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I have been testing the new Blunami Android app this past week and thought I would share a short overview I made.  My test unit was a small lionel switcher that was a DC only model with one small can motor. This unit is too small for ERR boards so was a great test platform for the Blunami. I think it runs and sounds great! I think that this is a viable way to get both sound and command control in these and other small motorized units. The app works as well as the lionel app and the MTH app, I actually like it better than the other two. Since I also have a DCC system I did not add the rectifier to run it on AC power.

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@BOB WALKER posted:

Welcome aboard! You should next try the Blunami4408 which is a work of art.

It's intriguing and I like that you get a ton of customizable sound sets to mix n' match that can be configured right in the app. The price is too high for me,  $256 just for the board when I can get a PS3 upgrade kit (board + everything else needed for the installation) for $200 that also has DCC built in. Plus the 4408 board has no chuffing smoke control for steamers nor variable intensity smoke for diesels.

I wonder if the outputs of the 4408 can be configured for lighting features like Rule 17, beacon strobes, firebox flicker, and ditch lights without special boards and/or bulbs?

UPDATE: Reading through the user manual and the 4408 does have a very good list of custom lighting features:


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Last edited by H1000

As stated, for $200 I'd just use the DCS upgrade kit and get DCS and DCC in one package.  Also, for steam, proper chuffing smoke is mandatory, not a "I wish I had it" feature.

I pickup a Blunami 2200 because of the size now that the Android app is available.  I'll be seeing how I like that one in a small motorized unit.  The difference with my situation is I'm not at all enamored with battery power.  That being said, that whole aspect of these boards doesn't do anything for me or my desire for them.

@Ron045 posted:

Google Blunami.  A few vendors have is for $195.  Yankee Dabbler has coupon codes often.  I had one shipped to my house for $194.

Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than 5 or 6 bucks of a discount to get me to switch electronics for Bluetooth app control and sacrifice smoke. This may still be a viable option for Willaims engines to replace basic e-units and True-Blast or even in Menards locomotives.

That sparks an idea for Menards as I'm not impressed with their electronics and control, perhaps this could be an option for them and scrap their lackluster sound & control system.

@Norton posted:

For Diesels, Blunami can do everything PS3 or Legacy can do plus a multitude of sounds for less money and extremely simple wiring.

As stated Pete, Blunami doesn't give you variable intensity smoke for diesels, so it can't do everything that PS/3 can and does do.

However, I agree, I'm looking forward to seeing how the smaller Blunami 2200 works in small units, I have to figure out which one I'll try it in...  It's probably small enough that I could put it in a BEEP and also fit an HO smoke unit in, that would be cool.   I was also eyeing the Plymouth switcher, it would be really neat to keep the smoke and have the command and sound.

Not sure the Menard's engines could sell for $159 with a $200 board in them!

Oh yes, the price point would go up! But I wonder if Menards bought the boards in bulk or licensed the technology and built the board themselves to integrate with their Chinese manufacturer, I'd guess they can still keep the cost around $250 to $275. Not a bad price for that engine with the Blunami features.

Alright.... As long as you are all trying the Android version, you have to try this option.  It was developed for the outdoor garden railroad users who might have trouble seeing the screen, but it works awesome indoors too.  I love it because it gets my head out of my phone and on the trains.

On the General Settings Screen

Throttle Type - Select Outdoor

Your right side of the screen becomes the throttle.  A tap in the upper right is UP one speed step.  Lower right is DOWN one speed step.  A swipe up goes multiple speed steps UP and a swipe down goes multiple speed steps DOWN.  If you tap and hold the lower section it stops the train. If you have momentum on it will take time to slow down.    It's not an E stop.  I was promised that E Stop is coming.  I've been asking for it.   IOS has it.  I love this because I can do this all with my thumb and never have to look at the phone.  They even added haptics so the phone will vibrate to let you know what's going on.

On the same general settings screen, you can program how many swipe speed steps Up or Down you want a swipe to be.  I selected 7 speed steps because I also have 7 steps per notch of throttle sound up/down.

This feature is only in Android.  I do not have any Info when/if it will be in IOS.

Subscribe to Soundtraxx on YouTube.  George is always coming out with short Blunami videos that shows the multitude of features and how to operate them.  My other favorite is Momentum and braking.

When setting up for the very first time, be sure to calibrate the engine with Dynamic Digital Exhaust (DDE).  This is the last option on the Settings Screen.  You need a flat, clear section of track.  Some engines take off.  Others just move regularly during the calibration.

Have Fun!


Dumb question, why are you hitting buttons twice?  I notice when you're using the horn, you seem to hit the button twice every time.

Not a dumb question, some of the buttons default to toggle, so if I hit say F9 to sound the grade crossing I then need to toggle it off again so it is ready for the next time I want to hear it. The short horn sound is the same way, that is why you see me hitting buttons twice.

Well, I guess I'll find out.   Since they released an early Android version of the app, I picked up one of the Blunami BLU-2200 boards.  It is indeed pretty small!   I don't anticipate a fit issue in most of the things I'd consider.

FYI if you want to play with the app you can do that before installing in an engine by hooking up DC power, a motor, and a speaker. Then the app will open and you can view all the screens.
Just not this size motor.



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Last edited by Norton
@Darrell posted:

Not a dumb question, some of the buttons default to toggle, so if I hit say F9 to sound the grade crossing I then need to toggle it off again so it is ready for the next time I want to hear it. The short horn sound is the same way, that is why you see me hitting buttons twice.

