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Bluetooth Control for Trains - a thread for those of us who use it and would like to discuss it

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Bluetooth Control for Trains - a thread for those of us who use it and would like to discuss it
Posted by Bucksco on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:54 AM

As the subject line of this thread states - I like Bluetooth technology and use it to run my trains. I started this thread because it seemed like the other thread discussing this new technology has gone down the road to becoming a "why I don't need another way to run my trains" topic. I have run my trains with DC, DCC and now Bluetooth and I think Bluetooth is a very cutting edge technology that will continue to grow and contribute positively to the model railroading world. I am interested in seeing how many other folks out there have tried it out. I believe that Bluetooth control is the type of thing that has to be played with before you can understand why it is new and innovative. That being said it is definitely something that is embraced by people who like new technology and in particular those of us who like their smart devices and use them on a daily basis.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:03 PM

Jack,

On the positive side, I have said many times that I believe the future of train control does belong to some sort of direct radio system.

Maybe it will use DCC protocols and just have a reciever and better user interface, maybe it will be Bluerail, or other complete ground up new system like the Crest Train Engineer Revolution or one of the others already in this field.

http://shop.crest-electronics.net/main.sc

And even though I would never use a smart phone as a throttle, I understand the attraction for some and think any manufacturer in this market should look at offering both smart phone apps as well as more traditional throttle interface products.

But for me personally, I'm not in this hobby to keep up with what's new, or dabble with new ideas, or experiment with stuff.

My goals are very specific - build a working model railroad display with a specific set of features.

Some of those features are:

1000 sq ft room filled with 8 scale miles of track and scenery supporting both the display and prototype operation of up to 30 different stagged trains complete with CTC dispatching and working signals.

That goal does not lend itself to dabbling in what is new, it requires building what is known to work well.

I am highly focused on the goal, I do not divert resources from the goal for dabbling......

I hope Bluerail gets their stuff together and does well, I hope the others like Crest do well, I hope the DCC manufacturers figure out how to build better user interfaces.

But until some REAL revolution happens in this field, it will not happen with my money.......

I will be reading to hear how others are doing with it and how it works out.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:25 PM

Bucksco
That being said it is definitely something that is embraced by people who like new technology and in particular those of us who like their smart devices and use them on a daily basis.

I am completely comfortable with new technology and use a smartphone on a daily basis for many tasks. The fact that I wouldn’t choose my smartphone for a model railroad throttle is not because I am some sort of a Luddite, as you seem to suggest. It’s just not as good a fit for me for running trains as my NCE DCC system, which works great, is menu-driven, wireless, and eliminates manually entering CVs and the like.

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Posted by Bucksco on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:33 PM

Let's keep this positive - I did no such thing as suggesting that someone who wouldn't use a smart device is in some way inferior. I am asking people who use Bluetooth to respond on this thread and discuss their experiences.

Jack
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Posted by floridaflyer on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:03 PM

Jack. You tried to set up a user thread and it only took a couple of responses to turn it into into the other thread. Hopefully it will be more successful as time goes by. Not a user myself but admire your effort to discuss the experiences of users without having to defend the system. Hard to do though.

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:13 PM

Bucksco
Bluetooth is a very cutting edge technology

Not exactly.  The original work was done back in 1989.  It was first called Bluetooth in 1997.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by carl425 on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:19 PM

Bucksco
I did no such thing as suggesting that someone who wouldn't use a smart device is in some way inferior.

Not exactly, but did express the attitude that Byron mentioned.

Bucksco
it is definitely something that is embraced by people who like new technology and in particular those of us who like their smart devices and use them on a daily basis.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:20 PM

OK, let me say upfront that I don't use Bluetooth to run trains. Is Bluetooth essentially Bluerail?

Rather than wait to hear from others who use Bluetooth to run trains, why don't you tell us what is so great about Bluetooth. And, I don't mean that sarcastically. I just think that it would be interesting to read your point of view.

Rich

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Posted by jalajoie on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 4:31 PM

Well I sort of use Bluerail to run trains. I say sort of because I am primarily interested in the keep alive and this feature does shine in my opinion.

My phone is an Android OS, as such the app. is always behind in features or bugs correction to the iOS one, a little frustrating.

