Create your own HomeKit camera with a Raspberry Pi – Instructions for DIY for beginners

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The Raspberry Pi is a real jack-of-all-trades. Not only programming can be learned in a playful way with the clever single-board computer, also exciting craft projects can be realized with the inconspicuous piece of technology. With the proverbial two left hands and less than 60 euros of material, for example, a simple HomeKit camera can be assembled – we show how it works.

That Apple users can choose from a whole range of exciting craft projects based on the Raspberry Pi, we have already emphasized in the first part of our hands-on workshop series – at that time, we built a network-wide advertising blocker based on one about 10 Euro expensive Raspberry Pi Zero W plus some small rams and the free available software Pi-Hole (which, by the way, enjoy a small donation if you like the software).

Eve – for the networked home “Designed in Germany”

Eve Systems, formerly Elgato, stands for sophisticated smart home Technology for everyone. In addition to various sensors, such as smoke detectors and motion detectors, the company’s portfolio also includes radiator thermostats, portable LED lights and a smart irrigation controller – all HomeKit-compatible and certified by Apple. More about Eve can be found at

HomeKit- camera with the Raspberry Pi Zero W build – how it works

The second of our tinkering should be of utility in everyday life – instead Another click to the “funniest Pi projects of all time”, we want to give you a quick step-by-step guide to get you started with a minimum of time and a low price for a HomeKit camera. Although this is not certified in the result of Apple, but still fully functional. We are drastically shortening the assembly of the project based on an inexpensive Raspberry Pi Zero W software by using a ready-made set of operating system and software – that means: All the software is already ready for use, saving you a whole Series of text-heavy trips to the command line. Let’s go:

Project Info: Homemade Kit HomeKit Camera

Time: Approximately 25 minutes
Beginner and Advanced
No tools needed

The following hardware is required for this project:

• 1x Raspberry Pi Zero W, Price: 10.35 Euro
• 1x Raspberry Pi Camera Module 8MP v2.1, 28.90 Euro
• 1x xlyne Photo Professional microSDHC Class 10 Memory Card + Adapter 8GB, Price: 6 , 40 Euro
• 1x Micro USB power adapter – 1000mA 1,0A / 5V black, Price: 3,30 Euro
• 1x official case for Raspberry Pi Zero red / white (incl. Cable), 6 Euro [19659012] Sum of the single price: 54.95 Euro

• All parts needed for the pie hole project NOW for the price of 54.95 Euro free shipping

You can add all products with one click without obligation into the cart by from our recommended dealer Sertronics based in Berlin – the shipping takes place with this goods orb at no extra cost.

Price information as of 24.8.2018

1. Operating System and Software Load as “All in One” Image

(Screenshot GitHub)

Why reinvent the wheel? Instead of searching for the necessary software for the operation of the self-assembled HomeKIt camera in the form of operating system and additional small helpers and also to configure manually, in the first step, simply download the optimized complete package from Github on the project page of Buildroot Camera RPi.

. 2 Image with Etcher burning on Micro SD card

(Photo SD card in reader)

(Screenshot Etcher)

The loaded Image file contains all the software needed to operate the camera. First, you need to transfer the image to a Micro SD card. Use the free app Etcher, which is available for download at Download, install and open the app. Then select the previously loaded image as the source and the micro SD card as the destination. Now start transferring the image file by clicking on * Flash! * And entering your user password. After completing the process, remove the card from the reader and insert it again so the Mac recognizes it.

3. Edit WLAN configuration

(Screenshot WLAN-Config)

Also in this project the Raspberry is operated “headless”, ie without own keyboard and monitor. In order for the camera to automatically connect to your home WLAN, you must first add the required information to the memory card. To do this, open the * wpa_supplicant-wlan0.conf * file in the * wpa_supplicant-wlan0.conf * directory with TextEdit. Replace all copy and paste text with the following content:

country = DE

ctrl_interface = DIR = / var / run / wpa_supplicant GROUP = netdev

update_config = 1

network = {

ssid = “My SSID”

scan_ssid = 1

psk = “My Wi-Fi password”

key_mgmt = WPA-PSK


In the following, swap `My SSID` with the actual ID of your Network, such as `My Fritzbox`, and change` My Wi-Fi Password` with your personal Wi-Fi password, such as `trustno1`. Now save the file, eject the SD card and remove it from the reader.