On the IOS version, you can fix that by sliding open the menu window a little further and switch the toggle slider for the sound you want.  Then double push goes away.  In one direction the switch is an On/Off.  In the other direction it acts as a momentary.  One would have to assume that functionality will be in Android, but just has not been programmed yet.  It's still not "Officially" released.

Something I have found by mistake is trying this with the Short Horn.  In one direction you get a single short blast.  In the other direction (momentary) you get two quick blasts like a Forward Horn.  I brought this up to the programmer and it was not intentional.  It's the program turning on and off the switch, so the horn blows each time.


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No dead-rail for me, I think the first one goes in a Plymouth switcher, no room for batteries.  I am checking out my choices for AC-DC converters, I have my little home rolled one sitting in the bench putting out a constant 1/2A to see how it does.  I'll also go through the pile I've accumulated over the years to see if there's a more appropriate choice.  The running current for the Plymouth is in the 200-250ma range, and that includes the headlight and all the marker/class lights, so I don't see much of an overload issue.

FWIW, the stall current for the Plymouth is around 500ma, well within the 2A rating for the drivers on the board.  I may consider the current keeper, I could probably roll one from supercaps.  My Plymouth is going to get smoke if I can fit it in, which looks possible with the size of the board.

I do plan on skywiring it on the bench just to tinker with the app a bit, not to mention make sure the board is fully functional.

@Darrell posted:

Not a dumb question, some of the buttons default to toggle, so if I hit say F9 to sound the grade crossing I then need to toggle it off again so it is ready for the next time I want to hear it. The short horn sound is the same way, that is why you see me hitting buttons twice.

I sure hope you can turn off that behavior!  I would have thought that a much more logical operation would be that the button simply performs the function once and then waits for another press to do it again!  It makes no sense to have it latch!

@Darrell posted:

@gunrunnerjohn, be careful with the 2 motored beep, the 2200 is only rated at 2 amps. Also with small units I also install the current keeper 2 to help keep the board active across switches and the like.

I just tested a BEEP chassis, I stalled both motors with 12VDC on the motors, I got a current of slightly less than 1 amp with both motors stalled.  I can't see any way that the BEEP would exceed the ratings of the 2200.

I sure hope you can turn off that behavior!  I would have thought that a much more logical operation would be that the button simply performs the function once and then waits for another press to do it again!  It makes no sense to have it latch!

I have the 4400 installed in a Weaver PRR L1 and some others . The buttons work as momentary as it comes. not sure why his are latching.

As installed, all buttons are set to toggle with very few exceptions, the good news is it can be changed in the app.

The long horn will play as long as you hold the button, but the short horn defaults latching on or off and I have tried to change it in the app but it still behaves that way regardless of the setting. Might be hard coded in the firmware.


I have also found that when I turn toggle off for the rpm+ button, the prime mover will go through the start-up and then shut off if I don't do something like turn on the headlight while the start-up is playing. Have to love beta software!


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A lot of forum discussion on Blunami is on the complexity of the DCC format, which is to be expected. I first tackled this with the BlueRailDCC module and realized there was a lot to be learned and am still learning. Testing the Blunami module prior to installation is becoming common and is always recommended. The app has become a great test vehicle for new ideas. Battery power is always an option, but not essential. When it's done well it works nicely and can be operated almost anywhere.  I look forward to and invite more discussion of Blunami on the forum.

I had a couple little problems with my testing.

I first made a little test board with a motor, speaker, and LED's for all the function outputs.  You can connect the BLU-2200 to the test set with screw terminals for all 13 leads.  I figure this has to come in handy.

First off, the engine starts up as soon as power is applied, I couldn't figure any way to make it stop doing that.  I wondered if that was a function of it being the only engine that is found.

Next, though I can't believe this doesn't work, I can't get either plain diesel lighting working properly, directional lighting never seemed to work.  Also, I couldn't figure out how to get Rule-17 lighting to work, though maybe that's connected to getting plain diesel directional lighting working.  I'm guessing I just haven't stumbled on the correct sequence of options to make this work.  Of course, this being a beta app, maybe it's the app that is causing some of the issues.

It is pretty impressive that tiny board has all that functionality, I have to grudgingly admit!

So if there's three locomotives on the track, they'll all come on?  That doesn't seem right.

John all Tsunami DCC decoders have the option to come on with power up or only when addressed. there are a couple of hundred CV's  ( control Variables) the Blunami is just a Tsunami 2 with the blue tooth added. the manuals can be found on line , many pages. I am using the I phone version of the APP. with my 3 rail stuff and all works the same as my two rail DCC system. I think your guess that it's the android app is correct. I use an old I pad to change a lot of settings on the Blunami as it's easier to see.

I looked through all the Blunami app settings for the lights, and I sure can't find anything that allows me to adjust the lights for diesels.  I can't imagine that's not supposed to be possible with the "simplified" BLunami app interface.  I also didn't find any way to do an engine shutdown.

Looking at the complete list of CV registers, just try to tell me that DCC is "simpler" than either DCS or Legacy!

Pretty sure no one said learning DCC is simpler but it is simpler to change things. Try to change the sound of the dynamo on a Legacy engine or add ditch lights to an engine not already programmed for them at the factory.

DCC is for folks that like to build their own trains. PS3 and Legacy is for folks that like to run trains.


DCC is not simple. It is somewhat complicated, but once you get it figured out, it becomes quite useable. One of the steps I took when first involved was to set up a CV logbook for each installation.  A page in the SoundTraxx guide is a good outline for such a book.  I have referred to the logbook many times when making adjustments. The simplified access to the more commonly used CV's in the Blunami app made things easier to use compared with the manual CV adjustment approach. I agree that some description of what to expect at startup and connection would be helpful.

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