EncroPi – A Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB key to read, encrypt & store data (Crowdfunding)

SB Components’ EncroPi is a USB key based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller that can be used to log data, encrypt data, or as a secure key, and it also features a DS3231 real-time clock with a backup battery to store the data and time.

The USB key also comes with a small 1.14-inch color display to display information such as time and date, and should be programmable like the Raspberry Pi Pico with MicroPython or C/C++. All photo shows a USB Type-A port, but based on user feedback the company will also make a USB Type-C version.

RP2040 USB Key

EncroPi specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM
  • Storage – QSPI flash, MicroSD card slot
  • Display – 1.14-inch color LCD with 240 x 135 resolution
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type-A or Type-C port (should it be USB 1.1 instead?)
  • Misc – Boot button, Power LED, Status LED, DS3231SN with holder for CR1220 coin-cell battery
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port
  • Dimensions –  Unreadable on provided documentation…

EncroPi USB dongle

SB Components highlight four use cases for the EncroPi RP2040 USB key:

  • USB Data Logger – Save data in a microSD card slot
  • USB Secure Access Key – Program the EncroPi to store a key that can be automatically retrieved when log in to your computer or a service (check the video below for a better understanding of how they’ve implemented it)
  • Real-time Clock – EncroPi can be used as a portable real-time clock
  • Data encryption – Data can be securely encryption to secure it from fraud activity

I’m not convinced of the usefulness of the device, as most features can be accomplished with a USB flash drive, and it lacks a hardware security chip to be used as a secure access key, but maybe I’m missing something. SB Components has a Github account, but they will typically only release the code and samples after the crowdfunding campaign is complete. So it’s impossible to check the code before pledging. The video below shows the USB key in action.

SB Components has launched the EncroPi on Kickstarter with a lowly 500 GBP funding target that’s already been surpassed. Rewards start at about $43 for the EncroPi with enclosure, but the company also offers a $62 combo with EncroPi with enclosure and USB RTC board (no display, no MicroSD card) with enclosure.  This price does not include shipping, and the rewards will be shipped right after the campaign is over in September 2022.

USB RTC board
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8 Replies to “EncroPi – A Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB key to read, encrypt & store data (Crowdfunding)”

  1. I initially thought that the purpose was to encrypt an SD card while presenting a regular USB-storage device. *That* would be cool. And even better, have a master-slave USB-storage adapter that presents itself a USB-storage device and accepts a USB-storage device and encrypts all data flowing between the two. This way you use any USB storage device naturally but they would be fully encrypted, but your adapter would make them work anywhere.

    1. Yes, that might actually have some utility — but we wouldn’t want that now would we? Instead, how about a clock you don’t really need?

      But there is still one problem with the USB stick concept — how to carry it. I find they are easy to lose if carried loose and they won’t survive very long if I attach them to a keychain. They crack, split, break and fall off.

      My solution is to strap microSD storage to my wrist.

      1. > but we wouldn’t want that now would we? Instead, how about a clock you don’t really need?

        I don’t really understand what you mean here. I was speaking about having the ability to transport encrypted data that you can read everywhere using a specific adapter between the storage and the host machine. Why wouldn’t we need it ?

        Also the risk of loss is easily addressed by permitting to enter your key in any such device coming from the factory. You could for example store a 256-bit AES key wherever you want (paper, e-mail, file, passwd manager), that’s only 43 chars in base64 (or 40 bytes in base85), and if you lose your adapter you pick any other one. We could also imagine a button and a small LCD to select the right key for a given device (which would be pre-selected using the device’s ID).

      2. I have a USB device for keychain that looks like a mini coca cola can, had it for years. Only two gigabyte, so small by today’s standard. Data has been fine, but last year the metal link between can and ring to attach to keys broke. Data still stable after years in pockets. They use to makes pen with in built storage too.

        Can looks like this https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/gAwAAOSwnHdexStV/s-l400.jpg

        Pens like this https://www.usbmemorydirect.com/media/images/products/pearl/pearl_pen_flash_drive.jpg

        1. This is what my solution looks like from both outside and in. Freely adjustable capacity. Bands are about $2 from China.

  2. I wear a fitness tracker wristband with a custom 3D printed insert to hold a microSD card. I use it to store backups of all my source code and a few other pieces of critical info — all encrypted with standard AES.

    The data can be accessed from any computing device with an AES utility. Just for convenience, I store executables for Windows, Linux and Android on the card.

    The files are all time stamped and the current time is always available from the access computer.

    I see nothing here that adds any real value to my solution. Certainly nothing I would pay $43 for.

  3. Just curious to know that whether the Data of storage device (SD Card) could be decrypted while providing the password or passphrase key from any other similar kind of Device or not, if so can I make that one also restricted as well ?

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