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The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model model railroad. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the model railroad maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2022-06-23 - Misc Maintenance

Category Randall

I've completed a lot of small maintenance items recently. Well, some were maybe small yet took several days to complete.

I’ve run the track cleaning train today. Jim usually run these Santa Fe F units in tandem, however they don’t match properly when coupled together:

Instead I got one of the old units from GGMRC and I made up this track cleaning train:

Santa Fe #804 still runs nice and strong. I don’t have enough pulling power with one engine for the two pad cars so I had to remove the silver DRGW one. On the roller, I put 2 drops of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) per rail, followed by the pad car.

Jim has some Rail-Zip there so I thought about using that then I noticed this old trainsorders thread basically indicating that Rail-Zip is similar to that ATF we have been using for years. I guess at least the form factor in the little bottle is more convenient.

Since the last past, I’ve also reworked the support for the Edimax IC-3116W 720p cam for the Train Vision Project by Lodi:

Over the last few days, I’ve spent a lot more time than I expected updating the various Wyze cameras. For some reason, half of them had lost their detection settings. I simply dislike the current Wyze seemingly redundant subscription levels with the Cam Plus, Cam Plus Pro, Cam Plus Lite, and Cam Plus Super Ultra Ultimate Whatever confusion mess. It makes it annoyingly complicated to set up these cameras because the app is really pretty inconsistent and various settings need to be adjusted in different screens.

As I’ve been saying for a while, I can’t take the Wyze cams seriously -- it’s ok for the casual usage we have here, but they definitely do not have a serious security camera ecosystem.

Their sdcard storage is basically pointless. My first V1 cam stopped working (or more exactly: it works but can’t connect to the wifi anymore so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). One of the V3 keeps stopping (I have a theory that it is too close to a fluorescent light fixture). Most of the cams eventually freeze up randomly (which I somewhat solve by forcing them to reboot daily).

Finally, since I have a spare Wyze V2 Cam, I’m trying an alternate view from Sultan. This is the angle I have so far:

We’ll see if that works. As usual my goal is not to see the museum visitors and instead I’m mostly interested in monitoring the train automation or the Saturday operators' trains. Ironically it’s hard to get a view where people are not in the picture.

As with the other Wyze cams, the quality of the recorded videos is very compressed, yet it's enough to see if a train is stopped on the track where it should not be.

This view angle is not bad except we can’t see the branchline bridge which is obscured by the white window support, so I might move the camera a bit to the right after I get an extension cord.


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