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Last post Author Topic: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server  (Read 8173 times)

superboyac

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Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« on: December 02, 2014, 09:33:40 AM »
I would drool at the idea of a raspberry pi sized wireless file server.  Something portable (battery capable) that you can maybe toss into your backpack and grab and send files from.  It doesn't have to stream, but simply browse through the folders and read/write stuff back and forth, maybe with a syncing program even.  I wonder what it would take.  My list so far:
raspberry pi
some kind of distro with a gui, but still lightweight enough for rpi
a wifi usb adapter (there's a popular model rpi users use i believe)
a batter of some sort, i'm guessing one of those smartphone sized usb battery packs

bam!  let's get this show on the road!

superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 09:45:59 AM »
holy hell, check this thing out!  $140
http://www.solid-run...product/cubox-i4pro/
CuBox-i-first-562x421.png
If that thing can run on a battery, that would be very interesting!
wifi built in!
sdcard
2GB RAM

Give me a distro to load on this baby!  A battery pack...tie it together with a live strong band.  oh yea.
as stu lantz says...."Noiiiice!"

40hz

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 10:50:28 AM »
You can get it with OpenELEC installed - which makes for a very nice home media server. Better than a Pi in that the port layout is a lot more compact than the hydra-like arrangement the Pi has. And it has a case and power supply included!

Yeah...gimmee-gimmee! :Thmbsup:

4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 07:15:53 PM »
How much file space are we talking about?

Simple solution if you don't mind an open WiFi:
  • A rooted Android Smartphone with OTG capability, (@superboyac: considering the number of posts you've made in the last couple of years, you must have a box full of spare phones :P )
  • OTG cable, (powered if you want to run a portable HDD instead of flash drive).
  • A flash drive for file storage.
  • This app.

Flash drive and OTG cable not even required if you use a 32GB microSD card and it's enough.

If you went and got a TP-LINK MR3020 for what you wanted here, install PirateBox on it.

Self-contained, self-powered web-based file sharing.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 09:31:13 PM by 4wd, Reason: I\'m stoopid :/ »

Edvard

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 08:25:11 PM »
Cubox looks real slick, but it's still a bit ouch-worthy at $140 compared to the Pi's $35.

A little advice: when shopping for a wi-fi adapter for the Pi, there are certain chipsets to avoid. There's a long list here:
http://elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters
but, speaking from experience, avoid anything using the Realtek 8192CU chipset.  
TL;DR, may not work, depending on equipment
They say there's drivers, and there are, but whether  but the adapter works depends on some sort of vendor voodoo or something.  The folks at Adafruit sell adapters with the same chipset but different branding and they promise "working out of the box", even though you still have to compile a custom version of hostapd, the Access Point software you'll need to run to use the thing as a file server.  The adapters I bought for mine have the exact same shipset, but getting it working required me to downgrade my kernel, compile a new driver, compile the custom version of hostapd and it's still as stable as a twig in a hurricane.

Next time, I'm going to spend a few more bucks and get something with a RT5370 chip (make sure it's genuine).  Inexpensive, fast, and supports Access Point mode.  

Deozaan

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 08:59:29 PM »
This app.

Which app is that? The link is blank.


4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 09:30:48 PM »
My bad, could have sworn I put the link in there ... fixed.

Just search for PirateBox on Google Play otherwise.

ewemoa

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 09:44:20 PM »
A little advice: when shopping for a wi-fi adapter for the Pi, there are certain chipsets to avoid. There's a long list here:
http://elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters

Thanks for this :)

superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2014, 05:17:33 PM »
How much file space are we talking about?

Simple solution if you don't mind an open WiFi:
  • A rooted Android Smartphone with OTG capability, (@superboyac: considering the number of posts you've made in the last couple of years, you must have a box full of spare phones :P )
  • OTG cable, (powered if you want to run a portable HDD instead of flash drive).
  • A flash drive for file storage.
  • This app.

Flash drive and OTG cable not even required if you use a 32GB microSD card and it's enough.

If you went and got a TP-LINK MR3020 for what you wanted here, install PirateBox on it.

Self-contained, self-powered web-based file sharing.
;D well, not quite...I do my research on the cheap.  If I see someone with a phone I haven't played with, I might take it for a while and not return it until I'm satisfied with my study.  Most people are not terribly thrilled with it...I get a lot of "Don't break it" comments, which is funny, because I can't even remember the last time I've ever broken something.  Ah, people.

The ultimate goal in all these efforts is to replace my portable thumbdrive with something that can do the same without needing to plug it into stuff.  So let's say I'm out and about, transferring files here and there from the thumbdrive, well...now when I get home, i need to stick that thing in my home computer to copy everything over.  It would be easier if I could have a wifi direct enabled server that runs on batteries, and I just keep it in my bag.  Whenever it's in range of any device, it just syncs using standard syncing software, and I never have to remove it from my bag or whatever.  Except to charge occasionally. That's my goal.

