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The piratebox is a self-contained provider of an anonymous file sharing and chat network.

We began trying to build one in October of 2011, with the intent to create several pirateboxes for the space.

As of June 2012, we have successfully created one piratebox.




  • Jeff Crews
  • j.c.sackett
  • Drew
  • Darren Boss

Project Status

There is currently one functioning piratebox in the space, nicknamed V1. It currently requires access to wall power. It is based off the plug version of the piratebox presented at David Darts wiki.

It will be mounted and permanently installed in the space shortly.

Project History

October 2011

  • Build began with a pogoplug provided by Jeff Crews and a DD-WRT flashed Linksys router provided by Darren Boss.
  • Pogoplug appeared to be unsuitable for use, as the piratebox software provided by David Darts made assumptions about the hardware platform.

November 2011

  • A Dockstar was obtained by j.c.sackett; this was the target platform for the software. It continued to fail, apparently because of differences in the hardware.
  • j.c.sackett and Jeff Crews decide to look into better software. j.c.sackett starts trying to isolate the software that actually matters, as it turns out the majority of the provided software is just a debian image.

December 2011

  • j.c.sackett has partial success with getting an older version of the piratebox software to run; life intervenes, the project is on hold.

May 2012

  • The dockstar is bricked!
  • j.c.sackett discovers the piratebox software provided by David Darts has been updated to address all the problems found in it so far.

June 2012

  • Using the original pogoplug, V1 is completed for the Makerfaire.
  • Post-makerfaire, Drew begins modifying it to work off battery power.
  • A possible fix for the bricked dockstar is found.

February 2013

  • In preparation for it being shown off at a talk by Cory Doctorow Jeff Crews builds it a new lucite case, with a custom piratebox logo carved into the faceplate.
  • It gets signed by Doctorow, and a shield is added to protect the signature.

Future Plans


For maximal awesome, our Pirate Boxes need be tethered to a wall. To that end, the original pirate box used an expensive battery pack to this happen. This offends my ( Drew's ) sensibilities by being really darned expensive.

So the obvious solution is to build a battery pack to provide power. This also provides an excuse to learn about DC power conversion.

The router runs at 12VDC, at 500mA. The pogoplug takes straight AC, however the power supply board says it runs at 5V. This random pogoplug forum post implies that the device runs at <5W, so 1A is needed.


If we can restore the dockstar, we have the parts for a second build. At which point we could start talking about the Pirate Network.

Library Box

Jeff Crews is investigating a fork of the project, entitled LibraryBox.

Permanent Installation

We're going to build a shelf for it in the Space where it can live whenever we're not taking it to an event; this way the piratebox network will be part of the Splatspace community.