Raspberry Pis are neat little computers that can be placed just about anywhere assuming there is power and network connectivity nearby. These were made even more convenient with the addition of built in Wi-Fi on the Raspberry Pi 3. One application of these small devices is for home security, as a small motion sensing webcam that can record 24/7, or only when there is motion detected.
There are ways to build up your own system using the basic Raspbian distribution and various software packages, or you can use a custom built operating system for this purpose, MotionEyeOS.
MotionEyeOS has everything needed to run a security camera system, or simply a remote webcam monitoring system. This tutorial will cover setting up a camera in this tutorial for basic recording and monitoring. This allows me to spy on my dog while away at work.
- You will need a Raspberry Pi
- Compatible Webcam or Pi Cam
- SD or Micro SD card for the Pi (larger is better if you plan on storing the images/videos on it)
- MotionEyeOS Image for the Pi (download from https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneyeos/releases)
- Make sure to download the correct version for your Pi
This will cover the process for installing the image to the SD card for windows. There are also guides for Mac and Linux available from the Raspberry Pi foundation here.
- Install Win32 Disk Imager.
- Start the application
- Click the folder icon and navigate to your disk MotionEyeOS disk image
- Ensure the Device listed is the SD card you want to format with the image, in my case, it is the G: Drive
- Finally, hit the “Write” button, and the image will be written to the SD card.
- Hook the Raspberry Pi up to a monitor and a network connection and power it up.
- Once the Pi has finished booting, it will show a login prompt.
- Above the login prompt is the network information for the Pi, including the IP address. In my case, it is 192.168.1.26. This will be needed to access the WebUI for MotionEyeOS.
- After finding the IP address, navigate to it in your web browser of choice (on any computer on your network)
- To login, enter the username, “admin” and hit Login. There is no password by default.
- Click on the menu button in the top left corner to pull up the options
- Here, you will be able to change the admin username and password as well as the surveillance username and password. The surveillance user is a basic user who can view the webcams but cannot change settings.
- To add a camera, plug in a USB webcam or Pi cam, and hit the dropdown next to the menu button. From here, you can select cameras that have been already setup, or you can add a new camera.
- The webcam should show up as a camera. If it does not, you may need to install drivers for it.
- After adding the webcam, you can navigate to it and its settings by going through the same dropdown.
- Once on the camera page, you can access a vast amount of settings. These let you configure working hours, motion sensing, save data locations for any videos or images, and much more. If you need more advanced settings, there is an option under “General Settings” to enable advanced settings. Once settings have been modified, click the “Apply” button in the top right corner of the settings pane to enable them.
- You’re done! Below are screenshots of the system in action.
By default, SSH and FTP are enabled on MotionEyeOS, so if you want to add services or install drivers to it, you can do so remotely. This also allows you to move any security footage off the Pi.
Some useful resources:
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