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Darren Jeffries

Kato - New Releases

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PhilipS

I'm done with experimenting with camera cars. Tried one that a former club member recommended and the cam was junk.

 

Being made by Kato one would think it was made right.

 

Wireless tech means we can find a way to get it onto the tv, that we will have in the clubhouse someday.

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cteno4

well, i expect that kato will be good about mounting it well into the car, but i dont expect it will be exceptional on the RF signal. even the best micro RF cameras like the RF labs still have dropouts quite a bit in their signal with layouts. we have several cameras in the club (including a couple of the rf lab cameras) and none are fantastic, but all workable and the audience does not care if there are some dropouts, almost adds to the realism that its live video with it. if you want really nice video to record you will need to use one of the dvr cameras to avoid the dropouts and get a higher resolution signal (rf systems just give you ntsc res).

 

for $345 you could really roll your own a couple of times over at least. there are some good tomytec two car trains that would do fine with a mechanism for $50 and small rf camera systems start at $30. i just picked another one up last month to play with with a nice camera 1cm x 1cm x 3cm. takes 3.5-6vdc, so could easily use dcc dropping the voltage or some small NiMH batteries and a little charging circuit to keep them charged when using straight dc. i have yet to play with the camera to see its quality, ill try that this week. i did open the camera up to see the size inside and the inside is even a tad smaller if you get rid of the housing.

 

trick is to find the right car with a nice window to use facing forward. works best to actually have a bit of the window frame visible to give the illusion you are inside the cab looking out. when you dont have any frame its a bit odd as you are sort of floating in space going down the rails and really strange on curves as unless you do a fancy camera turner to follow the rails instead of pointing dead straight out of the cab its an odd chair-o-plane ride feel on the curves.

 

i thought it a bit tacky for them to put the rf antenna wire hanging out the top of the train. we have never found the shell to cause much of any issue with the RF reception.

 

we just had the rockville lions club trains show this weekend and the camera was a big hit as we had a lot of kids. warning the only problems is you will get a lot of fingers and hands thrust into the layout! everyone once they find the camera train wants to either wave or put their face in front of the train!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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KenS

Wireless tech means we can find a way to get it onto the tv, that we will have in the clubhouse someday.

 

The receiver for these wireless systems typically has a composite video output (yellow jack, like a VCR).  Hooking them up to a TV made in the last 20 years would be trivial.  Unless all you've got is a recent LCD "TV" that only has digital inputs (HDMI, DVI, etc). Then you'd be in trouble.

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Densha

Why they don't use something like mini-HDMI for such expensive models is still a big question though, those yellow jacks give through terrible video quality. Of course the camera won't get better of it, but it helps at least with putting it on a computer for example, something that's widely done in these times.

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cteno4

most flat screens still have ntsc input here in the states.

 

you just cant replace the ntsc (yellow rca jack) video port with a hdmi. they are two different types of signals all together. ntsc is still an analog signal, hdmi is digital. this would require redoing the whole video circuitry of the receiver unit. in addition hdmi is usually used for 720 or higher resolutions (twice that of ntsc), although it can go down to that level.

 

you can get a composite (ntsc) to hdmi (digital) converter box for under $50 if you needed to.

 

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10114&cs_id=1011406&p_id=7111&seq=1&format=2

 

(BTW if you need audio, video, or computer cables these guys are super quality and great price. ive used them on lots of large exhibit installs and buddies that do big nasty HD home theaters use them as well)

 

to warrant going to an external video circuit and hdmi you would really want a higher resolution input. this is much harder with the rf transmission of the video signal. basically you are talking about it moving to a whole new level of digital HD system and for these little niche systems its just not quite there yet to do that cheaply, where as all the stuff is now super cheap to do it at SD (ntsc) resolution for capture and transmission. also the digital hd is going to require more components right now to do the broadcast so harder to squeeze into something tiny enough to be inexpensively done for a train camera.

