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Railfan Technology > My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?

Date: 11/20/21 17:00
My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?
Author: zars

There are dozens of trains a day on the NS (ex-CR/NYC) through my hometown of Huron, Ohio, that I have moved back to.  Unfortunately, where I live does not afford me an easy look at what is going by, not like where I used to live (an apartment next to the tracks in Columbus, Ohio).  I was wondering if it would be possible to set up some sort of "web cam" that I could see what was going by.  The only problem is I would not be able to set up a true web cam; as I would have little or no control of where it was located and no commercial power source for it.  I thought about a game camera available at outdoor stores sold to hunters/property owners, or a video doorbell system.  I have no idea how long the battery life would be on these; whether they could be set up with motion detection or would have to run continuously; or whether they could be monitored online or through a cell phone.  In any event, it would be out in the open somewhere and someone could walk away with it, so nothing of great value either.  Any suggestions, or is it just a fantasy I had?

Date: 11/20/21 18:32
Re: My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?
Author: trainjunkie

How about something like a Wyze rechargeable wireless outdoor cam? There are others on the market with similar features, perhaps even some with a solar charger. Wyze claims 3 to 6 monts of battery life. Connects to your Wifi network wirelessly.


Date: 11/21/21 06:43
Re: My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?
Author: colehour

I have several Wyze products, including an indoor web cam, which works very well and is inexpensive. 

I presume you are thinking of setting up the cam at a distance from your home, so you would need a cam that can connect to a cell network. This would involve a subscription, of course. 

There are game cameras with this capability, and I have looked at them so that I could monitor migrating birds on a nearby lake, but decided it was a bit more money than I wanted to spend.

Date: 11/26/21 20:20
Re: My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?
Author: TCnR

The game cameras or trail cameras sure sound like the way to go but would need a cell phone plan and would be quite a bit of money to lose if somebody steals it. That style of camera would detect motion and begin to record and then send the images for replay, which is a good format, some like it better than a continuous camera feed.

Perhaps a store owner or building owner would give permission for the camera to be set up, but that's a long shot and still a lot to lose.

B&H Camera has a really good and very professional reputation, just found they have an explanation of Game / Trail cameras:


If you set this up let us know how it works out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/21 20:27 by TCnR.

Date: 11/30/21 20:27
Re: My Own Train 'Web Cam'-How?
Author: trainjunkie

colehour Wrote:
> I presume you are thinking of setting up the cam
> at a distance from your home, so you would need a
> cam that can connect to a cell network. This would
> involve a subscription, of course.

If that's the case, Reolink has a lot of options including solar-charged battery powered cams that connect to cellular (T-Mobile) for only $10/month (last I checked). I know people use these as security cams on rural properties where they don't have power and are out of reach of the home WiFi. There's some useful vids on setting them up and using them on the commie tube site.


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