Meet PiDex: your Raspberry Pi 5-powered doomsday companion

Kenneth (aka Raspduino Uno) is nothing if not prepared, and he’s getting ready to survive in a post-apocalyptic world by building his own Raspberry Pi 5-powered cyberdeck. Meet PiDex.

Subscribe to Raspduino Uno for more projects like this; the robotic glockenspiel is a particular favourite

In other cool news, we’re pretty sure this is the first Raspberry Pi 5 cyberdeck in the world. Feel free to read us for filth in the comments section if you know this to be a lie; all engagement is good engagement. Or at least that’s what we keeping telling ourselves.

Hardware

  • Raspberry Pi 5
  • Rugged waterproof box (the weather will be especially bad and the terrain especially rough in the after times)
  • 7-inch touchscreen LCD for the main viewing screen
  • 0.96-inch OLED to display the status of the Raspberry Pi 5
  • Mini backlit keyboard (very important for when the street lamps go out post-apocalypse)
  • Power bank
  • USB hub with four ports
  • RJ45 Ethernet splitter
  • USB to 3.5mm headphone jack (so that you can listen to your doomsday comms in private)
  • Big red toggle switch so you feel powerful and important when firing up your cyberdeck

A copy of the Wikipedia database lives on a flash drive nestled in its own foam-lined slot inside the case. Dubiously verified facts will always be important to humanity, even in its dying days. Raspberry Pi 5 is, of course, capable of much more than just scrolling through wikis; the build video showcases PiDex playing YouTube videos and all sorts. It will be nice to have something to distract us from the fact it’s moss for dinner again and to take our minds off those strange, anguished howls we keep hearing at twilight.

Portable solar panels can be drafted in to give you extra juice on the go, or, of course, any juice at all.

Arts and crafts

Kenneth first mapped out all the hardware on paper before using it as a template to cut into the foam inside the rugged case. He cut up a plastic ring binder to serve as mounting for the big LCD and little OLED screens living in the lid of the case. He cut around the other half of the ring binder so that it sat perfectly around the hardware living in the bottom half of the case.

The letters making up the PiDex logos on the outside and inside of the case were 3D printed and superglued on to display plates before being stuck to the case itself.

And that’s the computing setup done, all ready for the end times. The only things left to sort out are a little bit of shelter, food, water, soap, medical supplies, heat, and security, then we’re all good to subsist.

49 comments
Jump to the comment form

xeny avatar

Kenneth clearly agrees with Leonard from the Big Bang Theory on the importance of preserving the knowledge of mankind https://the-big-bang-theory.com/quotes/quote/4847/

Reply to xeny

Alex avatar

Just here to check for filth in the comments

Reply to Alex

Mark avatar

I haven’t showered today. Does that count?

Reply to Mark

Jack avatar

Just wondering. After the apocalypse, what is its power source?

Reply to Jack

Jim avatar

The hair from his back. Yarrrrrr.

Reply to Jim

poolitzer avatar

They did mention solar panels

Reply to poolitzer

Graham avatar

Solar, and the tears of the unprepared…

Reply to Graham

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Jesus Graham. we’re trying to have a quiet Thursday here.
(I am LOVING the literal conversation around whether this will be useful kit in the after times, however)

Reply to Ashley Whittaker

Yanto avatar

just the usual electricity from SUN-Power! (going by the photo of the PiDEX with accompanying Solar Charger)

Reply to Yanto

Judd avatar

Just wondering. I have played with various portable set ups over the years. Has anyone been able to make an entirely solar powered set up run pi 5 and pi touchscreen? My attempts from central UK have not been very inspiring as to generate enough power they would not be very portable.
PS

Reply to Judd

Joe blow avatar

Hence the power bank.
Also 1 your in the UK, and lack strong sun, but anywhere would be naive to assume, and poor design to use a portable panel and expect
To power everything from that, it’s smarter and more efficient to power it from a power bank, maybe get 3hrs, and recharge for 2-6hrs to have more time.

