The War Chest

So, during the pandemic I decided I needed a little project to keep me busy. I’ve recently been promoted into a more Cybersecurity focused role, and had a large collection of Raspberry Pi‘s laying round, so made sense to combine the two… Which is when the ‘war chest’ was born!

I wanted to focus on creating something self-contained, and portable – so as a result, my initial hunt was for a ‘flight case’ to house all of the cool stuff! I searched for quite some time before settling on the Rock Box 2 Utility Case, which is the perfect combination of rigidity and compactness.

The Pi is running a copy of Kali Linux with the default toolset as expected, but also some additional pieces of open source software.

Using eBay as my primary source for parts I went on the hunt for ‘panel mount’ adapters to basically replicate the Raspberry Pi’s ports to the outside of the Rock Box. Thus both reducing the stress placed on the Pi itself but also making it much easier to plug in when moving from site to site.

Although the current iteration is doing its job perfectly, I already have a few upgrades planned… I’d like to reduce the requirement for plugging this into Electric, so a ‘built in’ battery is planned. Also, some of the external USB ports are in use inside the case for various jobs, so a USB hub would enable both to be used similtaniously.

Whats Involved..?

As the Rock Box 2 Utility Case came with the push-out foam, getting it all seated inside the box was pretty straightforward. I did cut some channels out of the underside of the foam for some semblance of cable management and in an attempt to keep everything tidy. I also glued some of the foam to the base at points where I wanted to ‘elevate’ some of the hardware.

The hardest part of the job was cutting the holes in the case to house the panel mount connectors. To make the cutting easier I actually made some templated with my 3D printer… Then enrolled my much more competent dad to actually do the cutting!

Cool! But how much!?

The project budget was £400, which I managed to stay just below – coming in at a cool £372.41

The table below highlights the parts I used, with links to where to get them. Caveats – prices will likely have changed since I started the project, also – the below links may route through affiliate programs this is to help pay for hosting fees.

The table is missing a few things I already had laying around TP-Link TL-WN722N (V1) and a Seagate 2TB hard drive, for storing rainbow tables on.

Raspberry Pi 4 8GB £       74.00
USB C power brick £         8.00
10.1″ Touch Screen £     111.00
Rock Box 2 Utility Case £       29.00
HDMI Panel Mount Adapters (x 4) £         7.16
USB 3 Panel Mount Adapters (x4) £         4.04
RJ45 (Cat6) Panel Mount Adapter £         2.82
USB C Charge Cable £         2.99
USB C Panel Mount Adapter £       15.39
Perspex Sheets (x2) £       12.97
USB A to A cables (x4) £       10.56
LEDS (x10) £         0.99
SMA Jack connectors (x2) £         2.95
Sugru Black £         3.50
RP-SMA Jack Female to 2x RP-SMA plug Splitter £       13.84
High Gain Wireless Antenna (x2) £       13.90
Magnets £         5.99
Sticky Pads £         5.39
Velcro Tie Wraps (x12) £         5.36
HDMI to Micro HDMI Cable £         4.57
64GB Micro SD card £         9.00
Socket Panel mount 12v Barrel adapter £         2.09
2 Core twin 12v cable £         0.99
Flat HDMI Cable £         9.41
PWN Fan Hat £         17.00

So whats next?

Although I purchased the LED’s I didn’t really do anything with them during this iteration. so I would like to get those wired up to add a status light at least.

I’ll be ordering a USB battery pack at some stage to make the unit truly standalone.

I’d also like to customise the OS a little more, to make it easier to interact with from the touch screen. Despite the inclusion of the bluetooth keyboard in the box.

Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson is a Lead Cyber Security Analyst living and working in Kingston Upon Hull. With extensive experience in Microsoft and Apple technologies, ranging from desktop OS’s to Server OS’s and hardware. By day working as part of an infrastructure team, and by night ridding the world of IT issues through blog posts..

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