PiZero+CustomAccessPoint+CaptivePortal+AudioStreaming+PiFM+Voip in a wallet. Cash, Cache and Content. (optional Solar Charger)

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PiFold-A handy PiZero based server that fits in a wallet. Battery, charge circuit and wifi included. Currently using Anyfesto,a Captive Portal/AP, to serve up ebooks and files via a web interface plus audio streaming via VLC. Secure VOIP service via Mumble, IRC and shell services are available if wanted.

Why? For when connectivity to the Internet(tm)(c) is not available or is unwise to use. Also for sharing resources to those in your local area.

Where? From your person to the range of wifi. Can be augmented by having wifi repeaters in range.

A wallet for cash, cache and content.

A 3d printed case is optionally available as are instructions to make a tyvek/paper wallet.

Parts and instructions for an optional solar charging unit are now included.

Objective: To have a local content server and audio streamer that can be accessed over wifi and the audio stream could optionally be listened to over a nearby by FM radio. Add to that shell access and the ability to add more services should the need arise. Now make that fit in a wallet.

Why A Wallet?

Use of materials is always a fascinating part of projects. As I was kicking around ideas for a portable PiZero case that could also encompass a battery, charger and at least a usb wifi module it quickly became clear 3d printed cases or other ridged structures where going to be an issue.

I wanted something that I could grab and go without much in the way of stitching, velcroing, fastening or rejiggering. Charging also needed to be easy.

I had a spare tyvek wallet hanging on my desk. It fit the battery and charging circuit easily. The PiZero itself sits on the other side of the fold from the battery. For now I have a USB cable connecting the two but will be soldering in the power to the PiZero itself with an off switch of some sort. Still to figure out is having the switch first trigger a clean shutdown.

Even with a few cards and some cash in the outer pocket of the wallet it is by far not the bulkiest wallet I have had. It folds and unfolds without any kinks or crashes. It has worked for hours in my jacket pocket. When I get home I plug it into one of the USB charging cable on the kitchen table. When I am ready to go out I grab it off the cable and put it in a pocket.

I added a cut in the bottom of the corner where the power supply is. A messy duct tape job holds it the USB port of the charger in the right place. In future builds I will want to position and secure a bit neater.

Why VLC?

For me VLC has become my go to audio/video weapon of choice both for client and server needs. As a viewer/listener it is rock solid, cross platform and cli friendly.

As a server it is rock solid, cross platform and cli friendly.

See what happened there? One tool, many tasks. Alton Brown would approve.

I have set VLC up in this project to start on boot, stream a default file or playlist and listen on a specified port for further commands. You can use any one of a plethora of VLC control apps on the device of your choice or even use a web browser for the task.

As VLC requires to be run as a user I have set up a user named VLC that has read rights to the local content directories and is part of the media group. You can see how this is set out in the steps listed in the Instructions section of this page.

Standing on the Shoulders -

PiFM -

PiFM Using VLC -

PirateBox -

LibraryBox -

VLC Streaming Docs -

Adafruit's HostAP setup -


qwebirc -

HybridIRCd -

Mumble on RPi -

The Personal Telco Project -


PiFold Home Page. Place in /opt/piratebox/www

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) - 3.85 kB - 02/06/2016 at 03:39



PiFold Logo. Place in /opt/piratebox/www

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 9.01 kB - 02/06/2016 at 03:04



JPEG Image - 300.16 kB - 02/04/2016 at 02:05



JPEG Image - 3.65 MB - 02/04/2016 at 02:05



JPEG Image - 3.57 MB - 02/04/2016 at 02:05


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  • AnyfestoPI / PiFold Beta - Testing and Bug Squash Needed

    tomwsmf03/24/2017 at 04:46 0 comments

    After getting the CHIP side of the house stable I spent some time over the last month working on the PI installs, both manual and scripted. Now it needs some else's eyes and hardware other than my own to test things out and report the bugs.

    If you have the time and a Pi hanging around please head on over to

    and see if thing work or if they break bad.

    The next phase after this will be a clean up and a proper release most anyone can use to get one of these up and running.

