3 years ago

SPi-Box review

A very simple solution to creating a motion-detecting security device that won’t break the bank


It’s one of those classic tutorials in tech mags with small PCs and microcontrollers: the motion-detecting camera. There are many ways you can do it – some easier than others – and the Raspberry Pi offers many tools to make a project like this quite simple in general.

The full article can be found in The MagPi 40

Enter SB Components with a dedicated motion-detecting camera kit for the Raspberry Pi. Designed as a cheap security system, the features that make up the kit are quite standard: a PIR motion detector, a specialised case for the whole setup, and even a custom version of Raspbian with software for sending security alerts. All for just over £10; throw in the cost of a Raspberry Pi B+ or 2 with a Pi Camera and – on paper – you’ve got yourself a pretty good security camera for about £50.

Assembly is dead simple. The case splits in two and the Raspberry Pi clips into the bottom part, with full access to all the major ports around the edges. The PIR and Pi Camera can be screwed to the lid, while a set of three wires is used to connect the PIR directly to the GPIO ports. Pop in the supplied SD card and you’re all ready to get started.

The case has pretty standard mounting holes on the back for fitting over a couple of screws attached to the wall. You’ll need to set up the emailing system on the device, accessed through the config files on the SD card, which you can probably do from another computer; however, all it then needs is a WiFi dongle and power to do its job.

As the code is written in Python, it’s quite simple to modify if you need to tweak the sensitivity, or the way it captures photos or video. It all works pretty well, especially for the price, although we wouldn’t rely on it for any serious security work.

Really, this is as good as any other Raspberry Pi security camera. It’ll be a lot better than one you try to put together yourself, and probably cheaper and neater too, so give it a look if you’re interested in a bit of added security.

Last word


A great little kit that very simply creates a serviceable Pi-powered security camera that’s great for any indoor application. It also barely breaks £20 (with camera), making it a cheap way to keep a better eye on something.