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I’m intrigued by this.  It supposedly can be run on “any” power source, But I am unsure if that includes AC. They mention straight DC, DCC or battery power in their presentation.  You can run it with a DCC system or the app.
Itll be interesting for sure if you can run it off 3 rail AC and the BT connection.
I would wait for the 4400 release for anything with dual motors.  I don’t think the 2200 has enough margin of error to handle it.  

Last edited by Boilermaker1

Beats the heck out of Decoder Pro.  But currently, the app is only available for Apple Devices.  It is up to Blue Rail to develop one for Android.

The Model 2200 will handle battery powered O Scale up to a stall current of 2A max.  It is too small for most battery powered O Scale locomotives.  The model 2200 is only the first so I would wait.

Watch the video.

John

Last edited by Craftech

I’m intrigued by this.  It supposedly can be run on “any” power source, But I am unsure if that includes AC. They mention straight DC, DCC or battery power in their presentation.  You can run it with a DCC system or the app.
Itll be interesting for sure if you can run it off 3 rail AC and the BT connection.
I would wait for the 4400 release for anything with dual motors.  I don’t think the 2200 has enough margin of error to handle it.  

All you need to do is install a full wave bridge in the engine or a battery.

Pete

Here is an article that discusses why BlueRail develops on iOS, then ports to Android:

http://bluerailtrains.com/why-...ions-before-android/

There are 50,000 types of Android devices to support (many of them old and buggy) as opposed to 2 iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). When you make a bluetooth app for iOS you can develop all of your energy on getting the app functionality right.  Once you release to Android, people expect it to run on 50,000 different types of devices, so you better be prepared to release lots of updates over the course of months to work around all the problems that arise on obscure poorly supported old devices.

@3RaylFan posted:

Here is an article that discusses why BlueRail develops on iOS, then ports to Android:

http://bluerailtrains.com/why-...ions-before-android/

There are 50,000 types of Android devices to support (many of them old and buggy) as opposed to 2 iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). When you make a bluetooth app for iOS you can develop all of your energy on getting the app functionality right.  Once you release to Android, people expect it to run on 50,000 different types of devices, so you better be prepared to release lots of updates over the course of months to work around all the problems that arise on obscure poorly supported old devices.

@3RaylFan,

You must be an Apple enthusiast.  There's a whole lot of 'facts' based on here-say in your analysis.  Have you built any apps yourself?  Your argument reads like an emotional one, not a technical one.

It's true that it was once the case that builders started with the iOS but in today's world it's no longer typical to start there and then add Android later.  Now, there's only one set of functionality, i.e., one set of functional code.  Interface code is different as you would expect, but the core is not.

For most app builders it's too expensive, and much more time consuming, to do it the old way.

BlueRail apparently doesn't believe so however.

I wish them luck but I believe that most people in our hobby have Android phones.  Maybe not all of us but most.  We may not prefer them but they are more affordable, and on a budget in seriously bad inflationary times money is very, very important.

Generally we spend our big bucks instead on locomotives, and maybe rolling stock, a little track, and a power source, but not on anything else, especially phones.

Mike

"I wish them luck but I believe that most people in our hobby have Android phones.  Maybe not all of us but most"

Interestingly, in the USA, Apple phones have had about 50% of the market in the last quarter and more than 60-65% for some years, so it may well be the other way around.  Obviously lots of people using Android, so you need to develop for both ultimately.

Last edited by Landsteiner

This thing is in its infancy. Not unlike TMCC in the early ‘90s. Its not ready for three rail rail yet but I think when developers see the potential you will see similar items with more power and the built in ability to control all the features current three rail engines have plus many more and have them user configureable.

Pete

Last edited by Norton
@Craftech posted:

Hi Ron.

Is that a Williams by Bachmann 44-tonner?  If so, how did you do the conversion?

John

That is an MTH model.   I flipped the PS3 switch from DCS and DCC.  The BlueRail board and battery are in the custom made caboose.

This model on BlueRail DCC runs better than it ever did on DCS.  I'm really just using the PS3 board for sound.  When Bluenami comes, I may just rip it all out and see if I can fit the board and a smaller battery in the engine.

Ron

@Norton posted:

Ron, I was going to ask if the Blunami board is controlling couplers but now see this engine still has the PS3 board. I see Blunami being a better option when it will control all of the features we have come to expect built into a single board.

Great video though? 👍

Pere

I did not mean to mis-represent the issue.  Yes, the MTH engines with PS3 boards running BlueRail the couplers are controlled by the DCC part of the PS3 board.

I do have an Atlas engine with a BlueRail board and Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder.  That one fires the couplers too using the ST decoder.  So I can only surmise that the new Blunami would have that same functionality.  But I can not say for certain.

