Photon, IFTTT and webcams

I have a pixy camera working

but it gives a text output about colour location information. Very cool but not visual. I purchased 15 PC webcams for $3 each from a dollar store.

Looks like they have UART TX and RX connections but this approach has issues, with what to do with the information. Save it to a micro-sd card and then move it to the web. Not found any header files yet, but it is not really the best situation for the Photon.

If anyone has info about taking UART and saving it to a micro-sd card that would be a start.


I have working for my 3D Printers. Works great, you can only have two webcams going for free, watch and hear your 3D Printer and a D-link wifi power switch can shut down the printer if there is a problem.

I have Skype working with my rover on auto answer. Great situation, since the cell phone gives the photon a wifi hotspot Spark RC car hacked with Cell phone hotspot and Skype


Thought I would try to get a webcam working with IFTTT so it can be controlled by a Photon event. Here are my results.

Skype - Not yet able to turn on a Skype call. You can only send IFTTT messages to Skype at the moment

iVideon - works, but is a bit confusing. The ivideon server must be activated and then with IFTTT you can turn the video on or off (or record). If you accidentally use IFTTT to turn the video “Off” then it doesn’t work again even after you restart the server until you use IFTTT to turn it back on. (lots of head banging against the computer to solve that issue)

Manything - Great for recording, works fine with IFTTT. I could not get the live stream working but it did show that it was recording, it nicely saved videos or pictures activated by IFTTT

Camio - best I found. Controlled by IFTTT, seemed to work from windows, Linux and Android (haven’t tested IOS). Live stream was fine. Took about 20 seconds to respond to the Start Camera, Stop Camera events.


Most webcams are motion or sound activated. The above webcams could be activated by other sensors controlled by the photon (moisture, IR range Finder, Pixy camera, temperature). Or simply have the ability to turn on or off your home security using the IFTTT DoButton or the Maker webpage URL.

Lots of info about using IFTTT. Seems a recent update does not allow using the DO button from the IFTTT website, you have to use it from your phone ? Not really sure why since it makes it hard to test stuff on the website.

By the way a typical IFTTT command sent for the Photon looks something like

Spark.publish(“bright-light”, “1000”, 60, PRIVATE);


Particle.publish(“motor”, String(analogRead(A0),DEC), 60, PUBLIC);

Good luck, have fun.

Interesting bits of info. Do you have more info on make/model of that camera? Don’t know if I’ve seen a commercial Serial webcam before.

I will try to uploading an image of the board tomorrow if our snow storm does not hit, but here is the data

Looks very close to the adafruit webcam

considering gettting it working with the adafruit micor sd card at

but not sure if it is worth the effort.

Here is both the back and front of the camera board.

Assuming UART I read somewhere that:
Vin Red
Rx white
Tx green
GND black

Sadly those look like USB pads (not UART)

  • V = VUSB (5V)
  • + = USB Data positive
  • - = USB Data negative
  • G - USB Ground (0V)
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Thanks @harrisonhjones. That solves that. The Cam’s work fine from a desktop computer with the iVideon server, which can be connected using IFTTT to the photon so I guess that is what I will do with them. I should check if Camio works from a desktop computer.