Raspberry Pi – Wifi Camera




So I just got a Raspberry Pi for Christmas and have been playing around with it a lot. Let me say that I love this thing! I have been looking at all the cool things you can do with this little toy and have settled on making a wifi security camera. For one because it is simple! Also, it seems to be the most useful way to use it. I did attempt to create a file server at first but I really didn’t like the way that it functioned. So I figured a security camera would be the next best thing.

Performance wise it’s definitely not the best. But it was again easy and cheap project that I think I will be using in my apartment for a while.

Right now, I have my Raspberry Pi B+ using a logitech 1.3 MP usb camera. I am getting about a frame or two a second so the feed looks similar to one of the gas station cameras. I have it sending the signal to a Windows 8.1 desktop in the other room. From there, I use iSpyConnect (click on the link for the website). iSpy does most of the work. It handles the motion detection, alerts and storage. I have it setup to dump all motion detected to MP4 files on a dropbox share. So each time a video gets captured it is sent to the cloud. As for the rest of the hardware all I have is a $7 wireless USB I bought from Amazon (click the link for the actual item).


Here is how I set all of this up:

  1. Setup your Raspberry Pi for the first time: Link!
  2. Make sure SSH was setup during initial installation.
  3. Install webmin so you have a web GUI (not necessary but makes things easier). Link!
  4. Install motion so you can interact with your webcam.
  5. Setup wireless configuration.
  6. Install iSpy on a Windows machine (on the same network).
  7. Install Dropbox (or any other cloud service) on the same Windows machine.
  8. Setup the camera on iSpy.
  9. Done!

Here’s where I’ll further elaborate on some of the steps:

2. After you login for the first time you should use sudo passwd to change the password of the user (pi by default). I made it a little easier on myself and used this:

  • sudo su
  • enter password
  • passwd – to change root password

4. Install and configure motion:

  • lsusb (make sure you can see your webcam if using USB webcam)
  • sudo apt-get install motion
  • nano /etc/motion/motion.conf (This is your settings file for motion)
  • Make some changes here including max frame rate and server settings
  • By default camera server is set to local host only…turn those settings to off so you can remotely connect
  • From there you really don’t need to change anything else (could setup passwords)DeepinScreenshot20150118171440

5. Setup WiFi on the Raspberry Pi:

  • A lot of articles will tell you to use wpa_supplicant to setup your WiFi connection.
  • I never got this to work so I recommend setting up your connect directly in interfaces (/etc/networking/interfaces)
  • Here’s an example of mine:
  • interfaces_config

6. Use this link to install iSpy on a Windows PC: Link!

  • Once the application is install open it and click on add.
  • Add IP camera with Wizard.
  • On type of camera select Raspberry Pi and click next.
  • Enter a username/password if applicable then click next again.
  • Type in the IP address of the RaspPi if you know it (and the port specified in motion.conf) if not you can search for it.
  • On the next page iSpy will try to find the correct streaming link. Here’s the ones I used:
  • DeepinScreenshot20150118172529
  • DeepinScreenshot20150118172545
  • In case you can’t read the two (image quality is bad):¬† &
  • Last edit your motion detection settings on iSpy in the edit menu.

7. If you want to save the videos to the cloud then you can setup a service like dropbox on the Windows PC.

  • From there go back to iSpy edit menu and go to storage.
  • Then navigate to your path.

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