Raspberry Pi IoT Doorbell




Intro: Raspberry Pi IoT Doorbell

This Raspberry Pi, IoT Doorbell is basically a simple smart Door Bell, which takes a photo of whoever rings it, and emails it to the specified email address, and keeps all the photos in a folder. (along with going Ding-Dong). This is my first Instructable so I hope you enjoy :)

How I have set out setting this up is: OLD:

the camera is looking at the door bell. I couldn't have the camera above the box because my lead is not long enough

If you wish to use the pi camera instead of a webcam:

nodes19chamb and MichaelM1252 have commented some code that should help! Thx guys.


I have Got a new setup where the Button Cable is routed through a small gap in a window next the frount door where the camera taped so it is looking out the window,

PS: The camera quality in my examples is bad because I have a bad camera.

Step 1: Parts/ Tools

Here is the list of parts with approximate prices and links, though you don't need to buy these exact parts

NOTE: :Project costs around $110, Though price can be made cheaper/ more expensive depending where you buy the parts, or using an RPi 1/2.


Raspberry pi $55, I've linked Raspberry pi 3, though any should work, though you will need a Wifi adapter if you wish this project to be wireless. You can also use the Raspberry pi 1 B and save $20

Wi-Fi Adapter $10You don't need this if you're using ethernet or RPi 3.

Pi Case $14You don't need this but i recommend it so your pi doesn't get damaged.

Mini Breadboard $1.29 to do wiring on

Button $1.29 (waterproof, Normally Open)

Lengthy wire, to from pi to doorbell

1K resistor, $2.48required for button circuit (only one needed)

Bread Board Jumper Cables $5.19 - you only need 3 :)

Webcam $4 - $100

Box to hold button in $2-10



Soldering Iron (Recommended)

Wire Stripers

Side Cutters/Sharp scissors



Step 2: Setting Up Hardware.



I made some mistakes:

It is 5v not 3v

It is 10K Resistor not 1K


If you are using a non B+ Model

you will have to use GPIO 7 (or other) instead of 21!


Hardware is pretty simple. Plug your Webcam into the Rasp-pi, along with your selected network interface. Then, using the images as a guide (the wiring diagrams + this pinout for rasp pi 1B), connect your button and resistors to the pi. With the breadboard image, the orange and blue wires are the wires running the the door bell (Project Box with button).

Step 3: Making the Door Bell

To Make the door Bell you will need to cut a 12mm (1/2") hole in the centre of the project box, and around a hole near the bottom for your wires. Im my case I have taped over the bottom hole(and wires) to stop water from coming in.

Step 4: Software & Programing

Now This is the harder part. First off SSH into your Pi (Raspbian Wheezy or Later).

--- Wondering how to SSH?

here you can find instructions by Antares72 for setting up SSH on Windows with the Pi

Or see here for instructions for Linux or Mac users.


For the "Advanced Users, I have put comments in the code explaining how it works

Follow these instructions (Once in the command line) (copy exactly

Remember to NOT copy the " $ " in these commands if you are copy and pasting.

First, make sure your in your home directory (or whatever directory you wish to install the program to ( PS: it is contained in one folder, so it won't go everywhere in your home directory)

$ cd ~

Then we want to download the dbell folder containing all the code:

$ git clone https://github.com/Happypig123123/dbell.git

Now we want to CD into the directory

$ cd dbell

$ mkdir photos

-------VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!! -------

# NOTE: If you do not use B+ Model, you will need to change the "Button" variable in bell.py from 21 to a # pin number that's available on your pi. TO do this do

# $ nano bell.py

# and change the Button = 21 line to something like Button = 7

# Pinouts are on the "Setting Up Hardware" Setting Up page

Now our setup is time to start editing the email code.

Step 5: Gmail Setup


To be able to send an email with a photo, the raspberry pi needs its own email account. For this we use GMAIL. So click here to sign up for a Gmail account. You can use one you have already created, but you will not be able to receive the notification, that someone is at your door, with it. Also, we will be disabling some security features, making your account more vulnerable to hackers. Step 1a: To Google, the raspberry pi is an "Insecure" Device, so we need to let Google let unsecured devices, (i believe this means devices not using https) login. To do this we:

1. Follow this link (opens in new tab), and log in with your "raspberry pi's" Gmail account you just created.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see an "Allow login from less secure apps" card. Click the switch to change it to yes. (image of no state above)

Step 6: 3.5.6) Email Script Customisation

Ok Now we setup the Gmail account we can now set up the Email Script. I would like to give credit to Gagandeep Singh, for his code is used in the IoTNotify script, And Sentdex, for his tutorial on python email tutorial, which allowed me to understand the process.

For the more advanced users who want to know how this works, Check out Sentdex's tutorial as I have not explained at all how this script works.

Now do this:

$ nano IOTNOTIFY2.py

and change the following values:

Do this for all of the Fields

to the Gmail account email address E.g: exampleIoT@gmail.com

Yeah, Ass-Word, Wops, Spelling Mistake...

to the email you want to be notified at (eg: your personal email that on your phone, so your phone goes "Buzz" When someone's at the door)

After you have changed all the values, press Ctr X, then Y to save the document

Step 7: 4) Running the Code


$ python3 bell.py

And the script will repeat forever until you press Ctrl Z or Ctrl C


If there is any problems with the script, or i did something wrong, feel free to leave your feed back below (in comment form)


I hope you enjoyed this instructable :)

4 People Made This Project!


  • Optics Contest

    Optics Contest
  • Audio Contest 2018

    Audio Contest 2018
  • Plastics Contest

    Plastics Contest

35 Discussions


5 months ago

Hardware Modification to add wireless button.