    After that? I want to create a few specialized builds to address Education, Privacy and Social Gatherings. Each one will be be an easy to run script that will install not only the services/apps but all the content needed to address those issues. The EducationBox will be my first priority.

    So break and report and we can get that much closer to the goal.

    Thanks in advance

  • Winter Code Cleanup Nears Completion

    tomwsmf01/23/2017 at 06:58 0 comments

    Good news, if you are using the CHIP then Anyfesto has been getting near daily updates with new services, obvious fixes and a few typos corrected. The automatic base install scripts are working well enough to produce a working device and the manual install guide is covering all manner of services and CHIP foibles to make your install go smoother.

    Not so good news, I have been so hunkered down on the CHIP that the PI side of the house has gotten bupkis. For that I will make amends, soon....thats the plan.

    Is there any good news for the PIs? Much of the work done for the CHIP will easy to slide on over to the PI, so there is that.

    Whats working on the CHIP and soon on the PI?

    • AP and Captive Portal no longer using PirateBox/Library Box. This will make things a bit less bumpy for upgrades and updates.
    • Bootstrap is installed for the main landing web page. Those so inclined to work up their own pages will have Bootstrap to work with.
    • Speaking of the main landing web page, the one the Captive Portal will be redirecting everyone to....I have set up a nice simple layout that scales well to mobile, links to many of the features (text chat, wikimedia, file section) are in place and spots for the features planned are in place.
    • An audio player on the main landing page feed by an m3u playlist and javascript
    • IRC with a Web Frontend via HybridIRC and KiwiIRC
    • Wikimedia Server via Kiwix and wikimedia zims
    • Mumble voice chat server is running, I just need to finalize the steps and configs
    • Portable Khan Academy via KA-Lite is coming along but still needs some config work

    USB Storage is still something I am deciding on. Given that i want this to be able to be run by non tech folks I am working up a script that allows folks to insert a blank USB storage device and it will format it, set up directories and even give the option to auto populate things like KA-lite data, Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia zims, etc etc. Also add in the automount stuffs for good measure.

    I am shooting to wrap up this phase of work on the CHIP side in the next week or so. I will make an announcement that it should be all clear to install and know it wont change drastically in 12 hours.

    I will then start the slide over to the PI side. When I am done with that I will also send up an announcement.

    As always follow along over at and send any corrections, feedback and typos...oh the typos... my way here or there.

    And if you have been , thanks for following this project.


    "...which one is the current build?"

  • Winter Code Cleanup

    tomwsmf12/21/2016 at 00:59 0 comments

    As the northern section of our planet spins into the winter of our discontent it is time perhaps to look over the projects of the last year or so and see what can be done better, what can be rejiggered and what needs to be sent to the depths of the good ideas past.

    Over the next couple of weeks I am going to look to simplify PIFold and Anyfesto in general .

    • Do these projects need a full blown Piratebox install or would a simple set up suffice?
    • Is COPS the best way to offer up book collections?
    • Is there a better way to set up the streaming audio (I can answer that a resounding YES already...more on this in the footnotes[1])
    • How can this setup better facilitate the needs of those using it in areas with harsh privacy laws?
    • Can the CHIP/PI/Pi0 installs be unified?

    If you can think of other points that need looking into please please post them up. I have a week or so of free time and so the moment to do this is now. Maybe a livestream or google hangout. Id love to hear how folks are using this and projects like it. I also would love to find more ways to make it more of what it should be.

    Check back here for more info

    [1] VLC is a great solution but the start up script I set up was a quick bodge whose time needs to be done. Its not elegant. I like VLC because it offers mgmt and server and player all in one. Better soultions? Please post them up here.

  • AnyfestoCHIP - now working

    tomwsmf06/13/2016 at 02:38 0 comments

    Anyfesto, the project PiFold was hewn out of, now has an installation guide for making it work on the CHIP from Next Thing.

    The headers on the CHIP are a tab bulky for a wallet but in a jacket pocket it is still very doable. So if you have a CHIP give it a try and please let me know if there are any bugs, typos or potential melt down situations.

