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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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It's about time. I was wondering when model train manufacturers were gonna catch on to the whole wireless app/iPhone thing. mini RC helicopters have them. why not trains?

John
 

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Meh. I'm underwhelmed. I already have a wireless DCC system that works perfectly well. Show me thst this system provides measurable improvements over what I have and I'll be impressed, not before.

I have a smartphone, and it does a lot of nifty things, but I don't need it to ru my layout, too.
 

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Meh. I'm underwhelmed. I already have a wireless DCC system that works perfectly well. Show me thst this system provides measurable improvements over what I have and I'll be impressed, not before.

I have a smartphone, and it does a lot of nifty things, but I don't need it to ru my layout, too.
Given the greatly improved communications of Bluetooth over DCC, it is only a matter of time.

I am glad to see something my grandkids could get excited about. I hope it brings more new people (and younger people) into the hobby, so that it will flourish for many years to come.
Bob
 

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Show me thst this system provides measurable improvements over what I have and I'll be impressed
I think the biggest difference would be the ability to run it on any layout - DC or DCC. and if you're one to bring your trains to a lot of different layouts and places, (like me) it's kind of a nice thing to have

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another thing I think will be fun about these trains is the potential for apps that can offer new ways to control and enjoy your train. Things like voice control, gesture control, and control over the web, in addition to simulated gameplay, downloadable sound enhancements and controller skins etc. There are a lot of interesting options when you connect your train to a smartphone or tablet.
 

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Meh. I'm underwhelmed. I already have a wireless DCC system that works perfectly well. Show me thst this system provides measurable improvements over what I have and I'll be impressed, not before.
One potential benefit of this approach (or other wireless) is higher bandwidth and bi-directional communication.

While there is a bi-directional "standard" for DCC it is not widely used.
 

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Another thing I think will be fun about these trains is the potential for apps that can offer new ways to control and enjoy your train. Things like voice control, gesture control, and control over the web, in addition to simulated gameplay, downloadable sound enhancements and controller skins etc. There are a lot of interesting options when you connect your train to a smartphone or tablet.
Now you have gotten my hopes up that there will be a version that has an open-Bluetooth-interface, and maybe even the ability to download different firmware to the board (can be done through Bluetooth). And, while I am at it, an extra-plug for the unused-processor-ports, and maybe even a tachometer counter input. It would be nice to see an explosion of ideas at the locomotive as well as the iDevice.
Bob
 

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I'm glad to see that most people seem to be excited about this. I predict that it will go the way of digital audio tape.

I can see why the OP would be interested in this, given that his website sells equipment for it.
 

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Very interesting! Now I'm glad I did't invest heavily in DDC........if it works as intended, we could eventually see DDC go the way of the Dodo......

Let's see how this plays out.....
 

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I don't see DCC disappearing anytime soon.

There have been other posts about a WiFi based system. When I asked the poster if Bluetooth had been considered the response was basically that Bluetooth wasn't up to the task.

The 1st gen. boards are rather large - not so much of a problem for new designs but tougher to retrofit.

Time will tell.
 

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I can see why the OP would be interested in this, given that his website sells equipment for it.
My understanding is the OP has a financial interest in this, but is not yet selling (and my never) sell from the BlueRail Trains site.

And I have no financial interest in this.
Bob
 

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I am still using DC. I may be interested in this if it worked on Android (not buying an iPhone / iPod / iPad just for this). It would be nice to retrofit a few of my existing engines to run sound etc. I have no interest in buying any of the locomotives they showed. I have a large fleet of blue box engines including F units.
 

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There have been other posts about a WiFi based system. When I asked the poster if Bluetooth had been considered the response was basically that Bluetooth wasn't up to the task.
Pretty vague!
Maybe Bluetooth was not “up to the task” because it costs so much less to implement than WiFi (when more costs also means more prophet).

For those that would like the “Fast Facts” about Bluetooth, look here: http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Fast-Facts.aspx
Or here in the “Specification” section for the older version: http://www.digikey.com/en/articles/...-data-communications-in-industrial-automation
Bob
 

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I think the biggest difference would be the ability to run it on any layout - DC or DCC. and if you're one to bring your trains to a lot of different layouts and places, (like me) it's kind of a nice thing to have

John
As a old fashioned type who still has a genuine Western Electric
rotary dial phone in use along with a flip Cell phone,
you may be surprised that I
agree that this development is likely to be very popular
with modelers, especially the younger guys and DC
modelers.

As John says, it makes it possible for an owner to run his
locos on almost any HO layout. That is going to make
it a boon for the guys who have yet to convert to DC.
They can run their favorite DC locos and add any new
loco with the Blue Ray decoder without making any
electrical changes. And for DCC modelers, the blue
ray phone app just becomes an additional loco controller,
as he continues to run his DCC locos.

A very interesting new product.

Don
 

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Pretty vague!
Maybe Bluetooth was not “up to the task” because it costs so much less to implement than WiFi (when more costs also means more prophet).
Bob
I wasn't suggesting that I agreed with him - just passing along information.

BTW: prophet -> profit
 

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I wasn't suggesting that I agreed with him - just passing along information.

BTW: prophet -> profit
Can’t say that I disagree with what was posted somewhere. At one time there probably were some very good reasons for not developing Direct-Bluetooth-Locomotive-Control. There will also be some good reasons for not using it. I think for one reason or other existing decoder manufacturers have missed the boat.
Thanks for the spelling help! I am a poor speller even with the computer’s help.
Bob
 
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