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GoPro Motion Detector (HERO3/4)

Product Codes: MD-003XX (X-Band)
MD-003PX (PIR)

This product is available while supplies last and has been replaced by our new Blink time lapse and motion detection controller. Motion detectors compatible with Blink are available here

Please note that this X-Band Motion Detector (MD-003XX) is not compatible with Blink.

Motion detection can be used for security camera applications, wildlife photography, and for recording events where a person or other object, such as a car or truck, moves past the camera from time to time.

The GoPro Controller is a small high quality circuit board that plugs into the HERO Port on the back of the GoPro cameras. It is small enough to fit inside the extended back doors provided with the GoPro accessories such as theGoPro LCD BacPac or theGoPro Battery BacPac.

The CamDo Motion Detector control board is configured to trigger the camera using the output from an active doppler X-Band Microwave Motion Detector. The detector is powered by a regulated power supply on the controller board which converts the camera battery voltage to a regulated 5 volt supply.

The Motion Detector controller board can be purchased separately from our sensors for use with a different motion detector,proximity detector, or other sensing device you may already have. The board includes a 5 volt power output for use in powering accessories using the camera battery and the firmware for motion detection or triggering as described in theoperating manual. 

The X-Band detector board measures 1.8” x 1.6" (46mm x 41mm).

NOTE: HERO4 compatibility can only be achieved through a custom firmware modification to the camera. The firmware modification is explained in detailhere.

You are strongly advised to use an SD card from the recommended list on GoPro's website. Use of cards not on the list, especially SanDisk Ultracards, will greatly increase your chance of trouble with your setup.
    • Capture Triggers

      • The Passive Infrared (PIR) detector is sensitive to the heat radiated by people and animals. It is triggered by changes in the pattern of heat radiation in front of the sensor. Under normal circumstances, the PIR detector will detect a person moving 25 feet (8m) away.
      • The X-Band Motion detector is an active device which bounces 10.5 GHz microwave signals off the objects in front of it. Since it does not rely on radiated heat from the object, it is better suited for detecting inanimate objects as well as smaller wildlife. It is also less prone to false triggers caused by moving sunlight, etc. Microwaves will pass through glass and plastic, so the X-Band detector can be mounted inside a window looking outside, or in a waterproof box for use outside. The range of the X-Band detector is adjustable from 8 to 30 feet (2-10m). Actual distances will depend on the environment and mounting configurations.
      • The motion detector control board can be triggered using other motion detectors, intervalometers,accelerometers, timers, computers, temperature sensors, radio or infra-red remote controls, and custom electronic circuits. The trigger input is anLTV-817 optoisolator with a 1K current limiting resistor. A signal from 3 volts to 20 volts between IN- and IN+ will trigger the controller to start the camera. Essentially, any device which will light an LED can trigger the controller.

      Programming Flexibility

      • Programmable "shoot time" for single shot, multiple stills, or video.
      • The Motion Detector controller contains all the features of theTime Lapse Intervalometer.
      • Trigger the camera between capturing time lapse images.
      • Start capturing time lapse images only when motion is being detected.

      External Output

      • Optically isolated External output can be used to turn on lights or interface to an alarm or signalling device when the cycle is active.

      No Additional Battery Required

      • The Motion Detector controller uses the camera’s battery. In standby it uses very little power (similar to a watch) and does not reduce the battery life.
      • Because it requires no power source and fits inside the waterproof housing, it can be used in any environment the camera can handle.

    • Compatible with the GoPro camera with a HERO Port connector on the back of the camera (with the exception of the HERO3 Silver).


      Compatibility ( Y / N )


      HERO5 Session

      HERO4 Black


      HERO4 Silver


      HERO4 Session

      HERO (2014)

      HERO3+ Black

      HERO3+ Silver

      HERO3 Black

      HERO3 Silver

      HERO3 White



      * HERO4 compatibility can only be achieved through a custom firmware modification to the camera. The firmware modification is explained in detail here.

