Electronics+Design project to make a device that automatically copies files from one inserted device to another with an incorporated SD card reader (both sizes).

This project started because of my combined passions for drone photography, travel, and not wanting to bring a laptop just to backup SD cards in case the drone falls off a cliff. Since I always bring a backup battery too, this seemed like a good combination. Plus now I can solar charge my battery when backpacking!

  • Automatic file copier with SD card slots
    • LED indicators for file transfer
    • 3 Switches, USB power, auto (PI) power, and auto-transfer.
  • ~1 full cell phone battery charge
  • Solar Panel battery recharger
  • Linux computer (raspberry pi zero) with USB slots for keyboard/mouse.
  • Portable IoT driver (GPIO pins are exposed underneath)

3D Printed STL Files on Thingiverse
Python script to automatically copy files

Keep reading for assembly information and more details!


Fully detailed assembly instructions are still a work-in-progress.


Part Notes

  • I believe there are cheaper options for these parts besides the ones I linked, that do basically the same thing, but these are some examples.
  • Mix and match to make the product you need! For example, if you only need the file copying with no battery or solar charging, the cost of this project goes down significantly.

Part Assembly (work-in-progress)

  • The helping hand was very useful when soldering. For wire length, I traced the path the wire would need to take and cut accordingly. Make sure to test everything after soldering and before assembling.
  • Battery went into the top part of the case, which snaps into place. I kept male/female connectors for the battery until the end, for testing.
  • 2 USB connectors need to be removed from the USB hat, and one of those USB connections can be soldered to the SD card reader chip.
  • The SD card reader and JST connector can be glued to the internal printed piece.
  • The existing JST connector needs to be removed from the Powerboost 500 in favor of connecting the JST connector attached to the printed piece.
  • LEDs (with resistors connected), switches, and battery indicator can be glued into the top.
  • Screws should be inserted from the bottom of the case to connect the taller standoffs and the raspberry pi.
  • The internal printed pieces and the USB hat went in next, with standoffs inserted between.
  • Lastly, I screwed the lid into place with the longer screws from the top.

Future Improvements

  • The case is bigger than it ultimately needs to be because I left extra room while prototyping. Could be much smaller in size.
  • The case is boxy, I would like to get more creative with designing something on top of this.
  • There isn't much glue used in assembly (most everything can still be completely taken apart), but it would be nice to have completely glue-less design.

Closing Thoughts

  • Fully detailed assembly instructions are still a work-in-progress, and I would still like to go back and add detail.