Quote from MrAdam on October 29, 2011, 21:24
That actually sounds like a really nice idea. Only problem I can see is that the size of the solar panel required to run it would be pretty big, at least if you are using an usb harddrive. Also, you would need some way for it to turn on automatically when it gets power again (after a cloudy day)
Hmm, True. That's why I was thinking a USB flash drive would be better. They come in pretty big sizes today too, like 64gb. It only needs to supply 1 watt of power though, so it's definitely doable. 5v at 250mA/h can be pretty easily powered by solar. I'll use some rechargeable C or D batteries instead of AA batteries for more mA, and maybe have it hibernate until noon to recharge for a while.
According to wikipedia, 2 rechargeable NiMH D-sized battery in series has 12,000 mA at 3v, so boosted to 5v would have 7,200 mA if my calculations are correct. This would give ~28 hours of power at 250mA/h, so if there's 12 hours in a day, I'd need a solar panel that could supply > 500mA/h at 5v or 833mA/h at 3v in order to power it 24/7... That's not bad, a lot of portable cell phone solar chargers can do that. Cloudy days would definitely be an issue though, no real way around that. :\
Quote from geeus on October 30, 2011, 00:36
I currently have an old netgear router i've been looking to do something similar one. didn't know about dead drops( very cool and just found out there is one not far from where I live). but the levels of interface that a ras-p system could deliver would be amazing. ( and what about one for a permanent dead drop) hehe living the idea
Personally, I don't plan on using a router at all; instead I'm going to set the wireless card to ad-hoc mode, and have the raspi redirect all outgoing traffic to the home page, which is a lot simpler imo. It's also a lot easier extended, because you just can connect one machine to another easily, being ad-hoc and all. And it's not quite a dead drop, but very similar.