Also discovered https://pinout.xyz/pinout/sense_hat and the ability to add a sensehat onto the breadboard for temperature monitoring and visual notification.


5 months ago


Posted modified files at github

The readme has notes

Pi Cam is in an old iphone3 box

2m camera ribbon cable ebay under $20

This is on my desk at the moment . My plan is to have the everything inside except the wireless button and the pi cam.

Donar doorbell is 3V. To replace the physical button. Doorbell was from a supermarket. Coles or Woolworths can not remember but it was under $10.

IMG_4803.JPGIMG_4805.JPGFullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender (1).jpg

5 months ago

Started afresh.

New Pi Model B 3+ (Working and upgraded.)

Set-up breadboard/hardware as per the diagram

Added USB Camera

sudo apt-get install fswebcam

changed permissions on the photos folder

Downloaded files from github

Made NO CHANGES to the files apart from the email address information in IOTNOTIFY2.py



Next I will set it up with Pi camera and sending out SMS. But for now very happy that I have this working again.



6 months ago

After some time I am back onto this project. Cat trashed it last year and I have only just gotten back to it. Waiting on new Pi to arrive as it got fried when cat knocked it off the bench. Is it just the warmth of technology or do they really want to give it a go?


1 year ago

i have this error please help to solve

what should i do


Traceback (most recent call last):

File "IOTNOTIFY2.py", line 29, in <module>


File "/usr/lib/python3.4/smtplib.py", line 652, in login

raise SMTPAuthenticationError(code, resp)

smtplib.SMTPAuthenticationError: (534, b'5.7.14 <https://accounts.google.com/signin/continue?sarp=1&scc=1&plt=AKgnsbv8\n5.7.14 I7caO_mMTlDCB5rUCEs-jGeqFe5ueUJTU75ApgdYJe-xePRmstwRm6bYLxKfnUC4NfAzAK\n5.7.14 TXC0QiaEdSNSsQQaQWR_cP43lU91PLFtnHaYHlz4Sr-9btEp8xdG-p_31EipeApWRTtXKu\n5.7.14 CxQiMALZSOj3VX80HsM332g4LCFnKyXulB-DMwhFZLy64XmiC9iQCpwNXFSBLfgjwQI7yO\n5.7.14 rNc2kyoDRxQxkYYTMMSqZt4kjVyUA> Please log in via your web browser and\n5.7.14 then try again.\n5.7.14 Learn more at\n5.7.14 https://support.google.com/mail/answer/78754 y6sm21630291pgc.40 - gsmtp')

Done Process

3 replies

Reply 1 year ago

Hi, I have since updated the email account process above, thank you for posting this error though, as you have made me aware of this issue, which I have now fixed, so more people can use this project :). Here is how to fix your issue:

Also, we will be disabling some security features, this may make your account more vulnerable to hackers, so I recommend making a new account. Step 1a: To Google, the raspberry pi is an "Insecure" Device, so we need to let Google let unsecured devices, (i believe this means devices not using https) login. To do this we:

1. Follow this link (opens in new tab), and log in with your "raspberry pi's" Gmail account you just created.

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see an "Allow login from less secure apps" card. Click the switch to change it to yes. (image of no state above)


Reply 1 year ago

Darmish Did you get this working?

Looks like an authentication error on gmail

BTW did you change your password? You gave your password "Myoldjeans" away while cutting and pasting.

I would like to continue this project so I am interested in what others have done.

Thanks MM


Reply 1 year ago

Hi Darmish, I will have a through look today. To help could paste in the contents of IOTNOTIFY2.py in here so I can see what changes you've made. (That the Instructables asked you to do). Before that make sure you've filled out all the fields


1 year ago

does the end user have an interface where he/she can add/edit the email address considering that the end user has no python skills

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

No, this tutorial I believes steps you through on how to do this. This is just meant to be a simple python project to get people's skills up.


1 year ago

how do i remove the loop

so that it does not auto press itself

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

you need the loop to look for the button press, if it is auto "pressing" then change the value on line 13:

if GPIO.input(Button) ==False: #when button pressed

change false to 1 or true, if this dosen't work,you have wired the button incorectly.


1 year ago

is there a code that i can run to make the doorbell make a live video call to the end user

2 replies

Reply 1 year ago

you can use a program called motion, that makes the pi into a live stream camera, then you can have the doorbell just notify you with a link to the stream. please note though, without port forwarding, this will only work in the LAN of the pi, here is a link to a tutorial (note i have not teied this exact tutorial myself) http://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-build-a-raspberry-pi-security-camera-1321441/2


Reply 1 year ago

Linux raspberrypi 4.4.11-v7+ #888 SMP Mon May 23 20:10:33 BST 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux


It is a while since I did this, but i found i needed to change the mode by reading



RPi.GPIO basics 4 – Setting up RPi.GPIO, numbering systems and inputs

in bell.py it is changed to look as



Button = 21


Reply 1 year ago

Thanks for all your information you've put down here about using the pi camera instead.