4. Insert the Micro SD card into the Raspberry

(Insert Photo Micro SD card)

Insert the prepared Micro SD card into your Raspberry Pi Zero W. Make sure that the memory card is fully inserted. Your Raspberry is already equipped with the operating system and software for the camera.

5. Connect the camera

(Photo connect camera)

Connect the camera to the Raspberry board in this step. To do this you first have to replace the ribbon cable included with the camera with its miniature version that comes with the official housing – this YouTube video explains the assembly a thousand words! Pay attention to the correct alignment of the bare contacts: On the camera module to the side with the actual camera out, ie towards the board and the Raspberry also direction board. EpHZk

. 6 Install in housing and start

(Photo housing)

Now it is time to stow both the board and the camera in the housing. The official case for the Raspberry Pi Zero W has custom-fit recesses for its ports. With a pressure from above, the board can be easily fixed. Make sure not to leave a kink in the sensitive ribbon cable between the Raspberry and the camera. As a lid, use the variant with the recess for the camera, the board of which can also be fixed by pressing lightly from above on the pins of the plastic lid. Now clap the lid on the case – and the camera is done.

7. Nothing works without power …

Finally, connect the new camera to the power supply. Just plug the microUSB plug of the cable into the right microUSB socket of the Raspis. An on / off switch does not know the Raspberry and therefore starts immediately. After only a few seconds, the camera then already appears in your WLAN. If the camera does not connect, there is probably an error in the WLAN configuration, see step 3. Also note that the Raspberry Pi Zero W can only plug into wireless networks in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

8th. Set up the camera … and use it!

(screenshot montage)

The camera is ready to work, it only needs to be set up. To do this, start the Home app on the iPhone and tap the + symbol at the top right of the screen. Then select the menu item * Add device *. In the next setup screen select * Code is missing or can not be scanned? *. Now you will see a list of nearby devices. There is also the Pi-based HomeKit camera as * Buildroot Pi Camera * to find. Tap on the corresponding icon to confirm the addition of a non-certified device with * Nonetheless Add * on the following page. When asked for the setup code, enter * 031-45-154 *. And that’s it: The camera will be added to your HomeKit home. You can also change the name of the camera and the room assignment in the following screen. From now on, you can call up the current camera image via Siri and via the home app.

9. Extending the camera with additional functions

(Photo Eve Sensor)

In the current hardware and software configuration you can only query the live image of the camera – that is for many Applications already sufficient. The connection including live image is available at query in the home app and when requested by Siri within a few seconds. Of course, it is more exciting to receive a push message in the event of a detected movement. This also works, but requires additional work and investment. The easiest way is to add a HomeKit-capable motion sensor to the same room as the camera. We used the proven Eve Motion for this purpose and followed the remarks made by the creator of the “buildroot camera rpi” image based on this manual – and with success.

Preview: In the next Raspberry project For Apple fans, it’s about assembling an AirPlay receiver, for example, to use the home stereo system via iPhone for playback.

## Sertroncis Shop: The authorized Raspberry Pi reseller based in Berlin

Sertronics, a reseller based in Germany, authorized by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, offers a wide range of hardware and accessories for the single-board computer from the UK in its online shop. Whether by dedicated employees manually assembled and self-tested starter kits or the large variety of modules and sensors available from stock: Here you will find both as a beginner and as a professional. Already from a value of 20 Euro, the shipping is free of charge and via DHL and in stock often on the day the order is received.

Our tip for those who want to get started working with the Raspberry Pi and to implement even more demanding projects: The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + – Full Starterkit for 59 Euro. The package contains not only the current top model of the Raspberry Pi, but everything you need to get started right away.

• Buy Now: The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + – Full Starter Kit

Note On our own behalf: Our article series about the Raspberry Pi was supported by the Sertronics shop with a basic set of Raspberry Pi hardware and accessories.

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