A project log for B(h)ackpack AP

Personal secure connection. 01/26/2016 at 22:003 Comments

This has been back-burner'd for a while. Work and school come first and all. But progress has been made very recently. Some time ago, I gave up on the TP Link pocket router and went with a Raspberry Pi 2, inspired by other projects on here and around the web. That ended up making things much easier for me as there's a much larger support base and community for the Pi than the MR2030. At least for one with my level of skill. Some of this may be easy for those of you who have years of experience with Linux and whatnot. I have had a very basic understanding of Linux but I'm going all in. I've taken it all apart and built it back up and here it is.

The current iteration has two identical Alfa AWUS036NH wireless adapters and a BU-353S4 GPS receiver. It creates an access point on WLAN0 and connects to an open access point with WLAN1. WLAN1 passes traffic to WLAN0 and ETH0. My thanks to the folks at Realies for providing the walkthrough for setting up the Pi. There were a great many sites on the internet that contributed but theirs was the most comprehensive and the only walkthrough that used WPA2. Additionally, they have some information on getting this setup working with the little Edimax adapters that are so popular with the Pi.

After wiping the micro SD card on my setup about a hundred times, I decided I was tired of going through the configuration over and over. I have also recently decided to learn bash scripting. So, for the last few weeks I've been schooling up on Bash and Git and Github. I've linked my repo in the project links section, feel free to use it or contribute to make it better. The script will set up your Pi as an access point if you've got the same components as I do. Really, it should work with anything that uses the nl80211 driver.

My current configuration also includes GPS using a BU-353S4 receiver which uses serial over USB. There's been some issues with Raspbian Jessie and this S4 model. I haven't seen anybody having issues with a standard BU-353 (discontinued) or Rasbian Wheezy. The fix was just to update the default config file with the same commands that one would normally pass when running gpsd. I've made a script for that too, because I'd rather spend six hours learning how to do something in ten seconds than spend sixty seconds each time I have to wipe the card and rebuild.

Next steps, I want to set up the Pi to automatically establish a VPN tunnel to my home server so that any connected clients have all traffic pass through the tunnel and there is no worry of leaks. I also would have the Raspberry Pi report it's position and other nearby access points to my server, like a wardriving rig.

Additional considerations may include setting up something like a Piratebox on it's own SSID and removable drive, bluetooth connectivity, an SDR server with rtl_tcp, and maybe a camera. I really don't think the Pi can handle all these things at once but maybe a second Pi could be in the same enclosure, connected via ETH0, handling the extra hardware and the first just does the access point and GPS. Super bonus idea: maybe add directional antennas on rotating mounts with servos or stepper motors and have an additional setup in my truck that keeps an antenna aimed at me while I'm out and about and another antenna aimed at whitelisted access points.

Still looking for help, if anyone can or wants to contribute.


Jarrett wrote 01/27/2016 at 15:41 point

You're inspiring me to restart work on my (similar) system. It just has so many cool opportunities :)

  Are you sure? yes | no wrote 01/28/2016 at 05:09 point

Happy to help!  What similarities does your project have?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 01/29/2016 at 04:44 point

It's right here:

Nothing works atm, but the idea is to connect to it via wifi over one chip, and a second wifi connecting out in the real world. And a set of plugins processing that connection in between, whether that plugin uses a wardriver, Reaver, or just automagically hitting "I accept" on those free spots.

Gonna be awesome :)

  Are you sure? yes | no