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Sentinel

A simple home security project, with perhaps an extra feature or two in the works.

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Several years ago, I had some vandalism done on the house. It happened on two separate occasions and I was urged to setup a security camera at time. I never got around to it at the time, and since then, the vandals stopped. However, I always thought it would be good to have something in our front window anyway.

Since then, it has become reasonably affordable to buy a couple of networked IP cameras, but there really isn't much fun in that. I had always wanted to roll my own solution anyway. I always find it preferable to have a customizable solution if time permits.

I have been a follower and supporter of the Raspberry Pi foundation since before their first product release. On launch day (or night in North America) I managed to acquire two of these single board computers (SBCs). (One of which has the rare Hynix memory.) Since then, these two SBCs have been replaced with newer models. So what better use than to set one up as a camera?

The plan was to combine a disused Raspberry Pi 1 model B with a Nokia 5110 screen that I had lying around for a display.  Effectively the Raspberry Pi would be a headless install of motionEye with some custom scripts displaying status information on the Nokia 5110 screen.  I had funded a "Raspberry Pi retroScreen" Kickstarter a long time ago and had the PCB + screen ready to go.  When the kickstarter was successful, I tested out the screen, but never really used it much other than that. I did, however, order some slim buttons and soldered them in place.

Unfortunately, I can no longer get the screen to work for me.  (Actually it works, but I can't get the contrast correct, and it is almost impossible to see anything.)  So I may need to take this project in a new direction.

The "case" for the Raspberry Pi was 3D printed at a local facility.  The case I chose has mounting holes for suction cups, which allows me to stick the setup to my front window.

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