Fallout Cyberdeck

Cyberdeck + Fallout = Pip-Boy basestation

Similar projects worth following
Jeff Bezos bringing Fallout to TV has inspired me to build a cyberdeck capable of withstanding a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland

EMP-hardened with a conductive shell, double faraday fabric layers, and Flex Seal insulation. Offline data libraries, navigation, signals intelligence, aircraft tracking, weather data reception, radio, and long-distance communication capabilities. Powered by a LiFePo4 battery, it has 2x Raspberry Pi 4Bs, RTL-SDR, HackRF, all housed in a Pelican iM222 Storm case. Technical components include a 2TB external HDD, truSDX HF QRP, DigiRig, Teensy 4.1, touchscreens, Nukalert sensor, and a keyboard.


  1. Build to withstand a nuke - I mean, not a direct hit obviously - would probably need a bigger case for that. But it is hardened against the effects of an Electromagnetic Pulse which is a side effect of a nuclear detonation. When the case is closed, it forms a complete conductive shell around the interior electronics. The interior of the case has a double layer of faraday fabric (held in place with rivets and conductive tape). The stock Pelican O-ring was replaced with a conductive gasket and the O-Ring slot was lined with faraday tape, and all potential weak spots were painted over with a water based Nickel conductive paint. Then, the interior was lined with Flex Seal (yeah that guy), to create a rubberized insulation layer, so the shielding isn’t shorted. Lastly, ferrite chokes were placed on many of the wires inside the case as a last line of defense. 
  2. Offline Information Library - Hundreds of GB of information saved to the hard drive (Wikipedia, Medical Cooking recipes, Ted Talks, WikiHow, etc.)  saved and served locally via Kiwix
  3. Offline Navigation and Positioning- World map tiles downloaded and working locally with the embedded GPS antenna
  4. Signals Intelligence - prebuild SDR apps (just swap antennas) 
    1. Aircraft tracking via ADSB & RTLSDR 
    2. Receive HighRes NOAA weather information and data via GOES geostationary satellites  
    3. AM/FM radio receiver
    4. Programmable Transmit capability with HackRF
  5. Offgrid Long Distance Communication - plug in HF antenna and use Digital modes like JS8Call to communicate cross country (potentially internationally) without relying on Cell infrastructure or even satellites.
  6. Battery & Power - Internal (12Ah) LiFePo4 battery much safer and longer lasting than Li Ion. 3 switchable Power domains to minimize power draw based on use case. Typical lasts >14 hours with no recharge. 
  7. Radiation detection - detection of radiation levels via Nukalert sensor
  8. Modest compute and extensibility - 2x Raspberry Pi 4Bs with 2x USB 3.0 ports

*Technical Specs moved to components. its a working list im actively updating*

System Design 

At a glance - Raspberry Pi v4 as the client, Raspberry Pi v5 as the server, and Teensy 4.1 acting as a microcontroller 


  • Handles user interface operations, including keyboard inputs.
  • Developing a graphical user interface (GUI) for service control via MQTT.
  • Establishes direct connections with truSDX & Digirig through USB, with potential workload delegation to ServerPi.
  • Maintains a direct Ethernet connection to the server, bypassing the need for a router with a static IP address.


  •  Main memory is 500GB SSD (NVMe) for boot data, map tiles, and file storage. 64GB SD card is utilized, with a dedicated 16GB section configured as swap memory to augment RAM (very useful for bypassing RAM bottleneck for OSRM ! -- more detail to come)
  • Orchestrates a master control process via MQTT, primarily functioning as a subordinate to ClientPi by managing micro-services within Docker containers for hardware flexibility.
  • Self-powered USB 3.0 hub within an AUX power domain

Teensy 4.1:

  • Integrated with a GPS receiver and streaming data to a TFT display. Plans to relay GPS coordinates to ServerPi for navigation.
  • Future expansions may include integrating an air quality sensor and additional sensors for enhanced functionality.

Software Services (air-gapped)


  • Head honcho to run MQTT communication and logging.


  •  Map tiles for the entire planet stored on the SSD. Downloaded for free with OpenStreetMaps! served
  • OSRM  US west coast (blocked by OOM when i tried any bigger  - yes even with 8Gb RAM and 16GB Swap mem). Provides point-to-point routing services for the US West Coast through OSRM.
  • ***[enters fantasy] 30cm-resolution satellite imagery [exits fantasy] 


  • Running Kiwix server, to host >250GB of .zim files utilizing straight from the SSD


  • Pretty...
Read more »


CAD file for bottom faceplate

step - 222.64 kB - 05/05/2024 at 06:44



CAD file for top faceplate

AutoCAD DXF - 14.80 kB - 04/25/2024 at 06:24


View all 34 components

  • Physical Case Design

    Eric B05/05/2024 at 07:52 0 comments

    Top & Bottom Faceplate Design

    I used FreeCAD to design the plates and validated the initial versions with 3D printer. I also discovered that open-sources the interior shell CAD files (score!) - so I imported them into the FreeCAD project, which made it much easier to get proper alignment. After many rounds of 3D printing and PLA burned I sent off the design files to be laser-cut. I also 3D printed some of the internal structural supports and other misc. pieces (like the cup for the nuke alert sensor). I then bathed them in Flex Seal to maintain ruggedness and watertight-ness.

