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Battery Power - D.C.C. - Bluetooth
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 Posted: Wed Mar 13th, 2019 05:58 pm
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Sean W.
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Hey guys,

As I am beginning to dip my toe back into the hobby,
I am seeing that a lot has changed since I departed,
not in just the hobby, but with technology in general.

I left the hobby around Sophomore year of high school, around 2004,
which is right around when DCC was starting to get popular.

Since 2004, a lot has changed.
I have seen the light and I think battery power is the way to go.
Some may argue that wiring a layout for DCC can be simple,
but not as simple as not wiring a layout at all.

It would be pretty incredible to just spike down some track and run a train on it.
Not to mention some of the engines I plan to run have quite a short wheel base,
and smooth operation on track power may be difficult.

Never having to worry about cleaning track also sounds amazing.

Finally, Being able to plop down your train on any layout and not having to worry about
if your train/config/control/programming meshes with what they are using on their layout.
Being able to insulate yourself from that sounds cool too.

I am convinced I want to go the battery powered route,
but I want to do so with no compromises.
I must have battery power, DCC,
and I would like it to be Bluetooth controlled from my phone.

This is where I am stuck,
I'm seeing conflicting and/or out of date information on the internet.
I found a company called "Bluerail Trains" who looked like they were going to be the way to go,
but it seems like they are not producing their Bluetooth boards anymore...

I was hoping to find someone here who has their finger on the pulse of this tech,
that could point me in the right direction...

Thank you!




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 Posted: Thu Mar 14th, 2019 08:59 am
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davecttr
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I don't think what you want is available at the moment.

The Bluetooth transmission protocol and smart phone control,
were used by BlueRails first Bluehorse board but the system was not DCC.
The receivers had an impressive range of features but it was not a DCC decoder.

I think Tam Valley have a system that uses radio to send commands to the loco,
but not from the hand throttle and it is not Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is a transmission protocol?
and I think the DCC people have not decided on a standard for it yet.

The nearest thing to a standard in BPRC will be the use of the 2.4Ghz band,
which has a lot of competing protocols.
But also the non railway part of the hobby has transmitters,
that can use several of the most popular protocols.

Standards will eventually emerge, maybe in a similar way to DCC,
where the Lenz system was licenced as the basis for DCC standards.

BlueRail Trains new smaller better board has been developed,
but the company has a deal with a manufacturer,
and can't release product without permission,
very frustrating as the BlueRail board is very impressive.




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 Posted: Thu Mar 14th, 2019 04:41 pm
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Sean W.
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Hi Dave,

Thank you for the info.

What if I were to remove the Bluetooth requirement?
Does that open up the options a bit?





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 Posted: Thu Mar 14th, 2019 09:11 pm
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Bob R
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Sean,

Look into Airwire 900.  It is BPRC and DCC. 

The Airwire board is in essence a wireless command station that fits in the engine. 
It is powered from a battery and connected to the DCC decoder. 
All programming is from the Airwire 5000 wireless throttle. 
Full sound.

Picture shows complete equipment in a tender. 
Two cell battery, battery protection board, voltage regulator to boost voltage,
DCC decoder, and the Airwire board (longer board at front of picture). 
The speaker is under all that stuff. 

Really easy to install and works great.







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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 08:31 am
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davecttr
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What scale is that loco Bob?


It appears Airwire uses the 915 MHz band?


I am not sure this is legal in the UK or EU,

which may be why it is almost unknown over here.




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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 12:22 pm
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Bob R
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This install is in an S scale loco. 
Battery is much larger than necessary for HO operations.

You may be correct with 915 MHz. 
I am not familiar with limitations on different frequencies in the UK.
 
Not sure I understand the restrictions when it comes to such things. 
Very limited range indoor use would not seem to be a concern anywhere.




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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 02:51 pm
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Si.
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Hi Pirate Radio Fans  :pimp:



The answer is simple ...

... just build your layout on an old rust-bucket boat, like Radio Caroline ...

... a few miles off the Essex coast, in International Waters !

 


These guys got away with it OK.



Or you could maybe just transmit the loco control radio signal from offshore ...

... back to the train running round & round in your garage back on solid ground in Blighty !





I suppose another option would be to get the equipment by any means possible, fair or foul ! ...

... solder it into your illegal 'pirate loco' & just switch on & hope that the 'Buzbies' don't bust yer a$$ !  ;) 





" THE RAILFAN YOU'RE AFTER WITH THE 915 MHz TRAIN SET IS HIDING IN THESE OLD BOARDED UP TENEMENTS BUZBY ! "





" HE'S RUMOURED TO HAVE AN ILLEGAL RADIO CONTROLLED G.W.R. PANNIER TANK & HEAVEN FORBID A DIESEL ! "





Bad luck BUZBY you didn't get me this time !  :P



:!::cool::!:



Si.




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 Posted: Sat Mar 16th, 2019 02:57 am
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Rick Dow
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Too Funny.






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 Posted: Sat Mar 16th, 2019 02:59 am
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Rick Dow
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After Brexit, Airwire will no doubt be legal...... and everything else too.






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 Posted: Sat Mar 16th, 2019 08:45 am
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davecttr
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Aargh! someone mentioned the 'B' word, a toxic subject here in the UK.


I wonder why AirWire chose the transmission band they did?

I suppose we could start another topic,
on what should be the communications protocol for R/C of trains.




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