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HO Sized Train Camera

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HO Sized Train Camera
Posted by Train Modeler on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:52 PM

This has been discussed before but was wanting to know if anyone has some updates on new technology to capture live feed video to a PC via wifi.   Most use RC connectors to TVs.  We have a laptop for the layout and wanted to capture some live running from a modified car on the front end running around the track.

Thanks for the help

Richard

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 1:19 PM

I have a pair of Q8 Mini Cameras.  Their small size works well in a HO locomotive.  Their video is very good considering the tiny lens.  Their specs say an hour of record but the best I’ve been able to do is 45 minutes to a charge.
 
  
 
I built a camera car using a Q7 Mini Cam that can be rotated 180° using a Blue Tooth servo.  I started out with a MD81 mini cam but after 5 duds I went with the Q7, the first two of those were duds too.  The third works very good.  The Q7 has WiFi and the Q8 is record only.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 1:52 PM

Depending on the size of your clearances; you might be able to fit a smaller GoPro camera (such as the GoPro Hero) onto a 'camera car' and shove it in front of the train. HO is a bit of a tight squeeze for GoPro; but not impossible. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:15 PM

RR_Mel
I have a pair of Q8 Mini Cameras. Their small size works well in a HO locomotive. Their video is very good considering the tiny lens. Their specs say an hour of record but the best I’ve been able to do is 45 minutes to a charge....

Geez, Mel, are you a former agent for the CIA or an undercover cop?  That's quite the gadget, Inspector.

I was going to ask where one could be bought, but also clicked your link, and there's obviously more to it than I'm likely capable of doing.

Wayne

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:40 PM

doctorwayne

 

 
RR_Mel
I have a pair of Q8 Mini Cameras. Their small size works well in a HO locomotive. Their video is very good considering the tiny lens. Their specs say an hour of record but the best I’ve been able to do is 45 minutes to a charge....

 

Geez, Mel, are you a former agent for the CIA or an undercover cop?  That's quite the gadget, Inspector.

I was going to ask where one could be bought, but also clicked your link, and there's obviously more to it than I'm likely capable of doing.

Wayne

 

For over 40 years I worked in Public Safety Communications so, YES I was!
 
It really wasn’t hard to build, the hardest was finding a camera that worked.  I really liked the MD81 features but I finally gave up getting one that worked as advertised.  Some the software wouldn’t work, some the WiFi was terrible and none even came close to their advertised battery life. 
 
The Q7 was a bit better in things working but the first two I received wouldn’t even turn on.
 
If they would turn on the recorded video was very good on all of the cameras.  I have a sack full of the 32gHz chips and a reader that shoots the video into my computer and the resulting video was very good from every camera.
 
The Arduio NANOs worked first try and I can pan the camera 180° from my control panel.  I had a RCA 7” tablet on my control panel to capture the WiFi camera output as a viewfinder.  When we were burglarized in 2018 the thieves stole the tablet and I just haven’t got around to buy a replacement yet.
 
The camera car works, I just can’t see what the live video looks like without the viewfinder, shooting blind.
 
If I was to redo the car I would go with the Q8 camera.  I have a pair of Q8s and both work better than great.  Great video resolution and color.  The pinhole lens focuses extremely good with only out of focus being under 12”.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:46 PM

 

The OP is asking about live-streaming via Bluetooth or OTA. To this end I'm not aware of any devices small enough for HO.

 

 IMG_7956_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_7954_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

The SQ-8, as do many other cameras, require a micro-SD card, then uploading to a PC or other device. Its video quality is mediocre, at best:

 cube_cam1 by Edmund, on Flickr

Several years ago I picked up this Contour Roam model and the resulting video image is much better.

 IMG_2457 by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:51 PM

gmpullman
Its video quality is mediocre, at best:

I agree.  I got one 2 years ago, did a few spins around the layout, set on the desk, and there it remains.  

Mike.

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Posted by deckroid on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 5:35 PM

I like to fly model aircraft via First Person Veiw. You know, the guys who wear boxes on their faces as they fly.

Here is what I have used in the past that I think will work pretty well on a layout. 

First up is the good old GoPro camera. Here is a GoPro Session 4, it is a smallish camera that does 1080p at 60 frames a second. It is high def and you can stream through your phone to YouTube if you are pretty close. Anything beyond 20 - 30 feet, the picture starts to get icky.

I use the following for my FPV gear. This camera (Caddx Turtle v2) is also high def and is really really good. I use a "fixing" lense on it, so it won't have the fish eye effect when looking at things close up.  If you are way up in the air, you want to see a wide view, so the fish eye is best, but when doing stuff close to the ground, you want everything WYSIWYG. (what you see is what you get)

 

The camera plugs into this... the video transmitter that transmits the video feed out to the world. I have been 1.5 miles away from my plane before and it still gets great reception. RF can and does interfere with the signal, but I fly over farm ground where there isn't a lot of that...

 

This is what makes it all come together for live streaming... this is a video receiver that connects to your laptop/computer via USB. It sends it to a program like VLC which I can watch on a monitor instead of the goggles. There are lots of ways to get video to stream on Youtube or twitch and google is your best friend for that...

 

I have a bunch of ideas in my head about streaming videos from my Budd car which I will talk about in a later post.  Hope this helped!

