Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ultimate Survival Tablet

Jesse at Repair Launch just sent me this. In the opening paragraph it says: "As tech nerds we don’t like to think of the day when the power grid goes kaboom and our favorite toys become absolutely useless. Our solution comes in the form of the ultimate survival tab or the SHTF Tab."  I've gotta admit, it got me thinking. After all, I'm not just a DIY get-by-on-a-shoestring survivalist; I'm a tech geek on top of all that. I remember going into a daydreaming trance the first time I saw the communicators, tricorders and phasers on Star Trek. But I wanted all that stuff in one compact unit. So I'll play along, but I've gotta make a few changes to the basic idea.

First, no Apple stuff for me. It's gotta be open source. I want mine to run on a replaceable 18650 lithium ion rechargeable cell, too. They're cheap, the latest ones hold a 3 amp-hour charge, and any old 5 volt source can power an internal charging circuit. It needs to have removable storage; I like the SD form factor. I want internal, user-accessible GPS (the government requires it in cellphones, but it is usually not accessible to the owner, who is paying for it.

What else? A shortwave receiver would be nice. And how about a transmitter, too? Low power; you would be amazed what 50 milliwatts will do on HF. CW (Morse code) only, for power efficiency. You don't know Morse code, you say? It has a keyboard and a computer, so you don't really need to know Morse.
And how about wifi networking and digipeating? That you can disable of course, for opsec.
Might as well add a bright LED flashlight. Everybody uses their cellphone as a flashlight anyway; I don't know why the manufacturers haven't caught on.
And how about a capacitive-discharge firestarter? It could double as that weapon they were talking about.
What else? Night-vision viewer. They already have CCD cameras and LCD monitors; CCDs are night vision capable already. Add a bright IR LED for illumination, and you have a night vision device.

OK, that's enough for now. Note that these are all functions that could be realistically built into a small device, or in some cases are already there, ready to be hacked into functionality.


Nan said...

Step outside the paradigm. If the grid is down, as in apocalyptic S.M. Stirling novel down, you're going to be better served by a Big Chief tablet and some no. 2 pencils.

Anonymous said...

I agree, pencil and paper. Learn the one time pad.