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Thought I'd jump on the Bob Walker band wagon and post a video of an engine I installed a Bluerail board on.

I plan to install another on an AtlasO AEM-7 next.

In the first video I mentioned a backwards headlight.  I fixed that as you will see in the second video.

Have Fun.

Ron

 

 

Last edited by Ron045
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Thanks @Ron045 posted:

Thought I'd jump on the Bob Walker band wagon and post a video of an engine I installed a Bluerail board on.

I plan to install another on an AtlasO AEM-7 next.

In the first video I mentioned a backwards headlight.  I fixed that as you will see in the second video.

Have Fun.

Ron

A question for you about your pending soundtraxx sound decoder.  Will the soundtraxx board receive DCC data direct from the Blue Rail board???  Or is there some other communication method?

Lou N

Glad to see another (semi BPRC anyway, if you take the BP off) convert!!!

I have 2 RailKing 2-8-0s using BPRC and they are indeed some smooth running engines.

For your headlight issue, you either have the 2 wires crossed or a setting in the Bluerail app that needs to be changed.

Bob Walker has helped me in the past so give him a shout if needed.

I haven't bought the newest BlueRail board yet,have nothing to put it in at the moment.

 

Last edited by Bob Delbridge
@Ukaflyer posted:

This page helps for the lights in basic mode set up

http://bluerailtrains.com/blueraildcc/userguide/

Thanks for the feedback.  I got it working.

When I wired up the train via the instructions it ran backwards.  Rather than flipping re-soldering the motor leads at the motor, I reversed the leads at the board.  That is what caused the headlight to work in reverse.

I simply mover the light (-) wire to the reverse position on the board and now it works in Forward.  The Deadrail guys provided instructions on how to fix it with the software too.

I'm sure 10 years from now I'll be scratching my head wondering, "Why the heck did I do it this way?"

Have Fun!

Ron

Position 5

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 9.17.35 AM

 

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  • Position 5
  • Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 9.17.35 AM

Glad to see another (semi BPRC anyway, if you take the BP off) convert!!!

 

 

Bob, 

This is sort of a long tale... but I'll try the Reader's Digest version.

My Son has this AtlasO AEM-7 he got from Santa some years ago.  For quite a while we have been trying to figure out how to upgrade it to PS-2 then PS-3 (Yes, that's how long we've been thinking about it.  It has a big honking motor mounted sideways and there is just no room for a PS3 board.

We even tried to have some pros take a crack at it and no one would touch it.  There are threads on this forum about it too.  

I've been following these BlueRail guys with their BPRC for a few years with interest.  I could not get my son energized about BPRC (sorry, bad pun).  He likes DCS Command Control on track power.

When this new BlueRail board offered AC track power option, I figured I would give it a try.  He was still reluctant but was willing to take a look.  We had a false start and the board did not work correctly on AC Track power at first.  It did however perform outstanding on battery power.  The folks at Deadrailinstalls fixed us up right away and as you can see in the previous video, the AC Track power option works great.

Here is a video of the Bluerail board in an MTH F7 running on battery power alongside a DCS F7.  It runs very smooth even with my makeshift setup.

Have Fun.

Ron

 

 

Sounds are limited to nothing with BlueRail unless you add a DCC board.  Then you're getting into real money for O-gauge currents.  Just the BlueRail board is $150, then you need a DCC decoder that will handle full sized O-gauge tasks.  Finally, you still have to add the DCC compatible sound board.

I think I can wait on this option until the costs get more in line.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Sounds are limited to nothing with BlueRail unless you add a DCC board.  Then you're getting into real money for O-gauge currents.  Just the BlueRail board is $150, then you need a DCC decoder that will handle full sized O-gauge tasks.  Finally, you still have to add the DCC compatible sound board.

I think I can wait on this option until the costs get more in line.

John,

You just need the Bluerail board and a sound decoder.  A third component is not necessary.

I would not take one of my well working engines and transition to BR, but I would take engines with fried boards or even buy conventional engines I liked to upgrade.

My AC BR board was $145 and I purchased a Soundtrax TSU 2200 for less than $100.  So an upgrade is similar to other avenues.

 Also consider... A Soundtrax decoder has many many options for sounds and lights that I can change and customize on the fly.  No need to hook my engine up to a computer and download a different sound set which is still not customizable.

I can also run my engine on ANY layout.  Legacy, DCS, conventional.  I just need 13 volts or so.

Oh and if I switch out two wires, I'm running Deadrail.  

I will post some new video when I get the Atlas AEM-7 running with sound.  You are very familiar with the DCS challenges with that engine.

Maybe it's not for everyone... But it's another option for some.