Target

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 06:08:33 PM »
wireless portable HDD's are already starting to appear

not vouching for the content at all but this might be a starter for you top 5 wireless portable hdd's

superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 12:10:50 PM »
Hmm...check out this thing from Sony...looks just right, a wireless portable storage device!
http://www.sony-asia.com/product/wg-c20
cd1921b5f1647c14652d47e6762cc47e.jpegRaspberry Pi project:  wireless file server

4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2014, 06:40:35 PM »
Or a 32GB Eye-Fi card with a USB SDcard adapter and a portable phone charger.

WFfiBank.png

Target

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2014, 07:07:57 PM »
Hmm...check out this thing from Sony...looks just right, a wireless portable storage device!
http://www.sony-asia.com/product/wg-c20 (see attachment in previous post)

actually that's just a server, you still have to add some storage...

Seagate have a wifi HDD.   and Reviewed here (kind of )

40hz

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2014, 08:16:22 PM »
I suppose there's this too. Plug a the officially recommended TP-LINK TL-WN823N 300Mbps Wireless Mini USB Adapter into it and you're done.

Can't say how good it is. But they seem to be geared towards enterprise with some of their product lines. So I'd guess they're worth at least looking into.

4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2014, 09:28:18 PM »
Hmm...check out this thing from Sony...looks just right, a wireless portable storage device!
http://www.sony-asia.com/product/wg-c20 (see attachment in previous post)

There's a couple of similar items on Amazon from RAVPower:
http://www.amazon.co...Server/dp/B00AQUMZRA
http://www.amazon.co...rtable/dp/B00ICEWB58

Deozaan

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2014, 01:35:21 PM »
I suppose there's this too. Plug a the officially recommended TP-LINK TL-WN823N 300Mbps Wireless Mini USB Adapter into it and you're done.

Huh? $100 for a device that does what exactly?

It doesn't provide the storage. That comes separately (or as optional add-on for another $250 for 2TB (but hey, free shipping!)).
It doesn't provide the wireless data sharing. That comes separately.

So... it enables you to sync the data across your devices?

I tell you what, send me $30 and I'll tell you to just use the excellent and free BTSync to sync data across all your devices. You save $70 (which you can use to buy a TP-Link or Raspberry Pi or more storage) and we're all happy. (c:

(My incredulity isn't directed at you, 40hz, but at the folks selling that thing at such a steal.)


40hz

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2014, 02:39:54 PM »
Huh? $100 for a device that does what exactly?


@Deo - No offense taken. We're all friends here. :Thmbsup:

I'm not quite sure what you're looking at. :huh:

I was pointing to the 2TB NAS device at $349 which can be enabled for wifi by plugging in a $17 USB N-adapter which they've tested and certified to work with it. It has the software built-in. And works with smartphones out of the box.

It can also be made to directly transfer files or sync with any other Transporter drive anywhere in the world.

More about it here
The 2TB Transporter Private Cloud from Connected Data is a network attached storage drive designed to directly communicate with other Transporter drives regardless of location. You no longer need to send files via email or through a cloud based service - instead you can simply sync and transfer data to friends and family through the Transporter drives.

While there is a need for more than one Transporter Drive to take advantage of the specific file sharing capabilities, you can still utilize this drive as a NAS (network attached storage) drive. As a result, you can safely store your data within this drive and access that data from nearly any computer or mobile device as long as that device has Internet access and meets any criteria setup by the device administrator.

Each Transporter Drive supports a single 2.5" SATA II or SATA III hard drive with a thickness of 7 mm, 9.5 mm, 12.5 mm, or 15 mm and a capacity of at least 160GB. Connecting your Transporter Drive to the Internet is simple via the integrated Gigabit Ethernet port.

Once connected, you can manage your device through the connected data management website with browser support for Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. Accessing files within the drive can be accomplished through a connected data Mac, Windows, or Apple iOS application, and optional local access via CIFS / SMB connection.


There's certainly nothing there you couldn't put together for yourself. But for a "plug it in and go" network storage solution, it's competitively priced.

Hope that clarifies. :)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 02:56:36 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2014, 03:53:30 PM »
I watched the video which just showed the base. It said you plug in your own storage. And the product page says you need to use your own wifi router.

The base unit costs $100 and doesn't include any storage, and as previously established, doesn't provide any wireless data transfer.

Since the 2TB device you linked is $350, that means they're charging $250 for a 2TB drive (and HDD "toaster" stand, I guess, enclosed in a sleek plastic shell).

So really the thing is just a doohickey that handles syncing files across your network. You still have to provide your own storage (or pay out the nose for their storage options) and you still have to provide your own wifi adapter. You can already achieve that same functionality with just about every device that you already use or carry around with you using BTSync.