 

give it a few years and they will get cheaper. HD rf transmitters are still hundreds of dollars whereas ntsc are like $25... little cameras like this are a niche market so they will be a bit behind the pack in terms of inexpensive products. the cheap video recorder spy cameras are digital and getting to 720 resolution, so some steps.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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linkey

It looks like a great buy but still an issue of dropouts and how would it work for conventions with limted space might hinder me in thinking of buying a set.

 

Meanwhile I will be waiting to see what happens and if the 20-652 and 653 Crossing and double track add-on will become available. As I am surely to buy two sets of these when they come out. (believing that these will replace the older version crossing 20-650 and 651)

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cteno4

It looks like a great buy but still an issue of dropouts and how would it work for conventions with limted space might hinder me in thinking of buying a set.

 

 

we have decent luck with our RF labs unit at shows with the receiver and tv on a table like 10 feet away from the layout. i should just get a long video cable to run to the tv on the table and put the receiver in the center of the layout. again for the live shows the dropouts are actually probably better to make it seem more live. folks never mind the dropout and get really excited by the live camera.

 

try one of the cheap rf cameras systems in a tomytec train to get your feet wet.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

What's needed is a camera that can stream it's data across wifi. Quite doable even in an N-scale car, but you'd have to blacken out all the windows to hide all the electronics inside :)

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Kabutoni

What's needed is a camera that can stream it's data across wifi. Quite doable even in an N-scale car, but you'd have to blacken out all the windows to hide all the electronics inside :)

 

What a great idea! Not that I'm going to do it, but there are a few great examples of usable trains in Japan that are perfectly fit for the job. Just only think about the KOMOYA 143 Series for example.

20091007225032.jpg

 

Or even the KINI 28 Type for DMU purposes.

A0719.jpg

 

Strange though to see KATO not choosing one of these (or rather not the KIHA35) for their camera train...

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Martijn Meerts

The MicroAce East-i E and East-i D would be good options for a camera car as well.

 

We'd need some engineer to work out the circuitry and programming, I don't think it's very straight forward ;)

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Densha

What's needed is a camera that can stream it's data across wifi. Quite doable even in an N-scale car, but you'd have to blacken out all the windows to hide all the electronics inside :)

 

I've seen some Japanese trains with curtains closed, maybe you could disguise it like that.

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cteno4

The MicroAce East-i E and East-i D would be good options for a camera car as well.

 

We'd need some engineer to work out the circuitry and programming, I don't think it's very straight forward ;)

 

yeah most of the wifi cameras i have seen have quite a big chunk of transmission circuitry. not seen a really tiny one yet like the RF cameras.

 

many of the tomytec trains also would be good candidates and cheap to hack into. only issue would be power pickup, but that would not be hard to do.

 

there are nice little charging circuits out there that will accept a pretty wide range of voltage and limit it to a trickle for NiMH battery charging. most are pretty tiny to fit in led flash lights and such.

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

Considering there are SD cards with WiFi transmitters built in, you really don't need a lot of space for transmission circuitry. It might be worth looking into, because with a decent WiFi connection you could stream full HD if you want :)

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cteno4

Considering there are SD cards with WiFi transmitters built in, you really don't need a lot of space for transmission circuitry. It might be worth looking into, because with a decent WiFi connection you could stream full HD if you want :)

 

very good point! funny that has not made it out into the cameras yet, most of the wifi ones still look pretty big. i do remember earlier this year i think one ttrak youtube of a train cam and when i asked the guy he said it was a wifi camera, ill go look.

 

wonder how well the connection is for streaming?

 

they would mesh up well with the little 720 camera chips in the little digital spy camera/recorders probably. nice thing with wifi is there are excellent receiver units out there so that end is done and the manufacturer would only need work on the transmitter end.

 

problem is i think those sd wifi cards are still pretty proprietary and probably impossible to whack and hack into.

 

one good thing on this front is they are doing a lot of work for mini transmitting cameras at a cheap price to use as endoscopy/colonoscopy probes in little capsules you just swallow! first round just recorded pictures, then they had it transmit to a vest you would ware with a recorder. maybe they will get it to just go on your local wifi! they want them to just be disposable in the end (so to speak).