Ron

 

The Rob Walker article in current O Ga Railroading issue re: new BlueRail DCC joint effort by Tam Valley and BlueRail Trains generated interest.  For someone like me with a functioning TMCC and DCS layout, and many TMCC locos, so that the handheld is a normal appendage to my hand anyway, what situations might make me want to use this new option to convert a conventional loco, rather than buy ERRCo boards from 3Rail Trains for TMCC?  An example loco I have in mind is the MTH PS1 C&NW 4-6-4 streamlined Hudson from years ago, which I plan to convert, was figuring on ERRCo for TMCC and not a PS3 conversion.  What would make me want to try BlueRail-DCC instead, other than smartphone app control?  One thought where I have no comparative knowledge is the issue of an effective loco antenna to receive signal.  The diecast tender shell of the 4-6-4 would mean ? insulating handrails or ?? for this, for the TMCC job, not sure how easy it is to get enough separation (standoff from the surface) from the metal loco or tender shell for good reception.  Would that be eased in some way or work better with the BR-DCC system's small antenna?

Thanks to Ron, Rob, or anyone with thoughts on this question.

You're right Ron, I was thinking of the other board that was being discussed, RailPro.

The RailPro boards are all in one.  Nothing else to add except the controller.  You can also get the USB dongle and control that way.  Street price on the RailPro board for O is about 150 and their speed matching system for consists is fantastic, works similar to the real thing.

@TexasSP posted:

The RailPro boards are all in one.  Nothing else to add except the controller.  You can also get the USB dongle and control that way.  Street price on the RailPro board for O is about 150 and their speed matching system for consists is fantastic, works similar to the real thing.

Well I do not see sounds for Electric Engines, just Diesel and Steam.

It appears it does not run on AC Power... ** RailPro system uses fixed voltage DC power.

While over time the more engines you do the controller cost improves, but geez, nearly $700 for two controllers?

So I assume I can not run my DCS trains on the same track as RailPro controlled trains (unless I make them BPRC?

@Ron045 posted:

Well I do not see sounds for Electric Engines, just Diesel and Steam.

It appears it does not run on AC Power... ** RailPro system uses fixed voltage DC power.

While over time the more engines you do the controller cost improves, but geez, nearly $700 for two controllers?

So I assume I can not run my DCS trains on the same track as RailPro controlled trains (unless I make them BPRC?

Railpro runs on 12-18v ac or dc, or dead rail. They have dcc compatibility too. Since they communicate strictly via radio signal they don't care if you have dcs or legacy on the track.  Not sure on electric sounds but they seem to be adding sounds quite often.  The controllers can be had for 240 street price.

Last edited by TexasSP
@TexasSP posted:

Railpro runs on 12-18v ac or dc, or dead rail. They have dcc compatibility too. Since they communicate strictly via radio signal they don't care if you have dcs or legacy on the track.  Not sure on electric sounds but they seem to be adding sounds quite often.  The controllers can be had for 240 street price.

If it can run on 18 VAC, then they need to update the user manual for the locomotive module.

WARNING: Maximum voltage is 24 Volts. Only power your LM-3S-G module
with a Ring Engineering Inc. RailPro Power Supply designed for the LM-3S-G
or a DCC power supply that only has the signal that is described in NMRA DCC
standards S-9.1 and S-9.2. You may use a proper battery to power your LM3S-G.

@Oman posted:

If it can run on 18 VAC, then they need to update the user manual for the locomotive module.

WARNING: Maximum voltage is 24 Volts. Only power your LM-3S-G module
with a Ring Engineering Inc. RailPro Power Supply designed for the LM-3S-G
or a DCC power supply that only has the signal that is described in NMRA DCC
standards S-9.1 and S-9.2. You may use a proper battery to power your LM3S-G.

The manual doesn't state dc or ac. However I verified with Tim Ring that ac okay. Also the railpro user group forum discusses this.

Well back to our topic at hand... 

Last week I hooked up the BR board and TSU-2200 sound decoder in an ATLAS AEM-7.  It sure did sound great and ran smoothly, but the front and rear lights would not behave properly.  When the headlight came on the rear light would not go off.  The Soundtraxx people said the decoder needed to be repaired.  They fixed it under warranty and returned it to me.

During the down time the Tam Valley also updated the firmware for the BlueRail board.  They told me I no longer need the electro capacitor for AC track use.

So everything is on the workbench.  Hopefully I can do some work on it this evening and Sunday and show you all how it came out.

Wiring up the 2200 Sound decoder is a pain because there are no connectors.  All the wires get soldered.  If I do this again, I will spend a little more and get the TSU-4400 with the screw connectors.

SoundTraxx 884007 TSU-2200 Digital Sound Decoder Steam-2 Series 35 x 18 x 6mm - ModelTrainStuff

TSU-4400 EMD-2 – #678-885025 – Litchfield Station

 

 

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