Hey everyone, I hope you're doing well. Today I want to show you the updated Nano Server, version 2.
Like the previous version, this is a universal adapter which transforms a Raspberry Pi Zero W, into a tiny network connected server.
Simply plug it into a wall outlet, for a compact, always-on computer that can be used in a variety of ways.
- Youtube Mirror
- Source Files
In this version I have simplified the design significantly, removing quite a few parts, and replacing them with something that's sturdier, and much easier to assemble.
The difference is the JST connector and Pi Zero PCBS have been removed, and replaced with simple pogo pins, or spring loaded contacts, which make a connection to the 5v and ground test pads underneath the Zero.
It's also very modular like the previous design, and we still use the great RS Pro switching USB power supply, which has UK, US and EU plugs, so you can swap to fit your wall outlet.
The source files for both the PCB, and the 3D printed bridge are above, so check them out if you want to make your own.
Firstly here's a quick rundown of the parts:
- RS PRO 5V 1A USB Adapter with UK, US & EU plugs (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/ac-dc-adapters/9076255/)
- Custom PCB (1.6mm thick)
- USB-A Connector with right angle pins (CLB-JL-8136)
- 2x 8.2mm Spring Loaded Contacts (P70-2200045)
- 2x M2.5 x 16mm Machine Screws
- 3D Printed Bridge
- Raspberry Pi Zero-W
Step 1. The first thing we need to do is solder the pogo pins to the PCB. You can do this however you want, but they will need to be fully pushed into the PCB, and perfectly 90 degrees, as their placement is important.
Also note that the pins are intentionally slightly staggered, and that's to mirror how the test pads under the Zero are aligned.
Step 2. The next step is to solder the PCB to the USB plug. Simply slot the pins through the holes, making sure the + and - symbols are correctly aligned with the 5v and GND labels on the USB plug.
Then you solder on the PCB, so that the board runs parallel to the bottom of the USB plugs plastic casing, and not off at some wonky angle.
Step 3. Once in place, use some cutters to snip off the ends of the pins.
Step 4. Slide the 3D printed bridge over the newly soldered board. Make sure that it is pushed in all the way, or else it won't align properly.
Step 5. You can now place the Zero W over this, with the micro SD card side down at the bottom. As you place it on, check that the pins touch the 5V and ground testpads.
Step 6. Next, simply screw the Zero onto the adapter. I used a mini thread tap to make this easier, but you could do it by hand with a little elbow grease.
Step 7. Once attached, just slot it into the adapter, add your plug, the micro SD card, and insert it into the wall outlet or power strip. If all's well, it will automatically start booting up.
In NODE Vol 01, I showed you how to install Pi Hole, a network-wide ad blocker on the Nano Server. It's super easy to set up, and is a good way to quickly control network blocking on multiple devices.
PiVPN is a similar project, which installs OpenVPN on the Zero, and allows you to tunnel your data through your home or work network, which could be useful if you occassionally use public wifi hotspots at, say, airports, hotels or cafes.
You could also do things like connect an external camera to the Zero W, and use it as a remote feed, maybe for checking the progress of 3D prints etc.
I'm pretty sure you could hook up other peripherals, via the micro USB port, and set up all kinds of always on, or adhoc Internet of Things applications. The important point being that with this kinda system, you have much more control over your data and what's going on.
This time around I'm not going to design an external case, as it's too much hassle, but if you did make your own, it could potentially work for stealth pentesting and network monitoring.
I run a PirateBox on mine, which if you don't know, basically turns it into a wifi access point for quickly sharing files, and chatting etc. I could see this being useful in a hackerspace or other work environments with multiple people.
And of course, it'll work just fine as a general remote server, running Linux, or whatever other operating systems you can get for the Zero W. This one is meant for much lighter or occassional uses, and being able to just plug it in and go is way more convenient.
I've set up a limited pre-order window of 1 week, to allow me to buy all the parts in bulk, and assemble this first batch, so be aware that after ordering, it'll take probably 2-3 weeks before shipping.
I'm going to offer them in both kit, and pre-soldered versions, so you can pick one up for a little cheaper if you want to solder your own.
And just to be clear, this will only work with UK, US and EU plugs. Sorry if this doesn't cover your location. Hopefully I can find another power supply that could work in the future, or maybe one of you can use the concept to design other international versions.
Anyways, check them out on the NODE shop (https://n-o-d-e.shop). Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.
Music: Xtract - Audiotool Day 2016 (CC License)