Sunday, 7 February 2016

Pricing - A very rough guide on hardware pricing as of February 2016

The price of building the unit can vary enormously depending on many factors. For example, what you
already have available, where or how you are going to use it, how much you wish to record, where you
buy the parts.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B - £30 / €38 / $43
Raspberry Pi Model A+ - £18 / €23 / $26
32Gb Micro SD card (class 10) - £9 / €19 / $11

Pi camera - £13 / €16 / $18
Basic USB webcam (E.G. LifeCam HD-3000) - £19 / €23 / $23

UPS PIco (+ extra battery / fan kit) - £22 - £45 / €28 - €58 / $32 - $57

64Gb USB flash drive - £21 / €28 / $30
GPS board or dongle (Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout) - £29 / €38 / $43
Button (each) - ~£2 / ~€2 / ~$2
Raspberry Pi Case - ~£7 / ~€9 / ~$10
Pi camera ribbon cable (30cm) - £2 / €2.5 / $3
Wide angle lens - £7 / €9 / $10
Pi camera mount - £3 / €4 / $4

So if you wanted or needed to buy everything, Pi 2B, GPS, Pi and USB camera, longer USB cables,
case, buttons etc you could be looking around the £150 / €195 / $215 plus mark!
If you use the basic Pi, Pi camera and SD card and a button you could do it for around £40 / €52 / $58
Of course at these prices you can buy a fairly decent off the shelf dashcam but where would be the fun in that.


  1. Great stuff, thanks for posting.

  2. Looks great, Looking at adapting this for a road bike, not many cameras able to record more than 2 hours of footage, Battery life on GoPro etc..

    1. Thanks! It's a good project for customising for something like this. On a few occasions I've forgotten to switch it off and it's happily recorded all day long. Only real issue I have is night time recording is not so great without additional lighting from street lamps etc.

  3. Any footage of this running at night?

    1. There is this one: but it was only experiment. The normal night time recording is usually not so great without additional lighting like street lights or IR. I will try and make a new recording sometime.

  4. Love the project, and I'm trying to implement it myself. Any suggestions on where to buy the wide angle lens?

    1. Thanks! You can get a wide angle lens at pimoroni (clip on), modmypi (magnetic) or from eBay etc. (make sure it is good quality). I haven't tried the clip-on lens but they get good reviews). I use a magnetic lens but you need a mount or some way to stick the washer in place over the camera lens, search for "Pi Camera Mount" (PIM012) on pimoroni for an example. Hope this helps.

  5. love this idea, and i want to impliment a form of it. any ideas on how to incorporate coaxial cable-based cameras into this? im trying to run between 4-8 cameras on a big rig, and the best cameras for that are coaxial-based.

    1. I have used three network cameras recording simultaneously on a Pi3 with just the 'motion' program. The videos were only at 640 x 480 @ 8 fps but the Pi coped pretty well. CPU usage was mostly around the 100%-150% mark.

      If you have a Pi2 or Pi3 and a network camera (or two) handy I would suggest testing out the 'motion' program recording at different resolutions & frame rates to see what's the maximum you can push it to. For example, using two cameras uncomment the two thread files at the end of motion.conf and create them substituting the 'netcam_url' entry with the path to your network cameras video address and the location where you want to save the video, for example:-

      movie_filename "videos/cam1_%v_%H:%M:%S-%q"
      width 640
      height 480
      framerate 12


      movie_filename "videos/cam2_%v_%H:%M:%S-%q"
      width 320
      height 240
      framerate 24

      If you are happy with the results and need a script to pull it together drop me a mail and I will try and help out.

  6. I am also looking to build a multi-cam system BUT need 1080p resolution in case I have to use the recordings in traffic court. I would perfer hard wired cameras as I can simply route power along with the data cable from a central point whete I can have a UPS like power source for the complete system. One of my requirements is to have all cameras synchronised. I'm wondering if one of these multi camera VR recording systems would be the way to go. I was thinking of maybe one(1) arduino per camera with a Pi3 or some other board as the master CPU sending a sync pulse to all arduino's and just capture single pics in sync at 30fps or better (I would love 60fps so no eye strain just like 60hz AC incandescent bulbs seem like they never turn off). Sorry if I seemed to rattle on but I seem to be finding parts of the solution but I haven't found anyone who has done the complete thing yet.

    1. Hi Dave, I'm looking for the same dual lens 1080. The problem I see with off the shelf product is they eat sd cards. I have a possible solution to reduce flash wear and tear drastically , but wondered if we could get high res and fps too. That's how i stumbled on this thread.

  7. Hi,
    In your 3rd video regarding streaming to a mobile phone, is that you are using wifi? What's the frame-rate displayed on the phone, and how much is the delay? And how much is the setup time?

    I'm thinking of using that for a reverse camera.

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hello,

      In the steaming video I am using a Pi 2 with a WiFi dongle. I make the phone a mobile hotspot and the Pi connects to the phone. To be honest I cannot remember the frame rate but think it was around 3-6fps (depending on which camera). The aspect ratio is a little different between the phone, Pi camera, USB camera and the camcorder but the stream is actually in realtime. Not sure what you mean by setup time but the dashcam starts up in around 15 seconds (without GPS) and connects to the phone immediately.

      It would work as a reversing camera but maybe a live feed from the Pi camera (using a very long ribbon cable to the Pi) with an HDMI from the Pi to a display would be a better option?

      All the best,

    2. Thank you Alan for the response.

      Regarding a long ribbon cable to the Pi <-- I am not sure whether it is easy to find such ribbon, and I afraid that that would suffer from attenuation.
      Moreover, I am using a phone for navigation, so using a same display (the phone) would be better for me.
      What I am thinking of is whenever I change the gear to reverse, the phone switch to showing info from the reverse camera transmitted by RPi.

  8. Friend,
    Will this work with a Zero and Zero W? Also can this be expanded to four cameras or more?