Prepper Data Backups

Something that is commonly overlooked in today’s age is the value of data storage and redundancy. In previous generations, families had shoe boxes or fire safes full of pictures and paperwork that they deemed valuable, now we just save all of these pictures on a cheap hard drive that has moving parts and a four year life expectancy and somehow we expect that data to stick around so we can pass it down to our kids. We built a file storage “server” that has drive space available over our network that is also mirrored onto another drive that is connected to that server for redundancy. My concern was while I believe that the data is safe and backed up what if something physically happened to the house like a fire or a flood. I decided to try making a wireless network attached storage device so we can backup that data to a remote outbuilding. For this I used an Asus RT-N16 router it has a great amount of storage space on it, a usb port and a lot of ram so its great for 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT.


We used a couple of these at work for random things so I knew it would be worth the purchase for this job. The firmware that I ended up using was the v24 mega release which means it has all the main features that DD-WRT supports. Some firmware that DD-WRT releases is carved down to specific jobs so it can fit on hardware with less storage space/ram ect. I had a Seagate external drive laying around that wasn’t getting used and it was enough space for what we needed so I decided to use that instead of spend more money on this mission.



After I flashed the router with the firmware i configured the wireless network as a client bridge and connected it to our network, then I turned on the USB support for the external hard drive and verified that it showed up on the router.


then under the NAS tab I set up the network share and created an account that has permissions to write to the drive


After I created the shared folder I mapped it in windows and then used backup maker which is a great freeware tool to create backups of folders. Scheduled it to go out once a week and copy the contents from our pictures folder and compress it into a zip file and then move them out to our remote storage. I still log in every once in awhile to verify that the backup has processed.


Murs Perimeter Security

We were looking for something to help secure the driveway and notify us when someone shows up even if we are out in the back corner of the property, I stumbled across the murs radio system from Dakota alert


These devices are battery powered and  sense motion up to 80 ft away and then trigger a radio that broadcasts a message like “alert zone 1” and can transmit up to 6 miles away to a hand held unit depending on the terrain. Murs is a group of channels that the fcc has allowed people to use without a licence much like the CB radio band. Instead of buying the receiver to go with it I used a existing hand held scanner that I had.


The murs band uses these 5 freqs

     151.820 MHz
151.880 MHz
151.940 MHz
154.570 MHz
154.600 MHz

If you are a ham radio guy you can program the murs freqs into your handheld


Here is some shots from the inside of the radio.

2012-12-29_21-12-00_601 2012-12-29_21-12-18_481 2012-12-29_21-12-54_238

It appears that the motion sensor part just relays power out to the radio board so i’d assume you could use the radio board as a stand alone for many things, you could hook it to a dry contact for a door sensor, you could hook it to a float switch for monitoring water in a tank or a basement that floods, you could hook it to literally anything that you want to monitor. I haven’t played with it much yet but I could see the possibilities to be endless with some creativity. Thinking of adding a solar panel to mine first so I don’t have to change batteries every 6 months. I could see it being handy for a remote watering station and all sorts of security applications.