Some problems, the board is set for led. Lighting will not work on my P2K E6 with bulb. My version of the application will access only the front light, the rear light set up is not working. (I did not report the problem to Bluerail yet). The sound is an acceptable Diesel generic but a terrible steam rendering. I am as confortable to use a phone as a throttle as I am using my Digitrax and NCE hand held.

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:53 PM

Bucksco I welcome a thread that doesn't start out IN YOUR FACE confrontation.  I am just getting back into MR and totally open minded. 

However this is the Internet, in the 21st century. People love it or hate it and the haters have to tell everyone how much they hate it even it it has no bearing on topic.  Lack of hands on experience has no bearing on anyone's opinion. 

I urge you to keep people on topic, rather than let the naysayers change the topic to why Bluetooth is crap.

 

 

 

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 6:25 PM

I started the other threadBig Smile and I have used Bluerail.

Just on the Bachmann set equipped with it at a local show.

It is not the end all be all, at least not yet, but getting the thing up and running was easy.

Wait until it gets properly sorted out and it should be a very very nice entry for new people of all ages entering the hobby.  That is the part that impresses me most.  It is also something this hobby needs.

I get all the ingrained DCC guys not liking it and the people not liking phones for throttles.  I don't mind something new and I'll gladly use a phone for a throttle when I go to the lub to screw around.  I can use the DT402R when operating sessions or testing neew combinations out.

I think once it is more accepted/worked out, it will be a much more simple and less costly way to do what we do today with conventional DCC.  

I look at it this way, most in this hobby are older not younger.  Anyone here with kids can easily attest that their children can literally use the phone or tablet better than they can.  So that alone makes it worth it to me if it gets new people to experience things at a new level.

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 7:59 PM

BigDaddy

I urge you to keep people on topic, rather than let the naysayers change the topic to why Bluetooth is crap.

I find it somewhat amusing that those who express alternative viewpoints to and questions about something new are quickly labled and cast off as naysayers and techno-phobic.  So much for being open and wanting to "discuss" new technology. Confused

Very few if any posts in the other thread outright called BlueRail garbage.  Folks just expressed why the most-recent iteration of the technology would not benefit them in their current situation.  Is that being negative, or just being honest?

If one is really interested in "discussing" something - especially those who have experience, they should be willing and open to "dialoguing" rather than compartmentally labeling and castigating members who "haven't seen the light".

My My 2 Cents to the discussion...

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by Bucksco on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 8:57 PM

What do I like about using the Bachmann/Blurail Bluetooth app?

I like the fact that the communication protocol is between my smart device and the locomotive. There is no signal going through the track thus I need no interface devices to communicate through the rails.

I like the fact that all I need to try this out is a locomotive - no other hardware required.

I like the intuitive interface - it is extremely easy to use.

I like the online user manual that is on the homepage.

I like the fact that when I place the locos on the track they show up as a roster on the home page from which I can  select locos easily.

I like the settings page where I can use a virtual keyboard to name my loco any way I like.

I like using sliders to change feature settings instead of manipulating Configuration Variables manually.

I like the fact that it is a software based system that is constantly being updated - same for the firmware in the locomotive.

I like the fact that it can coexist with other locos on a DC or DCC layout and be run at the same time.

I personally like the smart device interface - I like my ipad and iphone.

 

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Posted by Stevert on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:03 PM

JEREMY CENTANNI

I get all the ingrained DCC guys not liking it and the people not liking phones for throttles.  I don't mind something new and I'll gladly use a phone for a throttle when I go to the lub to screw around.  I can use the DT402R when operating sessions or testing neew combinations out.

Control your railroad (not just a loco) with a phone?  Those "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing that since roughly December 2009, when WiThrottle support was introduced in JMRI.

Use tablets as either throttles (too bulky, but entirely possible) or better still as wireless, touch-enabled local panels around the layout, instead of those "old fashioned" toggle/push button wired panels?  Yup, been doing that for years, too.

So what Bluetooth is just now scratching the surface of, and more, the "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing for years without having to tear out their investment and starting over.

To keep this post more or less on topic:

I haven't used Bluetooth for any MRR-related stuff, but if there's ever an instance where I think it's the best solution for me, I'll go for it.  Why wouldn't I?  After all, I'm already using all the "new" phone/tablet stuff I mentioned above.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 9:04 PM

Bucksco

What do I like about using the Bachmann/Blurail Bluetooth app?

I like the fact that the communication protocol is between my smart device and the locomotive. There is no signal going through the track thus I need no interface devices to communicate through the rails.

