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Building A SHTF Computer Using This Pistol Case, Need some Advice Answered

So some time ago, i was at an Academy store and did an impulse purchase. Spent $50 on this durable, watertight pistol case as seen in the accompanied image. For a few weeks, i have just let it sit in my room and thinking about what to do with it. Then i thought "What about a Portable PC?". So i did some measurements, the interior is roughly 12x9x5 inches in Length, Width, and Depth (if you count the lid's interior). At best i have some components, such as a 10 Inch screen from an old netbook, i already have the controller board to make it a regular monitor for a few purposes.

But a few things im not clear on is what components would best fit this case? I know its too small for most motherboards, and im not intending to use a Raspberry Pi or a Linux OS. And i also want to do as little drilling or cutting into the case as possible to retain its moisture resistance.

If i had to list any criteria for such a build, there would be:
Information Storage
Connectivity to Larger Screens (aka stationary "tower")
Wifi Capability
Emergency Power Source

Thats just off the top of my head, tbh. In short, im wanting to make a utilitarian computer that could survive (and possibly thrive) in a disaster situation of non-biblical proportions, all crammed into a case that was meant to hold a handgun. Keep in mind i have little to some electronics experience, but i have built a pc before. So who has any advice or what-have-you to point me in the right direction?

(i hope this evolves into something pretty dang good. i do believe its kind of a challenge to pull something like this off, going with a case roughly half the size of your standard PC tower)



1 year ago

I'd go with what you know. Build a pc into it. Use a mini ITX motherboard, 4gig ram (more raises power needs. There's no need for any cards if you shop carefully you can find these boards with every option on them, including dual Ethernet ports. A half height DVD, bluetooth keyboard OR use a touch screen LCD display set into the lid. Miniature AC power supplies are fairly common, but batteries and solar power might make more sense in keeping with the theme.

I have a system built into a .30 cal ammo can. It's very rough, not ready for prime time, but it will work and doesn't require a lot of room when packing. It would be the first thing I'd dump in a real life crisis, but anything short of that and a canned computer might be a handy thing to own.


1 year ago

Might I suggest looking at dev boards like Arduino/Adafruit. They're small, very customizable and cheap if you don't mind a more complex program/design project. Arduino has many sensors, controllers, motors, gadgets and gizmo's you can add to you project. Arduino also has decent support in their forums.