And my guess is that it's not just "plug it in and go." You probably need to set up which files/folders to sync, and where to sync them, and install their special software/apps on all your devices.

BTSync has a simple set up process, you do have to set up your folders, and install the software/apps on your devices, and it will also sync across the internet using bittorrent technology (so transfers don't have to happen all at once or fail if interrupted). And I don't have to pay $100-$350 for it. (c:

I guess I just don't see why anyone would use that thing except if they didn't know something like BTSync exists. I can't think of a single feature it has that is an improvement over BTSync, but I can think of at least a few areas where it is not as good as BTSync.


superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2014, 03:55:04 PM »
It can also be made to directly transfer files or sync with any other Transporter drive anywhere in the world.
That certainly is the key feature for me.  I just bought this one, I should have it by tomorrow:
http://www.ravpower....0mah-power-bank.html
[ Invalid Attachment ]

I got it specifically because someone has a blog who is a nutz as I am about this sort of thing, and he praised this company in particular for having the ability of Samba built in (something like that) which allows a windows machine to access it directly, without any stupid software or apps.
http://reviewlagoon....kpower-bank-rp-wd01/
Quote
Access Layer 3: Samba

Look, this is all fine and well.  You aren’t hampered by some goofy app that won’t stream MKVs or WMA files; the native app works fantastic with whatever you’re rocking for media playback.  But what about REAL file access?  Like REAL file sharing?  Samba technology allows you to access network shares with your mobile device.  MOST wireless drives do NOT support Samba – which is why you’re trapped in their crappy app.
Samba allows you to use any Samba-compatible application to access the files as if the folder was on your device.  For power users like me?  This is REQUIRED.
Thanks to Samba, you can use almost any file manager on Android.  Most good music and video players support Samba streaming.  This means the sky is the limit.
If you have a compatible device, you can use CIFS to mount the WiDrive to the local file system – making it just as good as OTG.

4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2014, 08:58:57 PM »
That certainly is the key feature for me.  I just bought this one, I should have it by tomorrow:
http://www.ravpower....0mah-power-bank.html

Woohoo!!!  I won!!!

giphy.gif

Wish I could afford to get one here but they want close to double the price ... I really, really hate the OzTax  :-\


Re. BTSync, having used it across both LAN and Internet I'd say it's fine if you only want to sync up to a couple of thousand files total.  I uninstalled it after using it for 12+ months because for 30,000+ files it was more annoying than it was worth.

Deozaan

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2014, 12:52:24 AM »
Re. BTSync, having used it across both LAN and Internet I'd say it's fine if you only want to sync up to a couple of thousand files total.  I uninstalled it after using it for 12+ months because for 30,000+ files it was more annoying than it was worth.

What was the problem? Was it the sheer number of files or was it more to do with them being interspersed all over your hard drive?


4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2014, 04:14:16 AM »
Sheer number of files, it spent a lot of time indexing when the computer powered up, (why? nothing is likely to have changed when it was powered down), generated an inordinate amount of HDD activity when the drives should of been sleeping, it also used a lot of CPU while doing it.

And we're talking across more than one drive per machine.

Since most of the time I had it set for one-way syncing, I just use SyncBack now, it runs once a day and doesn't generate all the extra activity and is sufficient for my needs.

If I had been able to set a time frame in which it operated then it probably would have been more useful to me.

superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2014, 09:17:52 AM »
4wd, I've never used btsync for such large folders!  Good to know that's probably not a good idea.  I'd probably use syncovery for something like that.

I got that ravpower unit, and had a few minutes to play with it last night.  Couldn't do anything with it yet, so we'll see.  There was a weird moment...I plugged in a tiny usb drive into it, and left it on my lap while reading the manual.  The usb drive is made of aluminum.  In a few minutes, it got crazy hot!  So hot, i couldn't even touch for hardly a second even.  That was crazy.  I unplugged it.  Hopefully, nothing is burnt on the ravpower.  I seem to remember something being wrong with that drive.

What I'm looking forward to is trying the Samba capabilities of that thing.

4wd

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2014, 02:46:55 PM »
I hate to tell you, that wasn't a USB drive you plugged in ... that was one of these.

 :P

superboyac

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Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2014, 08:52:26 PM »
I have now been able to play with the Ravpower WD-02 wifi device.  It's pretty cool!  I put a microsd card in there, so I have plenty of storage.  On my tablet, I switch the wifi connection to the device, and I can access the storage wirelessly.  I can do the same with my android phone.  The only problem is that because you are using the wifi connection, you can't use the drive AND have internet access at the same time.  It's one or the other.

This is why I'm using a program called NetSetMan to manage the wifi connections more conveniently.  I can switch back and forth more quickly than with Windows default manager.  It would be nice to figure out a way to get both the internet and drive connected simultaneously, but I think that is not possible.

However, it may possibly free me from using a thumbdrive without resorting to cloud sync services.  We'll see.