I like the fact that all I need to try this out is a locomotive - no other hardware required.

I like the intuitive interface - it is extremely easy to use.

I like the online user manual that is on the homepage.

I like the fact that when I place the locos on the track they show up as a roster on the home page from which I can  select locos easily.

I like the settings page where I can use a virtual keyboard to name my loco any way I like.

I like using sliders to change feature settings instead of manipulating Configuration Variables manually.

I like the fact that it is a software based system that is constantly being updated - same for the firmware in the locomotive.

I like the fact that it can coexist with other locos on a DC or DCC layout and be run at the same time.

I personally like the smart device interface - I like my ipad and iphone.

 

 

OK, Jack, as I said, I do like the idea of direct communication and thanks for that explaination of how it appeals to you.

First question, what happens when you have 135 locos and most run in multi unit consists - how does that menu work then? In my case, many of the sets are seldom broken up, but I would not want to loose the ability to seperate them.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Bucksco on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:02 PM

Sheldon - you are jumping a bit ahead of what the current version of the app is capable of. You can only pair with as many Bluetooth items as the device is capable of pairing with which for an IOS device is around 60 - not too sure about Android. Multiple unit operation is scheduled to arrive soon so we will see how the app deals with it when it arrives. As you have made clear you operate in DC so it shouldn't be of concern in regard to your current equipment. 

To the guys posting in this thread about why they won't use this please do me a favor and post the negativity to the other thread - it is basically a discussion being held by all of the guys who don't want to use Bluetooth. I would like to attempt to keep this thread going as a discussion of people's experiences who have actually used the Bachmann/Bluerail product.

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Posted by tedtedderson on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:47 PM

Yeah Jack, this is brutal. Surprised?  No. It's constant. Destroy destroy destroy. Confused

I have not used the blue-teeth with my layout yet. The little bit you've explained is very interesting. I certainly like the idea.  I was late to the smart phone game, didn't want to be one of those with my face in my phone. But I've changed. I love it now.   

Once I've finished school and have more time I will give the new technological addition to our hobby a closer look. Trade this phone in? Nope- it's model railroad hardware. 

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Posted by cuyama on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 11:13 PM

Never mind

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 11:30 PM

Stevert

 

 
JEREMY CENTANNI

I get all the ingrained DCC guys not liking it and the people not liking phones for throttles.  I don't mind something new and I'll gladly use a phone for a throttle when I go to the lub to screw around.  I can use the DT402R when operating sessions or testing neew combinations out.

 

 

Control your railroad (not just a loco) with a phone?  Those "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing that since roughly December 2009, when WiThrottle support was introduced in JMRI.

Use tablets as either throttles (too bulky, but entirely possible) or better still as wireless, touch-enabled local panels around the layout, instead of those "old fashioned" toggle/push button wired panels?  Yup, been doing that for years, too.

So what Bluetooth is just now scratching the surface of, and more, the "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing for years without having to tear out their investment and starting over.

To keep this post more or less on topic:

I haven't used Bluetooth for any MRR-related stuff, but if there's ever an instance where I think it's the best solution for me, I'll go for it.  Why wouldn't I?  After all, I'm already using all the "new" phone/tablet stuff I mentioned above.

 

Yes and what is the point?

They still forked over for the DCC system, the computer interface and had to sort it all out.

"Ingrained DCC guys" is a mute term in this thread since it's about Bluerail.

It let's you do all the above without having to bang your head into the wall and backwards compatible as well.

At the end of the day it is about preference.  I have a Zephyr, PR3, DT402R and I don't even have a layout at home to run it on.  Glorified 45 inch test track is where my home action comes in.  I usually go to the club at least once a week with my oldest boy time permitting work wise.

Bluerail when it is sorted out would let me skip the Zephyr, PR3 and DT402R, which even on the cheap and getting near at cost deals still ran me $430 to acquire. Worst I can see would be an add on type command station setup for greater control hooked to a pc for signaling, lighting, etc.  Also would be a low cost option floating around shortly thereafter as well due to Arduino and the like, so it would have legs to run on.

Like it has been mentioned, it is really nice to put a loco on the tracks and there it is.  No selecting, keeping track of numbers,etc.

It's not perfect yet, but I bet it jumps leaps and bounds here very quickly.  Even if it only spreads thru all Bachmann lines your looking at a large user base in relativley short order.

