Just randomly thinking about Bluetooth and the way it works in pairing between two devices.  My question is, with the engines that use bluetooth, if you have two of the same engine, will both be controlled together by one remote and/or the app as with the previous generations of LionChief/+/FlyerChief engines?  

It seems from what I know about BlueTooth that only one engine could be operated by a given controller at any one time.  I know that this could be programed around, where the controller repeats the commands to several engines, without too much fuss.  Mostly I'm curious if with the bluetooth app, one could independently control two of the same engine?


Original Post


Bluetooth is a one-on-one connection. A remote (or handheld device) pairs to one engine only. So you won't be able to control two of the same engine with a single control channel. A positive to this though is that the communication is two-way, so the engine can send information back to the controller. This is used to check states, so an APP knows if the smoke unit is on, etc.


Dave is correct, but there is more to the story...

The BLE Lionchief and Lionchief plus Remotes (and App) can open 3 simultaneous connections.  Therefore up to 3 of the same *exact* locos (same SKU) will operate just fine together.   We also have a mechanism to operate up to 3 dissimilar products to work together in a scene, such as a loco and announcement coach (like the polar express).

This approach will allow ABA locos to operate together, each with its own BLE radio with unique ID and features.  The universal remote can support 3 BLE simultaneous connections as well; which can be spread as one loco on engine select button, or when 3 BLE connections operate in a scene, on a single button.

When operating in this way, there is no need to disconnect; and commands are sent to all the devices under control of the remote or app.

Last edited by SantaFeFan

Thanks for the replies.  This is pretty much what I expected.  With the app, would it be possible to control two of the same engine independently as well?  I can see how doing so might get a little complex on the user interface, but it would be a nice feature.  

I like the idea of a "lash-up" with add on cars as well, allowing the whole train to act as one unit.  

On the technical end, is the three device limit a hold-over in the code from the design of the universal remote, or is it imposed by limitations in smart devices?  It seems like a smart phone (or similar) should be able to talk to more than 3 BLE devices at once (well, one then another in a loop), but I really don't know what the specs are here.  

Edit: I suppose the compatibility with the remotes would be the limiting factor, so then, are the BLE modules in use only able to keep up with three devices, or is that a limit defined in the programing?  Based on the data sheet for the module in the universal remote, it seems like a pretty robust little processor.  


Last edited by JohnGaltLine

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