Leaving your house for that one two week vacation has always felt a little bit unnerving. While traditional home security systems may cost up to a thousand each year and dedicated IP cameras may set you back hundreds of dollars, building your own surveillance system has never been easier.
Why this Instructable?
If you are looking for a easy entry-level solution to your surveillance needs, look no further. This solution builds upon existing free to use technologies and will not cost you a cent if you have the prerequisite materials.
What You Need:
- USB Web Cam (Webcams under $10 on Amazon) or Built in Laptop Camera
- Download a webcam software (Windows: YawCam; Linux: Motion; Mac: iSentry)
- Download Dropbox
- Sign Up for IFTTT
- Recommended: A Mobile Phone with Texting
Step 1: Set Up DropBox
- download the exe
- run the exe
Sign In or Sign Up
Create a Dropbox Folder for your Security Cam
- Click on the Dropbox icon on your toolbar (bottom left corner near the time)
- Click on the little Folder to navigate to your local Dropbox folder on your computer
- Create a folder to store images captured by your webcam
Step 2: Setup Your Webcam Software
Download and Install YawCam
- run the exe
- launch Yawcam
Plug in Your USB Webcam
this is self explanatory but just in case...
- find your USB port
- plug in the USB cable from your webcam
- flip your USB cable connector because you tried the wrong side
- celebrate your success
- From the toolbar > Settings > Detect webcam..
A popup window will appear
- > Choose PC Camera > Ok
Now in your preview window you should be able to see your webcam feed
Setup Motion Detection
- Click 'Enable' to start motion detection
- In the toolbar >Window >Motion Detection
- In the motion detection window
- >'Action' Tab > Check 'Save File'
- >Click on 'Settings'
- Choose the file path for your Dropbox folder
This is a little bit more involved. You need some knowledge of command line but hey, if you are using Linux you're up for it.
$ sudo apt-get install motion
- Create a copy of the config in your home directory to edit
$ mkdir .motion
$ sudo cp /etc/motion/motion.conf ~/.motion/motion.conf
- Open the config file with your favourite text editor
$ sudo ~/.motion/motion.conf
- Make desired changes to your config
target_dir - make sure this points to your Dropbox folder
Download and Install iSentry
- >'Uploads' Tab
- Choose your Dropbox location
Step 3: Set Up IFTTT
Sign Up or Sign In
- visit the website
Add IFTTT Recipes
Make sure to connect your email and phone to IFTTT to take advantage of these features
Add Email Notification When Motion is Detected
- change the subfolder field for Dropbox (e.g. I named my folder /securityCam)
Add SMS Notification When Motion is Detected
change the subfolder field for Dropbox (e.g. I named my folder /securityCam
Step 4: Tweak and Enjoy!
Make Your Own Custom IFTTT Recipe
Change Your Webcam Settings
Multiple Old Computers Lying Around? Set up surveillance for your whole home
Try Google Drive instead of Dropbox