It was never my intent to argue about it.  I want to see new things come to life and I want to see affordable easy to use stuff available to pull more folks into this hobby.  Something like Bluerail has that opportunity due to ease of use.  I will never back down from the fact that Digitrax manuals are poorly written.

How many kids today spend time with the dad building anything?  Painting, building kits, framing, doing sound installs?  It's the minority doing all this stuff anymore it seems.  Stuff that appeals to new folks and is easy to use is needed, backwards compatibility is a huge plus(and a necessary one).

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:42 AM

Jack, thanks for documenting what you like about this app.  Permit me to respond to each point you made along with some questions since I am otherwise unfamiliar with operating trains using Bluetooth. I intend none of my comments as negative.

1. The communication protocol renders needless interface devices so this would be good for newcomers but for existing DCC users, is this an advantage since interface devices are already in use?

2. Do you need to purchase a Bluetooth equipped Bachman locomotive or can you just purchase a Bluetooth chip and install it in an existing locomotive from your roster?

3. Aren't existing interfaces also extremely easy to use in your opinion or is Bluetooth superior to other interfaces?

4. Is the online user manual superior to other user manuals such as the NCE manual which is part of my system?

5. The fact that locos on the track show up on a roster is great. I suppose that is superior to systems such as my NCE throttle which only shows 6 locos or consists.

6. I guess that the virtual keyboard is useful in naming locos, assuming that someone wishes to do that.

7. I am interested in the use of sliders as an alternative to manipulating CVs. I would like to learn more about that because, at least on the NCE system, setting CVs is fairly easy to do.

8. I think that it remains to be seen how far Bluerail will go with constant software updates. As a new system, those constant updates are necessary to make Bluetooth competitive with DCC, but at some point will there even be a need for updates?

9. Co-existence with DC and DCC seems advantageous, I guess. But if you are going Bluetooth, why not go all the way and replace all DC and DCC locos with Bluetooth and maintain a dedicated Bluetooth system?

10. An iPad or iPhone as the preferred interface is clearly a matter of personal choice and will be at the heart of the debate over Bluetooth versus DCC. I will ask this. What is there to stop manufacturers like NCE from protecting their market share by creating an i-Pad or i-Phone based interface for DCC systems?

Rich

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:00 AM

Bucksco

Sheldon - you are jumping a bit ahead of what the current version of the app is capable of. You can only pair with as many Bluetooth items as the device is capable of pairing with which for an IOS device is around 60 - not too sure about Android. Multiple unit operation is scheduled to arrive soon so we will see how the app deals with it when it arrives. As you have made clear you operate in DC so it shouldn't be of concern in regard to your current equipment. 

To the guys posting in this thread about why they won't use this please do me a favor and post the negativity to the other thread - it is basically a discussion being held by all of the guys who don't want to use Bluetooth. I would like to attempt to keep this thread going as a discussion of people's experiences who have actually used the Bachmann/Bluerail product.

 

But Jack, the point of my question is to understand how Bluerail could/would be applied to my layout? Is that not the point of promoting a new product, to get people interested in using it.

Then you tell me it can't do the most basic thing in the whole hobby, and I am supposed to be interested in it - as explained previosly - I don't have time to dabble with half developed products.

And that is the biggest problem I see, they should have developed the product, then started selling it, not the other way around. Kind of like that preodering system I don't do either........

If you don't have the time and money to run with the big dogs - stay on the porch........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:15 AM

JEREMY CENTANNI

 

 
Stevert

 

 
JEREMY CENTANNI

I get all the ingrained DCC guys not liking it and the people not liking phones for throttles.  I don't mind something new and I'll gladly use a phone for a throttle when I go to the lub to screw around.  I can use the DT402R when operating sessions or testing neew combinations out.

 

 

Control your railroad (not just a loco) with a phone?  Those "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing that since roughly December 2009, when WiThrottle support was introduced in JMRI.

Use tablets as either throttles (too bulky, but entirely possible) or better still as wireless, touch-enabled local panels around the layout, instead of those "old fashioned" toggle/push button wired panels?  Yup, been doing that for years, too.

So what Bluetooth is just now scratching the surface of, and more, the "ingrained DCC guys" have been doing for years without having to tear out their investment and starting over.

