My friend Milo brought over a Trendmasters Video Camera w/transmitter and receiver that he just picked up for $20 at a discount store. Original price was like $80! It included a green camera with built-in 2.4 gighz transmitter which broadcast video AND sound up to 50' away to a receiver which plugs into a VCR or TV. He had a great idea of taking it apart and mounting it on a flatcar. We used a 50' boxcar with the shell removed. All the parts were hot glued to the boxcar in a matter of minutes. This camera is nice because it runs on a standard 9 volt battery and is pretty sensitive to light. The only problem we had is because the antenna and transmitter board is so high, it only cleared one of my tunnels and none of the bridges.
Needless to say, we went back and bought out the remaining cameras the store had (2). The next train cam was made on a 52' depressed center Bachmann flat car with 6 wheel, all steel trucks (shown above). Taking the antenna apart to remove the housing made it small enough to be mounted vertically and still clear the bridges and tunnels. We had to mount the circuit board at an angle to reduce clearance. We accomplished our goal. The car can travel under any bridge and in any tunnel now. If you click and download the videos, you'll see it go around various tracks of my layout. (You'll also see that I need to get alot more scenery added!) Although the quality isn't broadcast quality by any means, it is really cool to take a tour of your layout from your own trains!
|The close out $20 wireless video camera.||Opening the camera reveals the camera LCD unit on the left and the transmitter on the right.|
|Side view show metal transmitter circuit and battery.||Other side show antenna (rectangle on right)|
|Top view of new train cam showing finished car. Everything was hot glued on the car.||Old train cam made from a box car which wouldn't clear my layout.|
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