Ordering the parts

Raspberry Pi Bud Photographing Device component list

Most of the items are available on aliexpress.com. The shipping time 3-4 around weeks, usually for free. Recommended to search for multiple suppliers, because often there’s always a cheaper one.Eg. I bought the camera for $6, now I see the same product for $5. Some product is quality dependent. The SD card is critical, in case of a storage fault, the photos are gone… Battery quality is also critical.

Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W 
£4.58+ £2.50 shipping in the UK
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-zero/  ~ US $5 + shipping
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w/ ~ US $10 + shipping
You allowed only one piece per order, some webshops allows to order one piece of both type. I am using the cheaper one, it’s easy to extend it with a mini USB wi-fi dongle. There are Raspberry Pi kits also, but imho it’s cheaper ordering the parts separately from china.

Micro SD Card
8 GB is enough, but the smallest is usually 16 GB from brand quality.
US $8 for the 16GB (free shipping)
Here’s a cheaper noname one, didn’t tested yet: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Top-quality-Memory-card-micro-sd-128GB-64GB-32GB-16GB-8GB-SDXC-SDHC-Micro-sd/32844248044.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.hlpE7E
US $4.50 for the 8 GB (free shipping)

USB adapter cable (mini size: male, normal size: female) (2 pieces needed: power + wifi dongle)
To connect peripherals to the Raspberry Pi computer, eg. the USB mini wi-fi dongle
US $0.46 (free shipping)

Raspberry Pi Camera
US $5 (free shipping)
The camera is a fixed lens one, focused to infinity. The lens is glued to a fixed position. You have to cautiously broke the glue and refocus the lens to a closer et. 5-8 cm distance. Here are some videos on how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=raspberry+pi+camera+focus+adjustment

Camera Cable
This cable needed for the Raspberry Pi Zero instead the one supplied with the camera. Unfortunatelly there’s no longer cable for the Zero, just for the normal Raspberry Pi. The 16cm length cable supplied with the camera will limit the distance of the camera from the computer on the plant.
US $2.64 (with shipping)

Clock module for the Raspberry Pi
Without this the computer doesn’t know the date and time, always resets to 1970 on every boot.
US $1.08 (free shipping)

Raspberry Pi Zero GPIO Header Pins
You have to solder it to the Raspberry Pi. It’s possible to buy a Raspberry Pi presoldered, but that’s more expensive. If you have a friend who can solder, it’s cheaper. It’s needed to connect the clock module (and maybe some led light if you want to make photos in the dark)
US $0.89  (free shipping)

Timer Switch when using rechargeable batteries to power the Raspberry Pi
This is needed to turn the computer on and off regularly to save battery time. Unfortunatelly the maximum cycle amount is 999 minutes. That is 16,65 hours. So to make it periodic, 12 hours is needed, thus minimum two photos taken per day.
US $2.41 (free shipping)

Step up converter
The Timer Switch above uses minimum 5V, so a step up converter needed to make it work:
US $0.87 (free shipping)

18650 Li-Ion battery (quality matters, always check the comments and stars on ali!)
US $11.54
Or LiitoKala:
US $11.54
This one did 448 photos in 30 hours with timer and 5V step up converter. (boot, photo, shutdown, repeat – one battery only)
Or a cheaper one, Centechia:
US $5.29
This one did 260 photos in 17 hours with timer and 5V step up converter. (boot, photo, shutdown, repeat – one battery only)
The price / performance ratio seems very close of these two batteries. The better is as expensive as it performs better.

Optional but important components

Wi-fi USB adapter 
If there’s more Raspberry Pi, one is enough per user. You have to use it only when downloading the photos and configuring the device.
US $2.07 (free shipping)

Mini HDMI to HDMI converter
If there’s more Raspberry Pi, one is enough per user. This is not used in the field, it’s for using the Raspberry Pi as a “normal” PC with a monitor (setup, configuring)
US $0.95 (free shipping)

USB SD Card reader/writer
If there’s more Raspberry Pi, one is enough per user. This is not used in the field, it’s for writing the operation system onto the SD Card. Also if you don’t use wi-fi connection you can copy the photos from the SD card with this.
US $2.18 (free shipping)

Programmable Timer Switch when using AC adapter
mine is not from aliexpress. find one, eg:
This will turn on and off regularly your Raspberry Pi to make the photos.
US $5.16  (free shipping)

Micro USB Connectors
Needed when powering from batteries. (soldering and cable also)
US $0.07 / piece (US $0.70 / 10 piece)

Led light
If you want take photos in the night (ideal for constant lightning conditions) you should also order some led light like this:
(soldering needed)

Additionally you will need

Little glass to cover the Camera lens to make it weatherproof
Around 25 x 25 millimeters, 2mm thick is enough

Silicone to make the Camera box weatherproof and to fix the glass

  • 2 pieces of M3 metric screw and nut
  • Some short wooden lath stick (2 pieces of ~10cm x 2cm x 0,5cm) and two screw with wingnuts, with some foam rubber to avoid the damaging of the plant.