Skip to main content

Spam 'Meats' Its Match With This Stealth Ad Blocker

The Pi-Hole Spam tin
(Image credit: Daniel Hepper)

We like a meaty homemade build, and this seems to tick all the boxes. This online ad filter lives inside a tin of Spam and is powered by the Raspberry Pi alternative Orange Pi board. This stealthy, meaty project was created by Daniel Hepper, and spotted by Hackaday.

The Orange Pi board

(Image credit: Orange Pi)

Within the tin, which once contained 200g (7oz) of the pre-cooked meat product, sits an Orange Pi Zero LTS, a small SBC that runs on an Allwinner H2+ (Cortex A7) CPU and measures just 2in x 1.8in (52 x 46mm).  The tiny board features Wi-Fi, Ethernet, up to 512 MB of RAM, USB 2.0 and a microSD card slot plus a 26-pin GPIO header. The Ethernet port supports passive POE (with a little bit of soldering), and this is used to power the board, which runs the Pi-Hole network ad-blocking software.

Daniel brought the tin back from a trip to Australia ten years ago. He originally considered a Raspberry Pi Zero for the role, but it wouldn’t fit in the can with the USB to Ethernet and POE adaptors it would need. The Orange Pi fitted perfectly, requiring only a Micro SD extension cable to change the position of the card slot, and the elegant single-cable POE solution means there’s no need for the Wi-Fi antenna. It sits on a 3D printed frame that exposes the Ethernet port through the part of the can and label that once held the Spam’s nutritional information.

A Dremel made short work of the tin, both creating the aperture for the Orange Pi to protrude through and for removing the expired mass of spiced meat. Daniel doesn’t recount how it smelled, but does recommend carrying out the operation in the bathtub.