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Thread: Tomix Camera Train

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    Default Tomix Camera Train

    Interesting -- I have seen a few people post questions about cameras but saw this Tomix train w/ built in camera referenced in a FB group.

    http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10429157

    at $168 it seems a bit pricey compared to simply getting a micro camera and building a power system but this is not something I have prioritized so maybe this will be useful for someone.

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    Considering that it is a 3 car train, self propelled EMU, plus the camera system, it does not seem "pricey" to me. However nothing in the literature indicates whether it has a decoder, or a plug-in for a decoder, or is "DCC ready" in any way, shape or form. That would be good to know. Naturally, I would want a European model, such as an ET 425 or ET 442.

    Perhaps Kato/Hobbytrain Lemke will pick up on the idea. Having a small TV set up at train shows would be a real kick!
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Considering that it is a 3 car train, self propelled EMU, plus the camera system, it does not seem "pricey" to me. However nothing in the literature indicates whether it has a decoder, or a plug-in for a decoder, or is "DCC ready" in any way, shape or form. That would be good to know. Naturally, I would want a European model, such as an ET 425 or ET 442. Perhaps Kato/Hobbytrain Lemke will pick up on the idea. Having a small TV set up at train shows would be a real kick!
    Agree -- as a self-contained train w/ camera it is not bad (I was comparing to buying a micro-camera on Ebay and DIY building a power system etc... as an alternative when I said "pricey").

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    This is a product meant for sale inside Japan. Tomix is just beginning to sell items to the rest of the world. Until recently Tomix and TomyTec were gray market exports.
    Because model railroaders in Japan rarely have permanent layouts, DCC is almost never considered.

    But because the camera draws power from the track the DCC signals may be problematic. By looking at the Tomix info page
    https://translate.google.com/transla...Fn%2F5594.html
    http://www.tomytec.co.jp/tomix/products/n/5594.html
    The page mentions that the power car that comes with the normal version of the train is incompatible with the camera. Only the supplied power car should be used.

    While the car does broadcast over WiFi, you need an App to receive it. Most likely it will only have Japanese text.



    The tiny caramel sized, live, cameras, available on eBay and elsewhere, will fit into a full height double deck car with some of the case removed. When used in a push/pull cab/coach car, they look totally natural being pushed around by a reverse facing loco. I built one in a ConCor C&NW BiLevel Gallery car. The lens lines up with the end door window, so, no huge hole in the end of the car.

    Because Metra has sold these cars to startup commuter systems across the country they can be a natural on any NA layout. I know Europe does have double deck cars, but not sure about cab/coach cars.

    The cameras are so common that MicroMark sells a compatible power converter. Kato passenger car trucks collect power with few glitches. The ConCor BiLevels are available in smooth sides and corrugated stainless steel versions. The CC cars don't have an interior. The Wheels of Time cars do not have a cab/coach. It may be possible to convert a Kato NS BiLevel car but you have to gut it.

    When I built my car $168 would have been pretty close to cost, including a loco, not counting the TV set.
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    I have one from 20 years ago that is VGA and comes with a receiver with an RCA plug for your TV. Not that I still have a TV that accepts analog. I assume this is like a GoPro on a drone, with 1080p and wifi, but you don't need track power for that.

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    Mm, if the picture coming out of that thing is 720p 30fps with decent sound the camera alone is worth half the asking price of the whole set. Given they've probably used a smartphone's camera to do this I wouldn't be surprised if it could record in 1080p and any quality limitations are more likely to stem from the transmitter side.

    Honestly, I'm half tempted to buy one, tear it to bits, shove the camera equipment into an 86' auto parts boxcar or a dummy diesel loco.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyC6 View Post
    Honestly, I'm half tempted to buy one, tear it to bits, shove the camera equipment into an 86' auto parts boxcar or a dummy diesel loco.
    Building on your idea -- why not take apart an old mobile phone instead? Virtually free if you are like many people and have a bunch of old phones sitting around with decent cameras & wifi in them. I guess the control boards / battery might have the wrong aspect ratio to fit inside a train, but it would be really interesting to have an electronics expert take apart a phone and use those components to make a camera train.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Building on your idea -- why not take apart an old mobile phone instead? Virtually free if you are like many people and have a bunch of old phones sitting around with decent cameras & wifi in them. I guess the control boards / battery might have the wrong aspect ratio to fit inside a train, but it would be really interesting to have an electronics expert take apart a phone and use those components to make a camera train.

    Long, short, and skinny of it? I don't have the capability to desolder SMD components from a board that compact and densely packed without destroying the sensor I'm trying to acquire, then re-solder it to a WIFI transmitter small enough to fit within the confines of an N-scale hycube box car of some sort.

    I could build a power supply, though, for that all I need is a few diodes, a smoothing capacitor, and a voltage regulator chip.
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