I get to see many locomotives in my capacity as a Lionel Tech.  Today I had a Milwaukee Road FlyerChief Plus for a minor fix.  This is a Bluetooth engine.  I have the free APP on my phone and started playing with the engine.   This thing is fantastic.  It works perfect every time.  I love the fact when you change direction the app drops the speed slider to zero.  Everything about this app is very cool.

 

BTW, the Northern is a big time winner.  I am so happy for the Flyer Guys getting cool toys.

Original Post

That's good news Jon, I look forward to seeing that.  I won't have to buy a multi-remote for new LC/LC+ stuff.

SantaFeFan posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Too bad they only saw fit to create an Apple version...

An  Android version is coming!

When?

556807_339802549427127_2022669052_n

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J-Daddy, I am working as fast as I can to get the APP completed; the final GUI touches will require a decent Android programmer though!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Jon, I thought you could do anything!

I have a great team, and we all make the magic happen in our own way.

Good to hear Marty, your endorsement means alot. I love the Legacy wifi app. works perfect everytime, never had a hiccup. Maybe will have to get one of the new bluetooth models for my grandson. 

Thanks, Tim

Forgive me if this is way off base, and I really don't know where to ask this...?

Would it be possible for the Bluetooth in these trains to broadcast sounds back to some receiver?

Is that even considered in any future products?

I saw that you built a steamer with a 3rd speaker in the boiler and was intrigued by the innovation. I always hope for more developments moving forward.

Engineer-Joe posted:

Forgive me if this is way off base, and I really don't know where to ask this...?

Would it be possible for the Bluetooth in these trains to broadcast sounds back to some receiver?

Is that even considered in any future products?

I saw that you built a steamer with a 3rd speaker in the boiler and was intrigued by the innovation. I always hope for more developments moving forward.

Possibly a 3rd party modification could be incorporated to the train for audio?  \

The Bluetooth radio in these products as shipped is, BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy.  This version of Bluetooth is low bandwidth, and is unable to transfer data fast enough to support an audio stream.

Last edited by SantaFeFan
SantaFeFan posted:
Engineer-Joe posted:

Forgive me if this is way off base, and I really don't know where to ask this...?

Would it be possible for the Bluetooth in these trains to broadcast sounds back to some receiver?

Is that even considered in any future products?

I saw that you built a steamer with a 3rd speaker in the boiler and was intrigued by the innovation. I always hope for more developments moving forward.

Possibly a 3rd party modification could be incorporated to the train?  The Bluetooth radio in these products as shipped, is BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy.  This version of Bluetooth is low bandwidth, and is unable to transfer data fast enough to support an audio stream.

If you would really consider something like this product... you would have me running to the hobby shop to purchase.... hopefully you will consider in the near future?

 

RT-SpreadLG

 

 

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I have a Bluetooth question. I do not have internet in my train barn, is that needed for Bluetooth to work, or is this something that just connects between the IPad and the loco. Sorry for my lack of knowledge on this one.

SantaFeFan posted:

Possibly a 3rd party modification could be incorporated to the train for audio?  \

The Bluetooth radio in these products as shipped is, BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy.  This version of Bluetooth is low bandwidth, and is unable to transfer data fast enough to support an audio stream.

Jon,

I have 3 of the BLueRail BLE boards installed and all have sound (coming out of my IPad).  I also have 1 connected to a Gems 2" Bluetooth speaker/circuit board installed in a Bachmann E7, another Gems unit is being used outside an engine waiting to be installed inside one of the other engines (Weaver RS3 and  Bachmann semi-scale 4-6-2).

While the sounds are fairly simple and generic and volume is low from the IPad speaker, using the Gems unit really improves the sound.  I have no problem with transferring data.

I really don't know the inner workings of any of this except I know it works.

I'm using a 9.6v 2000Mah battery pack to power these engines, no wiring to the track.

I agree that incorporating BLI's 'Rolling Thunder' type technology would be a real boost. If they can have it in HO, what would prevent someone (?) from adding it to our larger (4x cubic space) O gauge models?

Maybe some 'payback' to Bob Grubba would be in order?  

So very happy that all the disinformation about Bluetooth with trains has finally ended! 

Looking forward to Bluetooth products for the open-frame post war motors.  Perhaps even a Bluetooth controlled pure sine wave AC transformer, with connections for operating switches/turnouts and accessories.   (I don't feel comfortable with the chopped AC waveform for the old motors, perhaps that's just me.) 

The future looks brighter!

