Motion detection for £45

Raspberry PI

Using a Raspberry Pi, a Microsoft VX-800 webcam and Motion – linux motion detection software.If motion is detected images are uploaded to dropbox and an email is sent to prompt looking in dropbox. Seen as the Raspberry Pi could also run on battery power there is even the possibility of a portable motion detection system (wildlife cam??).

  1. Install Motion
  2. Configure Motion
  3. Install
  4. Configure mail
  5. Re-configure Motion

1. sudo apt-get install motion ** For best results build motion and ffmpeg from source (see bellow)

2. sudo nano /etc/motion.conf

Check palette configuration is compatible with camera

sudo motion -n   ** (runs in debug mode, printing problems to screen)

3. Download from github.

Save files in /usr/local/dropbox  (sudo mkdir /usr/local/dropbox;; cd /usr/local/dropbox;;sudo wget;;sudo tar -xf andreafabrizi-Dropbox-Uploader-cdc2466.tar.gz)

sudo ./

follow onscreen instructions. Once configured don’t forget to copy ~/.dropbox_uploader to home directory of user that will be running motion (ie if starting motion with sudo this will be roots home) or edit and change the CONFIG_FILE= line to point to your config file ie CONFIG_FILE=/usr/local/dropbox/.dropbox_uploader

sudo /usr/local/dropbox/ upload /var/www/pic/1.jpg /motion

** Make sure the target folder exists in dropbox first.

4. Create a .mailrc file (mail profile). I use google apps for email so mine is as follows:

cd /root
sudo nano .mailrc

set smtp-use-starttls
set ssl-verify=ignore
set smtp=smtp://
set smtp-auth=login
set smtp-auth-password=pwxyz
set from=” Name)”

Save then test mail:
echo “Test Email message” | mailx -s -v “subject”

5. sudo nano /etc/motion.conf
Scroll down to the external commands section
Change the ; on_event_start value line to:
on_event_start echo “Your message” | mailx -s “Your Subject”
Change the ; on_picture_save value line to:
on_picture_save /usr/local/dropbox/ upload %f /motion/%d_%m_%Y-%H_%M_%S.jpg
Change the ; on_movie_end value line to:
on_movie_end /usr/local/dropbox/ %f /motion/%d_%m_%Y-%H_%M_%S.avi
Save and restart motion:
cat /var/run/motion/
kill [pid returned by above command]
** Start in debug mode to test
sudo motion -n
If all is well restart motion in daemon mode (just sudo motion)

Building Motion and FFMPEG from source



Coast to Coast 2011. From Whitehaven to Sunderland – on a mountian bike

On the 27th June 2011. Starting in Whitehaven on the West Coast and riding to Sunderland on the East Coast.
~155 miles in 3 days using routes 71 & 7

  • Day 1       Whitehaven to Greystoke
  • Day 2       Greystoke to Stanhope
  • Day 3       Stanhope to Sunderland

If anybody does wish to sponsor I’ve set up a British Heart Foundation fund page in memory of my father, this fund page will stay online after this event and will be used for more events in the future. Money donated to the fund will be spent on research into heart disease.

The Sean Mc Neill Gift of Hope Fund

Day 1

Hospital Stop. Then Day 1 Part 2

Day 2 (Ouch)

Day 3 (missed tracking the start, massive climb from a valley for ages right after breakfast. Just what we needed)

Rob Mcneill – IBMi/Win/Linux/OSX IT Specialist – Nortwest England