Hannah Lee's Secure, Wire-Free, Solar-Powered Security Camera Is Driven by a Raspberry Pi Zero

Designed as an alternative to insecure off-the-shelf security cameras, this clever build uses an adjustable 3D-printed housing.

Gareth Halfacree
21 days ago β€’ Internet of Things / Security

Technologist and maker Hannah Lee has put together a neat, wire-free security camera system driven by the low-cost Raspberry Pi Pico safely ensconced in a 3D-printed housing.

"I've been tweaking this design for the last couple months and I finally have a working prototype," Lee writes of her project. "The main thing I've been tweaking is the 3D-printed housing. I wanted something compact and durable, but also something modular and adjustable."

"The initial goal here was not to create a solar-powered Raspberry Pi camera; it was actually just to create a secure home security camera (the solar power and 3D modelling was just for fun). Your Raspberry Pi is guaranteed to have OS and kernel updates via apt update && apt upgrade (which you can automate with crontab). You are also able to customize its security to meet your needs."

The resulting camera system is based around using mjpg-streamer to stream Motion JPEG (MJPEG) images from the Raspberry Pi Zero and Camera Module, which communicates with a WireGuard and ZoneMinder central server β€” which could be run on another Raspberry Pi with adequate storage.

The remote camera modules can be wired, or linked to a 3.5W 6V solar panel with 5Ah battery β€” as in Lee's prototype, currently installed on an old pergola for field testing.

"I want to see how it holds up against Virginia's summer heat, humidity, and rain and make final adjustments before I post the tutorial," Lee writes. "Main things I'm concerned about: [The] battery overheating [and] water intrusion. I designed the little hat (solar panel mount) to cover the power switch and the power input ports. I also sealed the seams and gaps with silicone sealant. Hopefully that's enough!"

More details are available on Lee's website HannahTech, along with a link to join the mailing list to be notified when the tutorials go live.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Related articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles