Jay Doscher's Recovery Kit 2B Drops Back to the Raspberry Pi 4 for a Battery-Powered Rugged Build

Moving from a Raspberry Pi 5 in the Recovery Kit 2 to the previous model for reasons of power, the RK2B is a slick battery-powered portable.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago3D Printing / HW101

Jay Doscher is back with another ruggedized portable design, the Recovery Kit 2B — packing a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with a clever swing-out battery cartridge into a weatherproof Pelican case.

"The build is as you'd suspect from me by now, starting with the Pelican 1300 case and throwing in that same old tiny screen and Netgear switch, but there's a bit more here," Doscher explains of the new 2B-suffixed Recovery Kit. "This is a bit of a simpler build, but I developed it side by side with the RK2 [Recovery Kit 2], allowing this to take a different path in terms of looks and functionality."

The Recovery Kit 2B comes, as Doscher explains, hot on the heels of the Recovery Kit 2, which in turn revisited the original Raspberry Pi Recovery Kit unveiled back in November 2019. Where the Recovery Kit 2 saw an upgrade to the faster Raspberry Pi 5, along with changes designed to make it easier to build than the original, the Recovery Kit 2B drops back to a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

"I had originally planned on doing a Raspberry Pi 5 build and have a slim build without a network switch," Doscher explains, "but when I read the power specs on the Pi 5 I knew it wasn't going to be with this battery. There are plenty of Pi 4s to find, and while I wonder about how many more builds I will do with a Pi vs. the Intel N100, it's a pretty easy to use board, and simplicity really helps here."

The lower power requirements of the Raspberry Pi 4 versus the Raspberry Pi 5 means that the Recovery Kit 2B can be battery powered while keeping the size down. There's a four-row ortholinear keyboard, held in place with 3D-printed shims, and an official Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Display. The main hardware — Raspberry Pi 4 and a small Ethernet switch — sits in a 3D printed frame in the main Pelican case body.

An interesting twist on the usual design comes into play with the battery. An off-the-shelf Shargeek Storm 2 Slim USB battery pack is used to power the hardware, which sits beneath the display in a swing-out cartridge housing. The battery's on-board status display remains fully visible, and if you need it to power something else you can just swing it out without dismantling the rest of the build.

Full details on the Recovery Kit 2B are available on Doscher's website, with 3D print files available to paying subscribers at $5 a month — and are, Doscher points out, distributed to said subscribers under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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