The Raspberry Pi camera is a wonderful; video and still images are high quality and the functionality of the camera can be controlled with shell commands or using the Picamera Python module.
However, I want to use the Pi camera in the garden or close to heavy machinery so I needed a longer and stronger cable with solid connections. The standard flat ribbon cable is fine for short distance but it is hard to find longer versions, and it is very fragile and hard to place in a design.
Searching the web I did not find anything usable for my applications. However a thread on the Raspberry Pi forum gave me the idea to try using an HDMI cable for extension. Surely an HDMI cable would be convenient, it can be purchased in local stores commonly with length up to five meters.
By comparing the diagram of the Pi Camera connector with an HDMI connector one can see that both have four data buses made by pairs of cables with a ground shield.
The design I made put the right cable at the right place to transform the flat ribbon into a round cable. There are four pins left since HDMI has 19 pins, these may become handy to use a few sensors close to the camera.
I have tested successfully simple 5 meter HDMI cables, cheap or expensive cables work the same. The video signal should not show any degradation until a certain distance (yet to be found). Passed the limit the video signal will be lost entirely.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.