How to build a long-term Raspberry Pi timelapse camera

Tutorial on how to build a longterm timelapse camera for construction, nature and other changing processes.

TUTORIAL

9/11/20231 min read

green circuit board
green circuit board

The project is a tutorial on how to build and implement a long time lapse recording based on a Raspberry Pi. There is no camera that is affordable that has such features. You can easily create time-lapse recordings of your construction site, nature or other projects over a period of more than one year.

Features:

  • Settable interval: Set a periodic time interval, such as every day at 12:00 or every hour when the minutes show 30.

  • Stable service: You do not have to start the script yourself, even after a reboot. The script is maintained by two services that manage all the processes.

  • Day/Night Mode: The script automatically selects the best tested settings for day and night photos. It uses a library that looks for the sunrise and sunset times at your location and uses them as criteria for the settings.

  • Camera Settings: You can set your own parameters so that the script suits your needs.

  • Weather/Outdoor Ready: The setup is designed for outdoor use.

  • Power through the window: The FFC cable easily fits through the gap of a window and provides a stable power connection without damaging the window or requiring a special outdoor power source.

What do you need:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero WH V1

  • 5MP RPIZ OV5647 Camera Module

  • Weatherproof IP66 CCTV Camera Housing

  • FFC/FPC/FPV Cable and Connectors

  • UFL SMD Solder Connector

  • UFL Antenna

  • 3D printed Parts

  • Installed Raspberry Pi OS Lite V5.15

Step-by-step:

  1. Connect all wires and put the camera in the outdoor housing

  2. Install the OS

  3. Connect the Raspi to a monitor and enable SSH with the command

  1. Connect with your device via SSH to the Raspi

  2. Clone the repo and move the Python-Script in the home directory

  3. Edit the parameters of timelapse.py

  4. Create the images-folder:

  1. Move the service-files in the following directory, or create them, and copy the content:

  1. Enable and start the services

  1. You can copy the files to your remote machine: