DIY opensource CCTV

It was requested for some info on the DIY CCTV I’ve been working on. So here is a bit of an intro and I will update when it’s all finished.


I’m using MotionEyeOS which is a Linux distro which works on a load of single board computers and most cameras. If a camera works over USB or the Pi camera interface it is pretty much guaranteed to work. There are images for all the Raspberry Pis, a lot of Odroids and a load of Pi competitors. Both of these mean you probably have the stuff to build one lying around.

Some notable features:

  • Video or still recording
  • Auto-deletion after a set time
  • Backup to NAS, google drive, dropbox, etc
  • Continuous recording or motion detection
  • Using an instance as a server to view all cameras on the network

I, strangely, had issues with the latest stable release so had to switch to the dev release.


I first tried this with my Pi 3b and had a few issues around connectivity. Fortunately, it had full size HDMI, USB ports and an Ethernet port to make things a bit easier.

To make the package smaller, cheaper and not overkill I’ve switched to a Pi Zero W. So it has built in WIFI but microUSB and mini-HDMI. (Annoying to buy at the moment due to a limit of 1 per customer so had to go to both thePiHut and Pimoroni. Both seem to be the same company for different markets as far as I can tell.)

As the Zero W only has microUSB, I decided to use its camera connector. I wanted to use the Pi NoIR (No InfraRed filter) for night vision but would have needed infrared LEDs to make things clearer at night and the colours would be strange during the day. Found a camera on AliExpress that has built in LEDs and a daylight sensor that will switch off the LEDs and colour correct the image. I went for a standard field of view because of where I am mounting it but a wide-angle is also available.

Now just to design and print a case!

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