Dean’s wireless N scale camera train

“I have been watching the internet for a miniature video camera and saw this miniature camera. When I saw the price ($16) I knew I had to try it.

A number of sellers offer this on EBay. It comes with a USB power cord and the usual broken English instruction sheet. I charged it up and quickly connected my iPhone to its internal Wi-Fi. It’s possible to record and store video clips, then transfer them to your computer.

Caution: I found I didn’t need a password to connect to the camera, so presumably anyone passing by can see it when it’s powered up, so watch where you point it. Camera is on the left in the photo below with the electronics on the right.

Below are some photos which show how I adapted it to an n-scale boxcar. A couple of slots at the end of the car were needed, one to allow the wire strip to pass through and another to allow plugging it into the USB power cable.

The electronics came wrapped in shrink-tubing. By clipping off the sides of this tubing and filing down the two control switches a bit, I found that it just fit into the boxcar. I glued the electronics to the sides of the car with plastic glue. The camera was glued to small piece of balsa wood that was then glued to the front of the car.

Below are some videos of the car in operation (thanks to Cassius for help putting together this video!):

So, how does it work? Not too great compared to bigger units, but usable as you can see in the first two video clip. I will probably use it to monitor my hidden storage yard where it will be fine.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here – have a look and let me know if you’d like me to add the cameras…

And Ashby has been in touch again – the pics are very small, but I always enjoy an update and seeing a layout slowly come to life:

“Hi Al
A Christmas promise to my son that I would build my grandson a model railway for his birthday this August cos he mad on choo-choo’s specially Thomas the tank engine.

I started one in January but it was to big to fit in my car so back to the drawing board. As I mentioned in my previous post I used insulation board lightly braced and edged with thin plywood. I painted the board a mixture of testing emulsion pots browns grey black and green set out the track several times till I had the basis of the finished layout, curved points set track and flexitrack helped placed onto guagemaster foam ballast.

This is the first OO gauge layout for 50 years and learning new techniques I like static grass it covers quickly but I found that using the proper glue helps pva doesn’t seem to work as well as static grass glue. Seafoam trees dipped in pva and sprinkled scatter different greens and browns left to dry, the insulation board is easy to make a hole and uhu glue the ‘trees’ into it.The remains of the scatter in the old wok I scraped and used as bushes.

The station was a scale craft kit ,once again card glue I hadn’t come across before. Most of the buildings came from Wordsworth Models Free but with donations via PayPal thanks to them.
I also had a lot of help from my local model shop advice greatly appreciated.

I can’t wait to see my grandsons face when he sees the model railway.

I started a n gauge layout last year but I am not happy with it so I will start that one again.

keep modelling folks


You can see Ashby’s last post here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming. And if you want to follow Ashby’s lead and get going on your layout, don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Had some lovely comments about the site recently – glad at least some of you find it helpful!


More on geared locomotives

I was bowled over by the amount of replies and comments to the last post (which is here) on geared locos.

So a huge thank you to everyone – and especially to Hall of Fame members, Mark and Brian, who sent these in:

“Hi Al. Really enjoyed your post on the geared locomotive.

As it turns out, I used to drive the Shay geared loco at Roaring Camp Calif. Couple hour trip up to the top of Bear Mountain and back. This loco made more noise then you could imagine. I actually run a model of it on my layout. You can see it below Be patient at the beginning as I didn’t realize I had started the recording about 30 seconds early (blush).

Turn up the sound and look closely as it goes by and you can see the side pistons driving. This loco was designed to move lots of tonnage up steep grades that very few other locos could handle.

Thanks for the original post – really brought back fond memories!



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

“Here are photos of two types of geared locomotive models running on my layout.

First one is a three truck Shay and the second one is a Heisler. All my locomotives have DCC with full sound.

They are mainly used in the logging industry as they extremely powerful, run very slowly and run on rough track.


All the replies and comments jogged my memory too – and I found this post, which puts in to context just how powerful these geared locos are.

Brian also sent in an update on his sawmill too:

“Hi Al, I have added a bit more detail to the “finished” sawmill just to add that little bit extra like shelving, cupboards, posters along the back wall and more cut wood in the mill.
They say that models or layouts are never finished !!!!!!



Thanks to Brian and Mark – and don’t forget they have both given the Beginner’s Guide a big thumbs up. So if you want to get going on your layout, give it a whirl.

That’s all this time folks. Please keep ’em coming.




Geared steam engines?

I’ve got more weird and wonderful trains for you today:

“I found a photo of New York Central Railroad’s experimental jet engine, I have attached a copy,

Greg, Waterford Pennsylvania, U S A.”

“You should show the Gear Drive models still used in West Va at Cass Scenic Park !! Fantastic place to visit locomotives 100 years old operating daily !!


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

I’d never heard of a geared steam engine before. It’s certainly an interesting video. Does anybody know how/why geared engines came about?

And please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to get going on your layout. You’ll also be directly supporting the site too.

That’s all this time folks.

Keep ’em coming.