tablet instead of the PC platform? It seems to me that it would cover everything you have as a requirement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the response rhc76. I have sourced all of the parts for a second one for my wife and am just waiting for the delivery of a few items. So far I have everything but the screen and rechargable AA's (getting LiFE batteries for longevity) and all in all the cost is going to be under $200. I'm in the process of scanning some of my primitive living, bowyer's bible, gardening, food preservation, and wild edible books into pdfs. As of right now, I have about 50 movies, 25 games, hours of videos, and hundreds of pdfs on my prototype. I have wires running all over right now so by next week I should have it all in a shock-proof, water-proof case and it should be easy to throw in my BOB and leave there until needed or until I have more micro SD's to stick in it. The weight so far without the screen is only 10 Oz, which is MUCH lighter than a laptop or netbook.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Biggest problem with a tablet, in my experience (I've had six) has been the touchscreen failing and by their very nature they are extremely delicate. I'm building a computer that can be literally thrown into the BOB. And it is actually based on the raspberry pi 2 by the way eugene.
 

·
Quitting Social Media
Joined
·
462 Posts
Seems like a lot of unnecessary work and expense.. Just purchase the 'right' tablet/Phone for your needs.

I would suggest a Droid2, Droid3 or a Windows 8.1 tablet if you need Windows software/multiple windows etc.

Droid2/Droid3.. What do they have and why...
Cost $5-$22 for good used/working units(ebay).
Consume only about 2 Watts when on and running 'intensive things.
Work fine in airplane mode with or without Wifi,bluetooth. *Removable battery, MicroSD slot, as well as internal memory storage. Customizable roms.
Physical keyboard*, GPS and other sensors plus lots of handy apps, camera, etc...
If you must, you can power them from a AA battery pack to USB adapter.

Droid3's are stable for 24-48 hours before they seem to need a reset/reboot, that is their biggest disadvantage(where as droid2 stable 99 days at a time for me). Droid3 has better keyboard, usb port abilities, and hdmi out if you want to connect to a TV.

Many Android phones now are everybit a powerful computer from a decade ago with great features. I myself regularly use them for tasks previously done by desktops such as ftp server, skype, k9(email), irc client, music/video player, and web browsing and more.. All at the same time on 1 phone.

You generally don't need to shock proof a computer without a spinning physical hard drive. Just make sure wires are secure. As for waterproof, divers bags used for cheap underwater cameras should do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Any ideas? I'd love to hear some other opinions or ideas on the subject. Thank you all who have responded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That is true, Onlooker, a phone could be used. My biggest concern about using a phone is that the Lithium batteries go bust after about a year. Plus a phone can't charge your AA's for your flashlight. A phone would be much lighter, but I doubt that you could store many movies, videos, and books on one. I myslef have an iphone, but I wouldn't grab it in an emergency. Specifically I'm looking for something to throw in my bag and leave it there, since I am already in the habit of grabbing that when the tornado siren goes off. Not knocking your suggestion, I just don't feel that it would suffice for my needs/desires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Patriot, while I do like the toughbook, they weigh over 8 lbs! I have been an ultralight hiker for a long time and one thing I have learned is that even an ounce gets heavy after 70 miles. Also, I live at my bug out location, so this is mainly for emergencies when I have to keep everything on my back or my horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,797 Posts
My idea of the ideal beginning SHTF survival computer contents.

http://www.survivalebooks.com/survivalfm3-0570.html

http://www.lexpev.nl/downloads/fm531boobytraps1965.pdf

http://www.survivalebooks.com/usmilitarymanuals.html

I have an iPad 2, and a 7" Winbook running Win 8.1. I really appreciate the PC box ability to attach things, from USB to MicroSD to Mini HDMI-out, without any dongles or adapters. No idea how long the Winbook's battery will last over time, but the iPad has over 2 years of nearly daily use, and seems to be going strong.

For the phones...the Non-Apple smart phones can handle a MicroSD card...that's a good way to go small and light, while adding storage space.
 

