Take a picture — it’ll last
As a small project with the Raspberry Pi,
we’re going to construct a camera stick.
There is a great tutorial prepared by the
Raspberry Pi Learning Resources listed in the
Resources for using the camera module for the
first time. It’s honestly about as clear and
friendly of a tutorial as one can get, so I’ll only
touch on some details that you might find
If your Raspberry Pi is fresh out of the box,
there will be orange tape on the camera port
and other display port. Note that the camera
port is the one next to the HDMI port. Once
you take off the tape, simply pull up on the
ends of the wider black piece to open up the
port. If it’s not obvious from the picture in the
tutorial, you want to connect the ribbon cable
so that the silver connectors are facing the
HDMI port (Figure 16).
Gently push in the ribbon cable until it’s
flush with the bottom of the board. Then, push
down the black slider to lock the ribbon in place. This is a
bit of a squeeze the first few times, and it’s easier to push
down the slider one end at a time.
Once that’s in place, connect
the other end of the ribbon cable to
the camera module with the silver
connectors facing the side with the
camera lens (Figure 17). The
mechanism is the same. You now
have the camera connected and are
ready to boot up the Pi.
The tutorial mentioned
previously does a great job of
introducing you to the functions and
usage of the camera module —
introducing programming in Python
to capturing your first stills.
Perhaps another part of the
tutorial that may warrant more of an explanation for a
complete beginner is the code presented. While Python
itself is a very readable language with friendly syntax,
May/June 2018 65
FIGURE 15. PuTTY Configuration window.
FIGURE 16. Inserting the camera ribbon
cable into the Pi.
FIGURE 17. Inserting the ribbon
cable into the camera module.
The camera stick project is a part
of Public Invention: a non-profit
dedicated to open-source
hardware invention in the public
interest. To get involved with Public
You Tube channel gives some idea
of the kind of projects we are
currently running. Most of our
work is published at GitHub.