    To keep the top and bottom plate strongly anchored to the case, I went with the OEM Pelican base bezel (this thing is thiccc)  to secure the bottom plate. And for the top plate, I cut my own out of an  AL L bracket from home depot  because i didn't feel like blowing another 80 bucks on a chunk of aluminum! Both support brackets were riveted  through the pelican case. This came after the initial Faraday shield layer but before the & Flex Seal layer.  The rivet holes were painted and/or covered with conductive fabric & tape. 

    When the plates came in I sanded them down, primed them and spray painted them blue, and added Fallout vinyl decals.  There was a misalignment in the top left fan cutout which happened when deburring - pretty sure this was my noob CAD screwup but I ended up getting a replacement for free - thanks  SendCutSend!

View project log

Enjoy this project?



e64 wrote 04/22/2024 at 19:14 point

why not faraday box? , why not 18650 AND lipo AND solar panel (step up-down from 1V to 24V for other source power)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 04/23/2024 at 00:51 point

I went with the pelican to keep it portable, durable, and watertight. also for this build lifecycle & durability >> energy desity and i had the case real estate so Lifepo was the clear (albeit more expensive) choice.

for v1, I intentionally avoided all cable routing through the case exterior since theyd become antennas for an E1 induced massive voltage spike frying the connected circuitry. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

e64 wrote 04/25/2024 at 16:43 point

But even lining the inside of the box with metal foil is enough

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 04/25/2024 at 19:28 point

No - a cable port would make the system much more vulnerable unless there’s an SPD or high sat ferrite  ;)

from CISA EMP vulnerability report :

“…EM protection for electrical POEs, including all power, communications, and control penetrating conductors whether shielded or unshielded, should be provided with main barrier transient suppression/ attenuation devices….”

  Are you sure? yes | no

Federico wrote 04/22/2024 at 16:54 point

That is SO cool!!! I have so many questions... Are you planning to add more details?

- Hardware list (I see what looks like a KVM?)

- Software used (I wish we had free weather satellites in EU :/ )

- Construction details (Switches, connectors, panel, etc....)  How did you cut the panels, decorations, etc.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 04/23/2024 at 00:50 point

Yes i am planning to! -  currently sidetracked upgrading from RPI4 to 5  lol. But I will be making periodic updates and filling in the color here as i come up for air

That is a independently powered USB hub connecting to one of the raspberry PIs to handle current draw from SDRs and HDD

  Are you sure? yes | no

Federico wrote 04/28/2024 at 11:10 point

What materials are the faceplates (plastic/metal)? Did you use a CNC service for them (to get an idea of the cost)?

How much does everything weight? I was thinking a RPI 400 could be used for the frontend PI and save a little weight from the mechanical keyboard (maybe less robust OFC)

  Are you sure? yes | no

e64 wrote 04/29/2024 at 09:59 point

in shelter You probably have different power. meybe 3.7 18650 but 3 diferent size and one very old.

meybe AA, meybe solar panel usb or 12V car battery

step up-down from 1-24V is optimal ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 05/05/2024 at 06:39 point

@Federico , the top and bottom faceplates are made from laser-cut 5052 H32 aluminum, 0.063 inches thick. I had them made for about $100 (US) total

And it's definitely not lightweight, at 20.8 lbs. But it definitely feels structurally sound — like it could be run over by a car and keep working lol 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Federico wrote 05/05/2024 at 10:57 point

@Eric B It sounds very sturdy. I am thinking how to make a version of this slightly lighter in weight, ideally attachable to a MOLLE backpack without breaking your back if you have to do a long trek session.

I leave you some thoughts, maybe you'll be inspired for a V2 version in future :D 

- From your pictures it looks like there is a whole keyboard, including the case. Some weight could be saved by using only a PCB (i.e. and embedding it in the panel.

- Some resource constraint management for the containers (i.e. a lightweight Kubernetes using and to shut down unused containers) might allow to fit everything in a single 8GB PI5, reducing the energy cost (a smaller battery?) and maybe allow the system to fit in a smaller case.

- Make the battery external, using a connector on one of the panels like the HF ANT one. It would make it easier to transport it, and following @e64 suggestion a dc-dc converter (i.e. would allow to attach ANY kind of DC power source. Detaching the battery would also protect the battery from passive currents discharging it when not used.

  Are you sure? yes | no

gruven haus wrote 04/22/2024 at 16:41 point

I signed up just to give you KUDOS!! 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 04/23/2024 at 00:33 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

rich.quackenbush wrote 04/19/2024 at 17:58 point

Wow - amazing work! I love it!!!!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric B wrote 04/20/2024 at 01:42 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates