Learn how to make your own CCTV network camera with a Raspberry Pi Zero W and MotionPie!

In this article, I'll show you how to build a CCTV camera with a Raspberry Pi Zero, which is a $10 computer. It’s a cost-effective way to see the feed from your security camera over the web. And yes, you can even design it to be portable by easily placing a Raspberry Pi in your pocket, and powering it through a standard 5-volt power bank supply.

For this project, I will use the MotionPie operating system.

What is MotionPie?

MotionPie is a simple, stand-alone Linux-based operating system that has been renamed motionEyeOS and is now available here.

According to Github, they renamed the project to prevent false associations with Raspberry Pi (motionEyeOS now supports five different motherboards) and to avoid confusion over the names generated by all the projects built around it. However, updating from MotionPie to motionEyeOS cannot be done automatically; it requires a manual download and a new image is written to the SD card from scratch.

Required Software Downloads

For the installation of the MotionPie operating system, just follow the steps below:

Download SDformatter and format the SD card.

Select FULL (erase and format it)

After the format, this message will pop up:

Download and Select the MotionPie operating in Win32 Disk imager tool and click on “Write”.

When burning is complete, this message will pop up on the screen:

Booting Up and Assembling Hardware

Now we are ready to start. Insert the SD card. Assemble the hardware and start up your Pi now, and then we can start setting it up correctly.

Insert the SD card.

The Raspberry Pi camera module.

 

Now that the connector is open, insert a ribbon cable with the metal lead away from the Ethernet port. Make sure it is well lined up, and then gently press the connector down. The cables should now be locked in place and we can now move to the software. In order to keep this tutorial very basic, I do not plan to go into a large number of custom camera cases.

Connect the Raspberry Pi Zero W with your network. For this purpose, I am going to use a simple USB Ethernet module for one-time use.

Connecting the Raspberry Pi to Your Network

First, we need the IP or hostname so that we can connect to Pi.

Search your network for IP address. I am using Advanced IP Scanner software, so in my case, I have the IP address as 192.168.0.15.

Now, follow these steps:

  • You should see a computer name with your USB Ethernet model name
  • Go to your browser and add it to your browser bar, for example, https://192.168.0.15
  • You should now have the MotionPie interface.
  • Also, you can find the Pi's IP through the router. Since all the routers are different, I won’t be able to explain how this is done. Please refer to your manufacturer's manual.
  • Log in as an administrator to the key symbol in the upper left corner. Username is admin, the password is blank. You can change it later.

Here, you can access all settings of the camera stream. If you are interested in changing these settings, I’ll explain them as much as possible below.

After changing the password, just unplug the Ethernet USB, browse your streaming over the Wi-Fi, and follow the same steps for searching IP the address as I mentioned above. Connect your Raspberry Pi with a portable power supply to make it portable.

That’s it! The video below shows the project in action.

Reginald Watson
I love challenging myself by creating new projects using different microcontrollers to see what I can come up with.

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