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I have a large layout that has several blind spots. Does anyone have a suggestion on setting up a camera(s) to display those areas on a TV monitor?
 

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I have a large layout that has several blind spots. Does anyone have a suggestion on setting up a camera(s) to display those areas on a TV monitor?
You would probably have to go with one of those security camera setups with multiple cameras and then use a controller to go from one camera to another unless you simply use a single camera, depending on the blind spots, to move back and forth. I think most of the big box discount stores like BJ's and Costco sell them pretty cheaply.
 

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Perhaps some of our Video gurus may know of a digital multiplexer that could
display 3 or 4 camera images on a single wide screen monitor. Tho it may
not come out as inexpensive it would look good.

Don
 

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`Another security cameras source

You would probably have to go with one of those security camera setups with multiple cameras and then use a controller to go from one camera to another unless you simply use a single camera, depending on the blind spots, to move back and forth. I think most of the big box discount stores like BJ's and Costco sell them pretty cheaply.
I just saw one of the security cameras/monitor package in Harbor freight's ad.
It's their lot#62368. Two cameras, one monitor. Wireless system which should make set up easier. Cameras have night vision capability, which would be nice in tunnels. System sells for
$235.00. Another item is lot#62284 Two cameras, one monitor, $79.99 You can check www.harborfreighttools.com for more info.

Good luck;

Traction Fan
 

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I have been looking into some similar options.

One I like the best, but haven't had time to try out yet, is using Raspberry Pi and the RasPi Camera Board.

So my thought is to get one and see how the video looks with camera board inside a Interlocking Tower, so you would get the view as if from inside the tower looking onto the area you want to view. The Raspberry Pi Camera Board is only about 1" by 1" and you can get 24" flex cables for them. Run the longer flex cable down through the benchwork to a Raspberry Pi board below the layout.

You set the RasPi and camera as a IP Camera, and there are several different ways to view the IP Video Stream on computers/tablets, etc. or use another RasPi going to a Monitor with HDMI. There are even a couple of ways to do MultiView with Linux software, or with HTML5 in a browser.

The RasPi 2, Camera, and cable are about $80 total if you don't put the RasPi in a case. It can be networked with a cable, or with USB WiFi dongle. If it is fairly protected under a layout, not much need for a case, just mount on some standoffs.

There is also a NoIR camera that is the same size if you have a dark tunnel or area of the layout, so you have night vision. You just need to add some IR LED illumination to that area.

I'm still really busy for about another week, but I'll try and order the rest of the parts I need for a test and post more info in a week or so, if people are interested.

Edit:
Just noticed OP is working in N scale, so camera board wouldn't likely fit in a N scale tower. But maybe some other creative options to hide camera board.
 

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I have a side business installing and maintaining video surveillance systems and while for the money those Qsee, Lorsen, Samsung and etc analog systems are great for security and recording, for doing what you want to do I would likely go with something digital and in hd+ resolutions. The analogs claim 720p but from experience the only way to get high resolution is to crank down the framerate and thereby killing the purpose you want for the cameras in the first place. Sadly this again will be a you get what you pay for instance.
Keith

P.S. would be great for security in your train room!!..lol keep them little booger hooks off your trains! or at least let you know which ones to um "correct"
 

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Wireless camera system

WOW, how can they sell them so cheap. I wonder if there is some way to make the cameras wireless.
TJSmith;

The second Harbor Freight system I suggested in my earlier post is about the same price.
Granted, it only comes with two cameras not four, but it is wireless right out of the box.
Harbor freight also sells additional cameras separately. They also have some four camera systems.

Worth a look. ;) www.harborfreighttools.com

Traction Fan
 

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Just remember that you may be disappointed in the video quality of wireless cameras, many of the cheap ones are very low resolution. For instance, from the Harbor Freight listing...

Camera Resolution (tvl) 480 TVL

Specifications for the video system I posted...

HD Output HDMI (1920*1080)

This is a huge difference in the video quality you'll see.
 

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I agree GRJ, the resolution of 480 makes it virtually impossible to recognize a person. Since its all in the same room a wired system certainly makes sense, and the resolution will make the system useful instead of useless. My wireless 480 system just sits in the closet unplugged.
 

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it seems that you want a system where you would have one monitor displaying four cameras, but the less expensive ones require a computer ... I just ordered a camera system for my trackhoe [for viewing laser detector for grade level], and the thumb size camera, 4.3" color screen, and 24 feet of wiring [it's 12v dc powered] was just over twenty bucks ..it's only 480p, but should work well enough for what i have intended it for ..it was on ebay as a generic auto backup camera kit ..
 
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