Home-brewed home security – the motion-sensing camera

A plan, and its implementation

Another project that was delayed by October’s hurricanes of various sort (climatic, work-induced), I have wanted to do a from-scratch home security system for a while now, for three main reasons.  First, obviously, I would like the increased sense of safety brought on by tireless legions of machines and software vigilantly watching over me and mine; second, I am seeking to gain as much expertise in this sort of thing to prepare me to jumpstart the safety and other home automatic hacks I have taught myself here in my future home(s); and third it simply increases my geek cred (the most important achievement in one’s life).

The gear involved here is nothing I bought new today; I have accumulated the parts and expertise for this project over many months.  The Raspberry Pi, one of about 7 I have in my home now, has been sitting unused and waiting for this project for 2 months.  The camera, a brand-new Playstation 3 Eye from EBay for a measly $10, has been here for at least a month.  The network cable was run across the basement about 4 weeks ago, in anticipation of both this project and the sensor suite for Ike’s vivarium, so another investment made in the past.

Yesterday turned into “get things of various sorts done around the house,” and the evening saw me absolutely shut down the part of my brain shouting “and now work on papers!” in favor of fiddling with a couple of electronics projects.  One of them was this security system camera, which I realized would be easiest to install on the upper shelf of the new light shelves for Ike; as it turns out, this vantage point allows the camera to see both the back door and the front hallway.  Now, to figure out a schedule and/or SMS-based system for arming and disarming the camera, so it only runs when we’re all asleep and/or not around…. A problem to solve, but not insurmountable.  As I explained to my housemate Ryan earlier, it is FAR easier to motivate one’s self to get a project working the rest of the way on the software side, if it is fully installed and working on the hardware side; this is assuredly one of those cases!


This small photo gallery is mostly of the installation and a test shot; watch my blog in the near future, as I hope to have the system running properly soon!

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