Ron

@Ron045 posted:

I take it from your comment you did not watch either of the videos from George or Dave posted above.

Am I missing something?  I realize the decoder can be used with Bluetooth instead of DCC; I'm asking if there are plans to make a DCC type Cab controller that has Bluetooth transmit capability instead of using (for now) an IOS device.

@IC EC posted:

Am I missing something?

Yes... The first comment you made said it was complex and expensive, which it is neither.

We do agree that it would be way cooler with a dedicated controller vice a phone/tablet.

If you have existing DCC I guess you are covered.  But if you don't have DCC and don't what to be tied to true DCC operations then for now it's the phone or the game controller I identified.

Have Fun.

Ron

As a long term OGauger, like many of us, I had little reason to look into DCC. When BlueRailTrains created the DCC version of its product, I went in all the way and carefully implemented and studied DCC.  What I discovered was a great system concept with an enormous array of user selectable features. No wonder the HO people use it. If you haven't tried out DCC, its worth it. The new Blunami product as a single module offers one of the easiest ways to try DCC out and experience wireless control as well.

I'm watching this -- and DCC support in general -- for the needs of higher-current, larger-scale trains. Smaller, higher-current DC rectifier technology is making it easier to build DCC decoders that can adapt to virtually any formerly AC-centric train operation. If the Blunami product line can expand to cover the same range of power requirements and outputs as the ESU Loksound 5L and 5XL, then we'll have some good competition and alternatives to choose from for adapting virtually any 2- or 3-rail O gauge locomotives to DCC with sound.

TMCC/Legacy and DCS are still great, but it's clear from the efforts of both manufacturers of late that they feel the need to move their systems ahead technologically. It's not really that they're playing catch-up with DCC, it's just that component manufacturing has moved on and they need to keep pace with what their suppliers can deliver and what users of the systems are coming to expect in terms of ease-of-use.

Any command system is a sizable investment in equipment, the infrastructure of wiring it properly to the layout, and choosing locomotives and accessories that work with it. I've been watching the development for years, as I own nothing command-controlled -- yet -- and have been dealing entirely too long with finding the intersection of time, money, and space to build a layout. So I have a "blank slate" still available to move ahead with. I do own a nice collection of MPC-era power -- much of it potentially worth upgrading to TMCC. Had I started out a few years ago, that might have been pretty much a foregone conclusion. But modern DCC is becoming a reality for O-gauge and it's getting tempting. NCE builds a 10-amp DCC system that can take AC power as its input -- which means my postwar ZW can be set up (with modern power protection) to run a DCC system or be switched to conventional running. ESU and potentially now Soundtraxx/Blunami build decoders that can handle the power needs of big universal motors -- and offer the ability to load custom sound sets, making for a retrofit option that may be able to provide sound performance much like DCS PS2/3. The JMRI software is available to interface DCC and the layout with all kinds of possibilities for computer-based control. All of it based on interoperable standards rather than proprietary lock-in.

As much as I love the inherent simplicity of conventional operation, it's limited, inefficient, and whether I like it or not -- the future is digital. The single biggest holdback I've had with DCC is that even though it's standardized, having few manufacturers of decoders that can handle larger scale trains has meant that it's all too easy to lose support if a manufacturer shuts down. Choices help keep up market confidence. At least mine.

@bigboy25 posted:

@EricF, If you are interested in a straight DCC decoder (no bluetooth), then there is already the TSU-4400 from Soundtraxx that competes with the ESU Loksound 5L for the O/G scale market. There are also silent decoders (no sound capability) offered by NCE for the larger scales.

Given the large amount of MPC stuff that Eric has. These decoders probably  won't work with the pull-mor motor.

Tmcc upgrades are his best option.

Keep in mind that there are two distinctly different technical forces at work here. First is the approach to getting the control signal to the loco. (1) Track based signal vs wireless. (2) The coding system used to adjust loco performance parameters. For those new to DCC, Blunami poses both sets of issues as it is a wireless based DCC product. There is also a 3rd issue, use of a smart device app for control as opposed to a handheld controller. FWIW, I've made the plunge and the new stuff works great. But I never disconnected my layout conventional or TMCC setups. I can't help but recall my earlier involvement with color TV when a lot of people said they would never give up their black & white sets.

@BOB WALKER posted:

I can't help but recall my earlier involvement with color TV when a lot of people said they would never give up their black & white sets.

Bob,

I hope that BlueRail succeeds.  It certainly has a chance. The more time that passes the more likely that everything else will fall by the wayside because of age.

Unfortunately this is not Color vs. B&W, but more like Beta vs. VHS.

Because of this no matter how emphatically you wish it to be, at this point the outcome here is far from guaranteed.

In the end only time will tell because most of us can't presently afford to refit our entire fleet immediately.

I'm ready to try but not necessarily ready to buy.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

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