 

cheers

 

jeff

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linkey

It looks like a great buy but still an issue of dropouts and how would it work for conventions with limted space might hinder me in thinking of buying a set.

 

 

we have decent luck with our RF labs unit at shows with the receiver and tv on a table like 10 feet away from the layout. i should just get a long video cable to run to the tv on the table and put the receiver in the center of the layout. again for the live shows the dropouts are actually probably better to make it seem more live. folks never mind the dropout and get really excited by the live camera.

 

try one of the cheap rf cameras systems in a tomytec train to get your feet wet.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Jeff are you talking about this one http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10040331 which is a TOMIX version and is still available at HS

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Martijn Meerts

Streaming should be fine, after all, streaming from iPhone to apple tv using wifi works great even for HD movies. You just Ned to make sure you have a good wifi base station.

 

It's just a matter of time for wifi enabled streaming camera's that are small enough to fit in trains to show up, but the price will likely be an issue at first. I did come across some wifi camera systems that were around the 400 USD mark, although those were complete sets andthe receivers could handle 9 camera's :)

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cteno4

Streaming should be fine, after all, streaming from iPhone to apple tv using wifi works great even for HD movies. You just Ned to make sure you have a good wifi base station.

 

It's just a matter of time for wifi enabled streaming camera's that are small enough to fit in trains to show up, but the price will likely be an issue at first. I did come across some wifi camera systems that were around the 400 USD mark, although those were complete sets andthe receivers could handle 9 camera's :)

 

 

yeah i was just wondering with low power and small size if there might be more dropouts and thus not as great of streaming, but the bandwidth is there that if buffered some that should be able to be gotten around.

 

yeah lots of wifi cameras but all bulkier form factor that would not get into a 12mm x 12mm form factor for inside a car. im sure they will come! especially since these are usually security or nanny cameras and better to have it go wifi then you can monitor from your iphone from afar!

 

jeff

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cteno4

Jeff are you talking about this one http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10040331 which is a TOMIX version and is still available at HS

 

Sarah,

 

no, thats the tomix proprietary camera system that actually transmits the video back along the rails and uses the tomix hf lighting power to supply it power. its a very clear transmission from the videos ive see taken using it since the track gives a nice transmission line for the signal. main rub is the price and also that you have to use all tomix equipment with it to supply power and not interfere with the transmission.

 

the RF systems lab is a camera system put out by rf systems a few years back. they did high end endoscopes, boroscopes, and such so were good at small cameras. someone there decided to make a little train camera. the camera and circuitry are in a little 1cm cube and attached to it is a long thin battery pack. it also will charge the battery and run the camera at above 3v supplied to it (from your track supply). they retailed for about $120. another company was using them to make a dcc camera systems that were dcc friendly.

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scott

There's a couple of interesting things on this February poster:

 

http://katomodels.com/distribution/poster/poster2012_2b.jpg

 

Looks like a different livery for the basic tram, and a couple of Kiha 20s marked as "Local-Sen." They have pretty low numbers, so maybe these are more re-releases of more basic older models.

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The_Ghan

KATO will be releasing a newer version of the E2 Hayate: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10170384 which will be released in March to coincide with the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake and Tsunami. I have already placed in an order for this 6 car set.

http://katomodels.com/distribution/poster/poster2012_3a.jpg

 

The way you shop linkey, there mustn't be much beer in your fridge !!!

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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linkey

I don't drink much alcohol due to me being an Emeregncy Service Member and require a BAC of 0.00. So yes very little alcohol at my place.

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Fenway Park

Kato are issuing 2016 for March 2012 which is the D51 in standard format. This is the new 1/150 version.

 

In addition they will issue a WAMU 7000 and a TAKI 9900 both of which are available from other manufacturers.

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clem24

KATO will be releasing a newer version of the E2 Hayate: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10170384 which will be released in March to coincide with the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake and Tsunami. I have already placed in an order for this 6 car set.

 

Interesting... I assume it's mechanically the same? The only difference looks to be the logo...

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