  • Updates Parts And Prices

    tomwsmf06/12/2016 at 09:10 0 comments

    Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 - - $ 5.00
    Tiny USB OTG Adapter - - $ 2.95
    16GB Micro SD card - Many Sources - $ 5.00 - 10.00
    Smallest WIFI USB - - $11.95
    LIon Battery 3.7V 2500mAh - - $29.50
    PowerBoost 1000 Charger 5V - - $19.95
    5V 2.4A 6' MicroUSB Cable - - $ 7.95


    USB wifi (802.11b/g/n) with antenna - - $19.95

    USBHub 2.0 Powered/7 Ports/5V 2A Power Supply - - $21.95
    StereoFM Transmitter w/RDS/RBDS Breakout - $19.95
    CZERF 76-108MHz 1W FM Transmitter/power supply/antenna - - $53.89

  • Delays and Resumption

    tomwsmf04/01/2016 at 19:17 0 comments

    Sorry for the delays. Between spring break and a few other tasks work on the PIFold has slowed. Fingers crossed, this weekend should see some progress.

  • 2nd PiZero Acquired, Final Build This Weekend

    tomwsmf03/11/2016 at 01:45 0 comments

    Having laid hands on a second PiZero [1] I can now commit it to the final build steps,

    • An On/Off switch
    • Shorten the wire runs and make thing more compact
    • Optional, Add a switch that can be coded for on the Pi. Uses for this could be ...
      • to do a proper sync sync shutdown dance before the powerdown
      • to do a full data wipe/encryption should the need arise
      • skip a track in the playlist
      • jump to a secondary fm freq
      • etc etc

      [1] Yes, PiZeros exist. No they are not being horded by various distribution points in order to help the NSA build up the panopticon or to help set up the fake Mars mission that will rival the old Moon Landing Hoax. Please, please please, stop harshing on resellers and distributors . Get on a wait list or lists, jump when you see them go in stock.

  • Eulidit PiFold Edition

    tomwsmf03/04/2016 at 15:05 0 comments

    While I love the Tyvek Wallet solution having a more solid case is sometimes the needed solution. In a previous post I went through some case solutions from things you can find floating around the house. This is a post about a 3d printed wallet I found on Thingiverse called the Eulidit that I slightly modified for my needs. I am still tweaking the depth of the thing, the current model might be great for backpacks and handbags but is just about as thick as I can fit in my jacket pocket. It does hold my cards and some cash, which is in keeping with the PiFold as wallet idea, and has the right openings to make recharging fairly easy.

    I am going to take it out on a test drive during today's living. You can try out the current model here..

  • CHIP and a New Case

    tomwsmf02/29/2016 at 02:38 0 comments

    After repairing the screwy nand on the CHIP I decided to start on making it work as a PiFold/Anyfesto device. I reworked the scale on the Anyfesto Tower Case to fit the CHIP, a nice sized battery, a usb hub and some extras. The antenna will be for the FM transmitter, wether it winds up being an oscillating gpio or one of the Adafruit FM boards.

    Now on to learn the base setup of the preinstalled Linux and see if things will just slide into place or brick the CHIP.

  • Can You Attach PiFold To A Cat/Dog/Kid/Car?

    tomwsmf02/25/2016 at 02:28 0 comments

    A popular project from the PIZero Contest has given rise to the question of whether a PiFold in a secure case could be fastened to a cat, dog, primate, kid, car, camper, backpack, one of those folks who spin advert signs. The answer is a resounding, Sure why not, check your local laws, consult a physician, PiFold takes no responsibility for use of PiFold in such circumstances.

    Portability is a key factor of why I love doing this project. The more places there are folks offering up an oasis of sharing the better things are.

    So there you have it, let your imagination be your guide and a smattering of common sense be your regulator. Do no harm. Be Exclent to each other. Rinse repeat.

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Enjoy this project?



tomwsmf wrote 02/07/2016 at 04:18 point

Thanks. Use cases for this  were a handful when I started working on it but already I have come up with a few more. 

I will do up a list of them over the next week or so. Anyone who comes up with any can post them on up. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eric Parker (xxValiumxx) wrote 02/06/2016 at 09:55 point

I can't see the point, but I don't think that's really necessary.  This is just really freaking cool.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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