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ThexBerryPi – A Raspberry Pi WiFi Repeater

Disclaimer: This is currently just a personal project, I don’t intend to release anything currently.


Recently I ran into the issue of subscription WiFi service that charges a per-device fee, basically after connecting to an open gateway you would see a captive portal page that offers you purchasing options or login if you have already purchased. If you log in and someone is already logged in with that username it boots you off immediately.

I have a good deal of devices and while they don’t all need access all the time I’d prefer to not have to log in each time I want to use one.

Worse yet I have some devices that are not able to complete a captive portal, such as a Chromecast. I don’t like leaving them out in the cold 🙁

On top of that sometimes wifi only works in that one magic spot, or works best in one particular area.

A standard wifi repeater solution will fix that last issue but not the first two, or the cost.


Essentially, the Pi runs a NAT. Boom: Problem solved.

Now all the traffic as far as the AP is concerned will be coming from the Pi, no matter how many devices I have connected.

Additionally, I can authenticate straight through captive portals from any device, and it will then be authenticated for all devices (since it’s really just authenticating the Pi’s MAC Address).

I wrote a small PHP website for scanning access points and appending new entries to the wpa_supplicant.conf as needed.


I didn’t stop there, though. I repurposed an old Blink(1) device and I bought a PiGlow board for it. The PiGlow board displays signal strength to the AP and number of clients connected, the blink(1) just shows a basic status of the device (helpful when first booting up). Both LEDs can be disabled through the website, to prevent annoying lights in a hotel room.


The Pi its self requires two WiFi antennas, one to be the AP and one to be the client. I attached a Plugable 4-port USB hub and some 90 degree USB adapters, attached it all with some velcro to the Pi (in a case). The Pi is powered via USB from the hub, so the entire thing only requires 1 cable (other than the 2 short USB cables from the hub to the Pi: one for power one for data).

Here’s a picture of it:

20150521_194645 - Copy

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How To Install Windows 7 from USB Drive (No Software Download)

There are a lot of guides on the internet for how to install Windows 7 from USB, and a lot of them involve installing questionable software from random websites that you don’t really need.

This is a great guide I’ve used for years:

Here is a condensed version of that step-by-step guide:

  1. Format & Partition your USB drive
    1. Open an administrator command prompt
    2. Run: diskpart and type the following commands (replace # with correct numbers)
    3. list disk
    4. select disk #
    5. clean
    6. create partition primary
    7. select partition 1
    8. active
    9. format fs=ntfs quick
    10. assign
    11. exit
  2. Download Windows 7 ISOs, Extract them to temporary folder and run (replace X: with correct drive letter):
    1. CD to iso folder
    2. cd boot
    3. bootsect.exe /nt60 X:
  3. Copy all files from ISO to USB thumb drive

Windows 7 ISO links:

Windows 7 SP1 Media Refresh (SP1-U) Ultimate x64 English:


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Fixing an Across International 1.9 cuft Vacuum Oven for Deep Vacuum

So recently I’ve been working with a brand new Across International 1.9 Cubic Foot Vacuum Oven.

To measure a deep vacuum I use a Fieldpiece SVG-2 Digital Vacuum Gauge, it reads in microns of mercury.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to pull a vacuum that the digital gauge could read anything but OL (Over Limit).

I was using a 9 CFM Yellow Jacket SuperEvac Vacuum Pump and tried running it for 9 hours straight! No luck.

Then I opened the side panel of the unit and found this:

From the internal shutoff valve there is a T-Junction to the Vacuum Outlet and a Gas Inlet on the back:



From what I can tell there is only a little plastic cap between open air and my vacuum, no gaskets or anything..

So I  just removed the gas inlet connection, luckily the hose was just barely long enough:


Problem solved! I can now pull a deep vacuum, no problems.

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Thexcraft Custom Modpack

So I’ve created a custom modpack using Technic, it’s now super duper easy to get playing on our server.

The instructions are here.

I’ve created a custom Launcher background & logos, a custom mojang logo, a custom minecraft logo, and a panorama background of our starter town.

Check out the pics here:


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Melty hash on a bowl of OG flowers

Xyzzy hittin his inline bubbler.

Thx to Mizz Baker for the hashness & the cookies & cake!


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