# rpicam

## Making my own webcam: Part 3

Following on Part 1 and Part 2, this post is about my ongoing adventures in building my own webcam.

I got the software working yesterday, but still needed to put everything in a suitable enclosure to mount on top of my monitor. I found out that I can mount my small GorillaPod tripod on top of my monitor arm with its magnetic feet, such that the camera peeks out above the monitor itself. Now I just needed a suitable enclosure.

I searched Thingiverse and PrusaPrinters and came across this design specifically made for the Raspberry Pi Zero and HQ camera. I printed the parts and everything just worked. I even had the right length M2.5 screws and nuts on hand to close everything up.

There are some parts that I still want to improve:

• The Pi Zero W that I bought has a header soldered on, as the regular one was out of stock. This means that the enclosure doesn't close completely. I'd like to replace this with a regular Pi Zero without header. It also doesn't need WiFi, as I can talk to it over USB.
• The USB connection is currently at the top. I'd like to switch it around to make it look a bit neater.

Apart from those two niggles, I'm perfectly happy with my new webcam!

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

## Making my own webcam: Part 2

In the first part I discussed why I'm not able to get a decent webcam, and deciding to make my own using a Raspberry Pi Zero and the new Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera instead.

Well, all the parts arrived from the friendly pirates at Pimoroni today, so I got to work at putting it together.

The first speed bump was discovering that the Zero W has a mini-HDMI port. I have many HDMI cables as well as a micro-HDMI adaptor for the Raspberry Pi 4, but no mini-HDMI cables or adaptors. I decided to just connect to it over WiFi instead. First up, Adafruit's Raspberry Pi Zero Headless Quick Start guide. That got me to the point where I could ssh into the Pi Zero W and update the operating system without seeing the screen or plugging in a keyboard or mouse.

The Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera Getting Started manual was also quite helpful in figuring out how to connect and adjust the lenses.

I tried a whole bunch of things, mainly on this forum thread, to try and get the Pi Zero to act as a webcam. It wasn't working, so I started wondering if the guy who showed a successful demo of it working on YouTube had a blog with instructions.

Turns out, he wrote up the instructions just four days ago! I tried it, and it works! Another turns out: He's the same guy behind the PiPhone, Drop Pi and the Lapse Pi.

One last issue was that everything was out of focus. I had a look at the Pimoroni website again and found the manual for the lens that I bought. Turns out I had to remove the CS-S adaptor, fully screw in the backfocus, and only then adjust the aperture and focus.

I compared it against my built-in webcam, and it looks so much better! Going from a 720p fixed-focus webcam to a 12MP camera running at 1080p with a manual focus is quite the difference.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

## Making my own webcam

Since I got a second monitor, I've been meaning to install a webcam so that I can look at my main screen instead of my laptop screen when on video calls. According to The Wirecutter, the Logitech C920S is the best webcam out there at the moment.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the webcam is out of stock at all the usual resellers, but you can find it on eBay for £180, instead of the usual £85. Apparently drop shippers have switched from hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitiser to work-from-home tech?

Then I remembered that I actually just want a good-quality video feed, and that it doesn't necessarily have to be a webcam. A lot of people have been using point-and-shoot cameras combined with an HDMI capture card. That made me wonder if the new Raspberry Pi high-quality camera module could be used a as webcam?

Yes, it can. So I've ordered a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a HQ Camera module, 6mm wide-angle lens, camera cable and micro SD card. I'm looking forward to putting this together, with the hope that it will be a better quality video feed than what would've been possible with the Logitech webcam. DIY FTW!

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.