BOB WALKER posted:

We should all be applauding David Rees of BlueRail Trains for his innovative pioneering in the area of bluetooth model train control.

Not sure when this work was done ... but the first Bluetooth operation of toy trains I saw was almost three years ago at the large club layout in San Pedro, CA.  Bob Krivacic, EE & from the SF Bay Area, was the developer.

Bob Delbridge posted:
SantaFeFan posted:

Possibly a 3rd party modification could be incorporated to the train for audio?  \

The Bluetooth radio in these products as shipped is, BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy.  This version of Bluetooth is low bandwidth, and is unable to transfer data fast enough to support an audio stream.

Jon,

I have 3 of the BLueRail BLE boards installed and all have sound (coming out of my IPad).  I also have 1 connected to a Gems 2" Bluetooth speaker/circuit board installed in a Bachmann E7, another Gems unit is being used outside an engine waiting to be installed inside one of the other engines (Weaver RS3 and  Bachmann semi-scale 4-6-2).

While the sounds are fairly simple and generic and volume is low from the IPad speaker, using the Gems unit really improves the sound.  I have no problem with transferring data.

I really don't know the inner workings of any of this except I know it works.

I'm using a 9.6v 2000Mah battery pack to power these engines, no wiring to the track.

I don't have any real knowledge of how the blueRail set up works for certain, but I would expect that no audio is being transmitted over the bluetooth connection.  Instead i would expect that the audio is generated within the app and simply played through the device's speakers.  

As for the BLE spec, one could theoretically transmit audio over it, but doing so would require a dedicated BLE radio and a discrete microprocessor that is fast enough to decode a live stream of data.  Implementing such hardware would be orders of magnitude more expensive than the BLE+microcontroller on one module that is used in LC/+ products, and even if done would be very difficult to program in a useful fashion.  In the "easy" to do way it would limit pairing to control only one engine so as not to interrupt the audio stream when polling other engines.  It could be done, but at this time the cost is prohibitive, and in my opinion anyway, would ruin the simplicity and elegance of the LC/+ BLE system.  

JGL

P.S. Jon, any tentative timeline on an app to allow the Universal remote to control first generation LC engines?  

 

JohnGaltLine posted:
 
 

I don't have any real knowledge of how the blueRail set up works for certain, but I would expect that no audio is being transmitted over the bluetooth connection.  Instead i would expect that the audio is generated within the app and simply played through the device's speakers.  

 

Correct, but you can then pair up a bluetooth speaker for the sound.  I use a small cube speaker in a trailing boxcar.

Brendan

Sounds are generated by the BlueRail app and transmitted to a bluetooth speaker circuit board and speaker in the loco. The app can handle sounds and loco control simultaneously. Works quite well. Have demoed this at a number of club meets.

 

Here's a photo of the Gems Bluetooth 2" speaker taken apart:

DSCN0739_560

Here's a closeup of the Gems circuit board, there's components on there that aren't used in my setup such as the blue battery, switch, volume control, LED, microphone, and a couple of jacks,  Without these components that board could be made 1/3 the size I'm sure:

DSCN0740_561

Here's shot showing the BlueRail board on top of the battery, with speaker and voltage regulator (thanks Bob W for helping me with the VR) to the left:

DSCN0750_571

Closeup of battery and BlueRail board:

DSCN0751_572

Closeup of speaker and voltage regulator:

DSCN0752_573

Sorry for the lousy looking wiring, I have dressed it since the photo was taken.

You can see I had to trim the sides of the speaker housing to get it to sit inside the Bachmann E7.

The wiring going to the shell is for the headlight and Mars light in the front, and the on/off switch and charging jack on the rear.

The speaker and all the other components are run using the main 9.6v 2000Mah battery for power.

Here's the diagram Bob W sent me to help wire in the speaker:

sound with regulator bob walker

This just show basic voltage regulator wiring, I had to adapt it for the on/off switch, charging jack, and connection to the BlueRail board.

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I wonder if we will see "blow outs" on the non-Blue Tooth engines and sets that have already been produced? I for one would not buy a set without Blue Tooth unless the deal was unbelievable.    

This seems a little like the transition time between PS and DCS. However, there is a difference... This time, the new technology is well-proven. At the time of PS/DCS transition, we were waiting to see what happened....

Just my 2 cents.....

Peter

Clint,

All I can tell you is what I've experienced the past 2 years (this coming May).

I had DCS and TMCC.  Didn't have a lot of problems but had a few none the less.  Signal loss, wiring issues, minor PS2 install issues (chuff tapes), stalling engines.

