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Discussion Starter #1
This the message I sent Lionel Service:

I have been trying to reach you since you New Years. I have called every day since then. I get the recorded “next available” message but no one ever answers.

I received a 6-85078 PRR CoupolaCam Caboose for Xmas.

I have downloaded the app to my iPad and successfully established the wifi link to the caboose. With the link established, I click on the app and get the following error message:

Push Message
no valid “aps-environment” entitlement string found for application

I have no idea what an “aps-enviornment” entitlement string is!?!

When I click “OK” on the message I get a screen showing that then camera is wifi connected. When I click on the camera, I get a message asking if I want to change the password, I click “skip” and it takes me to screen that I think should be camera imagery. In the center of that screen is a whirling download icon. It never down loads anything, and the figures in lower left corner never change.

I have tried several times using the “reset” button on the bottom of the caboose, but nothing changes.

The set up is a simple 54” circle of Fastrack. Power is the A circuit of a Lionel VW transformer set at 18 volts. Until I get the camera working, I am not attempting operation with a moving train.

PLEASE call or email me.
 

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Also saw this on the 'other' forum:

page 17. "It is NOT recommended to use this car in a conventional environment. If power is cut for even a second, the camera feed will stop."

So in other words, hopefully there is a way to add a battery.
 

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Also saw this on the 'other' forum:

page 17. "It is NOT recommended to use this car in a conventional environment. If power is cut for even a second, the camera feed will stop."

So in other words, hopefully there is a way to add a battery.
For short duration stops, you can try reducing the VW's throttle to the minimum before it goes to 0 volts. That 5 or 6 V AC to the track may keep the camera going. Of course, an engine on the track likely wouldn't move but will start to get hot after a short time as all the energy from the low track voltage in its motor windings will be dissipated as heat.
 

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Also, I read that to mean if the cars power drops during running (like many cars experience) then it may cut off video? So, unless there is some sort of 'current keeper' then it may crap out?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Push is enabled on the iPad. Not sure what happens if it is not enabled. Right now I am just trying to get an image, no loco with power set to an indicated 18 volts.
 

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Also saw this on the 'other' forum:

page 17. "It is NOT recommended to use this car in a conventional environment. If power is cut for even a second, the camera feed will stop."

So in other words, hopefully there is a way to add a battery.
The camera they use is an OEM version that I have, the OEM version has provisions for a battery.
 

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CupolaCam Battery Back Up

Based on GRJ's comment I did a little research. A Li-Ion battery solution is quite feasible. In fact, building your own "CupCam" from scratch is quite easy using off the shelf components, perhaps for <$30.

Several details can be gleamed from the Lionel parts diagram (below). The configuration is fairly straight forward. There's the self contained camera /WIFI unit, an on/off switch, a regulator module and an LED board.

The "OEM" camera runs on 3.7 V. Perfect for a single cell Li-Ion battery - the popular 68650 battery size. One could replace the existing Lionel voltage regulator with an adjustable AC/DC regulator, a 68650 Li-Ion battery and a 1S Li-Ion charge unit. EDIT: Given the Camera comes with a battery a separate 68650 cell is not needed.

The camera would hook up to the switch as currently designed and the Li-ion battery. A single-cell 68650 battery holder would finish the installation. Indications from the Camera offering indicate a 68650 battery with a 2700 maH rating would run the camera for 4 hours w/o track power.

It's possible the existing Lionel regulator module can be reused in place of the additional regulator module. It depends on the Lionel module's output voltage (e.g., ~5+ V).

Safe Harbor statement: Improperly designed Li-Ion systems are dangerous (remember the Hover Board fires?). You need to insure your battery and battery management module are compatible with respect to over/under voltages & currents.

Camera.png

Caboose.png
 
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