Raspberry Pi Camera HDMI Cable Extension
A set of connectors to extend the Raspberry Pi camera cable. This kit permits to use a standard HDMI cable between the Pi and its camera.
This is a kit to use a standard HDMI cable between the Raspberry Pi and its camera. The biggest advantages are obviously the range increase, the possibility to use widely available cables, and to use a round and sturdy HDMI cable instead of a flat ribbon. Note that this is just an extension between the camera and the Raspberry Pi. Four additional pins are available, this may become handy to use a few sensors with low current requirement along with your camera.
I am using the Pi camera outside the house and close to machinery so I needed a longer and stronger cable with solid connections. Searching the web I did not find anything usable for my application. However a thread on the Raspberry Pi forum gave me the idea to try using an HDMI cable for extension. By comparing the diagram of the Pi Camera connector and HDMI connector one can see that both have four data buses made by pairs of cables with a ground shield. My only work was to put the right cable at the right place!
I have tested successfully simple 5 meter HDMI cables, cheap or expensive cables worked 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. I have not tested HDMI boosters or HDMI conversion to CAT6, please report if you do.
The parts in the kit are shown in the third picture, every board is tested before shipping. This system works with all Raspberry Pi models. Assembly is simple but require precision to place and tighten the small M2 screws. First assemble and lock the 60mm flat cable between the camera and board, watch carefully the picture for the side of the cable; the connectors face up. Then put the boards back to back, the flat ribbon should form a "S" shape. Finally you can put the screws and spacers.
If after plugging the camera with this kit the Pi does not detect it, you may have bought an HDMI cable without data shield. Please read my blog post that explains an easy fix.
I finally made a case for 3D printing (not sold with the kit). The files can be downloaded onThingiverse. Please post modifications you made.