      With the current GoPro firmware, the Intervalometer can turn the HERO3 Black, HERO3+, and HERO4 cameras on, but it cannot turn them off. The camera must be programmed to turn off after taking a photo or shooting a video of the desired length using scripts which are installed on the SD card. This allows for considerable flexibility in deciding what the camera will do when triggered by the Intervalometer. Sample HERO3+ and HERO3 Black scripts can be seen here. HERO4 scripts are structured differently, and their feature set can be seen here.

      Scripts are not required for HERO2 or HERO3 White cameras.

    • Learn how to use your Motion Detector Controller and get all the info you'll need here.

      View Product Resources >

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Are the motion detectors compatible with the new HERO4 camera?

      The motion detector is compatible with all GoPro HERO cameras, except the HERO3 Silver and the entry level grey HERO cameras. The HERO4 solution requires the use of GoPro’s most recent firmware in addition to a firmware patch provided by CamDo, which will be emailed to you after you purchase your product.

      If you do not require a product configuration immediately, you may also be interested to know that we’re in the process of creating a great product that will replace three of our most powerful products: Programmable Scheduler, Time Lapse Intervalometer and Motion Detector. This product will have a WIFI chip that enables the user to control the camera through a web based UI. We hope to have this available this winter.

      What is the difference between the PIR and X-Band Motion Sensor?

      The PIR Sensor detects movement by registering the change in infrared emissions from a warm body by comparing multiple panels in its view. Therefore it detects warm objects moving across the sensor, side to side or up and down. The X-Band sensor uses doppler detection of microwaves bounced off the object and is triggered by motion towards or away from the sensor.

      Infrared can pass through some thin transparent or translucent plastics, but in general, not through glass. Microwaves pass through opaque plastics and glass, but not metal. The moving object does not need to be warm to trigger the sensor.

      Can I use more than one sensor?

      Yes. Multiple sensors can beconnected in a logical OR so that any one sensor will trigger the camera. This means that multiple sensors of different types, including sensors from other suppliers in many cases, can be placed in different locations in order to trigger the camera more reliably or in advance of an animal moving into a scene.

      Does the controller board fit inside the waterproof case?

      The board does not fit in the standard case. The board fits in the extended backdoors provided with the GoPro accessories such as theGoPro LCD Bacpac or theGoPro Battery Bacpac. A small hole can be drilled into the housing to allow the sensor’s wires to pass through the housing. 

      Motion Detector with O-RingA simple means of securing the camera with the controller board in the standard case for use indoors or in good weather, is to use an O-ring or a rubber band to hold the camera in the case with no backdoor. Pictured is an AS568-134 which fits nicely.

      Outdoor Weather Resistant Enclosure

      CamDo now offers anOutdoor Weather Resistant Enclosure designed to house the Motion Detector and other CamDo controllers along with space for a high capacity battery.

      X-Band Motion Detector in DRY Enclosure for GoPro Cameras
      The X-Band detector fits inside the weather resistant case and does not require any hole in the case for installation.

      A case for the PIR detector will have an additional opening for the PIR detector lens.

      How can I setup the motion detector to only trigger during the day?

      It is possible to use a simple photocell to prevent triggering at night. If you have a slight knowledge of soldering, you will probably be able to follow the instructions in theApplication Notes.

      I am a hacker. Can I use the cable on the board to trigger the camera using other devices?

      Yes! If you have a little knowledge of electronics, you can use the controller board to trigger the camera. The interface is documented in theCamDo ControllerApplication Notes for Advanced Users. It is actually quite easy to connect external triggers such asmotion detectors,intervalometers ,security systems, or to configure the camera tostart automatically whenever the car ignition is turned on, for example.

      I am a not a hacker. I have an idea for a project for our organization. Can you help?

      Yes. The controller board was originally designed to handle custom projects we built for scientists and professional photographers. It is very flexible and can be reprogrammed to respond to different kinds of control inputs. It also has an opto-isolated output which can be used to control lighting, or give different types of feedback.Contact us for a quote for your application.

      I know how to write code for the MSP430 processor. Can I reprogram the chip with my own firmware?

      Yes. The SBW interface is brought to the edge of the board, so you can even use the Texas Instruments Launchpad ($4.30) to program the device. There is a tutorial: Use your launchpad as a programmer. Let us know if you come up with something really brilliant!