Friday, November 01, 2013

Shutting the Door; Finishing Up the Raspberry Pi Security Camera + Garage Opener Remote

I'm going to be tinkering with this new security camera / Internet-enabled garage door opener for some time... I imagine I'll add environmental monitoring and perhaps even hook it up to the sprinkler system. Even with future expansion in mind, I needed to shield the Raspberry Pi and the remote control board from dust and stray water. The mini protoboard I would likely keep as opposed to soldering a more permanent board, since I wanted the ability to dork around with the GPIO pins that have pull-down resistors built in and possibly add additional controls.

I had an old Western Digital My Book sitting around with a defunct hard drive, and it appeared to be nearly the right size to house the Raspberry Pi, the garage remote board and a mini breadboard. I decided to gut it and use the housing as an enclosure. I found a few motherboard standoffs in my toolbox, and uses those to keep both boards a few centimeters off of the metal backplate. The drive and controller itself I shelved.

Once I had everything stripped apart, the garage remote was mounted on one side of the board and the Raspberry Pi was mounted on the other. It was a tight fit, but I was able to get the webcam plugged in, the mini breadboard slid in and all the wiring completed within the confines of an old My Book chassis. Using a very technical device I call a "hacksaw," I removed some of the side wall of the enclosure so I could pull out the micro-usb cable for power and bring the webcam so it can be positioned independently.

In the end everything didn't quite fit... the garage remote is bursting out of its seam. However the general look of the device is far better than it was before. The unit is now back sitting on a shelf in the garage, quite content.

I still have some continued tweaks to do, but I think I've now addressed the root question: "is the garage door up?"

1 comment:

  1. Wedging the WiFi USB dongle between the girthy USB plug of the webcam and the metal backplate has been a pretty bad idea. Signal strength fell drastically, and I'm losing a huge number of packets. Half tempted to whittle down the webcam's USB plug so that it fits in the bottom port and the WiFi dongle will have better exposure on the top port.


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