Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Western Australia


Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:50 pm


What is it?

It’s a RaspberryPi inside a IP67 water and dust proof case from StormCase (Pelican took then over), with a 1TB 2.5” WD drive, 3G Telstra USB Modem, coupled to an N capable Access Point that runs from 12 Volts via a custom build 5V Switchmode Power Supply.

What does it do?

It acts as a Wireless Access Point with 3G internet access, but also has a 1TB 2.5” Drive that contains shares in both Samba (windows) and NFS so it can act like our home network even when we are not at home. The idea for this came about when we went on holidays and the kids and the missus wanted to dump their cameras and write up blog posts and diaries of the trip but we had no 3G coverage.

This way the kids can write files to the drive as if it was our home server, then once the network is available rsync will synchronise the content using sshfs over the 3G USB dongle. The LCD screen shows any errors and that the time is correct. The only problem I have come across so far is that if you don’t start the stormcloud in network coverage it can’t set the correct time for the “fake hardware clock” using ntp. For this I use an external USB GPS to get the correct time if I need to start it outside of coverage.

So it runs apache web server so the kids can see that there posts and pictures are working properly before upload, and also run other in-house web apps on the internal intranet inside the box.

I'll do more of a write up here soon!

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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:26 am

Re: StormCloud

Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:15 pm


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Posts: 606
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:35 am
Location: Mesa, AZ

Re: StormCloud

Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:45 pm

Very cool. I'd be curious as to how much it cost to put this together and an idea of what parts you used. The board on the top looks like the Access point taken out of it's box.

I would have thought of using a clock board instead of the GPS, but you might be getting time via GPS via the 3G modem?
Dweeber A.K.A. Kevin...
My RPI Info Pages including Current Setup -

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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: StormCloud

Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:54 pm

How about heat buildup?

Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:36 pm

Re: StormCloud

Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:24 pm

Wow! How about a 'How to' tutorial? This is a cool project which I already have a use for

Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: StormCloud

Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:02 am

The Howto is coming, but to answer a few quick questions:

Heat build up hasn't been an issue so far, it's been running in the hot car +40c outside with no issues. The AP is an uncased Dlink after having so many issues with throughput using a USB wireless AP hack.

The 1TB drive is attached to a USB -SATA adapter and the GPS was initially a USB one, but I may just go with a RTC clock addon for ease of use. The rest is fairly straight forward other than the 12V-> 5V 5A switchmode powersupply I made to run it from 8 - 30V input.

The most expensive part of the rig would be the case @ $90AUS and the power and ethernet IP67 connectors @ $30AUS each, but you don't really have to use them if you just want a cloud replicator. I already had the case, so thought I'd put it to good use ;)

Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Thionville

Re: StormCloud

Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:24 am

Crazy project :o ! I love it !
Please show us some pics of the building and a how to ! :-)
Raspberry Pi Home Server :
Software and electronic tutorials : Samba, Airplay, CUPS, Time machine, Nginx, Owncloud, rTorrent, Wordpress, etc.
Full Wi-Fi hotspot installation on a RPi 3 including a captive portal and freeradius management:

Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: StormCloud

Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:45 am

Hi Guys,

I'm still working on the howto, but have decided to change to an ntp updated rtc clock instead. What is the general feeling out there - am I better to use a SPI based RTC like this: or use GPIO? Are there any examples of how to integrate this into the bootup or kernel?



Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: StormCloud

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:48 pm

This sounds like exactly what im planning to do! Please keep us informed on your progress.

Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:49 am

Re: StormCloud

Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:41 am

I'm using a GPS for time and PPS for accuracy.. but then I'm trying to run an NTP server.

The RTC I'm using with it is the Chronodot. It's been a great option in my build to ensure, at boot time, the clock is correct.

The major advantage is, in terms of howtos, Adafruit have some of the best, and they are written just for the Pi. In other words, your exact setup will be well documented.

How do you get power to your project? I'm assuming you've needed to place a hole in the case - wouldn't that remove the IP67 rating?
Edit: I re-read and saw you have rated power connectors. Can you point us in the direction of where these came from? What's the connector like?

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:51 am

Re: StormCloud

Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:06 pm

Awesome project. I'm working on something similar but having so much trouble getting Telstra 3G dongle working. Would you be able to give me any pointers? Thanks.

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