Worn on a lanyard or clipped to a pocket or pack, this adorable camera snaps a photo every few seconds. Slide the SD card into your computer to review the day’s activities or merge all the images into a timelapse animation.

Powered by the diminutive and affordable Raspberry Pi Zero, this DIY project is eminently configurable and customizable!

Parts and Tools Required

The “canonical” build in this guide is illustrated with the following parts:

The first three listed items are available in packs with either a regular or infrared camera.

The example software will run on any Raspberry Pi computer. Since Pi Zero supplies are constrained…or if you just want to use a different board or battery, or create your own enclosure in another medium…you might instead consider:

  • Raspberry Pi Model A+ (any Pi can work, but most are bulkier and draw more power)
  • All but the Pi Zero can use the standard flex cable already included with the camera. Custom cables for novel form-factors are optional.
  • You can skip the PowerBoost and power the Pi directly from a USB phone charger battery.
  • For the LED sequin, you can substitute a regular through-hole LED (any color) and resistor (75 to 500 Ohm).
  • Likewise, most any pushbutton or switch can be substituted if you’re not using the 3D-printed case.

The 500 mAh battery is good for about 2 hours run time. If you want to keep it going all day, you could design an enclosure around a larger battery…or simply plug the PowerBoost into a USB phone charger to greatly extend its life!

You may need some additional parts depending on the installation procedure used (perhaps a USB flash card reader, or a second Raspberry Pi during setup, etc.). Read through the whole guide and check your parts stash before making any purchasing decisions.

This guide was first published on Jun 30, 2016. It was last updated on Jul 10, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on May 01, 2024.

Text editor powered by tinymce.