Friday, May 8, 2015

Raspberry Pi Camera Extension Cable

I'm working on a project (hopefully to be completed this summer) that needed a longer, less rigid camera cable for my Pi camera board. I thought I would document this part of the project separately since it might be useful to others.

  • Raspberry Pi Camera Board with standard flex cable
  • 2 x Adafruit FPC Sticks
  • 1 x Short (2") Flex Cable (Adafruit)
  • 1 x 15 position, 1mm pitch, FPC connector with bottom contacts (Digikey)
  • 1 x 15 position, 1mm pitch, FPC connector with top contacts (Digikey)
  • 15 conductor wire - I had some 16 conductor ribbon cable lying around (Digikey)
    • Alternatively, you could just cut equal lengths of regular stranded wire or use two lengths of Cat5 cable. 

The assembly was really straight forward. Admittedly, the hardest part was soldering the little FPC connectors to the boards. First step was to align everything and then tack down the connector by soldering the side tabs to the board. Then I used the finest tip I had for my soldering iron and added some extra flux to the connections before carefully soldering each pin to the pad on the board.

The next step was to strip and solder all of the ribbon cable wires to the boards. I added some hot glue to the connections to add some strain relief.

At this point, I plugged in the flex cables and went through with my multimeter and tested all of the conductors for continuity and, more importantly, shorts. Although I did my best with the soldering of the FPC connectors, I did bridge two of the pins on one board. So, that required a little rework.

Last thing to do was to plug everything into the Pi and camera board and test it out, and everything worked perfectly.


  1. Hello, what are you planning on using this setup for? Just stumbled upon your blog, it has been a lot of fun to read.

    1. Josh,
      It's for a custom time-lapse setup and the standard flat flex cables just aren't flexible enough for the configuration that I need.

  2. I did something similar a year or so ago to make an 8 Pi Camera rig. I had some 15pin FFC boards printed by OSH Park really cheap:

    Then bought some connectors and ribbon cable from Digikey: