Raspberry Pi Wallet / Pirate Wallet

My Wife bought me a “Charging Wallet”. It is a Halo2cloud 3000ma inside a wallet. It had a micro B USB connector so I powered up an Raspberry Pi A+ on it. I plugged a rather large USB WiFi into also. The Battery has a power switch on it which is a nice feature.

EDIT: This Wallet is sold under various names. It is not shown on the HALO2CLOUD as a product but can be found in the FAQS. Charge-it 3000, Pocket Power 3000. The Battery itself is labeled Pocket Power 3000.

The Battery and the board on top of the Wallet. There are  headphones plugged in to it!

The Battery and the board on top of the Wallet. There are headphones plugged in to it!

I connected to it by SSH. I was playing Weird Al Yankovich’s “Amish Paradise”.

Here it is inside the Wallet!

Battery in its niche inside the Wallet!

Battery in its niche inside the Wallet!

Now carrying out an upgrade running on the Battery.


Remove some connectors (HDMI, GPIO Pins and USB) to reduce its thickness and it would all fit into the wallet. Maybe an ADAFRUIT touch screen attached? You have a RasPi-Wallet!

My wife would kill me if I cut up her Christmas gift. I posted these pictures as I thought some of you would get a kick out of this!

Well I did it to myself again. I just ordered a Charge-it 3000 Wallet.
I also ordered some stuff from Adafruit.

Model A+ Raspberry Pi (A+ #2)
PiTFT capacitive touchscreen
Miniature WiFi (802.11b/g/n) Module: For Raspberry Pi
GPIO Ribbon Cable for Raspberry Pi Model A+/B+ (40 pins)

I did not order a camera, yet.

Plan of attack for this project:
It will be powered through the micro B USB. Remove GPIO pins and USB Connector to reduce the overall height. I will solder into the GPIO with the ribbon cable to the PiTFT. I will extend the USB port out to the end of the Wallet by soldering a pigtail into the USB points on the PCB. I will leave the audio and the HDMI connectors in place. The PiTFT will be cut into the outer wallet and glued under it with Contact cement. So it will be a display in a leather frame. The A+ will be in the billfold area. I will probably have to remove some of the wallets credit card slots to reduce the thickness of the Wallet. I would like to leave at least one to store extra Micro SD cards. At least one card will be a Raspbian image and another will be setup with Pirate Box. If I find enough room left over I may also install a camera board. Storage is going to be limited by the fact that the USB is going to be filled with a WiFi dongle. So large class 6 cards will probably be the best bet.

There will be a way to stand the Wifi side of the wallet up when it is used as a pirate box server. Most likely a strap that will allow it to lean against. Normally it will be velcroed shut.

I will probably cut out a leather ring to put around the A+ to help prevent crushing the connectors left on the board. This will be contact cemented into the Wallet. The RasPi will then be slipped into that. You still will not be able to carry this wallet in a back pocket unless you want a crushed electronic mess!

I decide to leave the HDMI as I saw an article where the PiTFT and a HDMI display can be used simultaneously. This might be a bit much with only 256MB on the A+.

When I start the build, after the parts and pieces gets here, I will move to a different Forum.

Stuff is on the way, but the Holidays are going to delay some of it. So there will probably be some work starting in about a week to 10 days!


Still waiting for the parts for this project.

I did a little studying as to the power consumption of the components I intend to use.

Raspberry Pi 130ma to 150ma

PiTFT 100ma

Adafruit micro WiFi. 100ma to 200ma

About 450ma under heavy use. The battery states 3000ma but you cannot use all of it usually. I use 75% as a figure. That comes out to 2250ma. That equals about 5 hours heavy use. Probably 6 to 7 hours if the backlight is turned down some and the WiFi is idle.

It will be interesting to see if the real world use compares to these figures!

I found a link where a person has removed all of the connectors from a Rev 2 board; USB, composite, audio, DSI, CSI, HDMI and the capacitor. He installed it into a Gameboy handheld, nice work. Imagine what he could do with the A+!

That made for a pretty slim board. I have removed the Ethernet and USB’s from a couple of boards with no problems. Soldering wires and/or pins to the USB proved to be relatively simple. Taking all the connectors off would make the board much easier to integrate into the Wallet. I still might want to use a camera and I might want to have the HDMI available to connect to a T.V. Or monitor. Still it is tempting to just strip the board down.

I an considering whether to include external speaker/speakers into the project. This would require a small amplifier board and speaker/speakers to be incorporated someplace.

The RasPi camera actually presents a height problem to install. The board is 9mm (.359″) tall. I do not see anyway to reduce that down. Adafruit has a “spy camera” that is much smaller, in all dimensions, but the ribbon cable is almost a foot long. I saw no way to to shorten the ribbon as there are components on one end and the other has special trace routings so you would have to try to shorten it in the middle. It is a very small ribbon. Maybe the excess ribbon can be folded up out of the way, but I worry each fold could become a point of failure.

A lot decisions to be made!

A dedicated portable device; remove everything and make it real slim.

A more flexible device; leave some connectors.

I should be have everything in by 1/8/15 so I will have to lay everything out. See if I can fit a camera in there someplace. Then whip out the soldering iron and get to work.

I really need to decide what I want to end up with at the conclusion of the project. Possible uses at this point include;

Pirate box server
Music player
RasPi Camera
Internet device
All the above with different micro SD cards?

All of this in the size of a men’s wallet. The GPIO will also still be available. Some, the original 26 pins from the PiTFT and the rest of the 40 pins could be brought out by wire to a connector at the edge of the Wallet. Some of the GPIO is used up by the PiTFT itself. There are also pads to install buttons on the PiTFT that I might need to consider using, eating up a few more GPIO.

I received a 2-port USB mini hub today (more like a micro hub) From Amazon. My Adafruit order is stalled with UPS in San Pablo CA., since 1/4/15. I think it has been lost or stolen by one of their employees. They say it will be delivered tomorrow. That is really holding me up. I guess we find out tomorrow!

Here is the mini hub. Worked just fine with a USB with an old USB G WiFi and a keyboard. It is not powered.


Here it is disassembled. It only took about a minute to disassembled. There is a plastic insert on the Male side. I stuck a knife tip into one side then pried out on that. The plate on the right in the picture below popped out. it was glued in.


The male pins are going to be easy to remove. The Female sockets are not supported so they will be easy to remove, but the female through hole pins are very tiny and there are resistors all around them. Once the sockets have been removed I think I will be able to remove the pins so I can solder wires in their place. It is going to be some very small work. The board is about 9/16″ x 11/16″. Definitely small enough for this project. I will hardwire the male side to the A+, then bring out to USB female dongles.

This will allow me to have USB WiFi and a USB stick for extra storage, if I need it. Or if I need a keyboard. I think I will buy a couple more, if for nothing else to have small hubs that can be made even smaller. You could use these on a bread board or a perf board to carry out a 2-port hub for you projects. They are $9.99 ($9.99 with prime so no shipping) a piece so not cheap, but they are the right size!