Motion Detector Project Kickoff

Earlier this spring I installed a surveillance system to monitor the alley and backyard because there have been a lot of problems occurring in the alley.

The surveillance system is pretty good (esp for the price), but its built-in motion detection is worthless at night. That means that after dark I simply start recording video continuously.  The next morning I then have to review the video. That might be OK short term, but there is no way I’m going to spend 10 minutes every morning looking at video when 99 out of 100 times there is nothing interesting on it.

So I decided to put some motion detectors in the back yard. The idea is to make note of motion through the night and in the morning send me an email of any excessive motion so then I can go look at video.

I did a fair amount of research on how I wanted to go about doing this and finally decided that I wanted to connect multiple sensors to an Arduino Nano. At first the plan was to have the Nano send the email, but I quickly realized that that would not be straight forward on the Nano and even if feasible, there is not much memory to write a sendmail client. So I decided to have the Nano send movement events to a Raspberry Pi over the network, and the RPI can summaryize the events and send an email.

So the main components of this project are an Arduino Nano:

an Arduino Nano ethernet shield:

and a Raspberry Pi:

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