Camera for N scale

Dean’s been in touch with an update if you’re looking for a Camera for N scale – or any scale come to that:


Back in 2017 when I was just starting on your blog (time flies when you’re having fun), I uploaded some information on a mini video camera I had attached to one of my N-scale cars.

I’ve lost the ability to use that video camera and it is no longer available. But I found a much better and higher resolution camera which is also much easier to setup.

I found this micro spy camera on Amazon for around $20 plus shipping (search for a “mini spy camera”).

It’s a video camera sitting in a cube less than 1 inch in all dimensions. More information:

    Records 1080 P HD video at 30 frames per second
    Stores this on an up to 32-meg micro-SD card (you supply)
    Motion detection
    Night vision
    Powered by an internal battery
    Which can be charged with 5-volt USB cord
    Records up to 50 min on a full charge
    The camera can be used with any scale from N-scale on up
    You can also find similar products on eBay.

Here are some photos of how I adapted it to use on my N-scale layout.

It comes with a magnet that can be attached to the back. Here’s the camera—the lens is in the middle dot and the four dots around it are IR LEDs for night vision.

camera for N scale

And here are all the parts that I used to mount the camera on the gondola car shown.

The black strip is a strip of magnetic material which can also be purchased on Amazon (“magnetic sheets”) for a few bucks a sheet. It has lots of uses for your projects.

Also, businesses in my area often send out magnetic refrigerator ads that look like the same magnetic material. You might have some of those sitting around your house. You can easily cut it with scissors. The angle is from my local hardware store. I glued the magnetic material to the body with super glue

camera for N scale

Here is a photo of the completed car. I had to cut down the angel to fit under my tunnel portals. Everything is attached magnetically, and the camera and metal angle can be removed. The car is still usable on my layout with the camera and angle removed and a load attached.

camera for N scale

Finally, the camera can be attached to a home computer with the power cord supplied. Here is a photo taken from a video I took with the camera in action.

model train cab ride

The complete video with the camera running around both loops on my Conejos Valley Railroad and more information can be found on YouTube:

Thanks, Al,

Dean from New Mexico”

A big thanks to Dean for sharing his camera for N scale ‘hows to’.

The cab rides are always enjoyable, especially when your layout is ‘finished’ – it makes for satisfying viewing.

When it comes to can rides, I’m always reminded of Jim’s: HO scale can ride.

Now on to Terry:

“Oil City has a long history of railroads. They have one of the few WYE Bridges still remaining crossing the Allegheny River.

My railroad reveals a small town plus a farming community. The tree foliage has not been added. I currently working on the ground cover.

It is a 4×6 in an extra bedroom. I started this project during my recovery from a kidney transplant back in January. I am a Minister and adjunct professor.

The above track has been added because I wanted to run 3:trains on this DC track


model train 4x6

model train farm

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

9 Responses to Camera for N scale

  1. Jon Webb says:

    Dean, I’m impressed with the tiny spy cam! Gives a remarkable train eye view of your layout. I’m from NM and your layout looks like home!

  2. Will in NM says:

    Dean, Very nice tutorial on the mini spy camera and its usefulness on train layouts. I appreciate your honest assessment of the camera’s audio or lack thereof. I’m a fellow New Mexican in Tularosa but couldn’t work with my N-scale equipment, so I gave it all to my younger brother. Now even HO seems tiny for my big hands and I’m wondering why didn’t switch to O scale. 🙂

  3. Rich B. says:

    Camera is good to “go”. Second layout is real life. Cardboard box mountains… why not? Just integrate into what you have lying about. I recall something about attic floor RR using a bed there for mountain range (on floor and beams).

    Trains run just as good and it’s when finished with session, you’re done till next time.

    R, regards

  4. John Hauser says:

    Dean: This video was so very helpful. I did not realize that a “spy” camera existed for use with N gauge, so a BIG thank you!
    John Hauser

  5. Rob McCrain says:

    I have often considered having a car-mounted camera on my N-scale layouts but have never found one small enough to work. This one fits the bill. Seeing one’s layout from a scale point of view can let you ‘see’ things about your work that you couldn’t possibly notice from looking at it at normal viewing distances. It gives you a different perspective. Well done. I use a wagon-mounted camera on the Farland layout with ease, but it is 1:76.2. N-scale at 1:160 is considerably smaller with less margin for error.

  6. william janmes palmer says:


  7. robert dale tiemann says:

    ive seen the spy cams before and seen people use them on their trains. nice job. it gives the viewer a different perspective , enjoyable.

  8. Alabama Mike 82 says:

    Hey Dean, I enjoyed the cab ride. The mini took a good video. I am an HO guy and I did like your instructions for mounting the camera on your gondola car. I have a mini camera which I will well mount mine now and take pictures of my layout. Keep un the good work.

  9. David F Zehr says:

    Dean, Great tip on using the mini-camera and how to use it. 🙂 But what Amazon part number did you use. When searching you get all shapes and sizes.

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