Pimoroni Octocam Build

A weekend project idea which was pushed into action by using the FIVE 20% discount code to help Pimoroni celebrate its fifth birthday.

Purchased the Octocam with intention of using it as a motion detecting discrete camera to hopefully view the cats movements in and out of the cat flap when we are not around (amongst other things).

As with other Pimoroni products all the parts for the kit come in a great hard plastic box which is infinitely reusable.

A great plastic box and collection of adaptors and leads

Included in the box was everything you need with only a MicroSD card needed to be added.

Raspberry PI Zero W and camera are the main parts

Included in the package also, which are not necessary for the build, but great all the same are two wonderful sticker sheets.

Assembling the octopus was simple enough. Putting the screws through and tightening the nuts before adding the spacers to allow the Raspberry Pi Zero W to sit nicely away from the octopus.

Spacers give the Pi room to breath
Raspberry Pi Zero W is tiny

The camera is in place, the suckers are in and the stand is placed and now we are ready for the software install.

Octocam ready to go

Pimoroni tutorial on their site prompted use of Etcher to build the image for MotionEye software onto the microSD card and the creation of a small text file with the network SSID and password for the home network was explained clearly. Within a few minutes the image was built and we were good to go.

Building the image onto the MicroSD card

I had used the bundled mini HDMI to HDMI to attach a monitor so that I could the boot happen which it did successfully first time.

Raspberry PI Zero W boots first time and with Wifi working

It’s not necessary to connect the Octocam to an external monitor as it’s simple to login to the MotionEye software through a browser.

It’s working and there I am

Quickly setting up a link to my Google Drive allows for images to be saved to the cloud. This is particularly handy for remote viewing. Default resolution was 320*200 but changed this to 1280*720 to improve image size. Saved files are around 84kb and initially I set it to take a photo every 30 seconds for the purpose of testing. As the name would suggest you can also set the camera to take a photo or video burst when the camera detects movement of some kind. There are alot of settings for the motion stuff which I will have a play with later so that I can set it up to view the cats while we are out tomorrow.

Captured image resolution 1280*720

All in all a great little product and will be useful as a home security / cat view cam.

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