Reply to Joe blow

JohnPi avatar

Surely after the Apocalypse and all EMPs generated during it, there would not be any working electrical or electronic left. Thus rendering the PiDec only useable for playing videos from the hard drive. Better to learn some survival skills in order to rebuild civilization afterwards.

Reply to JohnPi

Jim Nasium avatar

How about layered aluminum foil and cling wrap to line the case as a faraday cage?

Reply to Jim Nasium

Adam c avatar

You can get Faraday fabric on TEMU and all the other survival/ tactical gear you can imagine for 1/4 the the price. but you better hurry, befor Trump gets back In Office.. prices will go up. if not, it will just disappear…..

Reply to Adam c

JB avatar

It would be cool if this had some kind of built in communication and info sharing method for other raspberry ‘PiDEX’. I can see it now: “I’ll trade you wikipedia for the US Atlas.”

Reply to JB

Tony avatar

I am adding a modem into as well as a 10.1 inch monitor to my build to access internet for our RAYNET emergency radio communications along with a 21000 milliamp battery and portable solar charger sold by Ventura

Reply to Tony

Kelvin avatar

Unfortunately, the first EMP from a nearby nuke will fry that completely. He really should seriously consider making it a fully enclosed Faraday cage. Even then it’s questionable whether it would survive. There is reason to believe that high altitude nuclear weapons will be used in order to destroy electronic infrastructure. Just saying..

Reply to Kelvin

Kay avatar

This was my first thought as well, although a Fariday cage could be built into the case. A link to a forum providing instructions is attached

Reply to Kay

NKT avatar

Probably best to print out that copy of the forum post, ready! And Wikipedia! Fire up the Prusa! Wait, what do you mean “not like that”?

Reply to NKT

Timbo avatar

Hilarious and light writing style full of humor, made me laugh much to the dismay of my kids. Thank you very very much!!!

Reply to Timbo

Josh Ready avatar

One EMP, just saying.

Reply to Josh Ready

Ragnar Moller avatar

What is a cyberdeck and what problem/need is it aimed to resolve or meet ?

Reply to Ragnar Moller

John avatar

Emp’s… Maybe a big mask ROM and radiation hardened equipment.
But you don’t need the equipment to survive every possible apocalypse. Just the one that happens and is worth surviving.

I’d be more concerned with the content that’s saved. You want history but also to document critical technologies that can help you survive and ultimately bootstrap economies and civilization generally.

Reply to John

LTman avatar

Should I be worried that I’m trying to justify putting this just below water and ammo on my survival list?

Reply to LTman

Joeblow avatar

Get a micro so card, download survival pdfs, I have. 70gb, organized by subject, over 200, and then subtopics, get an e-reader with e ink that reads pdf and has micro as slot, solar power bank, and faraday bag, your good to go!
A charged e ink reader will last months, of being used!
A reader is also smaller, some even have Wi-Fi and browsers

Reply to Joeblow

Oo avatar

Idea is nice, thought my self on building a good knowledge database. Most important and abc printed. But there is so much knowledge to save. 1tb drive should cover all our current wisdom.

Reply to Oo

Joe blow avatar

Thee will always be topics you leave out, because you are unaware of them, or just forget.
I have 70gb of pdf, organized by topic, 200+ then subtopic. Obviously I can’t prescreen all of the’ to insure they are accurate, so I have multiple of each subject from various sources, it’s taken me 8yrs to accumulate and organize things.
Sadly there is no 1 place to download all of humanity’s knowledge, beyond the CIA or Google, nowhere the plebs have access too, that I am aware of anyway.
If you know a source, PLEASE SHARE!
All my data fits on a micro so card too!

Reply to Joe blow

John Quincy Grabums avatar

Went with PiDex when EncycloPiDea was right there.

