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Suggest A Motorized Base For A Small Camera ?
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 Posted: Mon Jun 17th, 2019 04:48 am
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Eric T
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I'm currently using the base of a bobber caboose to hold a 1.5 inch cubical camera,
for recording run-throughs of my club's layouts.
 
It works pretty well,
but I'd like to take it up a notch by having the car be self-propelled.

Like the caboose frame, I would like to use something with a short wheelbase,
and have the lens directly over the front axle. 
(So the view moves with curves instead of hesitating)

Does anybody know of a switcher locomotive,
that uses a vertical worm gear at the end of the frame,
so I can put the camera in the empty space in front of it? 

Or possibly a diesel truck/bogie that has a small motor hidden between the axles?

Also I need the donor mechanism to be DCC or DCC-ready.


Thanks for reading!


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 Posted: Mon Jun 17th, 2019 05:36 am
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corv8
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Eric,

Those locos you suggest, may not have the best performance (steady, jerk free operation).

How about a plain diesel like an Athearn F7?
(I understand you operate On3, but appearance might not be an issue?)

There should be enough free space over the front truck for the camera,
as long as you don't insist on a very low view.

You could even remove the worm drive assembly of this truck, to mount the camera lower.

Gerold




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 Posted: Mon Jun 17th, 2019 03:10 pm
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W C Greene
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Yes, I agree with Gerold,
something simple like an Athearn F7 or SW1500 could be modified,
with the gearing, etc. on the front truck removed,
and the camera mounted (somehow) on the top of the truck.
A single powered loco mechanism like one of these would be well-suited for this application.
And I wonder if you want to make this thing look like some "prototype" locomotive, or just as it is?
Just some thoughts, you should be able to cobble something up.

Woodie




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 Posted: Mon Jun 17th, 2019 03:43 pm
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Eric T
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I would really like to use a mechanism with just two axles if I can.


Performance issues shouldn't be a problem,
I'm going to add a capacitor to the decoder to keep it moving over trouble spots,
like I've done with other locos on my roster.

I'm not concerned about appearance either,
the camera will be exposed and probably the motor and decoder as well.


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 Posted: Mon Jun 17th, 2019 11:23 pm
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Eric T
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I found these today and they look quite promising. 
But I'm not seeing much information regarding their performance.

Can anyone who might have worked with them before,
help me decide whether they'd be worth importing?

Ebay

Ebay


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 Posted: Tue Jun 18th, 2019 09:50 am
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slateworks
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Eric,

I don't know about the Hornby unit but, unlike others I'm sure,
I found the Tenshodo SPUD to be almost impossible to get to run well even with plenty of weight.
In the end, for Updah's crew car I used the NWSL Stanton Drive unit 


https://shop.osorail.com/category.sc?categoryId=176]https://shop.osorail.com/category.sc?categoryId=176]https://shop.osorail.com/category.sc?categoryId=176


Which IMHO is light years better and runs slowly, smoothly and quietly with no problems.

 
https://youtu.be/YFg1c0N0HI8


The creaking, by the way, is my camera mount, not the model!




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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 04:27 am
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Eric T
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Doug,


Smooth and quiet is certainly good.  I also like how they come with DCC wiring.


Is that shaft on top of these units part of the motor, or can it be removed?

Also, what percentage of its top speed would you say your crew car was going in your video?

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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 11:21 am
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slateworks
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Eric,

the "shaft" on top of the motor is just a bolt to act as a pivot point and I guess it could be clipped off if not required.
It's not part of the mechanism. 

On the other hand it could be a useful attachment point for a plate holding your camera,
also giving you the ability to swivel the camera to a position other than straight ahead.





You'll probably realise that my crew car is fitted with a Loksound V4 Galloping Goose soundfile decoder,
and as regards speed, I limited the top speed by adjusting CV5.
I use CV5 as a setting to help bring in earlier and more frequent gear changes by limiting the top speed.

The speed of the model in the video is probably around 30% of top speed as set but I've never measured it,
and it's certainly a much smaller percentage of the CV5 default setting in the decoder as delivered.
 



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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 05:01 pm
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Eric T
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Thank you for the extra insight, Doug.

My camera is a simple 'action cam' without a mounting mechanism,
so I use 3M's Command strips to secure it to flat surfaces,
which looks fairly easy to achieve on a Stanton Drive if I remove the pivot point.

And knowing it can go faster is good because my group does a lot of large layouts,
and I'd like to keep the videos under 10 minutes.

 :P


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 Posted: Wed Jun 19th, 2019 06:12 pm
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slateworks
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Yes Eric, if you don't program CV5 down as I did,

there's plenty of speed in the Stanton Drive in its out of the box condition.





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