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Building a portable photo copier with Raspberry Pi

I need a device that will be an intermediary between a MicroSD card and a hard drive to save off pictures while on vacation.

During Bing searches (yes, I dumped Google as a search engine) I found many older devices that did this kind of thing. They never took off and were very expensive, plus were limited to just doing that.

Enter Raspberry Pi v2! Quad Core CPU with 1GB of memory.

My project will be pretty simple, but I can get creative and advance it further.


Apple’ approach with the iPhone and iPad is they can transfer with a dongle any SD card to their internal storage. I use this for many years with our older camera. The new Sony camera we have uses 64GB memory cards and we can fill four on a week long trip easily.

I could do with Apple technology:

  • Buy both a wifi hard drive and an new iPad Mini 3 with 128GB of flash storage and copy the card to the iPad, then from the iPad Mini 3to an WiFi hard drive. This will be very time consuming.  Cost is about $800 for the iPad Mini 3 and the 2TB WiFi external hard drive.
  • I could also use a MacBook Air 11″ and transfer the files directly from the MicroSD card to a 2TB external hard drive. Cost is about $989 for the MacBook Air and a portable external hard drive.

An alternative solution is to use a credit card sized computer with a small screen with the MicroSD card and hard drive both attached and a small wireless keyboard/mouse. I am exploring this simple solution. Cost should be around:

  • Raspberry Pi Quad Core 1GB model ($45) – From Adafruit
  • Adafruit 2.8″ screen ($35)
  • Case from Adafruit  ($5)
  • PiHub with power adapter ($25)
  • MicroSD card reader ($10) – I already have these bought for my camera.
  • MicroSD Card ($15) for OS
  • External portable hard drive 2TB ($90)
  • Wireless Keyboard/Mouse ($20)
  • Total $245


I will keep you posted on my progress.




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