EvilTwin

Train-mounted camera

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Hello

I see a lot of videos on Youtube of people's train layouts including many where there is a camera mounted on the train itself. Videos like this one  

I am just wondering what cameras people use to do such things?

I guess it's possible to just use a smartphone or something like a GoPro just sitting on top of the train but I wonder if there is a smaller solution that fits more neatly with the train itself? And reasonably priced of course :laugh:

Ideally I want something where I can watch the video live on a monitor as well as record the video on a SD card or whatever.

I am thinking about something like these "Fredi" spy cameras for sale on Amazon but I wonder if anyone has a recommendation?

 

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I have a friend who films HO layouts using his GoPro. If an HO train can fit a GoPro on it, a Lego train should easily take a GoPro. Here is an example of my friend's video to show what a GoPro can pull off:

 

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I am looking for my 3rd camera.  The first I picked up for $20 USD at the NMRA show in Indy. The size was great.  Small enough to fit inside my CoNO engine.  Instructions were in translated English from Chinese.  When I got it to stream it was great (if only in SD) but it only lasted 5 min before it died.  Charging seemed to be hit or miss.  It sometimes worked again but not long enough.   It looked similar to this one:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61xl4mkxQPL._SL1200_.jpg

Next was the Polaroid Wi-Fi camera.  It does HD and lasts for about 90 min between charges.  The problem is it takes 2+ days to recharge.  At least the car I have it sitting on makes it look a bit like a tanker car.  It has been suggested to make a deep sea sub out of it. 

41QP7f5dAYL._AC_US174_.jpg

I really want a micro/spy cam to build into an engine like legoman666 has and that does HD is reliable.  I looked at the Freddi before I bought the Polaroid and decided against it because of all the reviews that showed it having reliability issues.

Edited by pirzyk
Added images

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SecurityMan and other companies make small wireless cameras that are powered from 9V batteries. I remember seeing a hobby shop demonstrate them in their trains section many years ago. With the low cost of drones now it might be cheaper to cannibalize a camera from one of those!

In prior years I took footage of the BayLUG layout using a small flatcar with my phone on it: 

cameracar.png

However, it holds the phone such that the camera faces in/out of the layout. This year @codefox421 used some GoPro cameras to shoot footage.

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I use a waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof vacation camera in a holder made with Technic beams.  It overlooks the top of the train cars and locomotive in front.  I added some train weight to lower the center of gravity a bit.

traindolly.jpg

 

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For my OO layout, I used a small 'spy' camera; just search Google for 'car keys camera' and it should pop up. They are around 4-5 studs wide. Alternatively, I used a phone on its side, like jtlan, but with a 45 degree mirror. Sure, the footage is flipped horizontally, but it works.

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What camera do you use to show in a little tablet/monitor the view?

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The camera I used originally seems to not be available anymore.  A few years ago, I picked up a cheap camera drone, under $100, and have contemplated pulling out it's internals, camera, WiFi transmitter, and battery, to use in a camera train.  you can probably find replacement drone cameras and transmitters or even mini "spy cams" online for pretty cheap.  Most drone cameras can live stream via a self contained WiFi signal to a device with their app loaded.

Sal
WFB, WI

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Go-Pro train mount


My go-pro mount.

Simple bogie with magnetic coupling.

No tiles were sacrificed, it’s a double sided tape mount.

Does live view wireless, and ultra wide.

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The camera in the OP's mentioned video is a Sony X3000R. I use it as well. The main advantage of this camera against the GoPro is that it has its lens centered, which the GoPro doesn't have what results in a shot which is not centered on the train track.

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