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BlueRailTrains/Bachmann BlueTooth Train Control part # 2
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 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2016 06:20 am
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Tony Walsham
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It would not surprise me in the least to see Bachmann adopting the Blue Rail system for at least an option in Large Scale.  That would mean making their locos in such a way that batteries could fitted on board. It would give them an instant entry into the Dead Rail market.If they set up their locos so it was a plug in option, it would still enable other after market control systems be easily fittable.
Now the Dead Rail concept might even catch on. Then again, when was the last time any big time manufacturer looked at battery power in a sensible way.  Track power has reigned supreme since the year dot.  



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 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2016 09:50 am
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davecttr
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Having a small hand held tactile throttle need not cost $50, I see them advertised on Amazon for less than £10.

Thinks - what is the joystick? Is it a self centering potentiometer? If so an enterprising hoobyist could take one of those cheap small Bluetooth controllers, repackage it and substitute a non self centering control knob?



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 Posted: Sun Dec 4th, 2016 10:06 am
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davecttr
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Tony Walsham wrote: It would not surprise me in the least to see Bachmann adopting the Blue Rail system for at least an option in Large Scale.  That would mean making their locos in such a way that batteries could fitted on board. It would give them an instant entry into the Dead Rail market.If they set up their locos so it was a plug in option, it would still enable other after market control systems be easily fittable.
Now the Dead Rail concept might even catch on. Then again, when was the last time any big time manufacturer looked at battery power in a sensible way.  Track power has reigned supreme since the year dot.  
Of course the advantage of track power is there is an inexhaustible supply of it. Cries of 'I must have my locos capable of running for 10 hours' mean the manufacturers are not going to change anytime soon. In a way it is similar to electric cars. OMG it only has a 150 mile range, this despite the car being used for the supermarket and school runs!. Bachmann are worst with their 00 scale offerings, packing the body space with metal in an effort to increase traction, this despite a large percentage of the models never actually running but being consigned to a display cabinet or on a shelf for ebay speculation.
We are still waiting for that 2 to 3 times the capacity battery in the same weight and volume that will change the world.
Ps - in my last 2 hour operating session I ran two pacific locos pulling Anglo Scottish expresses. With all the other locos taking their turns those express locos ran for less than 8 minutes each!.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 04:40 pm
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Daniel Beresford
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To be honest, it's not exactly hard to modify a loco to have a part of the shell lift off for easy battery access.

At shows, where my layout runs for approx 7 hours without a break, I rarely use a single loco for the full time, so I don't mind taking one off the layout to charge the battery for a bit between running.

Lets face it, who actually uses just one loco during a typical running session?

I'm eagerly awaiting my first BlueRail board turning up. It's going in a Weaver RS3. We'll see how it goes. :)



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 08:12 pm
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davecttr
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Daniel Beresford wrote: To be honest, it's not exactly hard to modify a loco to have a part of the shell lift off for easy battery access.

At shows, where my layout runs for approx 7 hours without a break, I rarely use a single loco for the full time, so I don't mind taking one off the layout to charge the battery for a bit between running.

Lets face it, who actually uses just one loco during a typical running session?

I'm eagerly awaiting my first BlueRail board turning up. It's going in a Weaver RS3. We'll see how it goes. :)
I prefer changing the on board battery as it can be done in less than a minute and the loco back to pulling trains.
with some of the 00 scale diesels I am converting I use a 4 x AAA NiMh pack which gives endurances of up to 4 hours and even 2.5 hours with a 'greedy' loco. That greedy loco can pull trains for 2 hours and stand idle but switched on for 10 hours before the battery is depleted. Ideal for exhibition use and you can just change the battery at lunchtime!



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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 07:39 am
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davecttr
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There has been little apparent activity at bluerail for several months now. No new smaller board and the Android App has not been brought up to the functionality of the other one.
Maybe they have not sold many and have lost interest 



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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 12:27 pm
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Simon H
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I must admit that I do like the BlueRail stuff, I've done quite a lot of testing using different locos in various scales and gauges. Size is a problem and it's just about usable in some of the larger ON30 locos. What did impress me was fitting it to a 0 gauge Pacific and running it on a friends large layout hauling sizeable trains for well over 3 hours. Simon

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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 02:16 pm
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W C Greene
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Have heart, radio control with onboard batteries is the future of this hobby. Nobody alive now would remember when automobiles came on the scene, everybody resisted them. Radio, TV, few wanted such things. Computers? Now it seems that nobody can live without them (except old farts like me!). At least, on the model train front, there is a growing acceptance of the idea of wireless-ness. Me, I resist calling this "Dead Rail", that denotes (to me) that something is not alive, kaput, not breathing...but then as I wrote, I am an old fart.
I still remember about maybe 20 years ago, a buddy & I took our r/c On30 locos to the only 2 hobby shops around and ran the locos across the glass display cases without tracks. Response? "That's unnatural", "You can't do that", and a couple of other comments that would get deleted here. We took the locos to a shop which had/has a large HO layout (which is still today unfinished) and asked if we could run on their track. The store owner replied that the layout wasn't wired. My buddy said "we don't need no stinkin'...." and the owner and manager watched as we ran around their layout. They said that it would never catch on, nobody would want such a thing. Back then, we contacted some manufacturers (one was Bachmann) and nobody was interested in r/c. I got a snail mail from one company which informed me that they had spent way too much money on R&D for their DCC system and they would NEVER consider any other way!
So, there you have it...now there are options, Bluetooth r/c, forward thinking companies and individuals who believe this is the way. I won't be experimenting with the new products, my old stuff works as it "always" has and I spent my money and time on the search long ago, it's time for others to step up and carry the flag now. Those manufacturers who don't embrace r/c will be left behind, the kids are growing up and very few want to mess with wiring a train layout or reading a 40 page manual on programming a silly locomotive. They want, need, and deserve real "plug & play" options to the table thumping, short searching, wheel & track cleaning BS of the past.
VIVA LA R/C

Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 02:35 pm
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davecttr
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After 3 years I am now selling my N gauge stuff as I will never use it. As part of checking out the locos I ran them on a test track. then cleaned the track, then cleaned the locos. Despite this they would still hesitate and the speed would vary. I got out a little loco I had converted to Deltang stuff. the battery was still there so I rebound it and of it went, beautiful and smooth, after 3 years. there was still 70% charge in the battery. All this reminded me why I changed to R/C battery.
Over here they are still pushing DCC big time, maybe perceptive people at the manufacturers realise the future and they are trying to maximise returns on their investment. As mentioned elsewhere DCC technology has had its day.
One manufacturer, Hornby, is having financial troubles but IMO they have a precious asset. They bought the Lima moulds when that company ceased trading. As part of their Railroad range they have modern diesels and electrics with bogie mounted motors and vast amounts of space inside the body for fitting the batteries. Meanwhile Bachmann locos are getting heavier in an attempt to improve the wheel/rail interface problem.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 7th, 2017 09:57 pm
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bobquincy
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My biggest (pun intended) problem with Bluetooth has been the size, it is difficult to fit in HO locomotives.  Monocacy's board is just small enough but something smaller would sure be helpful.  Also something that would run from a 1S battery or even 2xAA.

Woodie is correct, the manufacturers that continue to push DCC while ignoring RC will wake up one day and wonder where their sales went.  It has happened many times before when a disruptive technology showed a better way.

boB

Last edited on Sat Oct 7th, 2017 10:00 pm by bobquincy



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