Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Sensors and the data they produce

Pi, Cameras, Security, and NAS

We have been busy with many projects in our group, but have not posted or documented much.  This blog entry will attempt to be a recap of the e-mail discussions and the final setups we chose, your mileage may vary!

We have taken several approaches to utilization of cameras within our environment.


The first approach used was one from Claude Pageau who documented his environment so well that it is simple to say – “just do it” based on his GitHub.com readme!  See the references page for the link.

The part of this pi-timolo approach I like best is the ease of replication. and is of course based on a Raspberry Pi (RPi).  You can employ either the Pi Camera or the PiNoIR camera (with appropriate lighting).  The Key to his environment is the config.py file that holds all the variables Mr. Pageau created.

If you build this exactly as specified with his GitHub instructions, you will have a solid motion based camera system.  By adding the appropriate lighting for the camera you choose, you can have night vision security as well.  With the time-lapse option, you can have additional capabilities to capture and document activity near the cameras too.  You can chose to combine time-lapse and motion together too.  The system auto-detects day, night and twilight automatically, saving a lot of logic we talked about in our group.  Several scripts are included that will make movies from pictures; automatically sync to a Google drive, and more.

pi-timolo Integration into OpenHab

I hope to come up with a way to see the streaming images inside of an openHAB screen, but for the moment I am content to grab an image and display it with a refresh every little while:

Image url=”http://user:password@CAMERA_IP/Streaming/channels/2/picture” refresh=2000

Integration to NAS 

Due to the config.py variable setting, integration into the samba storage is fairly straight forward.  In this case, we built some RPi’s with larger storage for a number of reasons.  In our instance, we wanted a place to store security camera pictures as well as music, other unrelated photos and a bunch of Arduino and Raspberry Pi documents related to my builds in my case.  We used Samba so that we could get to the repository from Linux and Windows systems alike.  We used the Western Digital Pi drives of the 314gb version. They also advertise a TB drive, with very reasonable prices. See the references pages for these links too.

WD has a suggested way  of building based on a Berry Boot download, and I will say that method works fine, but we chose to build from the default Jessie image.  You can go with either method.  I experienced some difficulty with apt-get update upgrade, and mangled it, so when I started over I went with one of the groups already tried method from a new Jessie install.


This item is a home grown effort from one of the group.  He wanted to have a stand alone PIR based camera system that would email him a picture if activated.  Lots of discussion and (his) effort went into this deign and subsequent program.  A detailed blog entry will follow on that effort, but here are the hightlights:

  • Standalone program for detecting motion with a PIR tied to the GPIO pins
  • email to Gmail account to notify of movement detected
  • config.txt to allow options to be configured with out changing the programming
  • configuring sendmail
  • turns on LED when movement is detected
  • Runs as a service with Supervisor


motion is used with many many programs out there.   I feel it needs additional mention due to the fact that it is so flexible, that I wanted to bring attention to it.  Claude’s pi-timolo uses it extensively, so you can build that environment to experiment with, but also you can visit the main project pages for more on the multitude of possibilities with this tool. See the references page for links.



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