 

George

Sorry... that is a US quarter in all pics for scale

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, January 17, 2020 11:08 AM

Here's a pic of my HOn3 camera car.

Most of that bulk is the battery power. The camera and its transmitter are integrated into the smaller package at the left end of the car. It's the thing with the tiny antenna sticking up. The whole thing is strapped to a Blackstone HOn3 flatcar.

The camera is basically a drone FPV cam package. It transmits on the standard group of drone video freqs at 5.8 GHz. I use a eachine LCD5802D LCD Screen/DVR combo to receive, record, and display the video.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 17, 2020 5:52 PM

I hadn’t even thought about my camera car until this post hit and It kinda got me going again.  I checked it and it worked first try after sitting for over a year.  The batteries still had enough charge to check it out and it works pretty good.
 
I decided to give it another go, I ordered a tablet (to replace the stolen one in 2017) for my control panel (viewfinder) and after looking at several reviews on YouTube I ordered a Quelima Q13 camera to replace the Q7.
 
The Q13 specs look a lot like the Q8 but has onboard WiFi like the Q7.  I think I figured out why I had so many dud cameras, the Q13 is manufactured by Quelima, the Q7s and MD80 cameras I bought said Unbranded or Clone.  I’m hoping that makes a big difference. All the reviews of the real Q13 looked pretty good.
 
They somewhat miss advertise the Q7 to Q13 as 12mp, the 12mp is for JPG mode the AVI or video mode is 3mp.
 
My Arthritis is somewhat under control so maybe I can finish wiring my control panel and get my camera car up and running taking a video of my layout.
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by KemacPrr on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:54 PM

I see where Trix offers a European diesel with a camera mounted in the nose. Supposed to transmit via wifi. The Amherst club at the West Springfield Mass. train show has a camera loco running on their modular layout. Camera lens is small enought to fit in a GP-35 HO scale headlight housing. I'll have to ask again this year when I go what they are using. ---  Ken

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, January 20, 2020 11:05 AM

While the SQ-8 series cams aren't live, they do offer some interesting possibilities for experimenting. Here's a few pics illustrating the successful pinhole mod I made (before I Oops - Sign tried to improve it...)

The black disc (with the pinhole) drops into the back of the lens housing. This version worked pretty well, but with no way to manually adjust the exposure, pics tended to be somewhat dim, although you can see the potential.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:24 AM

I tie it to the front of the train with a rubberband... I had to grind down the top and bottom of the camera to clear the subway tunnels and the third rail.

ROARING

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:40 AM

Roco sells a camera equipped engine, which is controlled via their z21 DCC station und literally puts you into the driver´s seat - see here

 

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by ET44C4 and GEN SET II on Thursday, January 23, 2020 8:15 AM

 

I have a Roco camera locomotive with a built-in camera. The camera films in HD 720 quality. Which it sends to a PC, tablet or Roco app via built-in WiFi. Where you can watch it live or save it. The range of the WLAN signal is max. 12-15 meters. The biggest drawback is that she only films WITHOUT sound!

 

 

 

At the link below you can see a film made with the Roco camera locomotive. Unfortunately, YouTube deleted all of the music on the film.

 

 

 

Film link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtgGquS1pl8&feature=youtu.be

 

(You may have to log in / log in to YouTube to watch the film.)

 

 

 

I also have a small camera with a height of 2.3 cm and on Micro SD Kart in HD 720 quality. This with sound. The microphone is very sensitive and picks up any noise. This camera can be easily mounted on a 50 'gondola. Accu run time is good for 30 min. Movie recording. You can also take pictures with this camera. Which I don't need and use. Because you have to do this Manuel by pressing a button on the camera. What is difficult when driving ...

 

 

 

Camera: Raptor 7203.HD. With it is various accessories for different mounting options. There are now successor cameras and better ones from this manufacturer. But none with WiFi. As much as I've seen.

 

 

 

Filmlink: https://youtu.be/ib4ctHzPGEw?t=425 (from 07:05 only film with Raptor 7203.HD camera)

 

Old profile was GM SD70ACe

BNSF MODELLBAHN  ---  EUROPEAN RAILWAY MODELS

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more text will follow with time!

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:20 AM

The video is set to "private" so only you can view it. Change the setting to "public" if you want anyone else to view it.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by autobon7 on Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:09 PM

Just made a camera car using a GoPro and posted a short video on YouTube. It still needs tweeked and needs to shed some weight but is a good start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWd5LHtFi4o 

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Posted by ET44C4 and GEN SET II on Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:41 AM

Tinplate Toddler

The video is set to "private" so only you can view it. Change the setting to "public" if you want anyone else to view it.

 

Hello Ulrich,
So now the videos are watching.

Old profile was GM SD70ACe

BNSF MODELLBAHN  ---  EUROPEAN RAILWAY MODELS

BNSF MODELLBAHN  --- US RAILROAD

more text will follow with time!

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Posted by ET44C4 and GEN SET II on Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:47 AM
Hello Ulrich, now both films / videos can be watched. Have a nice weekend.

Old profile was GM SD70ACe

BNSF MODELLBAHN  ---  EUROPEAN RAILWAY MODELS

BNSF MODELLBAHN  --- US RAILROAD

more text will follow with time!

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