Forensic Imaging Station – Steampunk Edition

I’ve worked remotely for the past 6 years which means I spend a lot of time in my home office.  Last year we moved into a new house with much better space for my office, and I’ve been shaping it more and more to my tastes.

I do a lot of forensic imaging. I’ve got a pretty basic but rock solid setup that works for me (see Forensic Imaging a Microsoft Surface Pro).  Since I use it frequently I’m hesitant to put it away, but at the same point I don’t like looking at a pile of wires and devices when not in use. That brings us to the latest home office update, the Forensic Imaging Station (Steampunk Edition).

For this project I grabbed a small wooden box from Hobby Lobby.  A good cigar box will also work.  That was going to be my first choice but the only spare box I had on hand said “Corona” on the face and… you know. This box looks nice but it’s composed of mostly particle board, so go slow drilling.

I drilled four holes in the box. A 1/2 inch hole on the front face under the locking clasp for the USB-C cable, and three 5/8 inch holes – 2 on the side and one on the back, to accommodate the rest.

Inside the box I’ve arranged a USB hub connecting:

  • Paladin flash drive
  • External WD hard drive 
  • Keyboard (USB)
  • RF dongle for mouse.
  • Pass through for “universal” laptop power adapter
Cheap wood makes for messy holes.

This box had plenty of space to arrange the components. The laptop power adapter comes in the back of the box and then back out on the side.  The USB connector for the hub is also passed through the side. The cable for the keyboard passes through the front.

The finished set-up

The setup is completed with an Azio Retro Compact keyboard, (with replacement copper-edged keys) and a sort of matching mouse.

When it’s time to image, just sit the laptop on top, connect the USB cable and power, and you’re good to go.

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