Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ops Prep

I've decided to build a second camera car for Silicon Valley Lines Ops sessions, so that we have a spare camera in case there are problems. For this one I wanted to try and use the existing USB battery holder I built last month and mount the Raspberry Pi on the side of the battery. I tacked the Raspberry Pi Zero to a thin sheet of styrene that can slide between the battery and the styrene supports. I built a support structure for the camera that's glued to the styrene sheet the Pi sits on, and fits between battery and car side. Then I carefully twisted and bent the camera cable to make a 90 degree turn so that it it oriented correctly. I could turn the image in software, but prefer to go with physically correct orientation from the start if possible. After taking the photos below, I added another styrene sheet to protect the camera cable from bumps.

This setup must be placed in a container well car because it is quite high and completely fills out the modern HO loading gauge. In the foreground is my prototype camera setup on an old Maerklin low side-boards car.

I also built another battery holder that we can use for James' dummy locomotive. This is a very simple build made from styrene sheet and strips with some triangular support pieces. A quick and easy after dinner exercise.

And here's the end result with battery placed in a modern container well car. There's no need to secure this load because the battery is so heavy that it's held in place merely by friction.

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