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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
This is what I have been using, but it does rely on either removing the storage card or attaching the camera to a computer to upload the files. It can be viewed live on a mobile phone. It is only HD resolution, though, but would be small enough to install in a rail vehicle or locomotive if desired.

I would like a better solution too, but if a locomotive or coach was to be marketed, there would have to be a range of options offered to allow matching the vehicle to the layout location and time period. Therefore, to my mind, a kit of parts to be installed in a suitable vehicle on the purchaser's layout might be a better solution.

Yep. That seems to be the popular answer (understandably). Another of the issues I have is that few of wifi boards available on the market are narrow enough to go in a steam engine. The alternative is to place it in the tender but that means trailing wires, which I'm keen to avoid. I'm concentrating on the diesels, currently, for this reason, and because it is a simpler solution to make the camera 'track' the track. If and when I get my camera up and running I hope to be able to finance a 'universal' solution.
 

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Hi Traincam,

Thanks Graham! This is good stuff and just what I've been looking for.

I'll take your bullets one at a time:

  • I think you mean, here, that it shouldn't stick out anywhere
Correct. So that it doesn't stick out any more than any regular item of rolling stock. So you can run it anywhere a normal train would go.

  • This is a big sticking point with me at the moment and I have, coincidentally, decided to go the way you suggest. I have been having a lot of problems with dropout of video, when the rechargeable battery gets its supply from the track. I may come back to this later but, for the time being, it will be rechargeable battery only in the train.
In order to ensure a reliable constant supply, it would need to be an on-board battery. In my previous 'playings' in this space, a 9V battery sitting in a Bachmann OBA wagon with the camera was fine.

  • Another tricky one - at least 2K is what I have been aiming for but without designing my own pcb, camera and smartphone app, I am struggling to get the killer combination of resolution/fps/auto-focus. If the resolution is good enough the frames-per-second video feed is too low for wifi to the smartphone. If the resolution and fps is ok, it's a fixed focus of a few millimetres.
I may have been asking too much here. I think 2K would be fine. It just has to be better than the 640x480 that many cams still use!

  • Again, a good point. some do have sound but the rest of the solution is terrible. The cameras I have been trying don't have sound.
Sound is a non-negotiable requirement for me. I want to be able to create cab-video videos, complete with the DCC sound of the loco being driven.

  • This is a 'must' as far as I am concerned. I don't want to have to remove a micro SD card and plug it in somewhere else. And I want it to deliver a live stream for exhibitions, etc. This is very doable but with the caveats above
Agreed.

  • Agreed and that is what I am doing.
Agreed.

I too looked at the camera you looked at but I want mine to be, at least, discrete, if not invisible. Hence, putting it is the cab.
'In cab' is not a primary requirement for me. I would be happy to get my requirements in a package that fitted a wagon first rather than to have no package at all.
'In cab' may also have issues with sound in sound-fitted locos - reverb etc within the loco body.

Many thanks for your feedback. It looks like I'm on the right track (so to speak...)!
Not a problem. If you need feedback/help/advice or a test bed, happy to help - just PM me.

Graham
 

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... 'anticipating' the curve...
Good concept if it can be made both to work smoothly and - most importantly in my opinion - to recentre accurately to 'straight ahead view' on tangent track. The challenge with recentering is the relatively low force available for the movement, and elimination of as much slack in the mechanism as possible. If this proves an obstacle, then I'd go for simple rigid mount and forego the neat idea of 'anticipation'.


...I didn't understand your bit about 'select from designs, etc, though.
What I meant by that, was that making a selection from suitable vehicle designs in which to install the camera would be required. Much as 'SRman' has rather better expressed:
...I would like a better solution too, but if a locomotive or coach was to be marketed, there would have to be a range of options offered to allow matching the vehicle to the layout location and time period. Therefore, to my mind, a kit of parts to be installed in a suitable vehicle on the purchaser's layout might be a better solution...
 
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