Bachmann unveiled bluetooth wireless trains at iHobby

Gigasaurus Oct 4, 2014

  1. Gigasaurus

    Gigasaurus New Member

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    This weekend at iHobby in Chicago Bachmann unveiled their new line of bluetooth controlled wireless trains:

    http://resources.bachmanntrains.com/ihobby2014/html5/index.html?page=1

    Its called the E-Z App wireless train control system.

    You just put them on any powered track, download the app onto your iDevice and run them. No configuration or setup.

    They are not DCC, but can be run on a DCC layout as well (alongside your DCC trains).

    They have an app for iPhones/iPads/iPods and will be putting out an Android app.

    They are also creating a version of the board that can plug into 8-pin connectors (so you can run your older trains with bluetooth).

    They will be available early 2015.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would believe this step should make a good number of people happy!
     
  3. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

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    This is AWESOME finally! how would it work for an analog layout though?
     
  4. Gigasaurus

    Gigasaurus New Member

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    Yes. The trains will run on any powered track (standard or DCC). The trains have a bluetooth chip and can be controlled directly by a smartphone app. With Bluetooth4 there is no configuration - you just put the train on the powered track, launch the app, and run the train.
     
  5. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pulsed-DC could be a problem, and might require the throttle to be turned by all the way.
    Bob
     
  6. Gigasaurus

    Gigasaurus New Member

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    I have a pulsed-DC power supply that we'll be including in our pre-tests. Thanks Bob.
     
  7. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

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    This is a lot like Rail Lynx, which sends signals by infra-red rather than bluetooth. Having operated on Lee Nicholas' HO Utah Colorado Southern, which uses Rail Lynx instead of DCC, it's not a bad way to go. Frankly, in discussing Rail Lynx over the years, most of those familiar with it wondered why its successive developers never attempted either radio or bluetooth instead of line-of-sight infra-red (which with extra IR transponders wasn't really much of a problem).

    My fellow train-crazy Gregg Cudworth has installed Rail Lynx into several N-scale engines and runs on our modular setup that is DCC without any problems whatsoever. I would expect the Bachmann bluetooth system to be equally compatible.

    However, I don't think I'll be trading in my Digitrax DCC system for a while. Sound coming from what I'm holding in my hand rather than from the engine over there is a little funky IMO.

    Cheerio!
    Bob Gilmore
     
  8. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    One interesting thing about Bluetooth technology is that it already has the capability to send sounds form the iDevice to a properly designed Bluetooth-locomotive in real time.
    In fact you could probably hide a Bluetooth-ear-bud in a car and have a cheap way to create sounds from an iDevice.
    Bob
     
  9. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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  10. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    I read the other foreign thread mentioned above and think that some are only ready to argue about anything. As Bob Gilmore mentioned, I too am not turned on by the idea of sound coming from the throttle (phone ?) rather than the loco. I would not be interested in changing from dcc to this concept. Now, talk about direct radio to the loco over the air waves with battery power for the loco, that might interest me a whole lot more. NO more dirty track/wheels problems.

    However, there is something rather interesting to me and that is that Bachmann is stepping up and forward with some new concept. I'm not sure they were ready to break this but it happened. What are all the other decoder manufacturers working on ? I guess they have learned how to keep a secret better.

    Carl
     
  11. JB Stoker

    JB Stoker TrainBoard Member

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    There is another WiFi control system coming along called "Layout IoE" (Internet of Everything). This system incorporates battery power (optional) and all. They have produced the first batch of devices. Click here to see their site.

    [​IMG]

    P.S: There is a thread about this system posted by the developer over at MRF. Click here to see it. You can ask any questions you may have.
     
  12. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Same guy supplying Botchman, or did the Ting Dynasty buy him out?
    I read all 8 pages to date. Some of it didn't look good based upon past performance, but that's history, right?

    Six volts out?

    I must have missed the amperage handling. Should be there somewhere.
     
  13. John Smith

    John Smith TrainBoard Member

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    As someone with a DC layout... looks cool. However, running with the battery powered loco concept would be better. Have a rechargeable battery pack in the loco... and when the level gets low, send it to the fuel pad(e.g.-charger) and put a fully fueled loco(fresh charge) on the train and continue the journey. To me, this would add another layer of realism to our layouts. JMS
     
  14. Streamliner Steve

    Streamliner Steve TrainBoard Member

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    I'm brand new to the hobby and I haven't bought a controller yet. Is there an option to use a laptop with blue tooth to control locomotives vs what Bachmann is doing with smart phones or tablets?
     
  15. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    Steve,
    I am working on open-interface (and open-source) Direct-Bluetooth-Train-Control (DBTC). I am currently debugging a steam engine on a USB tether to a PC and am also working with a manufacturer it try and get an initial production of about 100 Bluetooth-Loco-decoders (something like a DCC decoder, only Bluetooth). I have also already tested the Bluetooth part of this system. If successful, the first user DBTC boards would be about a year away (developer versions would be available sooner).

    Currently the development information is only being released to those helping with the development and members of “Open-Source-Bluetooth-Train-Control” group.
    Open-Interface-Bob

    More information:

    New Open Source Group:
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine...he-Open-Source-Bluetooth-Train-Control-Thread
    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/group.php?groupid=125
    “Attempted Development of a Bluetooth Locomotive Transceiver?” Blog: http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/blog.php?28125-RT_Coker
    S/W Project: http://spaces.atmel.com/gf/project/bluetrain/
    Docs: http://spaces.atmel.com/gf/project/bluetrain/docman/
    S/W Releases: http://spaces.atmel.com/gf/project/bluetrain/frs/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2014
  16. Streamliner Steve

    Streamliner Steve TrainBoard Member

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    Bob, it sounds impressive! I'd think with the low cost of "gently used" laptops vs. using a person's smart phone or tablet, that a PC based blue tooth system would be something of interest to a lot of folks. If blue Tooth controlled devices such as turn outs, signal crossings, etc., could be made, a very impressive rail plan could be automatically set up and stored.
     
  17. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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  18. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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  19. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    at WGH show in Edison NJ in March

    Bach Man says that their Bluetooth system will be at WGH show in Edison NJ in March! If any of you are going would you please check it out, and then post what you think about the system here.
    Thank you!
    Bob
     

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