Locomotive Camera

To see the camera operating on my home layout in a live video feed Screen Capture Live Linkclick here.

Picture 00

These are the items I started out with. They include, an Athearn dummy locomotive, replacement wheels (the dummy unit comes with plastic wheels), capacitor (4700 uF), wireless pinhole camera, and one battery eliminator circuit.


Picture 01

Remove the shell from the frame, and remove the trucks from the frame. If  you want to use the frame as a conductor, file the surface around the pivot points. I would suggest not doing this, as I prefer to solder the wire directly to the trucks.

Picture 02

Here is a closer view of the pivot point on the Athearn frame.

Picture 03

Take some wire and feed it into the brass rivet holes from the inside of the truck. Solder them in place.  Take another wire  and feed it into the other rivet holes for the opposite side wheels. Repeat this process for both front and rear trucks.

Picture 04

Attach the trucks back to the frame of the  locomotive. Make sure that the wires come through the opening of the frame well.

Picture 05

Take the battery eliminator circuit provided my wirelessmicrocolorcam.com and remove the nine volt batter clip. I just twisted it until it broke off.

Picture 06

It now looks like this.

Picture 07

Take the cab off the shell of the locomotive.

Picture 08

As close to the back edge as possible cut through the hood of the cab. Once through, turn it over and cut a square the shape of the pin hole camera.

Picture 09

Here is my finished hole. Test fit the camera, so that the top of the camera is flush with the top of the cab.

Picture 10

Here is the back of the locomotive cab with the Camera installed. I chopped the plastic from the sides of the windows to make room for the screw tops of the camera, Its a tight fit. Don't forget to try the camera out, adjusting the focus before gluing it in place. You can adjust it later, but its more difficult.

Picture 11

I used five minute epoxy to glue the camera into the cab of the locomotive. It filled in the gaps nicely. THe epoxy can be filed down later to painting.

Picture 12

Remove the dynamic braking hatch. Athearn dummy shells  have additional plastic for holding a  counter weight.  Remove this  plastic.

Picture 13

This is the shell after removing the extra plastic. The added room makes for the battery eliminator circuit.

Picture 14

Attach the wires from the trucks/frame of the locomotive to the battery eliminator circuit. Make sure the circuit board fits into the shell well.

Picture 15

Another picture.

Picture 16

The epoxy should be dry by now. Careful  place the cab back onto the shell.

Picture 17

Here is another view of the hidden camera in the cab of the locomotive. The camera is black, which hides well with the black paint scheme of Norfolk Southern.

Picture 18

Here is a picture of the locomotive with the shall back on the frame. Test the view of the camera. You might see the nose of the locomotive in the picture. If  this is the case, you will have to lower the nose of the cab. In my case, the camera shows the nose, but its really fuzzy being out of focus.

Picture 19

I cut the nose off (ouch that hurt).

Picture 20

File the cut flat so the two pieces can be glued together seamlessly.

Picture 21

If you look carefully, I filed about 1/16 of an inch off (the width of one white stripe of the paint scheme).

Picture 22

Opps, I forgot to take a picture of the locomotive finished. Oh well, picture 18 is close enough. I have another picture of a GP50...

Picture 23

Our train club uses a twenty inch television mounted to display the video from the train camera.