·
Quitting Social Media
Joined
·
462 Posts
That is true, Onlooker, a phone could be used. My biggest concern about using a phone is that the Lithium batteries go bust after about a year. Plus a phone can't charge your AA's for your flashlight. A phone would be much lighter, but I doubt that you could store many movies, videos, and books on one. I myslef have an iphone, but I wouldn't grab it in an emergency. Specifically I'm looking for something to throw in my bag and leave it there, since I am already in the habit of grabbing that when the tornado siren goes off. Not knocking your suggestion, I just don't feel that it would suffice for my needs/desires.
It is going to be about the size of a book, 7" x 5" x 2.5", have a solar panel on the back, powered off of 4 rechargeable AA or AAA batteries

Not much is going to beat the power consumption of a phone(dropped my droid2 a few times from 3-4ft onto concrete w/o destruction). Lithium batteries do better than most any other on the market, I've had many that last far longer than a year(they can be ruined quickly with poor charging habits/methods; research it)... As for alternative charging you can use hand crank, or foldable solar cells. As for volume of videos/books, you can get an awfully lot of stuff on a single SD card these days, especially if you re-compress.. Then of course you can keep 10 microsd cards in the area the size of the end of your little finger.

Whatever you want to use to charge the phone could be adapted to charge other devices depends on the voltages and power requirements. AS I often have a phone with me, used the flashlight(camera flash led) function of the droids ohhh so many times..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Enercel...DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25a3de6acf#ht_14wt_0

Apples popularity is a testament to the mindset of the general population supporting designed obsolescent and 3rd party oversight over devices you carry("own"). With their popularity and profit, little wonder google, and and everyone else are trying to follow suit. One of the reasons I use Droid2/3 with AOSP roms(for lack of a native Linux or legacy Windows support).
 

·
reluctant sinner
Joined
·
17,914 Posts
In a post EMP world I'm counting on zero chip stuff. Store the knowledge and skills in your head. When you are wet and cold is not the time to learn to catch a spark and nurse it into a flame.

I like the idea of something small with SD cards in a faraday cage. I'm working on the design for a small foldout panel that would power a colloidal silver generator for the INCH cart first aid kit that's in a big 50 cal. ammo box.
 

·
Wile E Coyote, Genius.
Joined
·
33,711 Posts
I have a Samsung Tab Android and love it.
Battery life is amazing, as is screen quality and all the apps. Carry that and a 15 W folding solar panel charger.Load a couple SD cards with files etc. Toss it in a water proof bag or case. Wrap it with foil if you want EMP proof.

(What's a hard drive?)
 

·
America First!!!!
Joined
·
11,567 Posts
I have a Samsung Tab Android and love it.
Battery life is amazing, as is screen quality and all the apps. Carry that and a 15 W folding solar panel charger.Load a couple SD cards with files etc. Toss it in a water proof bag or case. Wrap it with foil if you want EMP proof.

(What's a hard drive?)
This is what I do also. A tablet doesn't use enough power I guess.
 

·
If I had a voice I'd sing
Joined
·
7,138 Posts
Tablets and phone are great, but try typing on them for awhile!

I'd use an Intel NUC - low power (15 watts, I think) but still has some horsepower. Best selling point (for me) is that it uses an AC-DC wall adapter power supply, so it can easily be run directly from DC if you tweak the right voltage.

Keep the solar panels separate. Make a modular system. Otherwise you'll have to keep the PC in the sun to charge. Prolly not a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Charliemeyer and Apathetic, I love your point about EMF's. I, like you, agree wholeheartedly that preparedness and knowledge beforehand is much better than a trinket. I have a farm and have been raising/gardening much of my food now for about 6 years, including slaughtering, making dairy products, baking bread, and food preservation. I have almost finished building my house and repairing an old barn, as well as set up a solar electrical system and RAM pump for water. A large part of why I'm doing this is so that if something happens, my children will not have to lose all of the knowledge available today. As per Charlie's comment I think I may actually weave a fine copper wire grid into the fiberglass of the computer, front and back, so as to build a faraday cage into this project. That might alleviate any likelihood of an EMP causing a failure. I live over 60 miles from any major city, so EMP's probably won't effect my home, but if I'm away a built in faraday cage would help, I think.

As for using a phone, I am not going that route. A phone or a tablet will require a specific battery, Lithium Ferrous batteries to be exact, and these are notorious for failing over time. I can imagine that after a year or two, AA batteries may still be around, and if nothing else it may be possible to build a simple battery bank. I also have a phone, but that is not something I'm going to keep in my BOB. Just my opinion on the matter.
 
1 - 20 of 245 Posts
Top