DIY Surveillance Camera Responds To Your Email With Photos

DIY Surveillance Camera Responds To Your Email With Photos
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Keeping an eye on your home when you’re away doesn’t have to be an expensive project. We’ve shown you several ways to turn your PC into a home surveillance system. If you don’t want to leave a computer running or would just rather check in on your home periodically than monitor it with a live stream, here’s how.This surveillance camera looks like a Death Star and is designed to sit quietly somewhere in your home until you send it an email. When you do, the camera will take a snapshot and respond to your message with the image as an attachment. It’s not a live security camera, but it does satisfy the occasional “I hope everything is okay back home” thought that comes up when you’re away.

If you build it the way the project describes, you’ll need a tiny JPEG camera, a microSD card for storage, a micro-controller and integrated circuit (get your soldering iron ready,) and a GSM modem so the end-product can communicate without relying on your home network. The breadboard layout and steps involved are laid out at the Google Code page for the project, including the source code required to make the camera work.

Sure, the builder could have used a Wi-Fi card instead of a GSM modem, and they could have chosen a different, more secretive form-factor, but that’s a matter of taste. It might be a little overkill, but peace of mind when you’re on vacation can be priceless. Have you built your own DIY home surveillance system? How did you go about it? Let us know in the comments.

Surveillance Camera [Google Code]


  • Three basic ingredients for simple home security:
    1) Linux box of some kind
    2) As many webcams/network cams as you like
    3) External ftp server anywhere you like.

    Set it up for motion detection and you can have it instantly upload any ‘interesting’ images to the external server. with a bit more work, it can just email you the pics.

    I tested this for a week or two with my fileserver a few years ago, but somebody starting from scratch you might want to consider using a sheevaplug/guruplug formfactor instead.

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