To keep this post more or less on topic:

I haven't used Bluetooth for any MRR-related stuff, but if there's ever an instance where I think it's the best solution for me, I'll go for it.  Why wouldn't I?  After all, I'm already using all the "new" phone/tablet stuff I mentioned above.

 

 

 

Yes and what is the point?

They still forked over for the DCC system, the computer interface and had to sort it all out.

"Ingrained DCC guys" is a mute term in this thread since it's about Bluerail.

It let's you do all the above without having to bang your head into the wall and backwards compatible as well.

At the end of the day it is about preference.  I have a Zephyr, PR3, DT402R and I don't even have a layout at home to run it on.  Glorified 45 inch test track is where my home action comes in.  I usually go to the club at least once a week with my oldest boy time permitting work wise.

Bluerail when it is sorted out would let me skip the Zephyr, PR3 and DT402R, which even on the cheap and getting near at cost deals still ran me $430 to acquire. Worst I can see would be an add on type command station setup for greater control hooked to a pc for signaling, lighting, etc.  Also would be a low cost option floating around shortly thereafter as well due to Arduino and the like, so it would have legs to run on.

Like it has been mentioned, it is really nice to put a loco on the tracks and there it is.  No selecting, keeping track of numbers,etc.

It's not perfect yet, but I bet it jumps leaps and bounds here very quickly.  Even if it only spreads thru all Bachmann lines your looking at a large user base in relativley short order.

It was never my intent to argue about it.  I want to see new things come to life and I want to see affordable easy to use stuff available to pull more folks into this hobby.  Something like Bluerail has that opportunity due to ease of use.  I will never back down from the fact that Digitrax manuals are poorly written.

How many kids today spend time with the dad building anything?  Painting, building kits, framing, doing sound installs?  It's the minority doing all this stuff anymore it seems.  Stuff that appeals to new folks and is easy to use is needed, backwards compatibility is a huge plus(and a necessary one).

 

Respectfully, the fact that you don't have a layout, or a specific set of layout or operational goals says a lot about your position on this topic - and that's fine.

But until this product can meet the operational needs of my layout, it is a total non starter for me. Again, others may be comfortable, or even like the idea of more than one kind of control system on their layouts, but its not happening here.

So advanced DC still is the winner here.......

Even with that, as I said above, I hope Bluerail, and all the alternitive systems do well.

And the DCC manufacturterers would do well to improve their interfaces - I have been saying that for years now.

Now for my cold, negative comment, I don't give one seconds thought to what will get young people in the hobby. I did my part on that years ago running the train department of a hobby shop.

Today, for me this hobby is about me..........and my goals for my layout. If others come see my layout and enjoy it, great, if not, that's OK too.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:58 AM

Before this gets any deeper into what we already had "over there" in the other thread, let´s hear who is actually using a bluetooth device to control his/her trains.

It´s not limited to BlueRail, but inludes Bachmann´s E-Z App, or any interface, like Lenz, Roco z21, home-made stuff, iPhone touch-cab, Arduino based controls - whatever there is. Mind you, BlueRail is just one form of Bluetooth train control.

Once we have established a feel for how many folks are into this, I think it is much easier to stay on track in this discussion.

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Posted by Choops on Thursday, July 21, 2016 7:04 AM

Hello Jack

I am building a large layout now currently DC based.  I got interested in this when it was first introduced.  I like the fact that there is no in between connection to the controller. All that is needed to buy are the boards.

I tried to download the app to my phone i phone 3 (I know its old) and it was not compatible.  Do you know if bluerail will add older phones?  This would help keep costs down also.

Steve

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Posted by CSX Robert on Thursday, July 21, 2016 7:21 AM

Choops
...I tried to download the app to my phone i phone 3 (I know its old) and it was not compatible.  Do you know if bluerail will add older phones?..

No, BlueRail needs Bluetooth 4.0, which the iPhone 3 does not have, so it is not a software issue but a hardware issue.  They could have included compatibility with older versions of Bluetooth, but there are issues with them that make them not very suitable for model train control.

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Posted by Bucksco on Thursday, July 21, 2016 8:20 AM

richhotrain

Jack, thanks for documenting what you like about this app.  Permit me to respond to each point you made along with some questions since I am otherwise unfamiliar with operating trains using Bluetooth. I intend none of my comments as negative.

1. The communication protocol renders needless interface devices so this would be good for newcomers but for existing DCC users, is this an advantage since interface devices are already in use?

