View Full Version : N-scale box car camera

2nd Nov 2012, 11:19 AM
I wanted to make an on-board video of my small layout but could not afford expensive equipment.

2nd Nov 2012, 03:59 PM
Your not going to get great images from a cheap camera.

First you need to decide whether you want to see the video, live or after the fact.

I chose live. I find its more interesting and gives you a better understanding of how to run the train.

I used a Bi-Level Gallery Cab Car to contain it all. It not only has the space to hold all the electronics but is the correct car to lead a train with the engine pushing. The camera needed its case shaved and "GLASS" was removed to make more room. I used a MicroMark Battery Eliminator for power hooked up to Kato passenger trucks for smooth power pick up. You can't tell the car is any different from any others of it's kind.

The camera looks right out the cab door window. The actual enjineer's position is slightly above and to the right. With DCC I can realistically drive the train. Not just watch videos and hope I got the speed right.

2nd Nov 2012, 08:47 PM
Both options sound great to me, do you have a how-to for your method CNW? I'm still a good way off for either to do any good but no reason I can't start building now.

3rd Nov 2012, 12:44 AM
Ditto. same here. Please share your work please.

Both options sound great to me, do you have a how-to for your method CNW? I'm still a good way off for either to do any good but no reason I can't start building now.

3rd Nov 2012, 09:58 AM
You might also want to view the threads:

Amazing Video Spy Cam (http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?18087-Amazing-Video-Spy-Cam)
miniature video camera - novelty or worth it? (http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?24849-miniature-video-camera-novelty-or-worth-it)
Spy Cam Strikes Again! (http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?18787-Spy-Cam-Strikes-Again%21)
A Passengers Eye View Around my Tables (http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?18805-A-Passengers-Eye-View-Around-my-Tables)

3rd Nov 2012, 03:44 PM
The roof fits better now, a couple uses of the file helped.

Here is the parts list for the Gallery Car Cam
I got the camera form eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Wireless-Mini-CC...item2307689811 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Wireless-Mini-CCTV-Hidden-Color-Pinhole-Camera-SPY-Cam-/150448150545?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2307689811) OLD LINK
Your actual brand may vary. But look for the small cubic type.

The Battery Eliminator from MicroMark
http://www.micromark.com/BATTERY-ELI...MERA,8370.html (http://www.micromark.com/BATTERY-ELIMINATOR-FOR-MICRO-CAMERA,8370.html)

The Bi-Level Gallery Cab-Car from ConCor
The ConCors are the cheapest available and the types still run on many railroads. Metra has some of sold their older cars to the start-up commuter lines. The ones with the cast weight on the bottom run best. The weight was a standard piece on most ConCor passenger cars. A transplant works great. The new Kato cars have a lot of plumbing at the cab end. So do the Arnold-Rapido cars. The camera may not fit the Athearn Bombardier cars. Look Model cars may work but they are so expensive. The camera may fit better since the sides are just sheet metal.

The Trucks from Kato
http://search.cartserver.com/search/...l=AND&bool=AND (http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-1078&keywords=NELCAP&maxhits=100&go=List+Parts&bool=AND&bool=AND)

Some cutting and modifications needed.
The hardest task was drilling all the holes to form the slots for the contact tabs from the trucks. A bit of filing smoothed and cleared the slots. The trucks are attached with screws through Microtrains truck adapter bits.

Wires are soldered to the tabs on the trucks and attached to the power adapter. The camera power feed and the wire on the camera are shortened considerably. Supposedly, there are electronic components in the plug (the big thing in the middle of the car) so I cut and resoldered the wires only.

I cut the sides of the camera off to fit in the body. A little filing on the circuit board helped too. Friction holds it in place and allows adjustment of angle and removal to adjust focus. The side windows were removed in the roof/window unit to make room for the camera body. Eventually acetate will be added for the windows. Some grinding was done to the roof for a better fit, than is shown in the above photo.

I also added a 2mm LED headlight to show power. It is wired to the power board.

16th Nov 2012, 09:02 PM
Hey Madmodeler,

could you bring your videos back please?

Cruising around the site, i get excited to see a video and then come in to see it and they are all gone :(

I like train videos, no matter what they are for. Im sure i am not the only one that enjoys them.