Reply to John Quincy Grabums

Dav avatar

I immediately thought hmmm…
A more powerful, more portable Pi powered set up that maybe fits on your forearm.
A Pi-p boy if you will.
I’ll see myself out.

Reply to Dav

Skraypers avatar

This interesting. If I could purchase one, I would nuke the wikipedia nonsense off of it and replace it with survival manuals and videos.

Reply to Skraypers

Ian avatar

I question even trying to survive! It would be a rather bleak outlook. Best let the earth return to pre human times. After all, we’ve just screwed it up enough, should it come the events discussed.

Reply to Ian

Barry R avatar

This won’t do me any good without a radiation suit-

Reply to Barry R

Yuriel avatar

If you line the storage case with lead, (Actually fairly easy to get ahold of) the EMP argument goes out the window. Personally I would have my stash somewhere EMP proof. Then I would be grabbing it after the fall. But whateves, cool idea!

Reply to Yuriel

Rips avatar

So wikipedia is full of facts?

Reply to Rips

GregM avatar

Why all the negativity? I’ve gotta give the guy an A for enginuity. EMPs seriously, a little modification and it’s EMP survival has increased. Let’s all face it if they started exploding nukes in the atmosphere then we are all #$@#&$ lol. Great effort ide love to see version 2.

Reply to GregM

mike avatar

Love it. needs a thermal printer, a mini generator with pulley (snaps into exposed shaft socket) to be spun by bike or handcrank, and a foldout micro oven that takes sawdust in, and produces thermal paper. that way it can be a post apocalypse Alexandria.

Reply to mike

NKT avatar

Brilliant! You’ll be the next librarian of All The World’s Knowledge.
Until you get too old to pedal fast enough to power it, then you’ll be Soylent Green. Maybe put a password & biometric “proof of life” on the “box of all knowledge”?

Reply to NKT

Bonzadog avatar

20.1.2024
I have often wonder why some Americans are so paranoid about a doomsday end of the world.
But this does look very interesting for taking a Pi in rough conditions so well worth taking in good look at. I think the main task will be finding a decent waterproof box. ;-)

Reply to Bonzadog

TM avatar

Search “Weatherproof hard case” on amazon. You’ll get many hits. I use one for my Astronomy gear.

Reply to TM

Dennis Galletta avatar

It would make the user feel even more important if there were TWO red switches to turn it on, not one. Make them keys you have to turn, one with each hand.

Reply to Dennis Galletta

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Too stressful during the apocalypse

Reply to Ashley Whittaker

TM avatar

If the nukes ever start flying we’re all either toast, or living in a hellscape. The later sounds worst than the former.
But there’s a more probable scenario, cyber attacks that take down the grid, or EMP attacks that don’t involve the strong and weak forces. These hard cases come in all sizes. There’s also RF shielding paint you can buy that is made to coat the inside of destop cases etc.. If you’re worried, you could buy a big box, paint the inside and store all your electronic gear in there.
However, that would not be nearly as fun as this project!

Reply to TM

Zainab Kazmi avatar

Search “Weatherproof hard case” on amazon.

Reply to Zainab Kazmi

09 avatar

maybe focus on sum sort of smart protective armor

Reply to 09

Tom avatar

Must have pirates every good story has Pirates.☠️

Reply to Tom

Ashley Whittaker avatar

True – this comment thread has been pretty pirate-lite so far

Reply to Ashley Whittaker

Andy Gilmour avatar

V2.0 needs the big red switch to be illuminated ;)

Reply to Andy Gilmour

Lane avatar

Such a device needs a much needed feature: Zombie ports. Cords and adapters to patch into dead computers/HDD/SDDs, and even vehicle OBD computers to bring them back to life off of its power pack, and ‘liberate’ useful information/ Estart that Tesla you found.

Reply to Lane

Ashley Whittaker avatar

NOW we’re cooking with gas.

Reply to Ashley Whittaker

Leave a Comment