I've always been intrigued by remote control, flew RC planes back in the 70s.  I thought how great it would be to be able to run O-scale trains using battery-power, remote-control.

The late Ed Reutling did this using off the shelf RC equipment, but the components he had were hard to find or kept changing/progressing.

Then I found Tony Walsham's RCS Australia website and found I could get what I wanted to convert to BPRC.  Tony sold Deltang UK components.  It meant pulling out the command systems I already had, but it was what I wanted.  In addition, BlueRail Trains started offering the BlueHorse bluetooth board.  Tony has stopped carrying the Rx I use, but I found more at RC Trains UK.  They come pre-wired and they get them to the U.S. quickly.

If a person was to start from scratch, BPRC would be a good way to go, no big power supply ($$$), no wiring ($$$), no cleaning track, no signal loss thru the rails.  I have yet to lose signals between Tx and Rx.  As of present you do have to install them yourself, but it's no harder than installing PS2 or ERR components and there's maybe a dozen pages of instructions that you may have to read.

I have converted 14 engines (13 "O" and 1 "G") to BPRC, I have only 6 engines left with DCS or TMCC.  ZERO problems with BPRC.

Not only that, I pulled up the middle rail, removed the center rollers, and turned by 072 curved layout into 2-rail, albeit with hi-rail rails.

For the past month or so I've been building 2-rail #6 turnouts and have plans to tear down my converted layout and build a larger (12x30 vice 12x12), 2-rail layout using these turnouts and Micro-Engineering track.  So far I have 4 turnouts built (code 148 ME rail) and both 2-rail AND 3-rail trucks run thru them fine.  I'll keep my engines using the hi-rail flanged wheels, but most likely replaced all freight car wheels with 2-rail type.

There are drawbacks if you want to try having the same features in BPRC as you do in DCS/TMCC.  I don't use smoke anyway, but I doubt the current boards would support the amperage.  Sound is in its infancy, but I expect that to grow soon.

If a person wanted to try this out, I would start with an old, conventional engine or a shelf queen and get the necessary components (Tx, Rx, battery, wiring, on/off switch, charging jack, charger, LEDs) and have a go.  I run only 1 engine at a time, but more than 1 is possible, just "bind"/link the engine to the Tx.  Going my way (replacing existing DCS/TMCC with BPRC) is not cheap, although you can most likely sell off you used components like I did to recoup some money.

I don't miss the sounds as much as I thought I would, the train going around the layout makes plenty noise on it's own.  I wouldn't mind having synchronized steam chuff or diesel engine sounds, but I can live without the others.

The 3 engines with the BlueRail boards installed have sounds, and adding the Gems speaker to the E7 enhances the sounds a lot.

BPRC is not for everyone, just like Conventional, DCC, DCS, TMCC, and Legacy are not for everyone, but it makes the trains move just like the rest.

The fundamental difference between TMCC/DCS/DCC and LionChief/bluetooth is the method of signal propogation to the loco. The former use the track whereas the latter go directly from the remote device to the loco.  All of these have a lot of useful operating features.

I'm looking forward to this technology. I have the app on my phone I just need an engine to try it out on.  

I'll have to admit, that is interesting.  It would be hard to do since I have already spent $$$ (undisclosed amount) on DCS.

Yes, technology is growing so fast. And the bluetooth speaker sound systems has me intrigued. What would be nice is to see if there was a sound system with a phone app background sound system with multiple selection of sounds... city sounds, forest sounds, rivers, etc...

I took the BlueRail board out of my Williams semi-scale 4-6-2 and installed it in my G-scale Bachmann 4-6-0 Annie, along with the GEMS speaker circuit board (and a 5v voltage regulator,P/N 7805, the last digit denotes the voltage!!!).  Here's the wiring diagram:

G Scale 4-6-0 diagram

I'm going to redo the diagram to make it easier to read.  So far it's working great, pulling a tankcar, flatcar, and caboose.  12v 2000Mah NimH battery is used and the original Bachmann 3" 4ohm, 3watt speaker.  I have a 4-pin plug going from the tender to the boiler for the motor and headlight LED leads (need to make a diagram of that too).  The rear light is in the tender with a mini-plug so I can unplug it when I take the shell off.  The on/off switch and charging jack are mounted on the bottom of the tender, easy to get to.

The sound is generated from the BlueRail app on my Ipad and not thru their board.  Once the GEMS onboard speaker pairs up with the Ipad, the sound comes out of the onboard speaker vice the Ipad speakers.

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