TROLLEY-CAM VIDEO NOW HERE... Click here to see a 22 second video (Windows Media Player .avi file type 1.2Mb) of a journey of trolley-cam1 over some of the East Penn modules. (The video was digitized with only 256 colors and at 5 frames per second to keep the file size small. This accounts for the blocky look of the footage and is not a function of the video camera.)
This is a photo from the 2000 Fall Trolley Extravaganza in King of Prussia of John V. Gallagher's flat car with the wireless XCam2 color camera setup, aka "trolley-cam1". John discovered these cheap, wireless, full color and sound cameras (see www.x10.com for more details). John kept the camera and battery pack pretty much as they come from the manufacturer. The only major modification he did was to cut off the rounded sides of the battery pack unit (the rear gray piece) so that it would fit the width of an 'O' scale flat car. The flat car was then pushed by any available motive power with a coupler on the front.
This is a photo of "trolley-cam2", designed and built by Gary Reighn. This car made its first appearance at the Greenberg Train Show in Fort Washington on December 9 & 10, 2000. For this setup, Gary removed the camera from its bulky mounting base and battery pack and substitued a RadioShack project box to house the main circuit board. The connectors were also all replaced with minitaure ones to reduce the overall size even further. There was no attempt made to take the actual camera and optics out of the case it was in as it provided a convenient mounting lug for attaching the camera to the car. To improve the reliability of the operation, trolley-cam2 is mounted on a custom fabricated, self propelled car powered by a Wagner can-motor truck. As a result it creeps along at a nice slow pace and does not suffer the potential tracking problems of being on a flat car pushed by a locomotive. The other novel feature of trolley-cam2 is that the camera is attached to the lead power truck. As a result, it swivels with the truck, providing a better view down the track when the car is rounding a curve. Feedback from everyone was that this is a big improvement over mounting the camera rigidly to the car frame.
Here is a photo taken at the show of the monitor (TV) used to display the images to the crowd. Trolley-cam was a real crowd pleaser!!
For more info on these cheap, high quality, color & sound wireless cameras, visit www.x10.com.