2. Do you need to purchase a Bluetooth equipped Bachman locomotive or can you just purchase a Bluetooth chip and install it in an existing locomotive from your roster?

3. Aren't existing interfaces also extremely easy to use in your opinion or is Bluetooth superior to other interfaces?

4. Is the online user manual superior to other user manuals such as the NCE manual which is part of my system?

5. The fact that locos on the track show up on a roster is great. I suppose that is superior to systems such as my NCE throttle which only shows 6 locos or consists.

6. I guess that the virtual keyboard is useful in naming locos, assuming that someone wishes to do that.

7. I am interested in the use of sliders as an alternative to manipulating CVs. I would like to learn more about that because, at least on the NCE ssytem, setting CVs is fairly easy to do.

8. I think that it remains to be seen how far Bluerail will go with constant software updates. As a new system, those constant updates are necessary to make Bluetooth competitive with DCC, but at some point will there even be a need for updates?

9. Co-existence with DC and DCC seems advantageous, I guess. But if you are going Bluetooth, why not go all the way and replace all DC and DCC locos with Bluetooth and maintain a dedicated Bluetooth system?

10. An iPad or iPhone as the preferred interface is clearly a matter of personal choice and will be at the heart of the debate over Bluetooth versus DCC. I will ask this. What is there to stop manufacturers like NCE from protecting their market share by creating an i-Pad or i-Phone based interface for DCC systems?

Rich

 

 

1. Existing DCC users can keep the DCC equipment on the layout - Bluetooth equipped locos will coexist with the DCC equipment. There is no reason that you cannot have both.

2.Bluerail Trains is selling separate sale boards that will plug into a DCC socket.

3.I personally feel that the App's interface is far superior to the older hardware based DCC controllers.

4. The online manual is always present - all I have to do is touch an icon and it is available. Easy to navigate.

8.IMO there will always be a need for the ability to add new features.

9. As stated above there is no reason that the two systems cannot coexist on the same layout. At some point the control APP will be able to control both systems at the same time.

10.Other manufacturer's such as Roco have done this but used WiFi technology which like DCC needs interface equipment to communicate with the locos unlike the Bluetooth technology which is not dependent on other hardware.

Jack
  • Member since
    February 2015
  • 223 posts
Posted by Choops on Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:13 AM

CSX Robert
No, BlueRail needs Bluetooth 4.0, which the iPhone 3 does not have, so it is not a software issue but a hardware issue. They could have included compatibility with older versions of Bluetooth, but there are issues with them that make them not very suitable for model train control.

too bad.  But I read up that 4.0 allows for feedback to the phone.  This could in the future be possible to show things like amps or rpms converted to miles per hour on the screen.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 3,471 posts
Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:27 AM

Bucksco
 
 

2.Bluerail Trains is selling separate sale boards that will plug into a DCC socket.

 

I've tried to decipher an answer to a basic question from reading the various comments on these threads but have failed so far.

Absent of advancements in dead rail and battery power/longevity (which is a separate issue), how would I currently power the rails?  Can I plug a Bluesystem board into a "DCC Ready" socket and use a traditional DC powerpack to supply power to the rails? 

- Douglas

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Trois-Rivieres Quebec Canada
  • 1,063 posts
Posted by jalajoie on Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:31 AM

Doughless

 

 

 
Bucksco
 
 

2.Bluerail Trains is selling separate sale boards that will plug into a DCC socket.

 

 

 

I've tried to decipher an answer to a basic question from reading the various comments on these threads but have failed so far.

Absent of advancements in dead rail and battery power/longevity (which is a separate issue), how would I currently power the rails?  Can I plug a Bluesystem board into a "DCC Ready" socket and use a traditional DC powerpack to supply power to the rails? 

Yes you can either DC or DCC.

Jack W.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 10,698 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:50 AM

I like the idea of using a screen, particularly with slide controls. However, what I would need before converting would be for the 'chips' to be about half their existing size. I'm into two axle critters and I have been able to fit Loksound Select Micro decoders with a keep alive into things like Grandt Line's 25 tonner, but the existing Bluerail chip is way too big. I realize that I don't have to convert the existing switchers. I'm talking about future projects.

I do have about 8 full sized DC locomotives that need to be upgraded to DCC, so Bluerail certainly is a possibility for them. I'm sure the sound file selection will improve in the future.

Dave

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