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SBCs, Prepping, and You!

Discussion in 'The Main Board' started by hypnos, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    After some prompting by atlas i am going to write a quick primer on SBCs, what they are, what they can do, and how they can benefit preppers, and basically anyone else.

    SBC means. single board computer, they can fit inside an altoids tin (at least most can) and can function as a complete desktop computer on about 5 volts of power. Perfect for offgrid use!

    They are open soure, meaning that you can easily install any operating system you desire considering the Hardware you are using, but generally it will be linux or android, loaded onto an SD card that will serve as your hard drive. (At least a class 10!)

    These little units often come complete with a manual, jumper wires, and other electronic parts that you can insert into the board yourself to control ANYTHING. robots, check. Moisture sensors to water your plants, check. Home security system, check.

    These devices are like lego building blocks, you can create your own circuits, and your own devices, without fear of what information is being collected, it is your project from start to finish.

    These devices cost $35.00! I would recommend the Rasberry pi, it has a massive support community and the newest version comes with built in bluetooth and wifi...a quick YouTube search will provide you with endless tutorials on getting these things working.

    20180808_195601.jpg

    In this picture is sample of the peripheral devices you can attach. Plugged into my SBC is a software defined radio reciever....it basically lets you listen to everything. Pilots, astronauts (not kidding) , police frequencies, even cordless phones and baby monitors...and if that doesn't scare you, one of the other boards that stacks on to it will allow me to view RFID tags allowing me to write my own...workplace badge....swiped! I don't recommend illegal activity, i am simply bringing to your attention the possibilities of these devices. Stay safe, and do some research!
     
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  2. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Awesome. Can you recommend some sources?

    I have been thinking about trying something like this out for a while now. Hams are pretty hot on Raspberry Pi lately, so I have been reading a out them a lot. Setting up a cheap APRS beacon would be cool!
     
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  3. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    You can nerd out to your hearts content! Adafruit.com is probably one of the best sites, their are other for cheaper but they don't have the reputation, support, or inventory of adafruit. I would subscribe to "Make: " in addition to that. The tutorials are excellent. the learning curve can be steep, but so far it has been worth it! Consider this, for preppers who home school, for the price of one week of crappy public school lunches you can start your own STEM lab, your kids will know 10x what they could ever learn about science, engineering, technology, and mathematics in one product and a internet connection. Besides that, the projects can transform your household with reliable technologies.
     
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  4. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    I vote for a S.T.E.M. dedicated portion of the forum geared toward prepping. That would be awesome. Who wouldn't want to talk to a structural engineer about building a root cellar, know what I'm saying? I did some experiments with "crowd think" problem solving on BCUSA...the results were stellar!!!
     
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  5. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes ,I just went down the rabbit hole. Thanks.

    Here is what I was talking about before.

    TNC-Pi: TNC-X for Raspberry Pi

    I'm a big fan of winlink, being able to send emails via radio is part of my prep plan. It is a far more secure mode of comms than most others.

    Are you a ham @hypnos?
     
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  6. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    Awesome stuff...great link! I am far from a Comms and IT wiz, but i have considered getting into HAM. I might get into CB sooner to avoid the liscensing. Something about a liscense for radio gives me a rubbery one. I see the potential for problems with radio interference however. I am investigating pirate radio, i found a story about a pirate radio station in chicago that would moniter police activity in "the hood" in the 80s i believe. I found that fascinating.
    I am not a HAM operator, but from what i gather, it won't stop you from recieving a transmission, but it could get you in trouble to transmit. In the early 2000s i began my experience in "Phreaking" or telecommunications hacking. I found a guy who swapped the crystal in his CB with one from a toaster, he could listen and transmit on the same frequency as fast food drive thru comms. It was beyond funny listening to the guy mess with customers.
     
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  7. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    As technology gets better things get harder to listen in on. Quite a few .GOV agencies are using digital comms now, which may or may not be easy to listen in on.

