N-Scale On-board Camera Car

Componets left to right are a color video camera, wireless transmitter, and 5V power supply for transmitter (with some big capacitors added, but they are useless).

This car was hobbled together as a test using parts form Mat-Co Electronics (www.mat-co.com)

All components were mounted on an extra Kato passenger car underframe, as it already had power pickup. The camera is rated for 10-13v, but a 5v transformer is needed to tame the 12v track voltage for the transmitter. It works really well and gives a great perspective when it is placed around the layout. When moving in a train though, it cuts out and flashes the picture. I have yet to try improving the power pickup which may solve this problem. The car transmits to a receiver in the next room which sends a video signal to a nearby TV. The clearance width-wise is enough so that trains can pass on adjacent tracks with ease, however the vertical height isn't conducive for tunnels or overpasses. One could lay the transmitter on its side, although I was told the range of transmission would suffer.

The camera has an audio pickup also, however the transmitter will only transmit video. There may be other transmitters available, but I don't see the need for sound as of yet. The nice thing about these small cameras is that they have a pinhole lens already. This works out very well for the perspective shown in the video picture.

back to cgwrr.com