    As for the licensing, it really isn't a big deal. A couple tests, a little study time and $15 is all it takes. The good side is that it opens up a whole world of people just like you, who want to tinker and try new things. The bad side is that you have a name in a database, but in this day and age who doesn't already?
     
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  8. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    CB is not something I would recommend getting into. It's pretty much dead. Heck, voice comms is going away at a pretty rapid pace these days. Digital modes are where its at. There is a whole other world of modes beyond voice that has opened up now, and I'm sure that pirate radio is a part of that as well. I know that Arduanio and Raspberry PI are a part of it.

    Rather than picking up a mic and chatting breaker breaker 1 9 everyone is picking up an SBC and a radio, then having discussions with digital modes.
     
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  9. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    CB isn't very populated, true. Which for me presents opportunities for playing with it. I did a bunch of FEMA inter-ops training and the multi agency national push towards digital is pervasive...as is the standardization of communication. "Plain english" is definitely where things are going. Which is a little troublesome, any hacker with little to no background in 10 codes or other lingo could possibly appear to be anyone. Digital frequencies can and often are intercepted, they are more secure than channels over an analog signal that anyone could be listening to, so I see your point. Analog hardware however, is not prone to viruses, malware, or software updates, while digital systems certainly are. For short range communication during a grid down emergency, i see nothing better for a group of individuals. Digital systems are more precise with a massive amount of possible channels, making communication outside of the exact frequency very hard. CB, on the other hand is allot more public, which isn't something I mind. You may as well assume during any conversation that you are being monitored or recorded anyway. Of course I would absolutely love to try the digital stuff, there's so much more potential.
     
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  10. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    We've got some good thread drift going on here, but what the heck...

    Check out FLdigi software. It can be used on any frequency, using just about any radio and PC with the right interface. The best thing about it is that not only can you literally use any frequency, but you can use any one of 50 modes, and unless you happen to be able to figure that out on the fly, or have prior knowledge of what to use, you will probably never figure it out.

    I'm not saying the SigInt guys don't have the capability, but I doubt anyone else does. That is about as secure as you are going to get.

    You are right about computers being hacked or failing in some way. That is what Morse code it for. If it gets to that point, it may not even matter though.
     
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  11. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    Raspberry Pi Ham Radio

    I have been poking around a bit more, and It makes me wish I had the technical knowledge to get things up and running today.

    My SBC is a beaglebone black rev. C .
    Three years ago it was the most technically superior board available, and it has loads of potential, but it is not the best board to learn on. I spent a few hundred dollars on extra gadgets to attach to it for crazy projects and I am far behind getting things up and running. I am just learning command line in linux, never mind programming! The BBB community has very little support. I will be making the switch to the rasberry Pi and arduino ASAP! You can find maybe a handful of beagle bone tutorials vs. Pages upon pages of the Pi, and arduino stuff.
     
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  12. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    Oh definitely man! I am downloading that software tonight...in my typical MO I'll be reformatting for linux on my current laptop after I purchase a new one, then its expiriment time... I have so much to learn it's kind of pathetic where I am now, what's even more strange is how much more I know than an average person. It's unreal how challenging this stuff can be.
     
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  13. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    @Atlas, check out Echolink...
     
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  14. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Echolink is pretty cool. Take a look at D-star, WIRES, and those modes. They are pretty hot right now. I use D-star quite a bit.

    I wanted to go back on what I said earlier. You should absolutely try CB radio out for yourself. You may find something that I did not, or it may lead to something better. I didn't mean to poo poo your idea. That's not what I want to do here.
     
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  15. hypnos

    hypnos Member

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    I didn't take it that way at all,clearly you know allot more on the topic than I do. But i still want to try it!
     
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  16. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    You should and please let us know what you find when you do. If you were closer I would set you up. I have a box of CB stuff laying around unused from my rock crawler days.
     

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